The complete story.
I studied abroad my junior year of college in the Dominican Republic and Argentina, and fell in love with living abroad.
While I was in Argentina, I missed Caribbean culture, and I actually became fascinated by Brazilian culture. I made friends with Brazilians and went to a lot of Brazilian places in Buenos Aires, and took a Portuguese class.
Then after my semester ended in Argentina, I traveled for 2 weeks in Brazil with friends, to Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Salvador. I fell in love with the country -- and a Brazilian.
After that, I went back to the US to finish by senior year of college and started a long-distance relationship with said Brazilian. I visited him twice and we traveled around Rio to its many beautiful beaches and coastal cities.
During my senior year, I decided I wanted to go back abroad, and chose to shoot for Brazil. I applied to two fellowships to create a community service project, and poured my energy into designing a dance program in Rio's largest favela, Rocinha, where I had an American contact working at an NGO. I made it to the final round of both, but was then eliminated, I believe because they deemed it too dangerous a setting and me not experienced enough to start my own program. I was devastated, but didn't give up.
So a month after I graduated, I went to Rio, moved in, started teaching English, writing this blog, and volunteering as a ballet teacher. Since then, I moved on to a number of different endeavors, and continued to teach ballet and work on different causes.
I moved back to New York in May 2009, and Eli moved to the US the following month. We got married in July 2009, and have been living in New York since. I now spend my days researching and writing about Brazil and Latin America, as well as writing my blog.
The rest is history!