"go out and make memories"
Hello and welcome! This is the story of how our paths crossed when I, Adam, was backpacking in Brazil. We met in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, in 2016 and have been together ever since. Kind of crazy of life works sometimes! More specifically, we first met at a French coffee shop in Brasilia for a cup of coffee and it turned out to be the best coffee ever. After the coffee "date", it turned into something that is hard for us to describe. I would go to Bernardo's apartment on the weekends. We would spend the weekends swimming in the pool, working out together, visiting the park near Bernardo's apartment and go on road trips to our favorite place, Chapada dos Veideros, Brazil (photo on right is from our first trip there). This would then lead to me staying the weekend plus Mondays at his apartment. Of course, that would eventually turn into me spending most of my time there. We wanted to spend as much time together since we wouldn't see each other during the weekdays. We lived about 40 minutes away from each other.
After we had been dating for a couple of months, in February of 2017 we decided to go on our first international trip together. We bought tickets to go backpacking in Thailand because it was during Brazil's Carnival which meant the flights were quite cheap. We thought this would be a big step in our relationship because neither of us had traveled this far before so it was going to be something completely different for the both of us. It was definitely out of our comfort zones, that's for sure! We took the GoPro, selfie stick, the drone and filmed some of our favorite locations. We made some wonderful memories in Thailand: we ate scorpions, went to some famous temples, tried Thai food, we attempted Thai kickboxing, we got a "basic" massage, swam in some amazing blue water and got to see each other get out of our comfort zones. This is a trip we will always remember and we're grateful we have some of the memories on video.
Before we continue with our story, here is a little bit more about us individually. Bernardo is from Belo Horizonte, a midsize town of Brazil. He is graduated in Business and already had the opportunity to live in the US for a few months, years ago. He came to the US to learn about the culture but more important, perfect his English. He moved to Brasília to work for the Federal Government of his country because he passed an extensive exam "concorso publico" which he had been studying to pass. Bernardo has always loved to study and learn new things. Thats something that's always been a bit sexy about him, well and his adorable accent. He is very close to his older sister, whom currently lives in Moncton, Canada with her family. He has a huge passion for traveling, architecture, fitness, cats, expressive writing and any aspect with movie making.
I'm from a small town, Leesburg, Florida, USA. I was brought up in a Baptist Church and lived in a very conservative town. In my teens, I went through "conversion therapy" with the persuasion from the church. After high school, I auditioned for the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City and was accepted. Finally, I got to move to a big city and lived there for over 2 years where I got a degree in Musical Theatre. I also have a degree in Communications as well. One pivotal moment in my life is when I volunteered teaching English in a small city in Honduras which is where I found the passion for traveling, teaching, and learning about different cultures. I also enjoy videography, editing, musical theatre, cooking and nature. After Honduras, I moved to Orlando, Florida for a few years and then wanted to travel the world some more. So, I sold everything and had about $2,000 dollars in my bank account and decided to backpack to Brazil and learn more about their culture and speak another language. I quickly fell in love with Brazil and lived there for over five years.
The both of us continued to work hard in both of our jobs. Since I have a thing with documenting memories, I filmed videos in Thailand and the memories we would make in Brasilia, Brazil as well. Our first YouTube video was filmed on a GoPro 3 with a selfie stick and was posted on March 17, 2017 which highlighted our first stop in Thailand, Bangkok. We didn't do much talking and the editing was done by myself. Bernardo wasn't really into YouTube or editing at this moment. Plus, I was a bit obsessed with editing. Let's just say, we've improved a lot from that first video. Bernardo is now quite the master editor.
We really enjoyed filming our trips to waterfalls (photo to the left), our Brazilian Carnival experience in Joao Pessoa, Adam's first time meeting Bernardo's family, Bernardo's first time meeting Adam's family, our favorite spots in Brasilia, holidays spent together, personal videos where Bernardo talked about the loss of his mother, our anniversaries in Sao Paolo, our first time in Rio de Janeiro and many videos were filmed in cool posadas in Chapada dos Veiderois where we would always enjoy our date nights and the waterfalls we would see. This special place is where we felt like we could escape the big city which allowed us to decompress and spend some quality time together in nature. This place grew to be a very important place to us through the years we spent in Brasilia together.
During our trip to Thailand, we talked about moving in together. This was a big step for the both of us but we felt like it was time. I was living in a studio apartment in the middle of the city while Bernardo was living in an apartment about a 20 minute subway ride into the city. It took us a few months to find an apartment that felt like us and since it was our first one, we wanted to make sure it was "the one." Once we found one that we liked, we moved in and started to make it feel like our home which meant a lot of plants, painting some walls and adding some photos of our mothers.
We took a train ride to Leavenworth, Washington because we had read that this was the "most Christmasy place in the USA." Little did Bernardo know that he was going to get asked the question, "will you marry me?" On December 10, 2018, I popped the question on a snowy day in a park covered with fresh snow which is what I had always imagined as the "perfect proposal." This place holds a special place in our hearts and this was a memorable way to become engaged. After the proposal, Bernardo quit his permanent job in Brazil and permanently lived in Portland, Oregon together to start our new adventure together in the US.
After 5 years living in Brazil, it was time to come back to the US. I wasn't sure what was going to happen but Bernardo was able to take a long vacation from his job with the government. We found ourselves in Portland, Oregon because of the beautiful nature, no need for a car and how open-minded the city seemed to be. With time coming to an end for Bernardo's vacation, it was time...
We got officially married at the courthouse in Portland, Oregon in March 2019. We then had a small celebration at my little sister's house in St. Augustine, Florida on December 13, 2019. This is where we got to see each other in tuxes, which is something we were excited for as well as writing our own vows. We did the "traditional" thing, not seeing each other a day before the wedding. It was pretty neat to stay in the same hotel, knowing that we would be nervous but waiting until we walked down the aisle to see each other. This day is where many things started to unravel but with Bernardo's vows spoken to me, "I will bring you into the light." Bernardo is a phenomenal writer by the way. His vows were something I'll never forgot, his words were like band-aids over the heart. I was able to surprise him with a video from his brother and sister since they weren't able to attend.
After the wedding, we started a new chapter in our life. We made the scary decision to sell everything in the apartment in Portland, Oregon and travel the world for 6 months. Bernardo said it would be for 3 months but I was adamant about 6 months. We wanted to learn more about other cultures but in turn, learn more about ourselves and each other. This was going to be a fun chapter for our book, well we certainly thought that.
We started our journey in Toronto, Canada, where we rang in the New Year 2020. We then traveled to Quebec City, Canada where we got to experience our first snow storm and to went to the famous Ice Bar, Hôtel de Glace. After spending over a week in Quebec City we visited Bernardo's sister in Moncton, New Brunswich. Bernardo hadn't seen her in over 2 years so it was time for them to see each other. We spent over 2 weeks there and then we thought it was time for us to see some sun which lead us to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This is when we experienced one scary night that we won't forget and probably changed our mindset of many things. My mental health took a turn for a worse and at this moment, the both of us decided that we needed to go back to our safe place, Portland, Oregon to find a psychiatrist for me. Come to find out a few weeks later, the whole world seemed to come to a stop because of Covid-19. As with most, the pandemic made us stop and realize what was important in our lives.
I started seeing a wonder psychiatrist, Dr. Solomon, with her help I was able to understand what trauma is and how it has impacted my life. Who knew that trauma doesn't mean being in a car wreck or injuring yourself. I also learned what PTSD was, what are OCD intrusive thoughts and that I was addicted to cannabis. At first, I didn't believe it and even told Bernardo that I wanted a new psychiatrist, well that didn't happen, thank goodness! I had smoked since I lived in Brasilia before I met Bernardo and in Portland, cannabis is legal so this made is easier for me to smoke. This led me to smoking when I felt anxious or any type of discomfort in my body. I would take a few puffs before going into the mall so I would have a good time with Bernardo and not be stressed.
Since I couldn't stop smoking cannabis, Dr. Solomon, Bernardo, my parents and myself all decided it was time to go into an in-patient rehabilitation center. Shortly after my birthday, Bernardo and I said goodbye at the airport and the both of us knew we wouldn't see each other for over 2 months but when we would see each other again, it would be "different". This was a hard period for the both of us. We had just moved into a loft which he was going to decorate while I was gone. Bernardo took my place in the nutrition company where I had been working for over a year. Also, Bernardo lost his dad due to Covid all in the time I was away. To say the least, those months were difficult for us.
I checked into Breathe Life Healing Center which specializes in treating a wide variety of addictions, underlying psychological issues, and trauma. I then reunited with Bernardo over 2 months being apart. He surprised me with a relaxing place overlooking the ocean where we could watch the sunsets and for me to fill him in on what had happened. He knows how special the ocean is so it was a wonderful place to get reconnected with Bernardo but also to the "real world".
While I was away, we achieved 400,000 "friends" over on our YouTube channel. To reach 400,000 people with our videos is something we can't wrap our heads around but we are forever grateful for the community that we have built over on YouTube. We took a 4 month break from YouTube to work on ourselves but to also make sure that we wanted to continue with it. The both of us missed this creative element that allowed us to share our creativity, videography and sharing with others what we have learned. One thing that I learned from being away is the importance of cooking and how nature truly gives me peace, if I stop and listen to her. For that, filming nature, birds, sunsets, sunrises, water, etc gives us peace so it's a joy to film and edit. We're thankful that this is another "job" of ours but we get to share with the world what brings peace to our bodies.
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on December 2021 where we spent it in a barn completely surround in nature, of course it was in nature. We went on a beautiful hike and saw many waterfalls just like we did in Brazil. It was therapeutic and brought back some wonderful memories of Chapada dos Veideors. We also spent our first Christmas together which was a special memory for us because it was my first time without spending it with my family. 2021 was full of ups and downs but we are focusing on the good ones and learning from the not so good ones. We are committed to understanding more about ourselves and each other. I am very grateful to say that I'm still sober, a huge thank you to Bernardo for always supporting me and he decided not to drink as well. I am still seeing Dr. Solomon, whom I absolutely love! I am also doing other type of therapies and Bernardo is doing therapy as well. It isn't easy work but we're in it for the long run because we realize how important our mental health is to us.
Our tag line that we use is in our videos is "go out and make memories." This was created by my uncle who passed away from cancer at an early age. Together, we have found a passion in videography, filming each other and nature and the whole creation of a video from start to finish. Who knew that filming our memories in Thailand with a GoPro 3 would have turned into something like this. We would have never guessed it would turn out to be something like this. We go out and make memories but in the process, we allow ourselves to express our emotions through this creation. We tend to be quiet guys and we have found that we express ourselves differently. These video creations have allowed us to showcase our filming and creative techniques while expressing our feelings through them.
We enjoy making simple memories together. If that means spending a weekend camping, snowshoeing on the edge of Crater Lake or just staying at home cooking dinner and watching a movie. Now, we are lucky that we can go back and rewatch our memories we've made together. Well, some of the older videos are hard to watch but we can look at them and see how far we've come not only individually but together.