At one o’clock in the night I ring Diego’s door bell. A long beard, wild hair and a body full with tattoos is waiting for me behind the steel door. The door looks gritty, It could have been the door of a prison. But, his big smile and warm hospitality show his cordial and open personality. Diego has a golden heart, one that is formed by his turbulent life story.
Diego was raised in the most southern province of Brazil, Rio Grande de Sul, more than 3.000 kilometer from Salvador. Where he studied computer engineering and started his own company. With his entrepreneurship and his open personality he had a big advantage in the IT world. Soon he earns a lot of money and takes the wrong path. Long working days, stress and pushing himself to the limits drives him to the use of stimulating drugs. He gets addicted to cocaine, which almost means his death. At the top, or bottom, of his addiction he spills a fortune on cocaine every week . He is on the edge, looking into a dark hole. Lost and desperate, Diego’s parents are his last rescue. His parents are the help to a closed setting and his way back to control and happiness. When he is looking back, he makes it a clear in one clear sentence ‘When I would have gone one for one more week, I would have died by overdosis or murder.'
After a month in the closed institute, he lives five months on a farm for rehabilitation. Diego slowly rises up, finds new energy and has an other vision of live. As often, dramatic moments help to cause an paradigm shift. For him, money is not important anymore, now, he live the days as a celebration and bright full. He dreams of a bike trip around the world. The bicycle is a symbol of recovered freedom and independence. Parents support from the bottom of their hart, but suffer in these heavy environments. Diego’s parents hit a depression, but together they find there way back and as a family they become closer than ever before. Listening to Diego, it learns us to remember that the travel we make is part of our parents live like a sixth sense. They live our travel as much as we do, but cannot hear every decision of choice. Often we don’t realise they can have restless nights because of a, for us innocent, choices or message.
He lost his own company, but he didn’t lost his brains. He moved to a new environment, Recife, for a IT-job in an international company. He might earn three times as less as he did before, but he is three times as happy. He is busy accomplishing his dream. Learning English and Spanish, living a conscious live without materialistic values and developing specialised computer-engineering skills to work freelance during the travel. In the two weeks we have been together with Diego he asked us every question he could come up with. We are an example for him, but it especially shows his eager and vitality. People that have the ability to come back from a black history and find a new path, are strong, very strong. They skilled them self with will, courage and persistence, wonderful characteristics that are admirable. In the beginning of 2018 his dream will come trough, he will discover the world and let the victory stream through his body. His travel name will be 'Tortuga Voladora’, the flying turtle, because he wants to travel slowly with the freedom of a bird.