My name is Paulo Renato de Athaydes. I live in Stockholm, Sweden, with my lovely girlfriend, Natallia Pashkevich.

Our little home is located in Viggbyholm, which is a suburb of Stocholm at the margins of an arm of the Baltic Sea a dozen kilometers north of Stockholm, with a lot of green areas and lakes. The lakes freeze during winter and provide excellent skiing opportunites, and during summer it's possible to swim if you don't mind pretty chili water.

I moved to Sweden in August 2012. Not long ago... here's is really shortened story of how I ended up here!


Sao Paulo City

I was born in Sao Paulo/SP, Brazil. I moved with my family to Braganca Paulista, just an hour north, in my early teens, and lived most of my early life between these two cities. That's because after high school, I went to study in Sao Paulo and graduated from "Faculdade de Tecnologia de Sao Paulo, FATEC/SP" in the year 2000 with a diploma of "Metchatronics Technology". That feels like an eternity ago!
Before graduating, though, I had a band called Seventh Key, playing the keyboards in which were probably some of the best years of my life! Travelling around with our closest 40 friends to play in different towns in a bus provided by our sponsors, the Camanducaia Municipality (I went to this tiny town every weekend for years just to play), was plain awesome! However, we were not making that much money so I decided, after a lot of thought, to start taking my studies seriously and quit the band. It was a sad moment. Some of the guys are still playing today, I wonder what my life would look like if I had decided to stay on... this website would look a lot different, that's for sure!

After finishing college, I worked with Industrial Automation for a couple of years before deciding that this was not what I really wanted to do. I saved some money, asked my employers no fire me (it was common in Brazil to ask to be fired so you could get some cash before leaving) and, after figuring out a way to get a visa, moved to Sydney, Australia, in search of better opportunities, but mostly, looking for adventure!

Sydney Harbour

And adventure did I find! From the start, I had a great time in Sydney, lots of travels, parties, and although I remember only vaguely now, quite a lot of hard work as well... but soon after I finished my studies there (something related to business) I was offered a pretty decent job in Industrial Automation (because there's no way in hell I would be able to, or want to, get a job in business!) just over 1,000 Km south-west, in Adelaide, and off I went to South Australia, the Festival State!

Adelaide is a nice town! Not like Sydney, with its splendour, busy night life and incredible beauty kind-of-way... just nice... it has nice beaches on the West, nice hills over the west, some pretty good-looking parks and even some nice bars and restaurants. But it's just not.... great. But at least things were a little cheaper and with a better salary, I could afford much more (but I ended up spending most of what I made travelling anyway).

Anyway, I felt like it was time for me to start doing something that I really felt great about doing.That's where I decided to go back to university, Flinders University, to be precise, and get a Computer Science degree. I had always been a programmer in my heart, so I thought it was time for me to start doing that properly. It took a lot of effort to juggle full-time work with near full-time studies, but it was worth it. I did get my degree and, most importantly, a lot of knowledge!

After finishing University, I was keen to become some kind of academic and going for an Honours degree, which my University offered me due to my good results, then a Phd!! However, soon after starting Honours I realized nobody cared about what I was trying to do (something about using Adaptive Business Intelligence techniques to write decision-making software, which I still think is really interesting, and hope to blog about in my site soon) and I could get heaps more money doing some "real" work... I was already working as a "cadet" software developer, so it was pretty easy to decide to quit my Phd-dream and just let life take its course. 

Around the world

In the mean time, I found ways to travel quite a lot: I visited all Australian states (except the Northern Territory, which, yes I know, is NOT a state but covers much of northern Australia and I still regret not finding time to go to), went to visit my high-school-band-years friends who now live near Nagoya (and are still part-time musicians by the way!), in Japan, some friends from Germany whom I had met in Sydney, and visit some other more or less random countries every time I went back to visit my relatives in Brazil (Hong Kong/China, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Spain, Italy and Holland)!

Around the world


Nat and I

Then my sister came to live in Adelaide as well... she was quick to find a new boyfriend (she had broken up with her fiance just before leaving Brazil) and, as the guy was originally from Poland, they decided to have a huge Polish wedding in Krakow! I think I felt a little strange that my younger sister was getting married before me... so I decided to look at online dating websites... as I was going to my sister's wedding in Poland, I ended up contacting a few girls from nearby countries... the first one I talked to would become my future partner. I went to visit her in Minsk, Belarus, after my sister's wedding (I still strive not to eat too much after the ridiculously huge double-3-course-meals served in the wedding) and knew she was the one!

So far, no mention of Sweden in the story! Well, Natallia had a Master degree from Umea University, in Sweden... and she was offered a Phd at Stockholm University, which she accepted soon after I met her in Minsk. I decided to come to visit her for a few months in Stockholm, and as I fell in love with both her and the city, after arranging all the paperwork and getting rid of my stuff in Adelaide, booked a ticket to the Scandinavian capital and never looked back.
But not before having the nicest holiday with Nat travelling around the Australian outback and Sydney.


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