dscf11131Several winters ago when I dreaded going to my job each day, I would listen to Bossa Nova music on my mile walk to work through the city. That sensual, smooth Latin rhythm fed my elaborate daydreams for several months. Each day, I imagined that I was living in Rio de Janeiro in a vintage building with an ocean view.

I conjured up how my apartment looked and who my neighbors were down the echoing, tiled hall. I daydreamed about starting the day in my sparse kitchen making espresso, cutting up fresh fruit and sitting on the balcony that was large enough for exotic greenery. No detail was too small. The Bossa Nova beat washed over me as I skirted the icy sidewalks on my trek to work and imagined my daily run along the Ipanema beach, neighbors popping in, and meeting friends in nearby cafés and art galleries. My alter ego was an ex-pat who had arrived in Rio with her now former husband. When his company had transferred him yet again, she had decided to stay.

After the first month of these daydreams, I purchased another Bossa Nova CD and kept imagining. It got me to work every day. I bought a travel book about Brazil. My Rio “days” started to include side trips out of town with lovers to romantic resorts I had discovered in the book. As my real days turned from winter to spring, I abandoned my daily Rio reverie.

Just last week, my husband and I returned from a very real interlude in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was our first fling with andscf1231 all-inclusive resort. The grounds were tropical. The outdoor, thatch-covered walkways were gleaming marble or dark exotic wood surrounded by shallow pools filled with goldfish. Ibis, flamingos, monkeys and peacocks roamed about emitting jungle-like noises. The days passed quickly with languorous swims in the serpentine pool surrounded by palm trees. I soaked up energy from the sun, body surfed in the warm waves of the Caribbean and ate guacamole at each meal. My husband and I even worked on our PADI dive certification.

Now, I’m back in the city and it’s bone-chilling cold. Reality check. To travel you need money, which means a job. I’m starting to daydream again of Rio. I’ve never been there except in my mind. I wonder if I would be a different person if I lived in warmer climes.