On April 1, 2019 Clara and I were two fools trying to fit clothing and equipment for a year-long long ride into our luggage.
“I hate packing,” I stated every 3 minutes.
Saddle, reins, cameras, drone, batteries, gloves, pants, shirts, socks… It took a couple of hours to shove everything into our four large bags that had to weigh 32 kg or less. And it was painful.
Luckily, after we finished my family came over and we enjoyed delicious feijoada accompanied by beers. It was amazing having them there for one final hurrah. I tried to take in their energy to the max. It will be several months before I see them again.
“Go with God my son, everything will work out,” my 92-year-old grandmother said to me after we shared a tight hug.
The following morning we began the journey prior to the journey.
The first stage was a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo.
My sisters Paolla and Izeballa and my mother Claudia made the trip with us. We arrived on time and luckily all of our bags were under the weight limit.
“Don’t cry Iza, we’ll see each other soon,” I said to my little sister as she shed heavy tears in my arms.
I must admit, I love my entire family to death, but being apart from Iza is by far the hardest thing. Children grow and change so quickly… When I am away from her for one or two years or more, when I see her again, she is almost a different person. Taller, more confident, more of an adult and less of a child. It really hits home that I will never be able to get the time I spent away from my loved ones back.
Before Clara and I entered the Boeing 787-9, a friend who works at Air Canada announced Clara and I would be flying to Toronto first class.
“What, what, I can’t believe it,” Clara said with a wide smile.
Sitting in seat 1-A, I enjoyed a glass of prosecco while reading the dinner menu and all of its courses.
After the 10-hour flight, in which I spent the majority of it sleeping like a rock in my seat that turned into a bed, we arrived in the Great White North.
“Welcome to Canada,” my friends Peter Hawkins and Arnon Mello said when they met us outside Pearson airport.
We drove to their beautiful home where we spent three nights.
I wanted to show Clara Toronto and most importantly I wanted her to meet my best friends. We climbed the CN Tower, went to the Ripley’s Aquarium and walked the streets of Kensington Market together.
It felt so nice to be showing her this city I spent my formative years in and that I love so much. I also had the opportunity to show her Bolton, the small town I grew up in. “That’s where I went to elementary school,” I told her as we drove by Holy Family.
But the by far, the best part was introducing her to my best friends! The guys I grew up with. My boys.
On a Friday night we met at my friend Eric’s studio for beers, went out for dinner and then hit the town. It was perfect. My best friends by my side… My girl… A beautiful Toronto spring night.
I wish that night could have lasted forever.
Unfortunately it couldn’t. The following morning, at 10 am, we had to catch a flight to Calgary.