My Story

Overview

I am a world traveler impact entrepreneur and I was born in 1979 in a former fishing village in the North of Portugal called Matosinhos. I am the co-founder of the zero waste travel lifestyle brand No Footprint Nomads and I work with Digital Marketing to help the Eco-Accommodations of this world to thrive and increase their impact in our society.

I spent most of my youth in Matosinhos and Porto where I started my college studies and then moved for two years to Sweden to finish my Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. I then moved back to Porto and started my career in Logistics in the Textil Industry before moving to Public Hospitals where I worked with Procurement and Public tenders while implementing the electronic procedures European Union was forcing on all countries.

I then decided to leave everything behind and slowly travel the world with Sara. The plan was to live for some months in different continents for less than 2 years in total. But after 10 years on the road or living in a different country we have realised we want to have a location independent lifestyle. I now call myself a nomad (other name for location independent) because I am not sure where I am going to be living next year and I’m not in a hurry to decide, and most of my income comes from online work.

After all the years on the road we decided to invest in online businesses so we could have income while living whenever we wanted. We have decided to focus on making travel more sustainable and accessible to everyone, and started the No Footprint Nomad journey. 

Personal

I was born in a relatively small town (100k) in the North of Portugal, called Matosinhos,  from both Portuguese parents. For primary school I went to a local private school but moved to a public school for high school. Luckily I suffered no bulling and no financially restrictions, which allowed me to have a peaceful (too much?) time while having the usual safe kid’s life. 

I had a chance to visit most of the country and every summer we would go to spend 3 months in Evora (my second home in Portugal) and some weeks in Algarve, our famous beach destination. 

During all my youth my parents owned a retail pharmacy  (my mother and sister are both pharmacists) were I spent many hours doing my homework and playing with the staff. Sometimes we even spent new year’s eve there because by law one pharmacy needed to be open to the public 24 hours. 

Was really an happy time which I only have good memories and good friends.

 I was lucky to have access to the first Personal Computers from IBM early on and I got addicted right away. I still remember the big white heavy box and watching the first rudimentary windows to load on the screen. I started to play computer games for long hours until I was stoped by my parents, and I have to admit I spent part of my youth playing Civilization and Railroad Tycoon. 

While the first one teaches you about history and world facts (I knew about the world wonders way before all my colleagues), the second one was a very realistic cut-throat style economic game which taught me a lot about capitalism and competition. Even today I still believe games can be amazing tools of education and have on my life goals to create a game that inspires people to plan our bright future.

As you can see by the picture, the game competition bug is still alive. 🙂

 Sports has always been present in my life, and I did two of them in a competitive fashion, managing to represent Portugal in a European competition. (L’Equipe Portuguese National Sailors on the picture)

I’ve always loved football, and I while I was trying to convice my parents to let me join a local team, my father took me one day with my cousin to a Sailing tour, and I was hooked. All the way to my 15 I sailed every single weekend in different divisions and travelled a lot with it. 

After 15 I was burned out and decided to change to my third passion: tennis. I was a little too old for any expectations but I did participate in some national championships and tournaments. 

I still enjoy playing tennis but not as much as football which I never stopped playing until today. 

I started my Engineering degree at Oporto Faculty of Engineering in 97 and 4 years later moved to Sweden following the Erasmus European Program. Erasmus is probably one of the major benefits of European Union existence as it is responsible for thousands of college students to travel and live in different societies.

 I was one of the lucky ones and after one year in Sweden I applied to a full Master’s program and stayed one more year. Living in Sweden was the first life changing moment in my life, leaving my confort zone of Porto’s mono culture (in 2002 it was not the cosmopolitan city it’s becoming now) and living in a completely different society surrounded by people from all over the world was completely mind blowing. 

The travel and curiosity seed was planted and I would never be the same person again.

One of my life goals is to help the gap year or student exchange practice to grow around the world and Portugal in particular, and I have some ideas for that already.

Work

My first work opportunity after returning from Sweden was a trainee program at Coelima, a Textil company at vale do Ave, not far from the historical city of Guimaraes. 

After 6 months were we had the chance to learn about all the departments (that’s the idea behind the trainee programs) I was offered a position as the deputy to the Logistics director and I have to admit I was very lucky with that appointment. 

I had a lot of responsibility and work to do early on during a massive logistics transformation with automation implemented by an external logistics consultancy company. I also had the nicest and most respectful people to work with which taught me loads and probably shaped my approach to work for the rest of my life. 

Some years later I was hunted by Oporto Business School to work in a major transformation logistics project on a Public Hospital in Viana do Castelo, a port town 1 hour away from home.

It was a great work culture shock because I became a service provider, I was not actually working for the entity I was putting my work on and that was really strange in the beginning. 

The project was a great success and I learned to enjoy the opportunity to grow faster by being a consultant where you can focus more on the big picture and less on the nitty gritty of everyday operation. 

The consultancy was so sucesseful that the Hospital decided to hire me to head the new challenge posted by the European Union directives: to digitalize all the processed of public tenders for effienccy and accountability. 

There I was in an public hospital with the task of chaging old habits and make everything happen on a computer and not on a paper. It was fun, and at the end we become one of the first public entities in Portugal fully digital for Procuremet.

Fast forward to our world travel first stop: London, and an operations management job with DHL who had just won the public tender to manage the hospital logistics of Guy’s and Saint Thomas, one of the biggest Hospitals in the country. 

My challenge was to take over the deliveries operation inside the hospital and make it work as smoothly as possible so that DHL did not loose their contract. 

My first real experience working abroad (I did work as a professor assistant back at my Masters in Sweden) and dealing with completely different cultures as most of my staff was African. We did not loose the contract and I ended up taking over another operation at St. Mary’s Hospital. Happy days. 

After we moved to Brazil I got a job working for one of the infamous big 4, Ernst and Young , in the Supply Chain department. A dream come true for any consultant right? 

This time was to deal with big clients like Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Goods and to manage complex projects of network optimisation where decisions had to be made where the best location for new units was. 

Considering Brazil has one of the most complex tax systems in the world, something that could be as simple as choosing to place your warehouse close your demand became an almost impossible problem to solve. 

Was a very challenging job that I mostly enjoyed for getting back to the consultant viewpoint.

After EY I decided it was time to start my own projects and become an entrepreneur. But after our travels and our commitment to sustainability it had to be something with a positive impact.   

I co-founded Clube Greens that later changed the name to Greens Market with 3 more guys and it was an awesome learning experience. Like 90% of all startups ours did not survive too, but I learned so much about it that I decided not to work with startups anymore. 🙂 

At least not in the total bootstrapping model we did because we depend too much on investment that ultimately will own us, not a good feeling. Time to move on

After Clube Greens I decided together with Sara that we would really like to promote the travelling bug to everyone on the planet and also inspire to travel in a more sustainable way. 

Bring Zero Waste and Travel together and you get No Footprint Nomads. Started in 2017 this project gave me the experience to develop my Digital Marketing skills, specially SEO and Content Strategy which I could apply on other projects and work. 

This brand is now the linchpin for our other related projects like the E-commerce store and consultancy work.

Taking our eco travel and digital marketing experience together I decided to focus on eco-hotels to make travel more sustainable. 

Partnering with an SEO agency was the logical move so together we can provide the services to make green accommodations to thrive making traveling a lower impact activity. 

We also want to help hotel owners to transition to Green Certification preferably with Green Key International. 

The Future

I’m a am very optimistic about our future as race, and being a fully-hearted Trekkie and world traveller I dream with a borderless world where capital is not relevant anymore and we thrive as individuals to improve ourselves and our race.

We are very far from that reality but I believe we need to consciously do the right steps now so we do not jeopardise our future. More important than the climate change discussion is air pollution, plastic pollution, soils pollution and other similar impact’s our society already has. If we tackle them we will not need to think about climate change so much, it will probably stop being an issue.

I don’t consider myself left wing or right wing, innovation and private property are in my opinion crucial for our development and evolution as a species, but inequality and minimum means to live are also very relevant so that we reduce people’s suffering. Both sides of the political aisle lack the ideas to the society I believe in, so I try to catch the best of both worlds.

Protopia (from the book Moral Arc) is how our society is evolving and my plan to help the world is to:

  • Make travel a commodity, if this was a reality how different our society would be (tolerance, respect, community, etc.)
  • Help travellers and travel businesses have a net zero impact  
 
A zero net carbon borderless society will be such an inspiring race to be found by whatever is out there! 🙂