The Don QuiJote of Buenos Aires

February 1st, 2007
by Thomas Tomczyk

[private] Few people ever end up doing something they spent countless nights dreaming about. Ivan is doing just that, and doing that in the name of everyone. Traveling across continents on a motorcycle is everyone’s dream, from a robber to a rich banker.

v5-2-Interview-Don QuijoteWith long, blond hair and sad eyes Ivan is a traveling philosopher. He exemplifies this Don Quixote spirit that lives in all of us. Like the medieval hero he has impressed even Mexican robbers, who after a brief attempt to rob him started a conversation about how it is to travel on a motorcycle. The evening ended with the robbers inviting Ivan for a beer.

30-years-old Ivan studied law at University of Buenos Aires and was supposed to follow into his family’s footsteps and become a lawyer. His grand father was a lawyer, his father and brother are lawyers, but Ivan wanted to be someone different.

In 2004 he flew with his Honda Trans Alp from Buenos Aires to Seattle. And rode it north to Alaska and then headed south through Canada, US and Mexico to Central America. Zigzagging south he supported himself by selling post cards, tee-shirts and taking photos of tourists. Ivan is not just a traveler, he has developed a philosophy of moving from place to place. We caught up with him in West End where he is taking a diver’s instructor course.

Why Not? If you ask people what they would like to do they always tell these really great things. Why do they don’t do it?
First Step: I am not so different from anyone else in the society. That difference is the first step I took. That step is the most difficult to take.
Father: I sat family all together and told them about the motorcycle trip to America I always dreamed of. My father said: ‘OK. Let’s go to eat because our food is getting cold.’ Nobody believed me.
Doubt: You get many moments where you doubt yourself, but if you keep on going you find that things are falling into place.
Fear: The worst enemy in life is fear.
Loneliness: Loneliness and recognizing your fears and the ability to confront your fears is the key.
Self Sufficiency: Loneliness is the best and the worst thing in my trip. Testing loneliness is great, but I don’t know if I really want to become self sufficient- to not need no one in my life.
Faith: I discovered having faith is trusting your road and your instincts. You don’t know where you are going to end-up.
Where am I? Everyone wants to know where you are going to be in five years, in ten years. I fight with that. I think about that, but most important for me is where I am right now.
Where am I going? I don’t know where I am going to end up and that makes my life more interesting.
Following your Instincts: I know if I follow my instincts and follow what I really want every day I know I will be OK.
Flexibility: Many times I would arrive at a place without a place to stay, money. Having desperate for getting something is not good. If you are flexible, you might get much better things.
Real Travel: If I did this with a lot of money, staying at big hotels and fancy restaurants, maybe I would never got to know one real person.
Learning: One of the best places you can get to in life is knowing that everything is going to teach you something. No matter how difficult that experience might be.
Contact: Someone left me a note on my website: ‘never give-up because what you are doing is not your dream, it’s a dream of millions of people and we can dream it a little bit with you doing it.’
Feeling: What if feel riding my motorcycle I can feel nowhere else. I connect with myself and… feel like a bird.
Suffering: Its impossible to have happiness without suffering. We need to suffer in order for us to really appreciate what we have.
Fundaments: I am building a really big, solid thing in my life. It is going to help me in raising a kid, in having a relationship.
Happiness: Happiness is constant suffering and constant reevaluating the things you have.
Positive Visualization: Best preparation I had was when before falling asleep I would visualize difficult moments and how I would go thru them. Best preparation was mental.
Prayer: When I pray I don’t pray for things going right, I pray to learn about life. [/private]

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