We only had one thing on the agenda for our final day, and it was the perfect ending to our stay in Rio de Janeiro. The Christ the Redeemer statue was what put Rio on my radar years ago. I saw a picture of this massive statue atop this hill and all of a sudden Rio was beckoning me. Roaming through the city, you regularly catch glimpses of it, and that helped to build my excitement. The experience starts as soon as the tram begins to ascend the hill, navigating its way through lush greenery with occasional breaks in the trees, giving you a beautiful, sweeping view of the city. Occasional stops to let the other tram pass also gave men and women along the route the chance to sell you a cold bottle of water (Respect the hustle!). Then you arrive, and it was everything I imagined it to be.I have to admit I shed a tear, or two, or maybe three. Setting my eyes on this statue was proof that I made it. I wanted this, and I made it happen, and I couldn’t have planned a more perfect culmination. I spent a good amount of time at the Christ the Redeemer statue. Walking around it. Staring up at it in awe. Stepping into the chapel they have on the site. When it was time to go, I had a hard time pulling myself away, but I comforted myself by reminding myself that I’ll be back. As we boarded the tram and began our descent downhill, I was filled to the brim with joy. Day after day Rio showed me why it’s a destination atop everyone’s list, and I can’t wait to return to discover all that I left behind. But until then, this was the perfect exclamation point at the end of a beautifully written sentence.