Well, we are. To São Paulo. In January (fingers crossed, pending any Visa issues). “Why?” you may ask. Well, the story starts long ago…
Michael grew up taking family trips to Mexico learning Spanish (what a great idea for family vacay’s!). He also lived in Arizona which has a strong Hispanic community so Spanish was a part of his life from the beginning. He continued studying Spanish in school and in college he spent a semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. Between undergrad and law school, Michael decided to spend a year abroad and really focus on his Spanish fluency. He considered Spain but his big brother Joe had passed through Argentina and suggested he look there. And so he spent the next year falling in love with Latin America and mastering the Spanish language. He returned to DC for law school but managed to spend his first summer working for a law firm in Costa Rica. After graduation he moved out to San Francisco, yet his heart for South America only grew and he came to the realization that ultimately he wants his career to be about this region of the world, one way or another. His work provided him with opportunities to work on matters in Spanish and travel a bit, but when he heard that his law firm, Jones Day, was opening an office in São Paulo…there was no stopping him. It was actually an amazing thing to watch. It was like Michael put on blinders and with a laser focus, started teaching himself Portuguese, familiarizing himself with the region, and even published an article on Brazil’s Antitrust Legal system. And then, the hard work paid off when his office granted him the opportunity to transfer.
At this point, Michael is conversational in Portuguese and feels confident he’ll be fluent within a couple of months on the ground. I know how to say a few key words like “fish,” “sandwich,” “driving,” …all of the important things you need to get around. But I am diligently studying with Rosetta Stone.
Pending any Visa issues, we are hoping to fly directly after the New Year and start getting acclimated. It typically takes about 3 months to ship & receive stuff so we will likely start off in furnished housing or a hotel and will then hunt for our apartment.
So that’s the story and the update on where we are in the process. I know that it will be an adjustment full of challenges and that I’ll miss my family, friends, and the greatest country on earth, but I am SO excited for the adventure ahead and so grateful that God has prepared this path for us and us for this path.
I hope that this blog will help me capture some final memories in San Francisco and then will serve as a way to document the journey ahead. Thanks for joining us! 🙂