In March of 1996 myself and two friends left the land of Brazil, en-route to an adventure that would change our lives forever. As teenagers, my buddies and I had spent the previous year planning an intrepid ‘roughcut’ journey, destination Middle East. All plans were well organised and set. Fate took a hand however and a last minute change resulted in the three of us arriving in Australia. With little planning, we were armed with backpacks and about $1,000 cash in our pockets. We wondered if it would be enough for our one year adventure the had been dreaming of for so long?
Australia seemed so distant, so different, and so magic!! We worked in casual jobs from fruit picker (tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers etc.) to kitchen hand, anything we could get we would take. We lived from hand to mouth, but what invigorating, adventure filled times we had! From Melbourne to Perth we travelled. The spectacular, scorched outback we crossed. We lived in the world of the backpacker, soaking up the Australian lifestyle and enjoying parties. From the world of the South American student it was the realisation of a dream … 1 year in the exotic landscape of Australia.
I had to experience the world, learn new things and Australia was not enough any longer. Living cheaply, from Australia to many of the Asia Pacific islands was just a natural evolution of my journey.
This was the only time in my life where technology was not my hobby or work; and it’s interesting for me to reflect on this time where I was not defined by my interest or profession.
I was one of this group of friends and ever since my departure back to Brazil, I dreamed about going back to Australia, settling and building my life in that beautiful country.
I dutifully went back to Brazil worked hard and climbed up the corporate career ladder. I had a great lifestyle and friends, but the dream of going back to Australia never left my mind. 12 long years passed until the day that the American company I was working in Brazil, gave me the opportunity to be relocated to Sydney to work as an Engineer. I was then the IT Manager for Brazil and a position as an Engineer would be a step back in my professional career but I didn’t need to think twice – the decision was made – some times a step back is necessary to take two steps forward. I decided to pack and move! After the transition to my new role, thankfully, it was not long before I was rewarded and promoted to Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia I had settled into a great lifestyle. The greatest miracle is that in this country I found the girl of my dreams and we married in 2007! (Like in all great stories there is room for love!).
Forever looking for enriching opportunities I moved into the world of virtualization and cloud computing, travelled more and started sharing my knowledge through a personal blog, getting involved with the tech community and hosting podcasts.
It was not long after that another dream, to work in Silicon Valley, knocked on my door (well, more like I knocked on the door). Being in Silicon Valley was like learning technology and entrepreneurism from the fire hose; so many interesting people from all over the world, so much aspiration to build something meaningful; to advance the world through technology.
From technology consumer to vendor, then to the start-up world was just a natural consequence of my constant search for enrichment and new experiences.
I have written about working for a start-up ”The truth about working for a Startup”. This post however, is not about work; and certainly not about start-ups; but about me and about always pursuing dreams and sharing your passion with the world.
My name is Andre Leibovici and this is my story. I have found it to be true that positive thoughts and hard work takes you all the way to where you want to be. I still have a ton of dreams to fulfil. Now about that boating adventure…
There are many people who helped me along the way; so special thanks to Marcelo, Andre, Rebecca, Tom, Chad, Scott, Sudheesh and Dheeraj.
If you would like to learn more about Silicon Valley I recommend a book a good friend gave me Starting Up Silicon Valley: How ROLM Became a Cultural Icon and Fortune 500 Company.
This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net