In Portuguese there's "ao sabor (do/da)", a term/expression that literally translates to "to the taste (of)", example: viajar ao sabor do vento (literally "travelling to the taste of the wind"). In this case, it means you travel freely, without a specific destination or path.

You can also apply that to other things, like a conversation, uma conversa ao sabor do tempo e da vida, literally "a conversation to the taste of the time and life".

Is there a similar expression in English that I could use in this last case?

  • 1
    Your second example may be more helpful, but what does "a conversation to the taste of the time and life" mean, figuratively? – Canis Lupus May 9 '17 at 16:37
  • Hard to explain... let me put it this away: a conversation that you let go thoughts, remarks, etc. about life without being concerned about the time or path the conversation itself takes. That kind of open and honest conversation that starts after dinner and when you realize it's already four in the morning. – PauloP May 9 '17 at 17:05
  • After dinner, we had a conversation that touched on anything and everything. After dinner we talked about all kinds of stuff. After dinner we talked about everything under the sun. – aparente001 May 10 '17 at 6:07
  • Maybe a freewheeling conversation. – dangph May 10 '17 at 8:04

A common idiom in English is to go where the wind blows, meaning "to do something without preparation" (MacMillan)

I travelled wherever the wind took me.

Our conversation started after dinner and it took us wherever the wind blew. The sun was rising before we were done.

Being more literal, you might use wander or aimless:

In my aimless travels, I wandered wherever the wind blew me.

We had a conversation about life that wandered aimlessly until morning.


Willy-nilly might meet your needs.

suddenly and without planning or order:

Her words tumbled out all willy-nilly.

From Phrases.org.uk:

This term has two, slightly differing, but related meanings: 'whether it is with or against your will' and 'in an unplanned, haphazard fashion'. We tend to use the latter of these meanings today; the former was the accepted meaning when the term was first coined.

  • Thank you, but I think it lacks a "poetic" sense to it. It's more a "flow" than a willy-nilly thing. – PauloP May 9 '17 at 16:51

The phrase in English would change on context, I believe. In your case, with the last example, I would suggest you say 'a conversation regarding time and life' or 'a conversation via time and life', depending on what you want to say.

  • Thanks, "regarding" might work, even if it is a bit dry. – PauloP May 9 '17 at 16:53
  • "do", in Portuguese, probably means regarding. "ao sabor" is something else. Removing "ao sabor" from the sentence, it becomes "A conversation regarding time and life" and misses the meaning of ao sabor, if I understand the question correctly. – Canis Lupus May 9 '17 at 18:12
  • Exactly! The "ao sabor" makes all the difference. – PauloP May 9 '17 at 23:45

Might I suggest, "to the rhythm of...", or "to the tune of..."?. The idea would be to not impose your will on the circumstances, but to let life carry you along in its current.


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