5/23/2009

ROOKIE MANEUVER

No matter how seasoned a traveler you may think you are, it doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes. I’d like to think I’m a veteran of international travel, but that doesn’t automatically make you impervious to blunders.

It never dawned on me to check if I needed a Visa for Brasil!!! A classic rookie maneuver. I made a huge mistake writing off the entirety of Latin America as this dynamic and free flowing appendage to domestic travel. I mean after all, I make my home in Miami, a place loaded with Brazilians, Argentinians, Colombians, Chileans….flying in and out all day, every day. Well, I found out otherwise, when I wasn’t allowed to board the plane headed for Sao Paulo a few days ago. Then, when I showed up at the Consulate to get a visa, I was informed it’s a 2 business day wait!!! I was very fortunate, and the Consulate was very nice when they made an exception to let my sorry butt through. But still, it was an easily avoidable blunder had I simply checked out the situation online.

What’s funny about the whole situation is when I spoke to several people about it, they told me they never said anything because they assumed I knew. They made that assumption based on my frequent international travels. The simple lesson to learn here, which applies to endurance sports as well, is stick to your basic checklist! I remember almost exactly a year ago, reading Johan Bruyneel’s book and he said exactly that. He said the main thing he does with his riders is keep them doing the very basic things we forget about (like eating and drinking). Endurance sports, travel, business, learning…this lesson is applicable everywhere you turn. Needless to say, I am in Florianopolis a day late and a little wiser.

O, and one more thing...everyone down here was quick to tell my why U.S. citizens pay $130 for our visa and wait 2 days. It's because the Brasil's government is treating U.S. citizens the same way we treat Brasilians. It's hard to argue with the logic, even if it only hurts tourism in the end.

The video was shot along the beach of Baia Norte in the Centro district of Florianopolis
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video

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