Why live in a country when you can live in a planet?
Exactly one year ago Patricia and I left Brazil to begin a new life in another country: our beloved Argentina. At least that was the plan, but what actually happened was something else that we could never anticipate.
In 2009, after a lovely trip to Buenos Aires I had this “crazy” idea: what if we moved to Buenos Aires? I suggested that to Patricia and she happily agreed that this would be really cool. The only problem is that this couldn’t happen any time soon.
You see, Patricia is a renowned wedding photographer in Brazil. So, although it was still 2009, she was already heavily booked for 2010. Meaning she would be taking pictures of weddings almost every weekend during 2010. So, the only thing we could do was to push the move to the end of 2010. And so we did it.
Fortunately, by that time, she still had some room in the first months of the year. So we managed to squeeze a trip around the USA in the beginning of 2010. That gave us an opportunity to experiment with remote working. Patricia works with Karol and I work with Leandro. They would both stay in Brazil during this USA trip and we’d be forced to work with them remotely.
Fortunately, everything went well and we found the confidence to go on with our plans. So Patricia worked her schedule of 2011 in a way that would allow less weddings and more time between each of them. This way, we’d be able to move to Argentina but still come back to Rio from time to time, so that she could take picture of weddings there. In my case, since my work could be accomplished remotely, I’d be just fine anywhere as long as there would be internet connection available.
The last months of 2010 were just crazy as we tried to prepare for the move. The major effort was to sell everything we had and clear the apartment. This proved to be a much harder endeavor than we could possibly anticipate. A kind of story that deserves many posts apart.
Fortunately, on the 30th of December of 2010 we flew to Argentina. And just a couple of hours later we began to drive two thousand kilometers in order to arrive in beautiful Bariloche, just in time for New Years Eve. We arrived there exactly at 23:30h on the following day with no booking in any hotel. Yes, you can call me crazy. :-) But with the never ending list of pre-trip tasks, I couldn’t take care of this. I was barely able to book a car rental.
Fortunately, after asking in different hotels with no luck we managed to find a nice place to stay. And that’s how we began our two months stay in this incredibly beautiful place, in Patagonia. What an amazing summer! Oh Lord, how I miss this place!
But that wasn’t enough
When things finally settled down I began to read a few books that were waiting for my attention for a while. Two of them were about traveling. But not so much traveling as in tourism. Just traveling as in traveling. And them I came across this idea of traveling permanently. Like living in different parts of the world and never actually stoping in any place in a permanent way.
I confess that when we left Brazil this was something that I didn’t think about. But then, reading the books, I realized that we had all of the necessary pre-requisites. Being a person that loves traveling myself, this obviously appealed to me. Next thing you know, I was asking Patricia: what if we traveled all the time instead of just living in Argentina? I mean, we both love Argentina. But we could also live in other places. Fortunately, she once more agreed with my crazy idea. :-)
By the way, the books in question are Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel and The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World. The later was the one I liked the most, as a matter of fact, although it’s not strictly about traveling. Chris and I have many similar points of view on how we should live our lives.
Beyond the original plan
To test this idea, we booked a trip to Europe to take place by the end of our stay in Bariloche. Hence, in March. There we visited Spain, the South of France, Monaco and Italy. Always balancing some work, some level of sightseeing and a lot of delicious food tasting, which one can tell easily from my current shape. Oh, I’m in shape! Round is a shape, isn’t it? :D
With this great start, we later spent some well anticipated time in Buenos Aires, followed by really cool travels to Colombia, Venezuela, Curaçao, Uruguay, Chile and more recently Australia and New Zealand where we are now. In total, we’ve been to twelve countries in three different continents, and also to many beautiful parts of Brazil. Specially Jericoacoara and Taíba. And we still managed to keep up with the work. Not bad at all.
And, before I forget, let me tell you something. Of course we liked each place we visited. But I must say that South America is just so incredibly cool. It was so much fun to visit our neighbors. My only regret is that it took me so long to do it. Man, what a bunch of amazing countries and what a lovely people. Can’t wait to come back!
In the process, we made lots of new friends, learned a ton about each place we’ve been to and had so many amazing experiences that would easily fill a book. And most importantly, Patricia took so many breathtaking pictures that it was really hard to choose just a few to illustrate this post.
One year later the only thing I can say is that we couldn’t have ask for more. This is just so much better that we could ever dream of. And the best part is that it’s only the beginning. We don’t plan to settle anytime soon.
We’re still learning to live like that. We still make many mistakes. But that is part of the process. We miss our family and friends in Brazil, as much as we miss Brazil itself, but we keep on hoping that friends and family not only understand this rather strange way of living but might also get inspired to travel more and live unusual experiences themselves.
Do we have plans for 2012? Oh yeah! We have many more places to visit, much more nice people to meet and yet Patricia and I will be spending enough time in Brazil as well, so that she can continue to do her brilliant work. But for now, we’ll still spend some more time here, in this part of this planet that we decided to take as our home, as a whole.
Wish you all an outstanding 2012. May you have some awesome journeys too!