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About Us

It all started when a guy sat next to a gal on a bus in London and started talking. That guy (me), is known as "Yankee" on this site, and was born and spent most of his life in the U.S., although not in one of the northern states where that name originated. The gal, BritBra, was born and spent most of her life in Brazil (the "Bra" part of her name) before moving to London. That they both arrived on that day, for a bus tour some might call chance, but we like to refer to it as fate.

So the gal thinks this could be a good friendship and gives the guy her phone number. The guy has weekend travel plans for the next month and waits until he has a free weekend to call to arrange a casual day out. The non-date that maybe turned into a date went AMAZING!

BritBra: Yeah, that's mostly how it happened. After two weeks without contact, I figured that it was a fun coach trip and that maybe it wasn't the beginning of a great friendship. The end of that next day out was magical, like the end of a Hallmark movie. 

So that's how it starts: two people fall in love, decide to travel the world, and start this blog. Right? Not exactly.

BritBra: Yeah... Yeah... Yeah...

The guy had been in London for work for the past year and was heading back to the U.S. in two weeks. He figured it wouldn't be fair to start a relationship, then leave. So the guy leaves and the gal stays in London.

But wait, the gal has a trip planned in a month to see family in Brazil. During that same time, the guy has a trip to Acapulco scheduled. He asks her to come to Mexico, she asks him to come to Brazil. Neither option works (who knew those places were so far apart?).

Back in the U.S., the guy schedules a trip to London for a conference and meets up with the gal. Sparks fly, fireworks explode...

BritBra: OK, no details, but we decided that we want to be together.

So, the guy finds a way to move back to London and work part-time on the previous project. The couple gets engaged. The gal becomes a British citizen (God save the Queen). The couple adapt to work and life in London. 

BritBra:  And they live happily ever wait!  Another winter has arrived. then we both realised that we had become increasingly tired of the cramped living, crowded spaces and high prices of London, and neither of us wanted to spend another winter there.

So (dropping the guy and gal terms from this point), we decided to move / move back to the U.S. We applied for a fiance visa and began the paperwork and waiting process.

This is typically a long process, and for the first 7 months, the fiance cannot move to the U.S. The first step is a review of the citizen to make sure their legal and financial situation is acceptable to bring a foreign fiance into the country. Then the fiance is screened with the next step being an interview at the U.S. embassy in their country.

BritBra:  Not long as in two weeks. NO. Long as in over a year for the full process.

Assuming that all goes OK, a visa is issued and the fiance can travel to the U.S. to get married. Once that is done, more paperwork (did I mention there are fees for each step?) is filed to allow the spouse to be able to work and then to become a permanent resident.

BritBra:  Ahem, HUGE fees. Every. Step.

At the end of 2019, with the visa process well underway, we left London for Mexico, with the plan to spend a couple of months in the sun before traveling to Brazil in time for BritBra's visa interview.

BritBra: It was a leap of faith. No job for at least 6 months and no permanent home, but we tried not to use "unemployed and homeless" in our conversations.

Mexico was wonderful, and you'll see posts here about our time in that country. We spent New Year's Eve in Cancun, traveled along the Mexican Riviera coast all the way to Bacalar, then spent six weeks in Ajijic before going to Puerto Vallarta.

Then on to Brazil in early March, with the embassy interview scheduled for the end of March. Plans were being formulated for traveling to the U.S. in mid-April and enjoying the summer in our new home city.

BritBra:  And then comes the pandemic...

Then in mid-March, Brazil locked down and the embassies were closed, along with our interview appointment. As of this writing (mid-August 2020), the embassy hasn't announced a reopening date.

BritBra: Bloody hell!! Another email from the Embassy with the dreadful words "cancellation" and "interview" in the same sentence... 

With most of the country opening up for travel, we made a decision not to wait on the interview, but instead to see and experience more of Brazil. Tropical beaches and beautiful nature abound in the northeastern areas that we plan to visit.

BritBra: An area of the country that I know very little, by the way!

So, that's our story and how this blog was born. Enjoy reading about our adventures, and be sure to post comments.

UPDATE: October 2021

We're writing this update from Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lot has happened in the past year. We spent two months traveling the northeast of Brazil, from Recife to Jericoacoara. We are way behind on posting about our adventures, but we'll get to them soon.

In February 2021, still in Brazil and still waiting on the US Consulate to restart processing visas, we decided on a plan. In April, we would travel to the US, find a house to rent and begin setting up our life in the US. Since BritBra was also now a British citizen, she could use that passport to travel, without jeopardizing the fiancé visa process. Once the consulate finally reopened, we'd travel back to Brazil for the medical exam, biometrics and visa interview. Then BritBra could officially enter the U.S. as a fiancé, and we could get married, and she could live legally in the U.S.

Great plan, right?

So now it's Yankee turn to have visa issues as his Brazilian tourist visa expires in early March. It had been extended due to the pandemic (from 90 days to just over a year), but if he left the country on March 1 and stayed away for 4 days, he would begin a new migratory year in Brazil and could get another 90 day visa. So what countries were open from Brazil, and open without having to be quarantined? In South America, the only viable option was Paraguay. So, it was to be a mini-vacation and we booked the flights and hotels.

We get to the airport in Sao Paulo for an early flight that Monday morning, and find out that Brazilians are required to have a yellow fever vaccination to visit Paraguay, even after our research said it was optional for trips to Asuncion. So, BritBra can’t board the flight.

Since Yankee had to leave Brazil since his visa was expiring, he gets on the plane. But… someplace between the check-in counter and the plane he drops his passport, and with all the other paperwork for Covid tests and travel insurance, he (nor the airline) notice that until the flight was in the air. So, he couldn’t get into Paraguay and had to remain in the Asuncion airport until that evening when a flight would take him back to Sao Paulo. The next flight back to Paraguay wasn’t until Thursday, and he couldn’t get back into Brazil as they wouldn’t reissue the visa until Thursday.

So, since sleeping in an airport chair for 3 nights wasn’t high up on Yankee’s list of things to do, we decided to push up the plans to go to the U.S. However, since non-US citizens couldn’t get into the US if they’d been in Brazil the prior 14 days, we decided on a two week vacation in Mexico first.

For most of 36 hours, Yankee was in the air: Sao Paulo => Asuncion => Sao Paulo => Newark => Cancun. BritBra packed up three suitcases of our stuff and we joined up in Cancun, then we spent a week in Bacalar and a week in Playa del Carmen. Yeah, we’ll get to that blog post soon.

After that, we traveled to the US, found a nice townhome to rent in Albuquerque and got all of Yankee’s stuff out of storage to furnish the place.

The consulate interview was finally scheduled for mid-June 2021, so we flew back to Sao Paulo in late May and setup the appointments for the medical exam and biometrics capture. The interview was in Rio de Janeiro, and Yankee was excited that he’d finally get to see Rio after being in the country for over a year. Rio did not disappoint – we’ll post about that soon.

The interview was painless, but the consulate dragged their feet with returning the passport so long that we had to get a Senator involved to push it through. In early July 2021, we traveled back to the US, with BritBra’s K-1 visa in hand.

We had 90 days to get married and file paperwork for permanent residence status before the visa expired, so our wedding plans were simple – Vegas!!

We drove to Las Vegas, had a beautiful ceremony, then dinner in the Eiffel Tower. The honeymoon consisted of a week-long drive back through the Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona.

So, after all of that, we’re currently in Albuquerque, enjoying the autumn. When we filed for the permanent residence (green card), we knew that the process could take a couple of years, so we also filed applications for BritBra to be able to work in the US and for her to be able to travel internationally while the green card application is in process. Both of those are an eight month process, so the wait continues.

BritBra: Email      Yankee: Email