Tales From the road; AroundGaia

Tales from the road will introduce travelers, Overlanders and people with that desire to push the limits. We will pick their brain and figure out what makes them tick.

This edition we welcome an adventurous couple, exploring the world tougher. That’s Ivana and Manu going everywhere on two wheels and even on four wheels now. If you don’t know who they are I suggest checking out their Insta AroundGaia.

On a hot Andalusia evening after a long day in the hospital, Ivana and Manu are seated side by side at the dinner table trying to answer the impossible question of what country they liked the most. On the 10th of August exactly 10 years ago they started to travel together. Back then They worked in the summer seasons on Mykonos island, Greece as artisans in there off season they would travel South America and parts of Southeast Asia. After almost 10 years on the road and with more adventures that I can count, they are this evening in their apartment in Sevilla, Spain Talking to me on Skype. The only reason why they aren’t exploring the world at this very moment is that Manu was diagnosed with blather cancer last year, they had to radically switch their plans. While having to stay for a longer time in one place they are definitely not wasting there time! Just 10 days ago they returned from Morocco where they were exploring with there trusted motorcycle an Yamaha xt660 Tenere. 

Wasting time is not in Manu or Ivana’s nature if asked how Ivana would describe Manu she starts unloading “he is crazy, he is crazy” But why she remarks “ because he never stops, he is never tired, He is a nonstop person, always on twenty-four seven!


How would you, Manu describe Ivana Then?

Manu: Well, I don’t know yea maybe she made me find the balance maybe, whiteout her things are not wright. I don’t know what to say. Maybe since we are together… ah, i had a good time before also haha. No, since we are together we get big projects done! Easily because I am very enthusiastic and dynamic and sometimes you have to stop. 

Oke just, for example, you guys were riding a road somewhere in the world and in this road would lead to a fork. One road leading to the left and one leading to the right who would choose the direction to take.

Manu: Ivana chooses towards more safety with more people around, more  villages.

Ivana: And he chose the opposite, the more sandy road the more mud road.

Manu: No no, I like to put myself in a situation where I need to find a solution myself not where the solutions are easy. 

Haha, oke so let’s say the road on the right is full of deep mud and it’s really challenging. on the contrary, the left road is safer, there are more people easer to travel what road do you guys chose?

Manu: I try to hide this information from her if she doesn’t know she goes! Once you are there she can cry, scream but we are already there, afterward, she enjoys it more then I do. she is proud we made it through the experience.

Ivana: No after breaking my leg I don’t want to. I am a little afraid of dirt road with sand, I just feel different sitting behind on the bike on those roads. if I fall down again I would break something again.

Manu: Broken leg no problem!! we can fix it, broken legs are very easy!

Hahaha, you have been traveling now for almost 10 years are there any moments you are where apart in those 10 years? 

Manu: No for the time we are together we always have to be at each other’s side. a (normal couple sees each other maybe 3 hours a day) but we do everything together we work together to eat, sleep everything!

But when working together who does what? like when you go camping who does the tent? who makes coffee?

Manu: I make everything my friend! I do cooking I make coffee.

Ivana: He does all those things when he wakes up at 5am, he is fresh and I am not

Manu: I do everything, but no Ivana is good at finding a place to sleep, to stay with people she is very communicative this she does very well.

Ivana: Yes, I find jobs I find places to sleep, I find a solution for everything. He only makes coffee and dinner.

Manu: Yes I do all the hard jobs, she doesn’t make coffee. I do everything, al the hard jobs. she is better at selling I am better at producing. 

Alright Manu is the workhorse, if I may ask Manu how old are you now?

Manu: I am Thirty-seven 

And Ivana how old are you then?

Ivana: thirty-three i already have white hair you see.

Haha would you say people miss things if they would not travel:

Manu: the perception of people in other places, you can imagine how people are in different country’s, cultures but when you go there and find that it is different, your perception changes it was not like you imagined. what changes as we are your priority’s when you don’t travel for many people it is important to have a new smartphone or new car if you travel you don’t want those things.

Ivana: You wear the same t-shirt for weeks, you don’t put as much value on material stuff you invest more in experiences.

Could you tell me the funniest travel experience you had?

Just from the top of your head, the first thing that comes to mind!

Manu: Mmm… Oke yea I remember now one, I would not say it is the funniest or anything but oke. So we were in Sudan by the Nile river and we were going all the way to Egypt, there is not a lot of population only small villages next to the river and we stayed there to sleep. In this remote area the local people to survive, it is very important that people have children. There is no option for a young couple to be married for many years and to decide to not have children, that’s no option. So when this happens they see a couple without children the automatically think there is a problem. They involve the whole community into this problem. So for us how to explain this that this is very normal where we come from. it’s very difficult they speak Nubian not even Arabic.

Ivana: They asks you are married? yes, You don’t have babies? No

Manu: They throughout that I was doing something wrong when we’re going to sleep they showed us the room where we had our bed. But he locked the door and sits in front of the bed and said oke “start”.

Ivana: yes he said; “you guys now now baby, my house now baby!”

Manu: We said to him we have been riding all day and we want to sleep and explained it this way, But yea funny story yes.

Haha Yes, that is a pretty funny story!

How do you feel now about your situation with blather cancer?

Manu: I don’t mind to die with twenty or thirty years! I just want to do the things I like to do with the time I have. Imagine me with a dream but every year I tell myself no next year or when I have kids and a house and I wait and wait. Suddenly cancer happens and my idea never started, Now I don’t have any time. Yes, I would get depressed!

Even my cancer comes from my travel, but I never regret it! If you would tell me this on the first day of traveling that I would see the world, have many different experiences meet allot of different people and cultures but you will finish with cancer would you do it or not? I am sure, I would do it! 

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Post by Mister.T

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