It's been over two years and tomorrow I'm starting at a new position inside the company, so I guess it's time for an update. In case someone still cares to read.
I came here thinking of this place as a temporary stop before moving out to Canada, but then in the meantime I found out that I like this new city very much, and the immigration plan went to the back burner. This is probably one of the best cities in the country for me to live in while still working as a non-telecommuting programmer (considering that such a job usually would require me to live in a big city). This is Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, a city that was completely planned out before they started to build. I happen to have a gate in the back of my condominium which opens to the biggest urban park in the world (sorry USA #2 here
. We have plenty of sunny days, only about 111 days of rain per year in average. And yet, we have the lowest yearly average temperature among the country's state capitals, at 21.2 degrees celsius. We have the highest percentage of people practising sports among all cities in the country, and running and riding bikes is quite common here. We have free open events outdoors almost every other weekend, like free live music in the park and others.
I arrived at July 2015, and by March 2016 I decided that two years without riding a bicycle was too much for me. Actually, I did ride my bike at Sao Paulo once. But I've got rid of mine when I moved here (not worth it the moving costs) and was postponing getting a new one since I was planning to stay in Brasilia only one year tops. But then as I started to enjoy this city, I finally decided to put an end to this dark time of my life during which I didn't ride. I got a fixie, first time I rode one, and was hooked. Been riding ever since, and got some other bikes. I own 4 of them now, each of them for a very good reason I swear
. They were 5 at some point, but only because I've got such a bargain at an old model that I was able to resell it for twice the price, making about 50% of profits after some fixes here and there.
One of my bicycles is a single speed, chromoly frame, which I build buying piece by piece. I started seeing bicycles as a fun way to travel again, but with the difference that for the first time in my life, influenced by the fixie crowds, I started looking at it as a sport. With some advice from fellow forumite @C40, whom competed at elite at some point, I trained enough that I rode my single speed, then 44x18, for 3017km from here to Montevideo, Uruguay, in 24 days in January 2017. Not bad for a then 35 years old guy, huh? Wrote a small book while riding, which another fellow forumite from Brazil edited and translated to English for me. Yeah, I could do it myself, but his English is way more enjoyable to read than mine. It's not published yet because it's small (75 pages in pocket size) and I'm thinking about merging it with the next one that I'll write during the next bicycle trip vacations, in January 2018. I'm thinking about flying back to Montevideo and resuming the riding from there, north bounded. Like a around the world bicycle trip, one month per year. I've been training hard to be able to ride as much as I possibly can in a month, not because I only have 30 days a year of vacations, but also because of the challenge.
I had some short relationships in these two years, and learned a couple of important things about me in this regard. The best thing that happened to me in this regard was to find the book "Women who love too much", by Robin Norwood (hint: it's not only about women). I think everybody who was or will be in a relationship at any point in life would benefit from reading this. For some as me, it could be life changing.
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Women-Who-Love-T ... 1416550216
In this regard, I can tell that it took me a while to heal from the breakup I related back there in Sao Paulo. Also, only about one year after I was single again, there was this day that it dawned on me that I was finally starting to be me again; to be that best version of me that I want to be. Off course that is always a work in progress, but I feel much better now. I don't blame my ex nor blame the relationship; I am the only person responsible for my own life. But despite that, it made me question how much we are shaped and changed by the people we have a relationship with. Also, when you are inside the relationship, you tend to forget that. Hence the importance of choosing very wisely, and cautiously.
My position at work has been ok. I liked the challenges, but disliked the management most of the time. So I solved like half of the challenges and that was about how much my motivation lasted. Not that everybody cared about me solving those problems, nor would they acknowledge them. Let alone give me time to work on them. But it was fine anyway. Part of these behaviour was, in my opinion, because I was working IT outside the IT department. "Shadow IT", a phenomenon that happens in several big companies. I trust that being inside the IT department now, my work will be more recognized and the managers will have a bit more clue about what is going on. About same wage if you are wondering, which is a good one. Well, six months to one year of reduced wage as a trainee, and then it will be up like 5% from present wage. It's only a strategic move, not a promotion.
I've been living without thinking much about money and spending quite a lot of it. I find I lack the motivation to be so disciplined as before, now that I enjoy my job and my life so much, and don't see much reason to retire. But yet, the money piles up and a couple of weeks ago it was sizeable enough that I implemented the permanent portfolio and started reading about investing. I intend to have 80 to 90% of my liquid money there, and play with the rest in risky and educational moves that could eventually earn me a higher reward or at least some tough education on the subject of making money. I've been also thinking that I maybe I would like to get rich. Not that I would have any use for huge amounts of money myself, but I figured it should be more fun than playing tetris or bubbles. I don't mean just growing capital over the course of a lifetime, but actually getting rich in like 5 or 10 years. Been thinking about this game.
I've always been in a defensive position most of my life, but I've been noticing that those days seems to be over. I am in a quite safe position financially and job-wise. I am back to working 6 hours a day again, monday-friday. I enjoy my life. I don't have much more problems to run from, so I've been looking for challenges to run after. Like this bicycle trip I did this year. Or the apparently useless idea of becoming rich. Or others that I'm yet to find out. But I changed so much as a person that nowadays I even enjoy playing boardgames, which I deemed a plain waste of time in the past. Come to think of it, I can now even walk in the park without any other objective other than walk in the park and yet feel good about it. I feel like I reached peak satisfaction in my life, and from now on it's only a matter of being careful enough not to ruin it all, but also keep on learning and challenging myself enough to have pleasure from a sense of evolution.
Now that I started thinking about investments again, I see that I'm not very far from being financial independent anyway. If I would just sell cheap my rural property and move to the urban one, I could already live from passive income if I would just buy government bonds. They are currently paying inflation plus about 5% here in Brazil, and I would feel safe enough living from that and doing other stuff for fun and eventual money. Or I could move to the rural property and produce most of my needs there. Could renovate the bigger house in the rural property and rent it for weekends while living on the smaller one. That should suffice even without growing food. Hell, I believe I could grow 70% or more of my food even in the urban lot, given some practice and research. By the way, I recently became vegan after watching some documentaries, which should make producing all of my food even easier. I have options, but I really see no reason to quit my job for now.
I probably forgot some stuff, feel free to comment and ask if interested. Thank you if you read this far.