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Catching Waves to Feel Alive at Praia dos Açores, Florianópolis

We were driving to the south of Ilha de Santa Catarina when WhatsApp notifications started popping up on my phone. Travelling with a Brazilian SIM card does make life easier, but it’s harder to disconnect, pick your poison…

“Oh shit, according to my friends, Ontario is going back to step two of the Roadmap to Reopen!”

Then I laughed nervously because it was such a weird thing to say out loud and out of context—Ontario has been mostly closing and not doing much reopening over the past two years.

“Okay, schools are closed again until January 17… damn, gyms, museums, restaurants, theatres and all until January 26.”

My stomach dropped, just as it would have if I had been in Ontario, Canada, and not Santa Catarina, Brazil. Not again!

Feng sighed. “What’s the fucking point?”

I don’t even know where I stand anymore on restrictions. Yeah, instinctively I don’t like them, few people enjoy restrictions, although “lockdown forever” people aren’t hard to find on social media.

Still, I took pandemic measures seriously. We really did “stay apart” until summer 2020 and it felt very weird when I eventually met a friend in June 2020. We quarantined several times—technically, I did leave the house to go for walks alone in the middle of nowhere, but I didn’t meet anyone. We tested as required and whenever we had a doubt. We jumped on the opportunity to get vaccinated.

In fact, there are two measures I simply refused to comply with. The first one is the $2,000 quarantine-hotel stay upon return to Canada implemented last year—it was an expensive clusterfuck, I stayed abroad until it was lifted. The second one is the outdoor masking mandate, mostly because it’s not practical and it’s completely pointless when there’s nobody around.

I can’t take the whole “hygiene theatre” seriously anymore—you know, every second sink or bathroom taped off for the sake of physical distancing, for instance. And I don’t think we can realistically run away from a super contagious virus like Omicron.

Canada’s healthcare system can’t take it, it will break it. I’m annoyed because frankly, anything would break Canada’s healthcare system. So more restrictions instead of fixing a broken system, yay.

I’m not in Brazil because I’m running away from restrictions—I’m just running away from winter, spending as much time outside as I can, trying to find meaning in life again because life has been pretty bleak in Canada lately. I take COVID seriously. I also take Mark’s education and mental health seriously, and I’m worried about inflation, Canadians’ mental health in general, work perspectives and more.

We parked right in front of the beach and I turned off my phone.

Praia dos Açores is a windy surf beach, a perfect pick for a hot and sunny day.

I grabbed the bodyboard. The water was cold. “Give me a minute, Mark… oh shit, it’s cold, yes, I KNOW I just have to get used to it!”

I watched the waves for a while, then I found the perfect spot.

The first wave lifted me and I took a deep breath, going for the fast ride.

It felt amazing.

It’s raining tonight. Birds are singing, dogs are barking, a cat is chasing a cockroach and the guys are both snoring (one lightly, the other loudly, someone will get kicked when I go to bed…).

The world is alive here and I feel hopeful again.

Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia do Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Pântano do Sul
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores to Praia da Solidão
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Florianópolis, Praia dos Açores
Drive back to Florianópolis Centro
Drive back to Florianópolis Centro

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