Moving to Brazil: there will never be a perfect time. The perfect time is now.

Christian Taylor in Brazil

Clichéd gringo shot: a trip to Rocinha

For years I’ve wanted to move to Brazil, but life has always been in the way – until now. 

My name is  and I’ve finally set my moving date – over the coming months I’ll be blogging about my experiences as I make the leap to the sunny shores of Florianópolis in Santa Catarina to start my new Brazilian life. 

Less than 2 months to go. Time to get organised.

With mere weeks to go before I jump on a Brazilian-bound plane, I’ve started writing lists. Lots of them. Lists help me feel like I have some control over the things that I cannot always control.

In addition to feeling organised, there’s a great satisfaction that comes from ticking things off lists. Paying off credit card debts and closing bank accounts – tick. Resigning from my job – tick. Reserving my first few weeks of accommodation – tick. Booking flights – tick. It’s all starting to feel rather real.

It’s a big deal to shut down your life in one place and to start from scratch in another, particularly when there are so many unknowns on the horizon. Of course, the unknowns are half of the joy. At 36 years of age, I could have just dropped anchor in London and climbed the career ladder. I could have taken out a mortgage and resigned myself to living for the weekend and dreaming of my annual vacation. I could have stayed put as one of the many grey, corporate faces crammed into the tube each morning, hiding behind newspapers.

When I compare a predictable life in London to the ‘what ifs’ of a new life in Brazil, the latter wins every time. Will I be able to make enough money to stay afloat? Will I be able to wrap my head around another language? Where will I live? I don’t have answers to these questions at the moment – but I know I will soon enough.

Why Brazil? Christian Taylor in Paraty

My love affair with Brazil began over 3 years ago. I flew to the northeast as a stopover on my way to Australia from London. Brazil was an unusual choice for a stopover – well and truly out of the way – but I’d always been curious about the place. I landed in Fortaleza and met up with a Brazilian friend I’d made online. I had no idea of what to expect. I left two weeks later, a little sunburnt and head over heels. I knew I would be back, and I was – many times.


Why not Brazil?

After mulling over facts like Brazil being in recession, or that my savings account is not as full as I would like it to be, I’ve come to realise that there will never be a perfect time to move to Brazil. There will always be reasons to go and reasons to stay. Sometimes you just have to go with your instincts and make a decision. And have enough faith in yourself to know that you’ll find answers to the problems that come your way. 

I’ve been working my way through and so far it’s been a godsend. He’s helped me to design a framework for what lies ahead. I now know which visa I’ll be choosing, which city I’ll be living in and where I’ll be studying. I have a pretty good idea of how much money I’m going to need to live well. I know what I should pack and what I should leave behind. He’s even helped me to score a great deal on a flight with British Airways (£250 / US$379 London > Rio return) – a very worthwhile investment.

With the basics mapped out, now I have more time to devote to the next big challenges: ensuring I have enough freelance clients to stay afloat (I work in writing, editing and social media) and of course, . I’ll be blogging about my ups and downs over the coming months in the hopes that my journey provides some inspiration and useful information for others preparing to take the plunge themselves! 

Any questions, feel free to hit me up in the comments below. 


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  • Welcome Christian! I’m moving to Florianopolis soon and in the same phase as you, I look forward to reading about your experiences.

  • Wow Christian, Congratulations! Good to see that you are still working toward this goal. Not too long ago we were both mulling over the hypotheticals when we had our Skype call about moving to Floripa, after you, Mohamed and I met during the live Brazilian Gringo class about portuguese language success. Super stoked for you, man! I’m here now, in Floripa, studying at UniSul. Get in touch if you need anything 🙂

    • Thanks Jairet – yes, I remember you! You were super helpful actually. I will be at Unisul next March, as will Mohamed. Much appreciated 🙂

          • I am only enrolled in the Portuguese classes, nothing else, and they produce the enrollment letter that is necessary for the consulate appointment. If you want any other details, visit and go to my contact page to email me.
            I also have an upcoming post about the process that will be on the site by the end of the week.

          • Hey Jairet, which embassy did you go to to get your student visa? Somewhere in South America? Or did you do it in your home country?

          • Christian, I did everything in my home country, at the consulate general of Brazil in San Francisco, California.

  • Not sure if this is destiny or what, but I’m ready to move soon to Brazil and was debating where to go. Before I read this, I was already about 90% sure it would be Florianopolis. I’m closer to 100% now. I’ll be doing the same, going on a student visa and studying portuguese over there.

    I’ll keep following your posts and hopefully we could meet at some point next year.

    Boa sorte com tudo Christian!

    • Hey Edil, glad I could help tip the scales in favour of Florianópolis! Perhaps we’ll both be studying in the same place? Are you heading to Unisul? Yes, I’m sure we’ll be able to meet up to swap stories. 🙂 Keep me posted on your travels.

    • Hey Edil, glad I could help tip the scales in favour of Florianópolis! Perhaps we’ll both be studying in the same place? Are you heading to Unisul? Yes, I’m sure we’ll be able to meet up to swap stories. 🙂 Keep me posted on your travels.

      • So Unisul is my goal and I want to join the one that starts in March but might be late for that one. I need to contact them to see if I can still join. I’m sure I’ll meet you there at some point next year

      • Oh, I’ve been thinking that the deadlines are for next year classes but it’s for 2015. I don’t see the 2016 schedule on their page. Were you able to apply for next year without the schedule being available? Thanks!

  • Hi Cristian,
    I’m about to take some decisions during these days and move to Brazil sounds good.
    I come from London like you and I’m in digital marketing as well. But the time in London it’s over for me.
    So can you help me in moving to Brazil? Any particular advice about job and what could I find?
    I’m almost completely blind about this argument, the only good points I have are the foreign languages knowledge and few degrees in Marketing.
    I hope you have a great days in Florianopolis!

  • Hi Christian,
    I am living in Belo horizonte. Me and my husband moved to Brazil 15 months ago. He got a professorship position in UFMG. I also have a master degree in Informatic eng (but I am not very good at programming) from Lisbon. I am trying to start a phd in UFMG but I am not sure about it. I like to do another job. I have a 2 months baby boy and it is very hard for me to start a phd. I like to work as a freelancer from home. I have a permanent Brazilian Visa. Could you please help me to star my work as a freelancer? I’ll be happy to meet you if you come to Belo horizonte 🙂 .

    • Hi Mero, I would start setting up online profiles on freelancer websites (,, and begin building your portfolio. Do ya few jobs cheaply first, just to get some good feedback from clients, and as you become more experienced you can move on from there and begin increasing your pay rates… I think you’ll have to look at what your strengths are and decide which fields you want to specialise in. Good luck!

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