Letters From Far Away
Letters From Far Away
5 journeys. Over 60 letters. Hundreds of Pictures. And a love story.
“You are the Hero of your own Story.” – Joseph Campbell
In the 1950’s a troubled Jack Kerouac hit the road and rediscovered the pleasures of driving across North America with all the freedom and poetic splendor that comes with it.
The Lost Generation in the 1920’s arrived in Europe to witness the mystery and excitement that swept the continent. In the early days of the 20th century George Orwell arrived at the steamy tropical forests of Southeast Asia looking for love and meaning.
In 2013, I and three friends left Boston only to stop in Los Angeles after 10 thousand miles done 3 months on the road, with countless stories to remember and many sleepless nights.
One year later I crossed the Adriatic and visited the Balkans, I partied in the streets of Bucharest, discovered secretive places in the Albanian-Macedonia border and had a gun pointed at me by gangsters in Elbasan!!
In 2012 I crossed all of Europe by train and just last year I spent an entire month exploring Thailand: I saw myself reflected in the eyes of a tiger, talked with real life incarnations of Buddha and found heaven on the beaches of Koh Phangan.
I assume that if you’re reading this then you know who I am. But in case you landed here God’s know how… My name is Joao Fernandes, (pronounced [ʒuˈɐ̃w) and I am a Portuguese traveler, life enthusiast and proud owner of a giant Newfoundland dog. Oh, I also write on my free time, which like 6 hours per day, every day, since I am 16 or so… So yeah, I do write A LOT.
Just after I came home from the Great American Road Trip I followed Kerouac’s footsteps and sat down to write about my glorious days on the American roads. After 10 painful months of writing and editing and writing some more I received a book proposal. I couldn’t believe it. My life dream of being a published author was about to come true. And so some months later there I was, signing copies and talking to crowds about my journey.
“When will it be available in English?”
This is the question you always asked me. I met many of you for the past 2 years and even though I always said “SOON.” I never had a definitive answer. To translate a whole book and publish it is no easy task. I was not sure when I was going to pull it. But then, in one Summer day, I started translating my book and writing new material as if guided by divine inspiration.
And right now is the time to announce my most rewarding project. Here I give you my “Letters From Far Away”.
For all that time I always had the answer right in front of me. After 7 years of exploring the world I have dozens of journals filled with entries, short stories, transcripts of conversations, personal thoughts and more.
Just look at this insanity! And this is only from the last 3 years!
I decided to share with you, my most vulnerable and authentic voice. In Letters From Far Away I am presenting you an unfiltered, with little to no editing series of stories. I wrote this as real, beautiful and authentic as my life on the road has been.
This is my independent, full me reply to the frustrations of the publishing world.
“Hmm, letters”…. you think.
Yes, my friend, letters. Follow me:
When was the last time you received a letter from a friend? No, I don’t mean an email, I am talking about a physical hand signed letter. Can you remember that?
If you are like me, you receive a FB message and ten minutes later you can’t recall what exactly it was about.
Nowadays we live in such fast paced and instantaneous world that there is no longer time for poetry and connection.
Can you remember how it feels to sit and spend five minutes with a piece of paper in your land, hearing your friends voice talking about his adventures in far away lands?
I want to take you in a whole new reading experience. I don’t want you to read it like a book, but as a personal conversation between to two of us. Each envelope contains a new piece of the puzzle, a unique perspective on the places and people that I’ve encountered.
This is the future of publishing for me, I am bringing letters to live and giving you a whole new experience. Was I the first to have this idea? I hope so!
I would love to talk with you about life, beauty and adventure in an authentic and true voice.
What are the letters about?
There are 5 greater themes, split by dozen of letters:
My background and my first solo trip, to Malta.
I will show you my hometown, talk about my background in a typical ugly suburban town and how it made me want more and discover the world. Then I will take you with me to the island of Malta, where I spent an entire week with as much as 130$ in my pocket. It was my first solo adventure and one that I will never forget. I learned a lot about being alone, kindness and making friends. And I was just 19, it sure seems like it was a lifetime ago…
My 7 months in Budapest and the many trips around Europe
I studied in Budapest for 7 months. From there I visited boring Bratislava and the classy Vienna. Then Bucharest and shortly after the freezing cold Krakow where I became Canadian for a night and only escaped from jail after bribing two huge Polish police officers. Budapest again and a lot of partying. Home for Christmas and only after 2 weeks of being in Budapest I hit the road again: Slovenia and Croatia were my destination. And well, what can I say
And well, what can I say about my journey back home? All by train from Budapest to Oporto during 3 weeks and 8 European capitals: from the over touristy Prague, to the freaky Berlin and the bad trips of Amsterdam and the re-encounter with Portugal in Brussels. Then Paris and finally taking the legendary Sud-Express from France to Lisbon on an overnight journey. Worth every penny!
The great North American Road Trip
What more can I say about this trip: 2 countries, 3 months, 21 States crossed from Boston to Los Angeles, 1 car, 4 friends and innumerable memories written from the open road. Come witness our sleepless nights and +17hours drives, the paranoia and the pure excitement, the great talks and friends that we (re)encountered on the road. The most legendary trip of them all! Here I tell you the best stories of this journey in a lot more personal and authentic way than I’ve ever written about it.
Italy, crossing the Adriatic sea and the Balkans
The Balkans are a fascinating area of the world. Split by religious, nationals and cultural differences it is difficult to feel bored in this part web of societies. From the Neapolitan coast of Italy I took a train to Bari and then a ferry-boat to Montenegro, one of the roughest nights of my life: shared the boat floor with Kosovar peasants and an 81-year-old New Zealander backpacker. Then it was Podgorica, the less European capital of the European capitals, cracked my skull open and thought that it was it… Then the sunny coast, down south to Albania and what bizarre days those were: from the weed smelly Tirana to the ugly and gangster Elbasan. Passed the border on foot and then the paradise of Ohrid. Bulgaria? Fell in love. Bucharest? Fun, fun, fun and finally my second home Budapest.
My 18 hours in Moscow, 30 days in Thailand and meeting Buddha
Moscow for one day. Arrived jet legged at Bangkok with no map and no idea where to go. Got lost in the ghetto of Southeast Asia’s largest city. Paid 14$ for a 12 hours trip, 1st class seat on my way to Chiang Mai, in the process destroyed a friendship and created a short love story. Then I saw the entire universe in the eyes of tiger, later on the same day I met Buddha… for real!
4 tropical islands in 2 weeks: too many parties, too many Long Island Iced Teas and sunbathed at the most beautiful beach in the world:
How do I receive my letters?
If you want to come with me and discover these 5 great adventures, I suggest you click ORDER below. Once these letters are gone, I won’t print anymore. So yeah, it’s a limited edition.
The bad news? 7 of the 100 available boxes are already reserved and gone. (There are people who paid for these as soon as I told them about the project).
As I told you these are physical, printed and hand signed letters. Every single package is unique and irreplaceable. In each package, there are way over 50 photos, dozens of envelopes, hundreds of letters and I will including a handwritten postcard and a card that will grant you access to hundreds of travel photos and videos.
The good news? There are still 93 of these that can be shipped across the globe and delivered at your door, just for you.
Do you want to see something funny? This is my basement, it looks like a Staples shop exploded in it. There are envelopes everywhere, boxes all over the place, 8,000+ sheets of paper, plastic baggies, shipping labels and all sorts of other crap laying around:
Your box with the Letters From Far Away will start to be shipped on the 20th of November and arrive at your doorstep soon after it.
For 25$ you will receive something REAL that will stay with you forever. It won’t be just a book, it will be a topic of conversation with your friends, it is a chance to have a unique piece in your bookshelf.
And hey, Christmas is around the corner. You can also get one of these to a loved one,
Here are some testimonials on my PT book:
“Joao is a young man full of purpose and with no fear, he knows what he wants and where he is going. Beyond that you can tell that there is a great thirst of knowledge, of exploring and of telling us his adventures.10 Thousand Miles is an incredible travel books that tell us a lot more. Recommended!” – Nuno Lobito, NG Photographer, 5th Most Traveled Man in The World
“10 Thousand Miles is like a fresh breeze in the market of travel books. Joao makes us go with him in an emotional journey, making us want to read the next page, always the next page.” – Luisa Maria, Editor
“It’s a book that makes us dream and travel, you can’t miss it.” – Maria Pedreira, Editor
“A good book, very well written and a enjoyable read. From dawn to sunset, this is a wild adventure through North America. A great and fearless accomplishment, characteristic from the youth.” – Manuel Dias, Author
“What Joao did with this book is remarkable, we feel that we are right there with him. And he actually did it, he traveled through Norht America and then he came to tell us the story. After the first pages I already felt that I was with him in the airplane, I wanted to talk with him and to know more about his thoughts. That’s the magic of this book: make us believe that every mile has its own story.” – Renata Moniz, Blogger
“A brilliant book. I write the entire 441 pages in less than a week. What Joao did with this book is similar to what Kerouac did in the 50’s to his beatnick generation. Joao’s voice and story is the modern day diary of what traveling really is about. A book filled with poetry, beauty and great philosophy.” – Marisa Oliveira, Author
“An excellent book that you read very fast! Reccomended” – Gonçalo Martins, Publisher