We start our journey in Brazil, where we explore the more passionate and unknown parts of the country!
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- [Stephen] If you had a choice to pack up all your things and paint a picture of the world we live in, what would you do? You ask yourself, what do I have to lose? ♪ Baby let me follow you down ♪ ♪ Follow you down ♪ ♪ I'm all in pieces ♪ ♪ Just waiting for you for you to come round ♪ ♪ Round ♪ ♪ To sing you this song ♪ ♪ Baby let me sing you this song ♪ ♪ Ten cigarettes in these hard fingertips ♪ ♪ Are what I'll sacrifice to deliver you this ♪ ♪ Song ♪
- [Stephen] We find ourselves living on this planet we call home, yet we are so disconnected from it all, we feel like complete strangers. The pursuit of happiness, the pursuit of love, the pursuit of adventure and the pursuit of freedom. My name is Stephen Friedman, and this is the story of Chasing the Sun. ♪ Well that's all very well ♪ ♪ Time changes even the strongest ♪
- [Stephen] Brazil is a big country, and I know most tourists tend to go to Rio de Janeiro. But I wanted to come to the northeastern part of Brazil, just because it seems more remote and unexplored. I guess it wasn't that hard of a decision to make to venture to this region and really get lost in a place I've never heard of. ♪ Baby you can hold on my hand ♪ ♪ Hold on my hand ♪
- [Stephen] Passion runs this country in every aspect you can imagine. Fortaleza, Jericoacoara is just a prime example of the word, as it illustrates the culture of the people and the love they have for their country. ♪ You can follow me out ♪ ♪ Baby you can follow me out ♪
- [Stephen] I find myself in Fortaleza, lost in thought, and the uncertainty of who I'm going to meet here. ♪ Our minds will be burning soon ♪ ♪ Soon ♪
- Literally, when I landed in Brazil, lost in translation. I can't speak Portuguese, and it's just like, at that point when I landed, I just knew that I am by myself on so many levels. And it's kind of like starting all over again. And it's kind of a fresh start. And I think that's what traveling's all about. A new destination, a new language, a new culture. And you always kind of get a fresh start. You can always like start over again. And I just love traveling. When you eliminate the daily grind from your life and you throw away your schedule, the world becomes a lot clearer. And you seem to notice interesting people that you would have otherwise ignored unknowingly. Like a group of people gathered on the beach is not just a group of people. It's fishermen who have just returned from a week long fishing trip to sell their catch and see their families. Being around those guys, those guys are the real deal. Those guys live, breathe, eat fishing. That's all they do. And you can just see it from generation to generation. Their skin is so like leather. It's like, it's just been beaten down by the sun over and over again, and they love it. They absolutely love what they do, and that's special. If you love what you do, that's what it's all about. And they're bargaining and selling some of the fish that they caught the day before. And it was crazy. And everyone was just friendly and had big smiles on their faces. Just, I don't know, it was good to see a different side of a lifestyle.
- I think it's because the people, we are from northeast of Brazil, we have a lot of passion, a lot of love in what we do. We are very friendly. That makes a big difference, you know, from the other parts of Brazil. ♪ Baby all I need is you ♪ ♪ Nothing else makes a difference ♪ ♪ Baby all I need is you ♪ ♪ You make all the difference ♪
- [Stephen] You know, it just seems right, like it's good to see communities getting together and helping the kids out, and giving them opportunities. Especially in the sports, arts, music departments, that a lot of countries and also the youth today don't really get the opportunity to explore or expand. ♪ Nothing else makes a difference ♪ ♪ Maybe I needed ♪ ♪ Nothing until I go ♪ ♪ Back to the room of my empty soul ♪
- [Stephen] If you put yourself in an unlikely situation and strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, sometimes an experience like the Cuca Community Center will leave a positive impression on you.
- I'm really proud to be a Brazilian. I was born in Fortaleza. I don't have any accent, you know, from Northeastern Brazil because I used to live in so many places, even in Brazil. I've been all over Brazil, Europe, USA, and I don't have an accent. But I love and I'm proud to be a guy from Fortaleza, from Ceara. Jericoacoara belongs to the state of Ceara. And I love Jeri. It was a love that came from when I arrived here. And I came just to visit, and I decided to stay. And I'm here for six years. And I build my own business, I started as a waiter. And then after that, I started, you know, building my own business. Until I got, you know, what I am right now. My name is Brad Pitt, and I live in Jericoacoara. You know, one of the best beaches in the world.
- You always get one of those people wherever you go on your trips, and those are the people that'll always stand out the most. And like you always try to relate to in many ways. And Brad Pitt is just like a guy that's traveled so much. And the fact that he calls himself Brad Pitt is kind of a funny thing.
- It's not my real name, it's my nickname. Brad Pitt, this name came from Jericoacoara. It was a joke. One guy used to say, you know, in Jeri, you're gonna be received by Luiz, that's my real name, and he's tall. Blonde hair, long hair, blue eyes. You know, and he remember, oh, he lives in USA, in Hollywood. So he said, he looks like Brad Pitt. And was the key. And now I cannot take this name off me anymore. You know, it's already on me. Brad Pitt. And I, listen, Brad Pitt, that's my name.
- [Stephen] I don't know, he's just one of those people that just can walk into the room, and he'll get all the attention, in the sense that he just has this energy about him. And he just can like keep a conversation going, and just like really make you feel welcome.
- We have so many ways to get in Jeri. Okay, we have bus, we have small cars. We have vans, and even buggies. Sometimes they can be neat, travel in buggy. But yeah, it's a long drive, you know, I have done that before. But the big trip in my opinion to come to Jericoacoara or vice versa is by the beach. We can stop in like 10 different beaches. And this will take the whole day. From 7:30 in the morning until six o'clock p.m. There is a lot of you know, catavans that, they are there because the wind. The strong wind we have in this region. And so they got that, they got some energy from, you know, those cat vents. They say Jericoacoara is one of the four most beautiful beaches in the world. It's not only the beach, it's all together. The beach, the dunes, the lagoons, and the people that live in Jeri, that's what became Jericoacoara, one of the four most beautiful beaches in the world. In Jericoacoara, you've gotta have a buggy. We gotta have good drivers as well. So it doesn't matter if you have 10 buggies or one buggy, you've gotta have a good driver. A driver that we can train them so that our tourists know the best trip.
- [Stephen] In 1984, an area around Jericoacoara was declared an environmental protection area. It became a national park in 2002. As a result, many restrictions for building and tourism were introduced to help preserve the area. The distance to bigger cities and limited road access also helped to keep the beach and village isolated.
- The seahorse, it's I think everybody knows the seahorse, and they are found on the muddy. Muddy, it's you know, it comes from the sea, and stay there, it doesn't move. And we find the seahorse is very delicate. They, I don't know if you know, but the male, that's the one that gets the little babies. They have like 700 to 1,000, two times a month. They becomes like 700, 1,000, it depends. And they are very sensitive. So, we have very careful when we don't touch them. We've gotta get in something, you know, a basket or something, to get them so the tourists can see it and take pictures. But we cannot touch them, otherwise they're gonna die.
- [Stephen] Della Maria is known as the bird lady in this area.
- The lady that in Tatajuba, that he tells this story about the old village that was destroyed by the dunes. She has a little bird. And she tells this story, she used to live in that place that was, you know, destroyed by the dunes, by the wind and the dunes. We can tell in her eyes, that you know, she tells that story one, 10 times a day, and she's never tired to tell the same story again. And if we leave her, she will talk all day, she will never finish. She talks about her bird, her bird, she talks about, you know, the phantasms they used to have in the old Tatajuba. She's very fun, she's something very special in this place here that everybody should see her at least once.
- [Stephen] The human love and connection with any animal is a beautiful sight.
- In a lot of restaurants in Jeri, they sell the seafood, also we have another kind of food for people that don't want to eat seafood. They can have steaks, filet mignon, chicken. But the most of our food, it's seafood. Shrimp, lobster and fish. Yeah, about seafood, you know, I would say in Ceara, in northeast, but especially in Ceara, it's a big thing. Everybody wants to eat seafood. Fish, lobster, shrimp, and like I said, the Ceara people make a lot of things with a lot of love. So the same way we make our seafood. So I think you can eat the best seafood in the world in Ceara.
- I'm just enjoying the ambience. That's what it's all about, when you're in Brazil.
- Very, very, very happy. I don't want to leave Jeri anymore. I think I'm gonna stay for the rest of my life in Jericoacoara.
- [Stephen] I never think of the future, it comes soon enough. Or did Einstein say that? I think I'm starting to appreciate each day even more the older I get, as each breath I take fills my lungs, as my heart beats to the sounds that surround me. ♪ That you can give ♪ ♪ Save yourself from this ♪ ♪ There's so much more ♪ ♪ That you can give ♪