Arriving in Rio de Janeiro

Arriving in Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed, and basically an amalgamation of all the emotions I had ever experienced. I felt like a child in a candy store but also like a tiny little fish in a sea of sharks.

I found it hilarious thinking back to all the times I had seen people with GoPros strapped to themselves and thinking, “what a weirdo”, NOW I AM THAT WEIRDO!

arriving in rio de janeiro
Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio De Janeiro
Click the photo to check out my Instagram Page @TheQuestForWisdom

Door to door the journey was about 21 hours, which to be honest I have no complaints about. I slept for about 2 hours before getting up at 4am and strapping the GoPro to myself, so I was bleary eyed and running on fumes. I found it hilarious thinking back to all the times I had seen people with GoPros strapped to themselves and thinking, “what a dickhead”, NOW I AM THAT DICKHEAD!

On the Plane I was next to a nice lady from Florianópolis (Brazil), who was finishing her Doctorate in Portuguese! This was the perfect person to chat to to practise my Portuguese before landing.

Teaching Myself Portuguese

Up until then I had been teaching myself Portuguese using Youtube videos, listening to Podcasts and chatting to people using Tandem which is an amazing app, which links you with people who want to learn one of the languages you speak, and the languages you want to learn.

It is not location based and so I had spent about 5 months writing to people from Brazil – but only ever met and spoke in person with one person who happened to come on Holiday to Barcelona, (for anyone wanting to learn or practise a language I highly recommend Getting Tandem , (more on that in a future post).

Anyway, she had been doing research for her Doctorate in Guinea Bissau, which is a Portuguese speaking country in West Africa. I was asking her about her time there and what she learned.

She explained how amazing it was to be in a different country, in a different continent, where everyone had a different skin colour, yet the culture was so similar and made her feel so welcome.

Brazillian Culture

Brazillian culture has a lot of influence from West Africa due to the slave trade but she said it was amazing that she felt like there was no hostility, or negative feeling because of this.

It got me thinking about The cultural similarities of the UK and other english speaking countries. The UK + Ireland basically just share the love of drinking – along with Australia. With Americans I think we share very little culturally, and personally I often find it extremely difficult to communicate with them.

The Canadians that I have come across have all been much more grounded and I think we understand each other a little bit more – of course that is thanks to Her Majesty The Queen (joke). South Africa I dont know so much about, but it fascinates me and will be a future quest.

It also made me think of all of the countries that the British Empire colonised, exploited, enforced our way of thinking, and then abandoned when we had bled them dry.

It made me angry thinking of Brexit and my opinion that the “Majority” vote was won on the whole because of racism, xenophobia and the dislike of other cultures,”destroying our wonderful British culture”. WE SHOULD BE WELCOMING CULTURAL CHANGE AND DIVERSITY.

Diversity

Arriving in Rio De Janeiro

When we arrived above Rio de Janeiro in the plane there was an announcement saying that we couldn´t land due to bad weather, they told us we were diverting to Belo Horizonte.

I remembered that BH was about 5 hours from Rio in a bus and it made me start grasping the sheer enormity of Brasil. Its like trying to land in London but being unable to, and so flying to Newcastle to land for a bit and then nip back.

Luckily it only delayed us for a a few hours and didn´t bother me at all. The poor lady next to me was nearly having a panic attac as she had no way to contact her family and let them know she was safe, but delayed. Eventually someone gave her a phone she could use and this was sorted.

Immigration in Brazil

Waiting in the queue for Immigration I was preparing a speech for when I was questioned on my intentions in the country, (I didnt have a return flight or an outward flight), which is supposed to be one of the requirements for being granted the tourist visa.

I had quickly booked a hostel in Argentina and so was going to say that I was planning to go to Foz do Iguacu where there are waterfalls which border Argentina and Paraguay, (I do plan on going here at some point). After you leave Brasil you can then return again and stay another 3 months, (up to a total of 6 months per year).

Foz Do Iguazu
Check Out My Instagram Page for more photos @TheQuestForWisdom
Click on the photo to see a little compilation video that I made in the waterfalls

However, much to my disappointment, they stamped my passport without saying a word! This made me think how insanely lucky I am to have a British passport and just go basically wherever I want with almost no questions asked.

Living in Barcelona and constantly meeting people from non European countries has made me realise how much we take for granted – before going to Russia last year I had never had to apply for a Visa to go on holiday anywhere!

This is not a luxury that people from other countries have. People are forced to live in fear and, “break the law”, just to try and make a better life for themself as an “illegal immigrant”. People dont usually flee their country or leaves their loved ones to go and leach off another country – they do it out of necessity.

Click here to listen to my poem titled the Little Boy From Syria about a refugee that flees his country.

Foz Do Iguacu Brazil
The Borders between Paraguy, Argentina, and Brazil where Foz Do Iguacu is located

When I arrived in Rio de Janeiro finally I was buzzing. Went straight to a taxi, agreed with his 100R$ (25€) fee with no question and had a nice chat with him on the way.

The rain in Rio had caused some savage flooding and so there was cars trying to drive through what basically looked like lakes on the road. My taxi driver did some pro driving and got us around this.

When I arrived at my one night temporary hostel it was an absolute dive – basically a squat – no lockers and very poor amenities. I was sooo happy that I had booked a week in a nice hostel months ago, before I had my flight, (as it is carnaval everywhere was either fully booked or about 400 million euros a night.

My first day in Rio I moved to the new nice hostel, met some nice people, got my bearings and joined in with some dancing and parades. I didn´t want to wear my GoPro on the first day until I had a sense of if this would make me a walking target. I quickly saw that everyone was instagramming and snapchatting non stop and could see the people that were going to quickly have their phones stolen.

The best thing about Rio so far is being able to walk around semi naked, (and fit in), WITHOUT looking like a Brit Abroad! For a sweaty man like me this is heaven.

Living in Barcelona you quickly adapt to a permanent state of extreme caution for your personal belongings. I wouldn´t even call it paranoia as the level of theft there is absolutely mind blowing.

I am trying to get my head around how to use this GoPro software and it is driving me insane. I am trying to make a montage video of my journey from door to door as I filmed most of it – and its quite funny looking through the videos and different stages.

I apologise in advance for what will be a very amateur video! I wanted to write this post now before the main day of Carnaval -which is today!- just to keep you all updated.

Contact Me!

Any questions, comments, complaints, advice are all welcome so fire away!!!

If you would like to ask me anything the best way to do this is via message on the Facebook page or Instagram – or via message on my personal Facebook if you know me. You can also comment on the post or send me an email.

I WILL REPLY

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Support My Work!

This blog and other related projects such as the upcoming Podcast and Youtube Channel are now my full time job and they require a lot of time and money.

If you like my content and would like to help me to keep creating more then I would be so grateful for any donations through my Patreon account

To read about my experience in the Amazon Rainforest click here

#1 The Start of The Quest

I would like to start by introducing myself and my reasons for starting this blog about my struggles with Addiction, ADHD & Strattera, and the problems that myself and other young people face whilst growing up in this crazy world.

Throughout my life I have met countless people who have asked me to keep a record of my life and my experiences, and very recently I made the decision to start writing a journal and saving memories, so that I can write memoirs which may inspire/entertain or shock some people.

I was born as a “gifted and talented” child, and at age 5 I was diagnosed with ADHD, which was untreated and un-managed, due to the fear of medication, until September 2017. Because of this, my childhood was utter chaos and like roughly 75% of people with ADHD I was instantly addicted to everything I ever came across.

The first time I got drunk was in October of year 7, (age 11), when I drank a bottle of Sambuca until I was blackout drunk. From this moment I was addicted to alcohol. I was gifted academically, which meant that I had to expend no effort in order to breeze through school achieving everything I needed to achieve, without ever having to apply myself to anything.

This gave me time to use my curiosity to explore everything I could think of, and experiment with as many drugs as I could get hold of. I quickly became obsessed with weed and lost a couple of years to numbing and destroying my brain with skunk, until I realised I had to stop as it was ruining my personality and killing my motivation.

I also got heavily addicted to Mephedrone, the legal high that swamped the UK during 2009/2010. I used this powerful stimulant most days for about 5 solid months and lost most of my friends, abandoned my family and tried to emancipate, and also lost 25kg of body weight – which left me looking like a skeleton. I managed to kick this addiction due to a forced trip to Ireland where I could not get hold of the drug. Stopping Mephedrone caused me to leach back on to alcohol to try and calm my brain down.

adhd addiction

This pattern of binge drinking and passing out continued as often as possible, and more and more frequently as I got older.

When I was 18 I was at a music festival I drank myself to death.

I drank all day every day for 3 or 4 days in a row and then on the final night I drank between one or two litres of Vodka in a short space of time. I remember feeling weaker and I remember my body shutting down. I remember collapsing to the floor.

My friends were used to seeing this and so they didn´t think anything of it at first but after a while they told me they thought something was different.

They went to get medical help and I was taken to a field hospital where they were told my heart was stopped. They tried three times to revive me and eventually they succeeded.

When I woke up I felt like I had lost my soul. I did not know where I was, who I was, or even my name. I was told I needed to be transported to hospital to have a more thorough examination. Upon hearing this I panicked and pulled all the needles out of my arms and ran out of the tent.

I was in a delusional state and the only thing I could think of was to get more alcohol in order to calm myself down. I found a bottle of vodka and necked this. This put me into a psychotic hallucinatory state and the 8 hour journey home I have no recollection of. The next 4 days I suffered from ego death, lost my purpose in life, lost what felt like part of my soul and it was horrible.

4 days was all it took for me to return back to drinking and this then carried on for another 5 years. I reached a stage at the end of my relationship with my ex-partner “S”, where I was on a downward spiral towards death again. I was crying out for help in the only way I knew how which was by drinking to oblivion morning to night for days and weeks on end. One day I woke up face first on the floor in my old flat with no idea how I had arrived there.

Before even becoming conscious and aware I got up walked to the fridge and drank a bottle of wine and 3 beers within the space of about a minute. I then realised that I had done this without even thinking and was so angry and ashamed at myself that I broke down in tears. S saw me that morning and said the words that gave me the motivation I needed to seek help. “I will not watch you kill yourself, if you carry on like this I cannot be around you”, “I will not watch you die”.

Adhd addict

Those words gave me the courage to go to the doctors and ask for help. I was instantly referred to a specialist where they quickly recognised that I needed to be treated for ADHD (with Strattera). I went cold turkey that day and decided I would stop drinking for the time being. The following few months of sobriety were scary but fantastic.

Click here to read my article about Starting Treatment for ADHD with Strattera (Atomoxetine)

I started to spend some time alone – for the first time ever and started to occupy my brain with different challenges like learning to read Arabic. I also started to explore Barcelona, and although I had already lived in the city for over 2 years it felt like a new city entirely. I had spent every possible moment -when not working or recovering- drunk out of my brain and so I had never taken note of anything.

Along with therapy I started to take medication for ADHD (Strattera) which really was the turning point in my life. It was a slow process but I started to be able to sleep more than an hour or 2, I stopped hearing every single sound, every single conversation and through training I learned to be able to concentrate on a conversation and appear interested – even though my mind was usually elsewhere. I can honestly say that Strattera changed my life.

Throughout the next year I used my time to really explore myself intimately and get to know the reasons for why I am the way I am. I also started to get to know my friends beyond the surface and also re-connect with old friends who had been unable to properly connect with me due to me being wasted all the time.

I have very few memories of my life up until I stopped drinking and I find it incredibly difficult to pinpoint specific parts. I spend a lot of time trying to trace back through the years and re-discover memories. This is part of my reasons for starting a blog/journal as I think that I have done permanent damage to my memory, and I am keen to record it so that I will be able to follow it back once I am older.

My decision to go to Brasil was one I plucked out of thin air, and at the time I didnt know why I had decided to go. I now realise that it is a sort of pilgrimage of self discovery. I am obsessed with languages and so have been learning Portuguese for about 4 months. Apart from this I need time alone to explore my brain and gain new skills, without any distractions.

In my life I have a lot of people that rely on me for support, and so I spend all of my time trying to sort other peoples´ problems out instead of focusing on myself and what I want. In Brasil I want to study Capoeira, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, Samba, Language classes and also spend some time in the Amazon – where I want to learn how to survive in the jungle. I will also be going on an Ayuhuasca trip.

I know this has been a long intro but really it is only scratching at the surface! If you have any questions I would love to answer them. Don´t be shy to ask anything – I will always answer honestly and I welcome any challenges! I want to be challenged. Challenged to do things, challenged on the points I make, challenged to find out more information about a topic that interests you.

I truly believe that as a society we need to challenge each other more and not just accept things at face value.We need to stop thinking that our dreams are unreachable and that “I” could not possibly do that. We are all capable of making an impact and leaving a legacy, and this is what I hope my blog will help people to realise. I would love it if you could share this page as much as possible and spread it via word of mouth so that I can reach as many people as possible.

To read about my experience with ADHD and Strattera click here

If you would like to ask me anything the best way to do this is via message on the Facebook page or Instagram – or via message on my personal Facebook if you know me. You can also comment on the post or send me an email.

I WILL REPLY

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Become a Patron

Obviously running this blog takes a lot of time and costs money to maintain it and fulfill projects. Any donations would be graciously received via my Patreon account. I have a lot of exciting projects coming up and I want to be able to just focus on good content.

To donate please go to my Patreon account

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