Lucas, il brasiliano che segue le orme dei suoi nonni
COUNTRY OF PROVENANCE
Lucas, the Brazilian from Veneto
Lucas and I met on a summer evening in Milan, at one of the events I organize on Thursdays for travel enthusiasts and passing travelers. He had a folding bike and came directly pedaling from Pavia. Despite the sultry heat of the Po valley, he had gone as far as Milan to meet new people. There were a lot of people that evening, and, like Lucas, there was another Scottish traveler with a backpack looking for hospitality, Tim. Sometimes small miracles happen when you travel alone: you don’t have a plan or a specific destination and, unexpectedly, you find someone who hosts you at his home and who offers you his friendship without knowing you.
I was that person for Lucas and Tim that night, after the event I hosted them at my house, they rested and the following morning I prepared breakfast.
Lucas, however, did not remain a passing person, someone to share a good moment with, to appreciate the beauty of fleetingness. Lucas has remained in my life and I in his. In these years we have become friends. I saw him arriving at my house several times with that folding bicycle from various places, he made me soup when I had fever (39!) in the height of summer, he told me about his life and I told him about mine and now he lives in the city of my heart, Rome. He fell in love with it like many others, Rome makes you lose your head!
When we met, Lucas had recently made an incredible trip: he had traveled far and wide in New Zealand with his bicycle, a journey that lasted 5 months in which his total budget was 1300 euros …! His project “Pelo mundo de magrela” (by bicycle around the world) was aimed at experiencing the dimension of travel, not of vacation, in the most eco-sustainable and low-cost way possible.
He had made a first trip to southern Brazil immediately after finishing university, and from that moment he had started thinking about the dreams he wanted to make true, among which were those landscapes that made him daydream as a child, those of the Lord of the Rings.
When Lucas decided to leave Brazil, he gave up many things: a job in tourism that he liked very much, a fixed income, a house, a girlfriend. A voice inside him told him that he had to go away, leave everything and meet the unknown.
New Zeland, Aoraki or Mount Cook
The plan “from 25 to 30”
While preparing for the trip to New Zealand – a bicycle trip requires a lot of planning – he decided that he wanted to rebuild his life from scratch and in 2015 he wrote on a piece of paper a plan that gradually, for a series of coincidences more than a real planning, came true.
He left for New Zealand in 2018 and decided that in the next two years he would try to live in different places, stopping in each for a little while to understand the local culture, get into it, learn the language of the places and even dialects !
After the tour of New Zealand he met his family in Dubai – his brother works there – and decided that his journey would be the opposite of what his grandparents had experienced by emigrating from Veneto to southern Brazil. They never returned to Italy, they only speak the Venetian dialect and Portuguese. Lucas wanted to understand something about the country, Italy, that recalls the “saudade” in the place where he was born.
Italy and the many tours
Lucas falls in love with our country, feels at home, in a very short time learns Italian and begins to travel between Milan and Venice, where he has some job interviews, to get to know a little bit about the region of origin of his grandparents.
After 3 months, he returns to Brazil and in just 3 weeks he writes the first version of his book on the “cycling trip” to New Zealand. After almost 10 years he manages to make a trip to Bali with his parents and his brother, it is one of the trips that Lucas told me with more tenderness: finally the family reunited, the days of joy and light-heartedness between surfing and walking and that feeling of “Being at home” that you have when you are with the people of your heart.
Time with parents and friends is precious, but he feels the urge to go again and this time he leaves for Chile, he stops to work some time in Val Paraiso. There too the place is beautiful, fine white beaches, he likes the job he has found in a hostel, but he feels the desire to return to Italy.
He goes to say goodbye to his grandparents in Novo Hamburg and gets back on a plane, this time he has Rome as his destination. Here too he works in a hostel with the “Workaway”, a form of volunteering for which he works a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation and the opportunity to try a different life experience.
After a few months as a volunteer, the hostel decides to hire him and he starts doing the job he loves: being with people, taking them around the city as a guide, organizing cooking classes, speaking many different languages and sharing his life experience with the people he meets.
Lucas decides to live by the sea, chooses a small town near Anzio, Marechiaro. From there he can meditate, have his own home, take long walks, host family and travelers. Traveling continuously is very tiring, not only on a physical level, sometimes it is also a way of escaping from reality. Occasionally one needs to stop, to look within oneself.
Today, Lucas is in this phase of life: he contemplates the emptiness – also left by the work stop due to the coronavirus – to understand what the next stage will be, which route his life will take, just like when he was little and his dad took them on a road trip without a precise destination, but with the desire to explore, with the constant and undulating movement that also accompanies the sea, where today the blue of his eyes is reflected waiting for what will come.