Can’t believe I finally won this. Anyway, here’s my story. A few years ago I quit my office job and moved to Australia to become a photojournalist. That didn’t work too well (go wonder) and I ended up working a series of odd jobs – kitchen hand, welder, fisherman, etc. Managed to save some money and started wondering what to do with it. Eventually came up with a great idea, I was going to ride my old bike back home. Life had other plans for me though, and two days before Christmas I got deported because I didn’t had a working visa. A really weird couple week passed by and finally one day I decided that if I couldn’t ride back from Australia I would just head east, trust my instincts and let curiosity guide me.
Nine months passed fast riding through some amazing places, sleeping under unfamiliar stars, meeting INCREDIBLY GENEROUS people, fixing stuff, getting lost and finding new ways.
Then it started getting cold, money was running out and I needed a break from the road. I decided to start looking for work. Left my bike in Kyrgyzstan with Allen, an American with a heart of gold, and backpacked around China. Btw Allen runs an orphanage near Bishkek, if anyone wants to help him out please get in touch with me.
I knew I had found my new home the moment I got to Xi’an. China’s original capital and the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, the perfect place for this modern Marco Polo. Found work as an English teacher and embraced the warmness of routine. A few months passed and while I was busy making plans to get back on the road, a friend asked me to help him homebrew. Before I knew it I became obsessed with it.
Soon after that I decided it was time to turn my hobby into a career. I took a Course in Brewing Science and moved to Shanghai where I found a job in one of the best microbreweries in China. I absolutely love the high intensity work of brewing, and that I get to make something people are excited to have – I like carburetor parts as much as the next guy, but no one has ever waited in line for carburetor parts.
Suddenly one day the greatest thing happened, I met the girl of my dreams. I fell in love with her the moment I looked into her eyes. She’s the most wonderful girl you can ever meet. She is caring, loving, smart and beautiful. The most amazing girlfriend I could ask for. She’s there for me all the time. And her smile just makes me a little happier.
That's it. I know there are no fit-all formulas for a happy life but for me it was always about being spontaneous, staying curios, saying yes, and making it happen. Being a multi-dimensional human and not living a mono focused life that leaves you bored and crippled far too early. It's about living many different lives in your lifetime. It's about a belief that things will always work out. Family, where ever you find it. It's about letting yourself constantly evolve cause you know that you'd have to be an idiot not to. It's about love, and having that full chested feeling of a swollen heart everyday.
Rock ’n’ roll,
João Pedro Fernandes