Thursday, November 21, 2013

Expat Experience: Shawn Muller, Formiga (Minas Gerais), Brazil

Shawn Muller
Who are you?

My name is Shawn Muller and I am 37 years old, I am originally from Port St. Lucie, Florida. I went on a working holiday to the United Kingdom in 2001, where I met my Brazilian partner. And ever since then I lived between these three countries. I relocated for the third time to Brazil in January 2012. I am currently living in the state Minas Gerais, I spent roughly three days of a week in a small town Formiga (The Sweet Ant Town) and the rest of the week I spend my time at a small holding next to the banks of Furnas Lake about 30 km from town. I work as a freelance art worker and teach English on those days in town.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved abroad to broaden my experience and meet new people and cultures from the world. I believe that I am a tourist at heart. Since I left my country in 2001, my journey started in Northern Ireland when I took a connection flight to London. In London I meet my partner and soon I had so many great friends from all over the world and particular from Brazil. I soon started travel and ended up doing various professions in various locations in the UK. I have lived in more than 20 places in the UK and various countries I visited in Europe. Then in between, I then came to Brazil 2004-2005 and then back to South Africa 2006-2009 and then back to the UK 2009-2012 and now we are in Brazil. But I have been to Uruguay and Paraguay in Southern America. I am also a business person and developed various building projects in Brazil. I love Brazil, and love the people from the south to the north, where I have been to Manaus - Amazon, recently. My main reason is the feeling of growth - personally and financially.

What challenges did you face during the move?

The main challenges I face are the airports, the customs and actual traveling itself. As I only look forward to the arrival part. Everything in between is a hassle. From being nervous all the time, to make sure you have all the baggage and always be in the rush mode. And to be honest the discomfort of flying, I prefer the space on the bus tours, much more relax. But the other challenges are the day to day challenges. The different times and culinary habits. But also to communicate to everyone in a new language. But also the weather patterns, as it is completely different from each country lived in and visited. You have to be prepared to fit into the society and be part of community...

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