The Global Nomad Interviews: Vicente, 28

We travelled to Kalna, Serbia to interview 28-year-old Vicente who left Portugal eight years ago to travel the world. In this Global Nomad interview, Vicente is talking about his life on the road, the hippie community where he has been staying, his projects and future plans.

The Global Nomad Interviews: Vicente, 28

In our first Global Nomad interview ten years ago, we filmed female nomad Rita Golden Gelman in Istanbul, Turkey.


My name is Vicente. I travel with nothing.

I left Portugal with less than 500 Euro and my backpack. I go, and the world will take care of me.

I don't see myself as a wanderer. There is the wonderer with an o and the wanderer with an a which are two different words. One wonders mentally and wanders physically. But there is a certain quality in wandering. You are just like a cloud, moving. I¨m not that kind of person. Far from that.

It is now 2022. I was 20 in 2014 when I left. I have been travelling 8 years next month.

Where have I been travelling after I left? 8 years is not a long time. It is just a short breath.

I had a girlfriend in 2015-2016. I spent a long time in Austria with her. She was Austrian, from Vienna. We broke up in July, 2016. I was going to Asia for the first time. I got my visas in Vienna and I broke up with her. I went to Hungary. I hitchhiked from Hungary to Ukraine. I crossed Ukraine and entered Russia. I crossed the European part of Russia, the Ural mountains and entered Siberia. I hitched 5 000 kilometres non-stop. I was tired. I found a farm from a work exchange website. It was in the middle of Siberia, South of Novosibirsk. I contacted them and they accepted me. I thought I will spend a couple of weeks to ground myself and experience the place rather than rush forward. I was very crazy at the time. I would never do things like that nowadays.

There was I in the farm in the middle of August. They trusted me. After the first week, they left the farm for me to take care of. They went to a city for shopping and taking care of their things. There I was taking care of the farm when someone knocked at the door. I opened the door and there was my ex girlfriend whom I left in Vienna. I swear she was not looking for me, she was travelling on her own. This was crazy insane and we fell madly in love again. It just extended our problems a bit longer. But it was beautiful to say goodbye first in Vienna and then again in Siberia. Out of nowhere, unexpected. It was super beautiful.

Many people I met wanted me to stay and were very hospitable. They appreciated my life experience and philosophy. I have juggled a lot, literally. Recently I have been building and designing buildings. That's one my favorite things so far.

I lived in Langkawi in Malaysia for a while. The last 2 months I lived in a boat. The first time I went there I asked a sailor to take me there in a dinghy. The boat was anchored in the bay. I spent the whole day in the boat. When I returned, I noticed that I had lost my flip-flops. I don't really mind losing shoes. I've walked barefoot for many years. I can walk without shoes, no problems. The next 2 months I was in the boat without shoes. It was all good, I was happy and satisfied with life. Eventually I left the boat and Malaysia in the beginning of 2019. I was preparing to return to Europe.

I had a flight from Bangkok. So I needed to go from Langkawi to Bangkok. On the way I decided to stop in Ko Pha Ngan. 2-3 months after I lost my flip-flops in Langkawi I was walking on the beach in Ko Pha Ngan. And I swear to God, on the beach, covered in sand, there were my flip-flops.

I spent my first winter here in Serbia in 2014-2015. The people living here in this place are my best friends. Why am I in Serbia now? I have two reasons. The people living in this community are my friends. During my first winter here, I became very good friends with the founder. I returned in 2019.

This is one of the places I've missed the most, and these people. There are chickens, dogs, cats, too many in my opinion. There is a main house and a tool shed. It's in chaos but the tools are there. There is also another house where Bogdan's (the owner and founder) mother lives. She moved in a few years later. She is perhaps the most important person here. There are some stables that accommodate only human animals.

I built the place where I am living into one stable. There is a lot of land up in the mountain, and really beautiful places around. We are at the foot of Stara Planina. Stara Planina stretches through Bulgaria all way to the Black Sea. It is a very big, fairly wild and harsh mountain range, especially in Bulgaria. We're at the foot so we already have mountain climate with long winters. Temperatures can drop to -20 degrees Celsius.

Living in a community is one of the most difficult things. It requires skills. We are humans. Imagine a married couple moving in together, it's already a big challenge. Now imagine 5-6-7-10-15 people living together and sharing their things. It can be a chaos.

For 6 years I was not stopping anywhere for more than 3 months. The travelling mindset was natural for me. When things turn unpleasant and I don't see a way out, I start thinking why not simply leave. Then my heart tells me not to run away but sort out my shit before I go.

It is said that God is everywhere. The only other non-physical thing that is present in everything is mathematics. We can narrow down everything to mathematical principles. Vibration has frequency, cycle and rhythm. Shapes, harmonics, whatever, everything can be narrowed down to some sort of mathematical principle. Geometry is a graphical representation of these mathematical principles, and Sacred Geometry has its own very specific geometric language. It's a mix of super intellectual and super intuitive, a branch of mathematics. I call it qualitative mathematics. It's when we stop observing mathematics as quantities like 1 + 1 = 2 and start observing mathematics as qualities just like in music. It is a qualitative observation of numerological alphabet.

Mushroom temple is my first big experiment. I'm exploring geometric perfection. If our creations are extensions of our thinking, what does it tell about us if all we do is square and made of dead matter. It tells a lot about what's inside of our heads.

I wanted to experiment with other geometric shapes. This was my first big experiment. I used hexagonal. Square isolates the interior from the exterior, hexagonal bends and blends. I began to understand that physical shapes influence our minds.

All the walls are made of mushrooms. I collected the mushroom material from mushroom farmers. These mushrooms didn't produce enough, although there was still Mycelium left. I picked up Mycelium bags, stuffed, compacted and shaped them for the walls. The roof I made out of straw and inoculated it with Mycelium. I wanted the mushrooms to grow there. When it rains, the whole roof will be full of mushrooms. It will be beautiful.

It is now the end of July. The first half of August I was invited to Romania to help renovate a building and to participate in some ceremonies there. In the second half of August me and my girlfriend Sonja want to scout land for building another base elsewhere in Serbia.

For the next 1-2 years I might also be somewhere around Serbia. In September we'll be travelling to France to help to arrange a psychology festival. And visit Portugal for a few things. Portugal is on the way to the Canary Islands and Capo Verde. We'll try to find a boat to cross the Atlantic.

Why we want to cross the Atlantic? In South America there are some specific tribes that hold interesting knowledge. The tribe is called Shipibo and they are living somewhere around the Amazon. They have a language that they weave into fabric. It's knowledge of sound and its interpretation. They have songs weaven into patterns that look much like semantics.

Semantics happen when something vibrates, for example water or a plank with sand. If you vibrate the plank or water in a certain frequency, the sand or water forms a pattern depending on the frequency.

I want to be able to interpret these patterns, reproduce them, and use them to create a language that I can use, interpret and share. It is a natural language that nature understands. It resonates not only between us humans, but between all living organisms, nature.

The Shipibo tribe has it. Their patterns are beautifully precise, similar to scientific semantic patterns. They sing them. Rhythms, melodies and invocations are important, not words. This is the knowledge I want to possess: to read those patterns, make and interpret them.

Pakistani Sufi music.

Put a bird into a cage for 10 generations. Observe after 10 generations how the bird behaves in the cage. You can't call that normal behaviour. The bird forgot its original behaviour.

I think we humans are pretty much the same. We have been encaged for so many years that we have no memory.

We fail to conceive who we are and what is our full potential.

It takes bravery, faith and trust to leave the cage.

The door of the cage is always open. The cage is in our head. It doesn't matter where are we. If we keep doing the same things, we are in the cage. But the cage is always open and we can choose differently and change. We can explore new things. We can leave the cage anytime we want.

But we don't leave because we lack bravery and heartfulness. We need to stop doing things we know and dive into the unknown. Many of us stay in their little bubbles because it's easier.

In my lifetime, if I can show an example of an alternative way, something that is much more beautiful and better for everybody, that would make me very happy.

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