When Tomorrow Becomes Today, Will You Be Ready?

Today I’d like to talk about another “Lifestyle” topic (if that’s even a thing). The Bucket List, or as some like to call it: Things I want to do before I die.

Why, you may ask? No, I am not thinking that I will die anytime soon. The main reason I remembered the bucket list was because I lost mine that I did a few years ago.
Bonus tip: Save something you want to keep in a cloud or in an external disc. I lost my previous computer… I lost my bucket list. Shit happens.

So, first things first, what’s a bucket list?

  • I think it’s self explanatory when I said AKA Things I want to do before I die but basically, it is a list of things you want to do/achieve/ in the future (near future or whenever really). It can be anything you want from events to attend, races, travels, learning a language, etc. There is no right answer or rules you have to follow. After all it’s YOUR bucket list!

 

Second, why have a bucket list?

I can sum it up in 4 reasons:

  1. I love having something to look forward to, being it an adventure or learning something new. As a dreamer myself, I am always thinking of new plans, new adventures, new challenges, but unfortunately I can’t do them all at once. There were classes and now there is a job and as you know, sadly, working doesn’t go hand in hand with having a huge amount of holidays (unlike being an University student).
    Funny thing: When you are younger, you have time but you don’t have money. When you are older, you have money but you don’t have time. Well, we gotta live somewhere in between that.
  2. Whenever you make your own list, you start to realize the things you really want to achieve/do, and the things you really don’t look forward to. You end up getting in your brain a sense of commitment to it. And at the same time, unconsciously you set priorities.
  3. Keeping track of the things you achieved so far as well. When I look to my bucket list and see the things that I have completed I get a sense of well being and think that I am living the life I want to live.I made some plans and I am turning them real, and that’s an AWESOME feeling!
  4. Lastly, from time to time, you can check it and get “back on track” with the things you aim to achieve/do. Because, even though you could have all your plans in your head, it’s much easier to have them written down and remember them from time to time in order to be able to pursue them. And it’s not a thing to do in 1 year or 2 (if you can it would be awesome though), but it’s for an entire lifetime.

 

For me, having a bucket list is writing down in a list a bunch of things I want to do in my life and that I think will bring more happiness to my life. The list is not untouchable, and every day (or year) I can add more things or delete previous choices that I no longer feel like doing.

 

I challenge you to do your own list, what are your dreams, what are your objectives as a person and as professional in your job, what do you think will bring you joy doing, or what can give you that adrenaline rush you are craving for? And after you finish it, go and look for some other people’s list online and check if you just find something that you definitely want to do. A friend of mine talked me 2 weeks ago about a thing and it just came from nowhere to one of the things I want to do the most: Rickshaw Run. You up for an adventure? Check it if you have an affair with adrenaline and with the unknown.

Example of organising your list. I divided it into categories. Here is mine (but you can organise it the way you want): Life, Sports, Travelling, Adrenaline Rushes , Minimalism, Events to attend, Entrepreneurship; Medical Carreer(job related) , Random

Lastly, in my opinion having a  bucket list is much more than having something to put a tick on, for me what brings me  the most joy is enjoying the journey of achieving it after dreaming it as long as the feeling of being able to overcome my fears and do something I only dreamed of.

Challenge yourself!You will see that you can do much more than you actually think you can.

Au revoir! Oui, I am still in France doing Workaway. Well, actually no, I am in Switzerland at the moment but I just arrived today after hitchhiking 180km with 5 different people. You will probably never read this but: Thank you for the rides!

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Where is life leading you ?

A long time has passed since I last wrote something here, but as I was walking in the mountains of the beautiful French Alps, I got the urge to write again. I don’t write thinking that I am going to influence someone to do something different or copy the things I like doing. I do it because I believe that sometimes people can relate or even because when I write I tend to reflect on the things I did and that in the hurry of everyday life I didn’t have time/will to.

As you can read in my profile, I was a medical student when I started writing the blog on my 5th year. Two years have passed and guess what? I’m a doctor now (shiiieeet, just saying the word seems to bring more responsibility to it) but I am currently “waiting” for January to start working. While all my colleagues are studying for an exam in November to decide which speciality they are going to, in Portugal, I decided not to. That decision comes from the fact that I always wanted to work abroad for some years and experience new stuff so I chose Switzerland to do so.

Why Switzerland?

  • My main reason is that in Switzerland you end up “building” your speciality. There is no 5 years straight obligation as in Portugal to finish it. You have a contract with a hospital of 6 months, 1 year or 2 years (that can be extended), and when you are not in a contract you “can do whatever you want”.
  • This “whatever you want” for me means enrolling in humanitarian missions as a Doctor and help as I can. Médecins Sans Frontiers is a possibility or joining other NGO’s in the fields to help in what I can.
  • In Portugal, it’s not impossible to do the same, however it might be much harder to do so. There are always lack of doctors to fill the Emergency scales and wards and 1 less doctor in the team makes a difference, so it’s rather hard to be able to leave the team even with a license without payment.
  • Another thing that I would like to do as well is to enrol in different post-graduations that I feel would be a plus for me such as a Doctor and what I want to achieve. Management of Healthcare and being a doctor in adventure scenarios (be it in a Formula 1 Car race or expedition medicine in the wirlderness).

For all these reasons and a few more not stated (but not as important), I felt that Switzerland is the place I want to do my Residency in. Most people ask me what you need to do so or if I am not afraid to go there solo? If I plan to come back after I do my specialisation?

I gotta be honest, when I first started being serious about it I got pretty scared with the decision. Since I began University I thought that I wanted to do the most different things that I could with my life until I was 30 (don’t ask me why this psychological barrier), I always thought that after that was time to settle down, have a family, wife, kids and that it wouldn’t be so easy to just buy a ticket and go discover the world or start a volunteering journey of 1 or 2 months while leaving “them” back.

This crippled into my head and I also start thinking that leaving the comfort zone of Portugal also meant that probably If I were to find someone would probably be in Switzerland, that if I did probably we would settle in Switzerland and that coming back to Portugal was probably out of equation. That scares me a little(probably a lot), because I am a person that needs people, I love my friends, I love my family, I love hanging out with people, I love talking basically.

Would I be able to survive with nothing of that? How would it be if in 8 years I didn’t meet anyone there and I come back to Portugal, aged 33 and all my friends have family already and kids?

Well, that’s when the other part of my brain striked and told me: Ricardo, you have lived in different parts of the world, you managed to make friends, you managed to meet other people, do different stuff, and live a happy and healthy life in different situations. So why would it be different in Switzerland?

That thought stayed in my mind and I started making an effort to go to Switzerland. I started a French course, I made my CV, I asked for recommendation letters from people I worked with, and I finally started to send e-mails. So far the answers haven’t been great but I will keep on sending them and hoping for a place to start my residency. I am super excited about it.

Last thing I did was moving to France for 1 month to practice my French. That’s from where I am writing, in a house in the beautiful village of Lac du Bourget where I am doing workaway.

So, that’s it. We will see how it goes. Nothing is definitive. If I don’t like Switzerland I can come back to Portugal. If I do like it, let’s see how it goes. No planning ahead, no preoccupations, no stress, JUST LIVE and adapt accordingly ! 😀 There are no things as failures, there are attempts that you make that can not turn as you expected but are always something you learn from.

SWITZERLAND, here I go. And you, do you have plan?

PS – I started this post to write about workaway. Well, guess it will have to stay for another time.

Spending time with loved ones

After writing the last post I remembered something that kept me thinking for a while in 2013 and usually pops into my mind every now and then.

When I entered Med School in 2012 , one of my flatmates told me about volunteering abroad. It was the first time I actually thought about it. My first thought was a clear NO!! I loved so much my life in holidays. I went to Madeira Island (place I was born) and spend there 2 months sunbathing, doing downhill and hanging out with friends. Could you ask for anything better ?

However, as I was going through one of the many nights I spend addicted to my smartphone randomly searching the internet for who knows what , I came across a volunteering organization.

I started reading people testemonials about their experiences while doing volunteering abroad bla bla bla… and I started thinking that actually it seemed very interesting. I am a med student because I feel like I always wanted to help others. Going, for example, to Africa to help people “in need” seemed just the best of both worlds. Doing a good deed for the humanity and helping, it just made sense. (P.S. – I have now a completely different opinion for what volunteering is and should be about .However that’s for another post).

I read a few more testemonials , I searched a few things and decided that I wanted to do volunteering and go to Africa.

Captura de ecrã 2018-02-03, às 01.50.34

I saw an organization which a friend told me about and I decided that I would give it a go. Destiny or no , it was way to far and when I was going to class I saw a poster with another group. It seemed to have the same purpose but much closer to my house.

GASNova it was. Well I will talk about it someday but I can tell you that it was 4 of the best years of my life and it changed my way of thinking, behaving and acting (you can sum up with the word LIFE) forever.

Few days after, as the post is getting long and the content makes no sense so far in regard to the title, there was a team moment where all the members of the organizations and us volunteers would spend time together and do some activities. It was called “Challenge” and it was a kind of treasure hunt. Here in Portugal we call it Peddy-paper , basically we are separated into different groups and we are given some hints. After reading them and thinking we must solve them and go for the place the hint points us to receive the next one.

After getting to each place we were asked to make a small activity so that we could get to know each other better. A type of team building I may say, where we  reflected about the organization mission and also made us reflect about our own actions and beliefs.

So , one of the question they asked us in one of the different stations was something like: “Tell us something you wish you would do more often that would make a difference in someone’s life”. I am not sure if this was the question but it fits the answer I wanna give and my point.

I thought for a little while and I said : “I wish I would call my grandma more often, she always knows everything about my life and what I am doing and it’s never told by me, it’s always by my mom”. The thing is, my grandma lives alone and as me , she LOVES talking and she really feels lonely because she spends most of the time at home, alone, “talking to the walls” as she usually says.

After everyone shared their answers we reflected about it. How many of us wanted to go abroad and do volunteering to help other people in other countries and forget that there are people HERE, next to us that need us as much and we don’t do anything about it. One of those moments you just stop and think : “SHIT, I could make something about it easily and make someone I love happier. Why am I not doing it ?”

GASNova has projects in Portugal and also in Portuguese Speaking Countries (São Tomé and Príncipe and Mozambique), however we always made sure that people would understand how important it is that to be a volunteer we don’t need to go abroad, there are lots of things we can do in our own country. If we don’t do small things in our country how genuine are our intentions to volunteer abroad?

(That’s another question that I am not going to talk now, however I think that there is no right answer and that the fact that you want to volunteer abroad doesn’t define your intentions as genuine or not, but that’s another question. The aim is to think about it.)

Sometimes even small acts as calling our loved ones more often can make an huge difference in their life.

Unfortunately, and I guess this happens at least with some of you, we realise that there are people we haven’t talked to in a while and how nice it was when we chatted or went to coffee more often or just pass by their houses for a small chat.

“But I have no time to call my (insert group of people you are thinking of so far)” , “Why should I call her, she was the one that stopped talking to me” , “why would I invite him to go for a beer” and the list goes on. These are some of the excuses we keep telling ourselves not to pick up the phone and make a call or send a message.

Cut the crap!

If you miss the times you spent with them try to change it. DO SOMETHING! Will you ever remember who talked first or last if you are having the time of your life making memories that will last for a lifetime or better, does it even matter?

“Sometimes Even The Smallest Gesture Means The World For Some People.” – Me,myself and I

So next time you think about how you miss someone, how important you know you are to that person or even the fun you used to have , do something !

“Twenty Years From Now You Will Be More Disappointed By The Things You Didn’t Do Than By The Ones You Did Do” – Mark Twain

22 words that make a difference. I try to live by them . So far so good, no regrets. Or the few ones I got are actually for not doing stuff I wanted to. Why ? Probably a very small reason that I don’t even remember anymore…

Some people say that : “Friends Are The Family We Choose” and even though I also agree with it , family is always family . When everything is falling apart they will be there for you, no matter what. Don’t forget them. Whether it is calling home more often, spending time with them whenever you can, do it . If you genuinely make someone happy ,believe me, wanting it or not you will also feel happier.

And you? What do you wish you would do more often to make someone happier?

I end as I started : SPEND TIME WITH LOVED ONES because  as the famous line says : “You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone” and WE SHOULD KNOW and VALUE IT.

P.S. – I don’t mean by any chance to be someone who is giving life lessons on how to live your life or something like that. It’s just a few things that run through my mind sometimes and I just feel like sharing them with the world to allow me to think about them.

 

What if it were with you?

So, second post, and surprisingly it’s not about Ironman. Today we are talking about REFUGEES!

Why?

Because I think there is still lack of information in this topic and unfortunately it’s disappearing of the news and social media so fast that it frightens me.

As Panos G. Moraitis – Founder of ERCI said : “This crisis is far from over”. If you follow organizations that are working on the front line, for example organizations working in Lesvos, Greece such as ERCI it self, PAR, you can see that it’s far from over and we all can have a word on it.

As I write this and visit one of their websites to get the latest news, I just saw that a boat just landed in the island with over 50 refugees, including many children and they were able to ensure everyone left the scene safely.

I can see this on Facebook, and on their websites, but why isn’t it on the news, newspapers, so people can see what’s happening and how they can help?

Help, an interesting topic.

So many people say that they want to help but they don’t know how.

  • Some say they wanted to send money but they can’t, they need it.
  • Some say they wanted to go there and help but they can’t, they have full time jobs to support their family.

And all of these reasons are valid, and I genuinely believe that most of the time that’s what happens but does it mean that we can’t help from our home countries or from our comfort at home?

NO ! We can help ! So, tell me how?

  • Raising awareness – People tend to despise this because they don’t know how powerful it can be. If you tell 5 people about a topic and 5 people tell each to other 5 people and those 25 people do the same, you are in 125 people easily and it goes on. “Oh, but it’s not that easy.” Trust me, it is. Everyone has collegues at work, family at home, friends. “But raising awareness doesn’t change anything if we are not helping in anyway.” That’s were you got it all wrong and it leads us to our next point.
  • Our own network – After being told about a problem we start thinking how we can help somehow. Most of us work in something, in a company, in a bar, in a healthcare facility, in a state company. We all can help, I will give you just 3 examples how: Employ and integrate someone from a different culture while improving your products and services with different ideas, producing content to help refugees in their adaptation to a new country (being it about how to use the health system, laws, rights an duties of the country). By not stigmatizing people and treating them as they deserve, we can go further and touch people with far more power than us and cooperate to find solutions in how to integrate people.
  • I was forgetting the fact that just by talking about it, we keep it in the order of the day, and that allows people to look at it as a global problem and something that needs a solution and that help is needed.
  • Who knows if you can’t convince one of your friends that has the time and the money to do something about it and you are the trigger he needed to make that happen.

Never underestimate the power of words and how a small act can change the life of another human being.

Because after all, what are we? We are all human beings. I am Ricardo from Portugal because I was born here, but I could have been born anywhere in the world. Above all, I am a human being and so is everyone.

I will not get into discussions in why we should help or why we shouldn’t, and that the government should help first their own besides others because I think that the word refugee it self explains why I don’t. But I will leave you with some facts:

Refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality or political opinion.

  • Captura de ecrã 2018-01-31, às 02.05.19
Captura de ecrã 2018-01-31, às 02.05.05
Some (interesting) facts to think about and reflect by UNHCR

So, what can you do (are doing) to make a difference ?

Side note – I started the week by going to the gym twice ( Chest/Biceps & Back/Triceps) and 30 minutes bicycle each day and 1 hour swim today. Low intensity training but I have to start somewhere. Still on for the week 15km running(total). Oh, and I just registered for a half marathon in Portugal, in March.

 

Number 1

Good morning,

Different year, different goals.

Yesterday night, as I was looking for a new challenge to commit myself to I remembered I made a 5 year resolution in my birthday last year. To do an IRONMAN!

Ironman? What’s that?

According to Wikipedia: “An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 3.86 km swim, a 180.25km bicycle ride and a marathon 42.20 km run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.”

“Never settle for anything less than you deserve.” – Random internet quotes

Well is it going to be easy? Hell no! At the moment I have 90kgs, I am not running that much, even though I still think I can run a half marathon if I want to.

Life ain’t easy but if we don’t pursue our dreams what are we doing here?

Monday, as we all know, begins all diets, exercise plans and other weekend resolutions. So why would I be any different?

No, the blog is not going to be just about my IRONMAN training. Got plenty more resolutions and stuff to write about!

Oh by the way, Hello, I am Ricardo, and you, who are you?