June 1, 2018


I was getting out of the lift in my Rio de Janeiro apartment building when the random Brazilian guy riding alongside me gave me a hug goodbye.

I’d never met him before. Even more strangely he was with his wife at the time who just smiled like it was totally normal. But it wasn’t a hug hug, like th...

January 31, 2018


There's a great woman who works on Ipanema Beach that is impossible to forget. 

Vanessa Cabral dos Santos, or Vanessa Esplendorosa as she's known on the sand, sells acai, the Amazonian berry superfood turned purple smoothie health snack which can be mixed with things like banana, granola and...

December 30, 2017


I’M living in a city where the gangs are so out of control the army has been called in to keep the peace.

Like many predicted before last year’s Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro’s hopes for a new beginning were snuffed out along with the cauldron. The economy is in recession, automatic gun fire echoe...

September 13, 2017


DOES Brazil’s Christ shed a tear looking down over the sadness below him?

It’s a question Rio de Janeiro’s residents ask as they gaze up to what has become the most dangerous wonder of the world.

Last Friday the steep 4km Corcovado jungle trail to the giant Christ the Redeemer statue was closed the...

May 1, 2017


If you’re thinking of coming on a holiday to Brazil and Rio it's a great life choice to make, believe me.

There can be a lot to get your head around as a tourist though so here are some travel tips and advice for anyone that wants to jump on a plane for a Brazilian holiday. Follow these and you'll...

October 25, 2016

Sao Paulo has to be one of the most underrated and unloved great cities of the world.

While just about everyone knows the famous sun-drenched vistas of Rio, most foreigners know nothing about Sampa.

Even some Brazilians who aren’t from there, and some who are, don’t like it - it doesn’t have the b...

October 16, 2016

A newspaper front page with a little girl covered in her dead mother’s blood declared “Terrorism in Rio is everyday”.

In the grisly story from July, Cristiane Andrade, 46, was stabbed in the neck in her car's front seat sitting next to her daughter in a supermarket carpark. The girl ran to a nearby...

September 15, 2016

Walking through a Rio de Janeiro favela I was told by my resident guide that the order from the most senior gangsters is to not lay a hand on visitors. 

She said I could navigate the Cantagalo favela’s steep maze of pathways, streets and stairs safely with a Brazilian or even alone, something...

September 12, 2016

You can practically feel the sun and samba beats bursting out of Brazilians mouths.

Yet when the coolest and sexiest accents in the world are spoken about you hear of the Irish, French, Italians or us Aussies. 

Even one of the many Spanish-speaking countries will usually be tossed up.

But Br...

September 9, 2016

The question wasn't why would I come to Rio it was why wouldn't I?

Here I was, a stereotypical monolingual English-speaking dude. I had no understanding of the struggles and memory-searing moments which come from ditching the comforts of home to enter the unknown.

So late last year I found myself...

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I'm Ian Walker, an Australian freelance journalist and travel writer who ditched his job as a full-time newspaper reporter to move to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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