Photo by Roberto Beltrao

It’s dawn.  Light is coming through the window.  The only problem is it’s a window that doesn’t belong on THAT wall?

So I have to tell myself to relax, breathe, and in a moment or two I’ll remember just where I am.  But I keep staring at that window, dazed and confused by it being on the wrong wall.  I’m not high, hooking, or demented (at least not yet); but those first few moments after awaking can be anxiety-causing and panic-driven for people who travel.

It must be so easy to awaken with your shoes under the same bed week after week, month after month…. to awaken to the same sounds and sights must be quite comforting.  But for those that travel, our morning disorientation is a small price to pay for feeding our adventurous spirits.  So I’ll awaken to windows on the wrong wall, shadows of unfamiliar furniture, and even sounds that make me wonder out loud, ‘Where am I now?”

And waking up in Rio is a mini-adventure.  Radiantly blue skies, street conversations in Portuguese below my window, and the cacophony of city buses beginning their morning runs after the silent lull of the night. But my absolute favorite dawn signal that ‘’this is Rio” is the Bem-Ce-Vi bird (great kiskadee).  The distinctive call of this delightful South American bird serves as my ‘wake-up call’ many mornings.  Listen carefully to his call, sounds like he’s saying “Bem-Ce-Vi” (I see you.).  Good morning, my feathery Bem-Ce-Vi friend.  Bom dia, Rio!

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