What I learned in 1 year of geographic freedom

In November 2021, after a lot of planning and anxiously awaiting the 2nd dose of the COVID vaccine, I decided to pack my bags and head out into the world alone. I needed to fly.

I started in Miami, 4 days still at a tourist pace, and then spent 3 weeks in the beautiful Playa del Carmen, in the Mexican Caribbean. I always had the dream of visiting the Caribbean, but because I didn't have time or company, I had never been. I remember a sunset in Isla Mujeres, fresh breeze, pink sky, in front of a paradisiacal beach taking a chelada, I looked at the sea and almost cried. I was finally where I wanted, how I wanted. I felt peace in the spirit of someone who has truly achieved full freedom.

This peak did not come for nothing. For many years, I found myself burdened and suffocated by values that I began to seriously question whether it made sense: what it means to be successful, how much sense it made to value other people's superficial opinions, social conventions like getting married and having children... and on that day On Isla Mujeres, for a moment, all that weight went away.

Since then, I haven't wanted to stop, but without going crazy. Nothing like “I’m going to drop everything and fall into the world”. I have responsibilities in São Paulo and my health complains when I overdo the pace, so it was little by little.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Lima, Huaraz, Cusco, Arequipa, Lençóis Maranhenses, Jericoacoara, Fortaleza, Buenos Aires, Mendoza... you can't believe that, for someone who took between 2 and 3 weeks of vacation a year, managed to travel so much in so little time. And what were my biggest learnings?

Sometimes changing is easier than it seems

Sometimes we don't have the courage to let go of something that seems to be working. I, with an agency making a profit, big clients, a team of 8 people… I thought the natural course was to make the company grow more and more. But do you want to know? I'm much happier now. I answer few emails a day; the time I used to waste getting ready and going to the office, I now use to walk my dogs; I no longer need to work 8 hours a day if I have fulfilled my commitments and reached my goal. Ah, the goal… much easier to reach because it became smaller, simpler.

On the road I also ended up meeting other people who were enjoying geographic freedom, and many of them ended up changing careers. Much more challenging, but a possible change.

Some (or many) values you cared about are not worth it

Social status is very perishable. You know those things we do just because? But why so? Why not rethink them? Because many of them suck your soul, waste time and money, destroy your self-esteem, leave you in a sea of anxiety over nothing.

The world is too big to stay in one place

Did you know that the Incas were not a civilization, but a social class? That Dubai has 70% of men and 30% of women? That the Mayan calendar is much more accurate than our current one? Experiences in other cities/countries expose you more intensely to discovering new cultures, it is an infinite source of knowledge and experiences. And that's great for creativity and personal growth.

Freedom is the privilege of few, but if you can, seek it

Along this path, it was much more visible to see so many people stuck in their routines, obligations and having little time to allow themselves to do what they really want. When I said “I’ll stay in Peru alone for 2 months”, everyone was amazed and envious. I noticed that I had achieved a unique privilege: that of freedom. This is very valuable, few have it, few can do it or have no idea that they could achieve it. Sometimes not even money brings that. In a more modern view of personal fulfillment, for me, it is no longer about getting married, having children and being rich. And yes, be free to be whoever I want.