John Clites caught the travel bug as a child and has been afflicted every since. The son of university professors, he traveled the summers of his youth with his parents and siblings. By 12, he had visited more than 30 states as well as Canada and Mexico.
After graduating from Duke University, John visited the Bahamas. England, France, Germany, and Australia followed in rapid succession, and John was inextricably hooked. At last tally he had visited 25 countries, including several in Latin America.
While John enjoys visiting major cities for their museums, architecture, and history, he most enjoys getting off the beaten path. He loves exploring nature and rubbing shoulders with locals.
Early on John realized the importance of giving back. He volunteered teaching English to adults. Over the years he has also mentored five boys through the United Way’s Big Brothers program. Since age 25 he has been a sponsor via Childreach.org, sponsoring children in Bolivia, India, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. He is proud to have visited most of them. These days he sponsors a girl in Lima, Peru, and another in Sao Luis, Maranhão, Brazil. He prefers to sponsor girls to “level the playing field”.
Almost 20 years ago John met a Brazilian couple who were living in the United States. When six months later they were planning to return to Brazil, they invited John to visit. He accepted immediately. Once in Brazil he fell in love with the country and its people, and knew that one day he would call Brazil home. Although it took many years, in 2008 he finally bit the bullet and moved to Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio John began teaching English to businessmen and –women and to a few university students. He had great success, building a large and loyal client base and even writing an e-book about teaching English in Brazil, as well as an online course of study for Brazilians. However, eventually the big-city life proved too much and in 2012 John moved to the small town of Paraty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located four hours from Rio.
Today John earns most of his living via the Internet, giving classes by Skype, writing articles, and selling his e-course and e-book, with more books planned. He has no plans to return to the corporate life he once led. He says that although living an ex-pat lifestyle is not without its challenges, he has never regretted his decision, and one day would like to try living in another country.
John maintains a prosaically-named blog, JohnInBrazil.org, which has a companion Facebook page. Interested parties may reach him through either of these.