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Along my academic journey, I have always been aware of my ability to learn, move and design. I never believed in a "career", especially today, when many aspects of everyday life are changing and lacking foundations.

This approach was very helpful when a quarter-life crisis presented me with an opportunity: a pre-booked plane ticket to Iceland and the idea of crossing it on foot. To many, this was a bizarre concept, even just to understand, let alone to accomplish, but personally it was an unprecedented opportunity for me and one I needed at that exact point in time. I try to seize all the opportunities that come my way; I am of the idea that each train only passes once.

Two years after making that important decision, I am still here struggling with the essence of what I do. It's not easy to explain. From the outside one might see beautiful pictures, a life of travel and adventure, photos of what can simply seem like an endless vacation. It's a humble, daily, commitment, between expeditions. It's a continuous selection of content, cereal-filled cups, email sending, coffee drinking, quest for answers to "what’s next" and spending money. At times, I’ve done things not many, or sometimes no one, have done before, but all this is not because I have a special talent, a fat wallet or because I am a robot

Everything has translated into a strong desire to travel. I think I wanted to become more interesting, even to myself.

So where did the idea come from? I did not pass deadly accidents or I was born in the middle of monetary wealth. I just saw the opportunity to improve myself. My life had been a bit dull until I decided to do something about that. As a teenager, I was a lonely spirit, I did not have many friends outside of my basketball buddies and did not understand what the society was saying, because often when you are young, you lack enough experience to make much sense of things. Everything translated into a strong desire to travel; I think I wanted to become more interesting, even to myself. 

When I began my first adventure project, Iceland15, I did so with the intent of creating a long-range path, except I could not anticipate the possible and future developments. I have tried to create a personal journey. I've been observing, doing research, listening, learning, experimenting, falling and getting up. Now after two years I'm still doing all this to improve and improve.

I know that if I do not believe in myself, no one else will. No one else should. I have chosen a lifestyle that is gratifying in its difficulties. Everything revolves around my expeditions and projects. Within these trips, I have was confronted with a series of points of view: I awake with the desire to discover and learn, am physically and emotionally tested, have faced personal challenges, am exhausted by the opposing winds, and I can still rest. Another day comes and the sun shines. I know the value of sleep replaces many troubles. Rest is more important than money.

We alone create our own circumstances. If we think big and believe in our possibilities, instead of denying our ambition, we will have more chances of achieving our goals. Whenever there is an opportunity and before the mere thought of declining it crosses my mind, I have already taken it and said yes. Of course, saying yes can represent a risk, but I learned more from failures than from my successes. Despite the many failures, even if I do not consider them a fall, I continue to say yes to whatever life presents me. I took it all as a lesson, a way to grow and carry it back to what will happen soon. Experience is much more important than so many certificates that you can earn by paying. Also, comfort is pleasing to the mind so much that it distracts you and deviates from doing what would be right to do.

I know that if I do not believe in myself, no one else will. No one else should.

My driving force is my belief that it is possible to build a life doing something you love. I work more hours than I’ve worked in my old full-time job. But whatever we do, it is how we do things that defines who we are. Not everyone is cut to wander around the world, but we all have room to make new experiences. We only have ourselves to blame if we continue to seek excuses. Excuses are not justifications. 

The very essence of life, for me, is trying to go further and tease the boundaries of my comfort zone. We do not improve by completing simple tasks for us, we grow when we face new things.

 

“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”

JOHN MUIR | ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHER