The Below Deck Mediterranean alum reflected on how far he's come and what's next for him in a post on Instagram on June 23. "I had it all. I lost it all. I chose not to let my poor circumstances turn into excuses. Making my mind up to becoming the person I have decided to be was the first step. Applying myself and investing in myself has been very rewarding and all it took was a change in mindset," João wrote. "Decide on a path and walk it!! Appreciate those backing you all the way."
The photo featured in the post showed João posing with all of the many certificates — "and still counting!" he noted — that he has earned in his four years in yachting so far. "This is my round two to becoming successful," João also shared in the post. "Round one was great! But this time I’m happy."
João previously gave an update on how he's doing in his new sober lifestyle while self-quarantined in South Africa in a video on his Instagram posted on April 10. "Firstly, in this quarantine, and since I said I'm not drinking, I have not had a single drink. It's been fantastic. I'm not going to tell you that it's easy for everyone, but it has been easy for me," João said. "I believe that once I made my mind up in not drinking, it's been really easy to stick onto it, partly because I'm probably super stubborn and also because I feel that it's not really that I had an issue with drinking; I feel that my mindset was that I never wanted to stop. And now in making a decision in when to stop, it hasn't been so difficult to stop entirely. So that's been great."
What has been "really tough," João said, is being apart from his fiancée, Michelle Dicu, who lives in New York. "She was two days short of visiting me and coming top South Africa to spend this time with me. She was working at the time," João said in the video. "Yeah, we missed our window by two days, but positivity is strong within us. And we all know that people around us have it worse, and we [are] very lucky."
João has been using this time to tackle new challenges, such as building a car, which he has used the money he would have spent on drinking to pay for. "It has been extremely challenging, but my stubbornness will not let it get the [best] of me," he said. "And I will complete it, and I will show you guys what I've done and how I built a car from scratch."
João, who took on his first job as a captain following Season 4 of Below Deck Med, has also been productive while in self-quarantine, studying to become even more knowledgable in all things maritime. "I believe that if I can't be on the water, I will learn more about the water, learn more about being a captain and the management side of things, learn more about the weather," he said. "Hopefully, I become an absolute guru in the theory, rules, and regulations, so that I can put it into practice when I come out of this alive and kicking and healthy."
The former bosun remarked how "not waking up a single day in almost 3 months with a hangover has been AWESOME" and showed his dedication to sticking to a new diet in a post showing off his new shorter 'do published on Instagram on May 19.
He also shared a little more about how he and his fiancée have been getting through self-quarantine apart. "All that’s missing in my life right now - my beautiful lady [Michelle] who is MILES away. We’ll get through it though!" João wrote. "I hope all those separated from their loved ones realise that it’s hard to be apart but it is temporary and would be harder to not have each other at all. We play backgammon and do yoga together online! She kicks my ass at both!"
In a more recent Instagram post from earlier this month, João revealed how he stays focused even when times are tough. "Hours on hours of studying. Every time I hit a mental block and information stops sinking in, I make a coffee, stand outside, watch the ocean and remind myself why!" he said. "And I get back to it!"
Want more Below Deck Med? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.
See what's coming up for the Season 5 crew, below.
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