I miss London. I also miss Milan and São Paulo. How do you decide when it’s time to leave your job, the city that you love (or learned to love), people that’s been part of your live for a couple of years, your (current) home that you also learned to love, pack your things, and go to start a new life somewhere else, far away?
How do you make a decision?
New job, new culture, different language. Sometimes people get curious, and it’s difficult to explain why. I used to say “it is an adventure”, an explanation that usually was accepted very well. Of course there was more than that: curiosity, networking, seeing beautiful places, improving social and language skills, becoming a better developer.
But this time I had a better reason and a much more precise explanation.
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Although we liked each other a lot, Jojo and I had literally the Atlantic Ocean between us.
We both have our careers. One of us would have to quit our job and move to another country. Guess who did it? Well, there are so many good opportunities for a software engineer and, besides that, I had to prove I meant business, I was not kidding, it was for real.
So I left London and came to Brazil to get married with her.
One thing I’ve learned is that living permanently alone (away from everyone one you love and care the most) is at best a poorer life, no matter how much you earn, how important is your work, and how cool the place you live is.
I wanted to be with her. That made a difficult decision quite simple.
. . .
OK. Decided. I saved some money (avevo una rete di salvataggio), and it was time to embark in a new enterprise. Except for the first time I wouldn’t be navigating alone, which was pretty exciting and much less selfish.
But before going to Brazil, why not to take that holiday I was postponing for years? There are so many places to see and life is short, so I decided to spend almost four months travelling. Jojo was with me in the first part of my journey (the best part of course), which was:
London – Roma – Bari (and Pogliano a Mare) – Taranto – Messina – Cefalù – Palermo – Napoli – Edinburgh – London.
We traveled by airplane, train, coach, ferry. We went to the beach, to the cinema, theatres, parks, castles, restaurants, coffe and book stores. We didn’t shop much. We walked a lot. It was a nice workout.
I bought a few Italian classic books in Sicily, and I read a couple of them during the second and last part of my holiday: Il Gattopardo and Cristo Si È Fermato a Eboli.
It’s difficult to explain why I have fun reading classic books while traveling though.
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I spent two and half months living in Portugal for a few reasons: First, I fell in love by Lisbon the first time I went there with Jojo.
Second, Portuguese cuisine, besides being amazing, remembers my grandmother’s kitchen with all my family around the table having good times together.
And, finally, I was considering to live there for a couple years. Why not? A beautiful sunny country with a rich culture and excellent food?
Portugal was the second and last part of my holiday. In Lisbon, I discovered one of my favorite restaurants in the world: Parreirinha do Paraiso. I miss it almost every day, having a great meal, talking to the people there.
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After Lisbon, I went to Coimbra. I was there, minding my own business, at the balcony, scratching my acoustic guitar when suddenly I see a young woman being violently kicked and punched. They came out of the blue, I tried to intervene, the guy run away. I went to the police station with her, where she started to yellow and talk no sense, and some of the policemen there became very annoyed. One of them was angry… Then an ambulance took her to a hospital.
When she reappeared back in front of the house I was staying, she still couldn’t talk sense. I just got in the house, locked the door, picked my guitar, and counted not the days but the minutes to leave… Not quite what I was expecting as “living like a local” indeed.
Afterwards, all the locals I talked about it told me that I shouldn’t get involved (like every local in the world already used and conformed with whatever bad situation is now considered “normal”).
I wish I could go to Parreirinha do Paraiso recharge the batteries… But I went to Porto instead, passing through Aveiro first.
. . .
Before arriving in Porto, a pause in Aveiro. Not much to see there really, although there are very beautiful beaches around.
At the time I arrived in Porto, I started feeling time was passing so fast, I was recharged, then I started studying, and working out, and making plans. I was also looking forward to see my baby (Jojo, I’m talking about you).
I’ll tell you it was very nice staying in Porto – such a beautiful city. But I was not having fun anymore, at least not in a holiday sense of way. My holiday ended there, before going back (back? or temporarily back?) to Brazil.
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So, I finally arrived in São Paulo, stayed a couple weeks and headed to Santa Cruz do Sul. After a few months we were together again, and that is such an unbelievable sensation!
Long distance relationship is difficult! Difficult, but not impossible.
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There’s still a lot to see, to achieve, to learn, and, now more than ever, to share. Between working ($$$), studying and personal life, I’ve decided to focus mostly on the last two in 2015.
From a professional point of view, I focused on trying and experimenting some of the best ideas in the software development area, involving agile methodologies and continuous delivery.
I expect to have some really interesting stuff happening in the near future. Some of them are in fact already happening 🙂