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Oh, Brazil. The land of bikini waxes, thongs, Caipirinhas and 20 total strangers from The Amazing Race. That’s right — the worldwide show headed to the Portuguese-speaking country on Thursday night where it was balls to the wall (literally) and not-so-melodious teamwork.

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t pick up a few travel tips along the way. Let’s break them down, shall we?

1. Pain is gain

Is it just us or was everyone getting hurt last night? Between Brooke’s elbow injury, a few taped hands and Shamir’s testy situation (as in, his gentleman bits getting squeezed to the point of having to call an ambulance during the window-washing challenge), everyone was pushing through.

And that’s the lesson here: until it’s absolutely necessary, see if you can wait out the pain. Because nothing is worse than having to visit a foreign hospital in the middle of your vacation. Also important? Take lots of precautions to avoid getting hurt or injured in the first place. Oh, and pack sunscreen.

2. Get on the local time

Again let’s point to Shamir. The New York native was perhaps just a little too impatient when it came to booking his flight with Sara, freaking out at the lady at the counter because she was going too slow. Okay so he was in a race, fair enough. But at the end of the day, getting angry wasn’t going to chance the situation. Rather than freaking out at her, maybe it would have been better for him to focus his energy into something more constructive… like meditating on how he was going to complete the next challenge. People aren’t always going to move at your pace, so why not just relax and enjoy the ride?

3. Always give 120 per cent

Odds are if you’re seeing a foreign part of the world this is your one and only time being there. So why not give it your all and do everything you possibly can? Okay, so like Vanck said, you mathematically can’t give 120 per cent, (we all caught the look on host Phil Keoghan‘s face when he said that, right?) but the point is to try your hardest and to absorb everything you can along the way. You may be bone tired, but like they say: YOLO. Not doing something now may mean you regret it down the line.

4. Learn to conquer your fears

Poor Scott. We totally and completely understand his fear of heights. But what better way to conquer that fear than by repelling down one of the tallest buildings in Brazil and washing a window?

“It’s my number one fear. That’s all it is. That’s all it is,” he kept telling himself while crying some man tears. But you know what? He did it in the end and now he and Brooke are still in the game.

Okay so that’s a pretty specific example, but the point is that if you’re scared of doing something you’re always going to be scared of doing it. Until you actually… well, do it. Scott knew he had to suck it up and so over the ledge he went. And he’ll probably be the first person to tell you that he walked away a better person as a result.

5. March to your own beat

If The Amazing Race has taught us anything it’s that everyone is different, and sometimes you have to invoke your biggest personality traits in order to get a job done. Or to successfully conquer a new city. Take #TeamFun for example. Becca just tackles everything with a real joie de vivre and it’s really, really refreshing. The locals seem to respond to that too, and maybe she gets a little further ahead as a result.

As for this week’s eliminated team, Jessica and Francesca? Well they did the race their way too; it just didn’t pan out in the end. Even though they wound up on that mat last, they were the first to admit that they’ve made a lifelong friendship, and in the end that’s all that really matters. Sure, winning half a million bucks each would have been dandy, but money comes and goes. Besides, the power of #FemaleFriendships is forever.

 

The Amazing Race airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on CTV.