What the trip around the world brought to the profession

Between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024, I decided to travel around the world. I visited 7 countries: Greece, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan and the USA. It was an intense 3 months of lots of learning and experiences. I made a point of working as little as possible to live this kind of “mini sabbatical”. And what did this contribute to my work?

Expand the repertoire of references to improve creativity

Creativity comes from intelligently connecting references. And the more references you have, the greater the chances of creating bold and differentiated solutions.

From the first hours in Singapore, I felt like I had truly arrived in Asia. There are many international brands that we already know, but you start to notice that there is a universe full of peculiarities about Asian cultures. Their stories are ancient and complex, the influences between one culture and another merged and brought this rich mix of colors, art, mysticism, aromas and flavors. We see this very superficially in the West and I was enchanted by so much news.

A simple purchase at the supermarket was already a boom of new things: different packaging, an alphabet full of circles and curves, local foods that we had never seen before... Every detail contributed to increasing the repertoire of references. Imagine passing through 7 countries in such a short time!

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Red Dot Design Museum. Singapore
New ways of working that go beyond the obvious (thankfully!)

From the beginning of our careers, we learn that a successful professional must go to a good university, work and grow within a large and famous company, open their own agency or become an academic professor. Ok, this still works for many people, but now, even more so after the pandemic, a serious question has arisen: are there other ways, right?

It was a process of a good few years until I realized that getting rid of an agency with 10 employees would open the door to digital nomadism. It was the healthiest decision I've ever made! At the time, it wasn't clear that this was a good idea, I was afraid of giving the image of being “bankrupt” to others, and it took me a while to see that I can have another type of success: working more efficiently, with less time and better quality of life. This is all combined with my other passion: traveling!

Well, this insight didn't come specifically from this trip around the world, but it consolidated that I no longer need to be afraid of changing if necessary, stopping if necessary, revising if necessary, and saying: this is going to be good for me , it will be good for you customers too.

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Chiang Mai. Thailand
We can go much further than we imagine 

I had already taken long trips, combining work with tourism, but this was by far the most ambitious of all. And doing the math, did you know that in 3 months, if it weren't for a sabbatical, your expenses in Southeast Asia would be the same as living in São Paulo, even including airfare? And after this period, living there would end up being cheaper than living here.

And what is the conclusion of this?

The conservative learning of the world of work tends to root us in the large urban centers close to where we live, and the possibility of trying something new is only in terms of an unattainable dream or retirement. But have you ever thought if you could do this NOW? Why not? We are conditioned to think small, so it requires a certain effort to go beyond the obvious.

Another point: as you “throw yourself” into the world, and when I say world, it’s not just traveling, but being in the unknown (which could be a new area, or a new way of working), new paths may emerge that never before I had considered going before. In my case: why not take a chance on the international market? Add video to branding projects? Should I continue with branding or try other areas that I love doing as well?

The possibilities are endless. Of course, not all of them will be good, but just as I encouraged myself to stop working and travel around the world alone, I think it's worth encouraging you to take a step into the unknown.

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Tokyo. Japan