“Keeping the ability to be surprised is vital”

Marina Gedé (1995) is a graduated student of BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Six months ago, this girl from Barcelona decided to abandon her home and work to start a journey across Latin America without return ticket. She travels with her partner, Marc (1993), and they both want to go over every corner of the Latin American continent using hitchhiking as their traveling method. Marina says they give and receive education, respect, and happiness. Marina and Marc do not know where are they going to be tomorrow, neither where are they going to sleep. “Everyone chooses their own journey, and this is a metaphor of life”, she says. In this interview, she talks about her particular adventure while she reflects on the functioning of the western world.

Why did you decide to set out on a travel across Latin America?

I am passionate about discovering the world since the year dot. Far from the western idealization, I have a fascination for Latin America: its history, landscapes and cultural diversity. I decided to use all my savings to travel here, since traveling is a practical way to learn.

You have been traveling for six months, now. How many kilometers have you left behind?

For the moment, we have been in Xile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. I honestly do not know. Marc and I usually draw our route in the map, but we have never counted neither made an approximation of the kilometers. I have the feeling we have crossed more than ten thousand… However, kilometers do not show your learnings: you can walk a thousand kilometers on your own without learning anything new.

You must have your rucksack full of experiences. Could you share one of them with us?

At the risk of sounding cliché, it is impossible to choose just one (laughs). Here in Latin America we live intensively. Thinking about our non-invigorating routines in the first world is frustrating. Going back to your question, I will always remember discovering the Patagonian wind, listening to the ice blocks falling in Perito Moreno, and watching the sunset in Fitz Roy. Also, I am infinitely grateful to those people who take us in their vehicles and charmingly open the doors of their homes. This year I have celebrated my birthday in two different countries, which it is unlikely to happen again. And of course, I will never forget the dog who ate our sleeping-bag and tent.

Rina
Fitz Roy is a 3.405m mountain located in the border limit between Xile and Argentina. IMAGE: M. Gedé

You previously mentioned “routines”. What are your current habits? I wonder if you can find stability within the constant uncertainty.

Well, keeping the ability to be surprised is vital. Concerning our routines, I write frequently, almost every day. After crossing Argentina, mates are our daily must-have. Once in a while, Marc and I look for a place with Wifi to return to the twenty-first century and communicate with our family and friends.

Did you leave all the facilities and conveniences at home? What is the thing you miss the most?

Evidently, I have my basic needs covered. This travel is a huge exercise of deconstruction and valuation of everything we take for granted. I miss accumulating as many books as I want, but my back cannot put up with more weight. So Marc and I buy a book in every country that we cross but we eventually say goodbye to it. Yesterday I bought watercolors, which is an unnecessary luxury. I miss the Mediterranean rhythm, the Sun, the terraces, my bed. However, naturally, what I miss the most is my people.

Has the notion of “house” changed due to this journey?

Yes, I have totally reconsidered some concepts. I lived one year in Madrid and this changed my idea of “house” as a solely space, since I felt I had a house in Madrid as well as in Barcelona. I belief that “house” is the balance of freedom and security, the sense of rooting and belonging. “House” is neither a property nor a static concept.

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“I’ve got a love-hate relationship with my twelve-kilos bag”, says Marina. IMAGE: M. Caralt.

 

Along these lines, what can you tell me about “freedom”?

For me, freedom is putting my tent in the ground, being alone on the top of a mountain, and eating rice and bread as my basis diet.

Where is your next destination? Where can we find you in the map?

You are a lucky interviewer, because this is just the second time that we actually know our next destination (laughs). We have a meeting with Machu Picchu on the 12th of March. In the future, who knows… There are fascinating hiking-routes in Peru, but we also want to volunteer with children or work in Valle Sagrado with a community of instrument’s artisans. For the time being, we have no return ticket, no fixed date. As they say in Patagonia, and I believe this should be an universal motto: “quien se apura, pierde el tiempo” (those who rush, waste their time).

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