Ben Brazil is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas, the nation’s most statistically average city.
He has loved to write since elementary school, and he fell in love with travel - especially budget travel to Latin America - while an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador (twice!), and has lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he briefly became an international supermodel. His travels have also taken him to Ireland, Great Britain, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Japan and much of the United States.
Much of Brazil’s travel writing falls into the “adventure travel” genre, and he particularly enjoys writing about Latin America. Still, Brazil has written about a variety of topics, including nightlife, budget travel, music, art, and travel ethics.
Along the way, he has fled from a burning taxi in Nicaragua, backpacked through Patagonia, and snorted tobacco juice up his nose at the edge of a sacred Andean lake - just because a witch doctor told him to. He also dances salsa okay for a white guy.
In addition to his work as a travel writer, Brazil has written for The Buenos Aires Herald, an English-language daily, and covered city government for The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier. As to employment unrelated to writing, Brazil has plowed Oklahoma wheat fields, taught English to Argentine business executives, and fought slumlords for a non-profit legal service in the Rio Grande Valley.
Brazil is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a B.A. in journalism and Latin American studies in 1999. In May 2005, he received his Masters of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology, part of Emory University, in Atlanta.
At the moment, he is transitioning from full-time freelance writing back to academia: In August 2007, Brazil entered Emory's Graduate Division of Religion and began work on his Ph.D. Within the Religion Department, he is in the American Religious Cultures program, with interests in the intersections of religion and travel, as well as in travel as a venue for personal formation and personal transformation.
Despite the nasty graduate course load, Brazil hopes to continue his freelance work as time allows, mainly in the summer. He does not yet own any tweed jackets with elbow patches.
© Ben Brazil