When I began this journey, back in 2005, I couldn’t tell exactly where it would lead me, although I thought I knew where I wanted to go. I knew I had so much within, and that I had to do something important with it. Not selling my soul for some cash and a comfortable life.
I was already 20 years old, maybe not the best age to start something as hard as becoming a top class freestyler. Well, maybe it was the perfect age… It would take me a while to understand that, although maybe it was a bit late to be the best freestyler in the world, I still had enough time to become a freestyler good enough to make the best possible use of freestyle from all other athletes in the world.
So in 2007 I began an epic journey. With no more than a ball and 100 euros I went to Europe, decided to live from freestyle. I did it for training, I did it for hobby, for love and for money. I became freestyle.
More Than Freestyle
Doing my first busking sessions in Madrid for a couple of euros, enough to buy me a kebab and live through the day. Enough to meet people who offered me other jobs, like digging graves in a graveyard, clapping hands on a TV show or moving a two-thousand year old heavy artefact to an exposition. And of course, freestyle amongst the way. And that 100 euros was more than enough for me to get started in my new life.
The Real Meaning
I found out that it was a life with a meaning what I was looking for. To have a purpose, to do something important for the world. That is what I was looking for. Since then, I did more that I can describe, more than I can remember.
I’ve seen dozens of piled bodies in a civil war and I’ve seen the most peaceful Buddhists monastery in Tibet. I’ve seen the rush of some of the greatest metropolis in the world, and I’ve seen people who are 200 miles away from the next living person. I’ve slept in a graveyard (a few times indeed), in an abandoned house, in plenty 5 star or even more none star hotels. From the Sahara desert to the most underground freestyle football championship in Udomlya, Russia, I’ve been to 50 countries now. More than 250 flights, besides ferries, trains, buses… I found myself. Everywhere. Anywhere. I can survive in 95% of the places in the world with only a ball, working for thousands of dollars or for a plate of food. And although I’m not a cash millionaire, no money in this world can buy my memories, my feelings about the things I’ve seen, heard, felt and did. The places I’ve been, the people I’ve met and who I became along the way.
It’s me Thiago, living the ultimate freestyle life. Open your mind. Freestyle is more. Expand yourself.