Who am I and what I am doing.
I am Chilean by birth, from Talca in central Chile. Since I was a child I’ve loved nature and the peace that I find being in the outdoors and up in the mountains. Growing up near the Andes was an advantage and offered really good options to go out into nature and specially up the high mountains from time to time.
After 5 years of education at the university in Talca I graduated as Bioinformatic Engineer. It was hard but I did it with no major trouble and in time. People always told me I was going to be succesful in this field. I thought so too, university was difficult but not terrible. However in all honesty I’ve always felt that I had to do something else; pursue my true happiness and what I truly wanted in life. Spending my time outside and in direct contact with nature made me happy. I had to do something to do it, eventually.
When I used to mention this, my elders would tell me that it was just a period of time in life and that everybody would go through this at some point, but that eventually the feeling would go away. Well, it didn’t.
After my graduation I started to work in a field not related to my studies but of great interest to me; renewable energies. I worked with a small local company for some months (thanks Christoph!), but then the student debt caught me and a good offer showed up. I moved from my town to the capital, Santiago de Chile, where I had found a job in multinational German company. I had a stable job, a jiucy and good salary, and a nice place to live in. I had access to good food, a good bed and basically I could buy whatever I wanted; PS3, new computer, bicycles, mountain gear, whatever. I could travel wherever I wanted to, of course, given the holiday breaks and depending on the worload. But the city I moved to and the way of living was not the right for me. The pollution of the city and the hectic life kept bothering me everyday. My guts told me to go outside that city, seek for something else.
I started to look for options.
What about doing a PhD? People said that would be a great option. Maybe somewhere in Europe, Norway perhaps? Oh dear Norway, it would have been lovely to go back. They needed engineers over there and I could start living from the scratch. Yeah, it sounded right, but expensive.
What about Germany? As I was working in a German company it didn’t seem difficult to jump from the company to a PhD. For sure on my way back I would keep working at the same place, higher salary, higher position, more responsibilities, yeah, way to go in the ladder of the industry.
And Canada? It has beautiful nature, mountains, lakes, pretty much as Norway but not that expensive, really tempting.
I meditated a while on the ideas. Several weeks actually, but then, after some time I realized I would end up doing pretty much the same I was doing at that moment, but with higher salary, more responsibilities, and with less time for myself and for what I truly wanted. It didn’t feel right.
OK, stop, enough.
In early 2013 I decided that I had enough. What do I truly desire? What if money was no object? (thanks Allan). Well, if money was not the goal, I would do it like our ancestors did. At young age they would travel to far away lands and learn as much as they could on the way; how people lived in those places, how to work hard and how to earn good reputation and respect by doing the right thing. If I did that I could learn jobs I had never imagined I would do, and actually learn from life, and live. Something that university doesn’t really teach, at least not in Chile, how to live. In that moment I decided I had to quit and go travel across the continent.
I wasn’t sure how to do it, but after cycling for over 3 years in the big city I realized that traveling by bicycle might be one of the best ways to do it. It was cheap, not too fast to miss things and not as slow as walking. I had seen other bicycle travelers before but never really given it a serious thought. But now it sounded like the way to do it.
It took me several months to gear up and come up with a plan; to ride through South America and take 2 years off from the system. Enough time to clear up my head and finally go back with renovated energies to work. I gave notice at work. I sold all my city-life stuff. I gave away things I didn’t want to sell. Fought my inner fears. And finally, between Christmas and new year’s eve I said my farewells and left Santiago.
Life taught me that the plan there is to follow is that there is no plan at all. After 2 months I wasn’t going through South America anymore but I kept heading south towards Patagonia. I wanted to experience snow and winter like in Norway but in the south of Chile, the extreme south, so I just kept pushing it south despite the warning that I would get trapped there for the winter. I didn’t care.
After four months of travel, I ended up living in Punta Arenas. Working here, working there, traveling here and there too. Riding bicycle, driving car, traveling by boat, by plane, by bus, by car. Learning to work in the field, up in the mountains, down under the sea, deep into the sub antarctic forests, as guide for several activities, managing a hostel, doing logistics for expeditions and sport events, taking care of a lighthouse, as IT guy, at a ski center, I did many many different things. I explored the most remote places there are, lived on the extremes. I became a mercenary job seeker. Whatever life threw at me, if it sounded right I would catch it and take the best out of it. I fell in love with someone too and life changed completely. But all in all I always knew that I had to keep the journey at some point and never hid it from anyone. It didn’t feel like home and I had to move out at some point.
Three years later (2017) I left the city, again. This time northwards and again with the bicycle. I traveled all of Patagonia back to my starting point, Santiago, but not to live there again, no, as a pit stop. A reunion with old friends and with what I left behind at the end of 2013. Just a brief stop to keep on wards north where I am now. On my way north and on my own.
I am traveling northwards. I want to reach Alaska at some point.
I’m not really sure why, I am just following my instinct.
I have no idea.
With my bicycle.
Do I have a budget or savings?
Not at all.
Will I follow the Panamerican highway?
Part of it yes, but It’s not a direct route what I am following, I am following the way life shows me.
What do I have then?
Some money in the bank, enough for a couple of months at least. Some experience in traveling and in remote areas. Some experience working here and there doing whatever. Some languages inside my head. Some skills that most people is unaware of. And the most important of them all the utter desire to live freely and live what actually makes me happy, being outside and in direct contact with mother nature.
I take pictures, I make postcards, I write stories, and many other things. I have been capturing with my camera things I see and experience for a while now and I think it’s time to start sharing some of those experiences and pictures.
About this website
I created this website with the idea of sharing my experiences as photograph and stories. I started this journey to pursue my happiness 4 years ago and I have enough to tell and share. This is not a blog or a travel dairy, not at all. I won’t be sharing what has been going on in my life in detail, as for that there are plenty of bloggers around to follow. I will be sharing stories from the road, that may have happened 3 years ago or yesterday. Funny things or shocking things. Experiences with the police and the countryside man from the mountain. Weird stories of lights in the sky and of amazing events that have happened and fill you with faith. All things that are real and actually happened. I will be also sharing my work in photography, the encounters I have with nature and the amazing things that happen when you are living in this way. All in all, life is really funny and amazing, and living in this way has taught me that there is a reason to live and to enjoy, specially if you do what you love.
If you like what I share here let me know. Send a message to my email. I will gladly reply to it. If you don’t like what I share let me know too. It’s always good to have feedback and not just compliments.