Born in Vila Franca de Xira, a town north of Portugal’s capital Lisbon, Ryan never felt “100% Portuguese”. From a young age, he recalls telling his mum that – one day – he would like to move abroad. This desire to see and experience new things led the then 16-year-old to accept a scholarship to study in the United States.
“I always felt that I didn’t belong in Portugal and I was always outward looking – always quite ambitious in what I wanted to do.”
The scholarship, which was awarded by youth organisation AFS, gave Ryan the opportunity to live with an American family in Washington D.C. After a fulfilling year in D.C., Ryan returned to Europe to continue his studies. But this time he decided to move to Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, where he completed a degree in Theatre Studies and Politics.
Straight after graduation, Ryan packed his bags and moved to London – where he currently works in dramatherapy, a creative form of psychotherapy using theatre techniques to help people cope with various problems, including mental health issues. Ryan explains what dramatherapy is here.
London has been home for the past seven years, but Ryan doesn’t see himself living in the city for much longer. He is not sure where to go next – but one thing is certain: his mind is open to different possibilities.