• Spencer Shrader

Exciting Upcoming Plans

Adventures are crazy things. You never really know what's going to happen, even if you think you have a plan. Yet that's the neat thing about them; they're fun, unpredictable, and often rewarding in some way. The dictionary definition for the noun adventure is "an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity." and the verb is, "to engage in hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory." Well... I would say that pretty much sums up my time in Brazil.


But there is so much to gain from an adventure beyond the obvious and cliche new experience, new foods, new cultures and so on. If you truly engage your mind during an experience such as this, you can grow in maturity, wisdom, and character. Sometimes people don't always immediately see those assets, because they're hidden on the inside. Eventually they come out in the decisions you make and the life you lead. I have done my best to keep an open and growing mindset during my stay in Brazil, and I am incredibly grateful for the knowledge I have gained from it. I will be better prepared for every obstacle I face from now on, because I took the leap to come to Brazil and immerse myself in the culture for 2 months. I am glad I had the faith to do it.




Now, I am ready for my next adventure. I came to Brazil, I experienced many new exciting things, and now it's time to do the same somewhere else. I have a Brazilian family, dozens of new friends, and am a stronger and more knowledgeable person. What I've learned in Brazil will stay with me forever, it will always be a part of who I am.


I started thinking about my next plans when I realized that the soccer trials here were unorganized, and I wanted a more structured environment in which to train. Part of this was because trials were pushed back after my injury, but mostly it was because the culture is different here and relatively unorganized. I had a previous offer on the table to train in a high level environment in Canada for a while, and then head to Germany afterwards. I wanted to experience Brazil first, but I still had the Canada offer in the back of my mind. I started thinking about it more seriously as the weeks flew by in Brazil and my visa was running out and I still wasn't in the soccer environment I had hoped for. Ferroviarias was the best team I trained with here, and staying at that club is a seriously good option. But now that I have seen how Brazil works, I feel that it's time to experience something new. My plan is to head to Vancouver, Canada, in September.

I will be returning to Florida on August 19th, and when I finalized the plans all my Brazilian friends were a little sad about it. It's difficult to make new friends and then leave them a couple short months later, but that's life. Thankfully with today's technology you're always just one call or text away.


As a last hurrah, my amigos threw me a surprise going away party and it was awesome. I was in the car with my friend Matheus and when we got to my friend Borges house, a dozen kids jumped out and surprised me. We had a giant barbecue and hung out until late. It's amazing how fast you can make good friends. When I first arrived in Brazil I immediately made friends just because there was a little effort on both ends. Friendship is an amazing thing because you're never alone, you always have someone there for you if you need them. Exploring the city of Sao Carlos was so much fun for me because I always had guys right by my side. Anywhere you go in the world there's always opportunities to create lasting friendships, it's just up to you to take advantage of it. I'll have connections for the rest of my life because of that.



It's difficult to leave a place that you love, but there's new adventures waiting. I'm at a stage where I have the ability to travel and see new things, and I want to take full advantage of that while I can. As long as I get everything I can out of every experience, I am always prepared to move on to the next. And though I didn't get as much as I would have liked out of Brazil soccer-wise, every other experience more than made up for it.


I still have 5 days left in Brazil and I plan on taking full advantage of them. I still have stories to share about this country and I will reflect back on my experiences here very often. Though Vancouver will be more soccer oriented with strict training schedules every day, I will also have time to go out and explore the city and hopefully take some cool pictures. I love sharing my adventures here and you can be sure that I will continue to do so throughout all my new plans. Expect more update posts coming soon as I continue to share all about my exploits with you guys! Tchau tchau from Brazil!



“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” - Ecclesiastes 3:4

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