After living for 25 years in USA, where I went with my husband at the time to do our graduate studies, a divorce, and a big economic crisis, I decided to come back to my home country and restart life with something completing new from what I had been doing till then. Most of my adult life was dedicated to raising my three beautiful children Leonardo, Gabriel and Bianca who were all born in USA. Then in 2005, my husband and I divorced, so in 2009 I made the final decision and moved my family back to Brazil, my homeland, settling not in Rio de Janeiro, where I was from originally, but in the charming, southern island-city of Florianopolis in the state of Santa Catarina. I simply fell in love with the island, a cosmopolitan city of some 300,000 with two major universities, a Waldorf School and 42 surf beaches along the ocean side of the island.
I sensed that Florianopolis, though still a bit sleepy at the time, was about to be discovered by the travel industry, so, needing a way to earn a living, I decided to open a bed-and-breakfast in the house I was living in on the island’s inland lake, Lagoa da Conceicao. I have two big passions in my life: travel and meeting new people. I love to talk and find myself fascinated by people’s life stories, so I thought this would be a perfect way to combine those interests of mine. And that has turned out to be so very true.
I love getting to know my guests, to hear their life stories, their passions, the litany of their travels. Unlike with some hoteliers, my guest are not just people who come to have a bed to sleep and a breakfast to eat but rather people who are looking to experience a new culture, It is a great pleasure for me to be able to share with them the things I appreciate in the island, the gastronomy , the craft beers, wines, music, sports or just being able to be part of such great moments of their lives.. moment of re-sparking and re-calibrating so they can go back into their routine of life and work feeling rested and renewed. Janela de Marcia has also proven to be a wonderful experience for my children. My oldest son is attending college in the U.S., but my second-born, Gabriel, has been a big help to me and learned a lot from the experience. He is just heading off to university in southern Brazil now. My youngest, my angelic 12-year-old daughter, Bianca, has also been a big help to me and has learned a great deal from the experience.
The real star of the show, though, is Florianopolis itself. This city has so much to offer without the problems of the big cities. I am not much of a surfer, but I enjoy connecting my guests up with some of the excellent surf instructors here and the fabulous beaches, too. There are wonderful restaurants (seafood, of course, is a specialty), fun clubs, cafes. Some of the best moments, though, turn out to be relaxed conversations during the quiet mornings at Janela de Marcia, over coffee and our delicious Brazilian breakfasts. Perhaps my favorite aspect of running my business has been not just having guests but making friends, friends from all over the world.