My mother grew up in Ipanema, and moved to New York at the age of 16 to pursue modeling. Her second day in New York, she got into a cab driven by my father - an immigrant from Scotland who had also recently moved to New York, and they immediately got along. He was extremely persistent, picking her up for dates in his cab and dropping her off at her modeling gigs. After a full year of courtship, she finally decided to date him, and the rest is history!
My parents both ended up getting PhD's and became travel writers and professors, so travel is a big part of our lives. We have a house in Ipanema and in the Azores, an island in Portugal. Most of my extended family is in Brazil. Even though I'm only half Brazilian, I feel very connected to that side of my family and consider myself Brazilian first.