Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Expat Experiences: Brazil - Brynn Barineau, Rio de Janeiro

Who are you?

That depends on who you ask. Some will say I'm a bold adventurer, others a certifiable lunatic. Possibly a hopeless romantic or a masochist. Officially, I'm an American from a southern, suburban town outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I became an expat four years ago when I moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I'm a teacher and writer. I keep a blog called Coconut Water about living as an accidental American expat in Brazil.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

In 2005 while in grad school in Washington DC, I worked for a Fulbright program that brought legal professionals from around the world to DC for a year of networking.

One of the participants was a very brilliant (and handsome) Brazilian from Rio. We started dating two months after his arrival. After finishing my grad classes, I moved to Rio, we got engaged and were married in 2007.

We have been living in Brazil full time since September 2006. After four years in Rio de Janeiro, we wanted a smaller city and two months ago we moved to Vitoria, the capitol of the state Espirito Santo.

What challenges did you face during the move?

Coming straight from college I didn't have anything to move except my clothes, no kids, no pets, no furniture. I did ship a few boxes of books which are pretty much the only thing you can bring into Brazil and not pay very high import taxes on. I also brought my electronics (computer, printer, stereo) from the US because these things can cost almost double in Brazil what they are in the US...

Read more about life in Brazil at

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