Homemarriage → From the honeymoon b...

From the honeymoon by bike to arriving in Canada by motorhome: the traveling passion of Natalia and Diego On the road Doing numbers in Mexico How they coped with the pandemic The Vietnam experience

Natalia Fredes (from Río Colorado) and Diego Montaña (from La Rioja) left everything to travel the world and fulfill a dream full of adventure that many wish for but few come true. “This is what we want for ourselves, to feel free,” she explains. In April 2018, they left the comforts of a home, their affections, their jobs to start a new life that had a starting point with no closing date, a road map that undergoes changes along the way. They have traveled 15 countries and these days they are in Wadena (Canada), a small rural town where they work in a field to raise the funds that allow them to continue the adventure.

Their first traveling experience was in March 2010 on their honeymoon: they cycled all over Misiones. “Our heads clicked when we got married and we went for more than a month to see the province by bike. That 700 km trip changed our lives in every way and gave us the push we needed to decide what we wanted for ourselves in this life and we began to plan to travel at least throughout America”, says Natalia.

Living in Córdoba, they began to receive travelers who helped to add knowledge for their future adventure. “It is great to share your home with people from all over the world, they filled us with experiences. For a long time we opened the doors of our house to travelers, that gave us friends everywhere who also helped us shape our project. It is beautiful to be able to share with them their trips, their dreams. Many are professionals who at some point realized that life was not just work and nothing more.”

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For eight years they raised enough money to allow them to travel and in April 2018 they left. “We chose Southeast Asia, we went to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia for 45 spectacular days. Oriental culture is incredible, it is impressive, we loved it and we want to return. And that's when we realized that we didn't know enough English, a language that we began to study,” he recalls.

In two years Natalia and Diego went through 15 countries, after returning from Asia, they went to the United States, Panama, Costa Rica (where they bought their motorhome), Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and Canada . "We have a very simple life, a super-small house, we don't have many things, everything we own goes into a suitcase and that makes us feel light, free and we enjoy it a lot, it's fantastic," she said.

For fuel costs and daily needs, the couple works temporarily in any trade: waiters, cleaning houses, in the fields with crops and even selling handicrafts.

“Anything that comes out we grab, because it is something that gives us freedom, we don't drop our rings to do other things and we have also learned a lot about rural work, because we were city creatures. Today we are living in the middle of the field next to buffaloes, something unthinkable," adds Natalia, who worked as an accountant in different private companies in Bahía Blanca and Córdoba, while Diego did so in a company related to cement in Córdoba and Comodoro. Rivadavia.

From honeymoon by bike to Arriving in a motorhome to Canada: Natalia and Diego's passion for travel On the road Doing numbers in Mexico How they coped with the pandemic The Vietnam experience

“We were in Mexico for six months and there we saw that the trip was beginning to weigh on us a bit because of the economic issue. And we began to sell bracelets and make a little macramé, we learned from other travelers to see how they made a living and with that we ate, in addition we also had money for gasoline. Mexico is accessible to the traveler. In terms of economics and to make new friends”, he continues.

Their motorhome is Canadian (it cost them $9,000, which they were able to pay thanks to their savings and what they added along the way) and it has a British Columbia license plate, it is a model manufactured in that country in 1986, it was the one that the he connected with many Canadians vacationing in Mexico.

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Among them with a family that passed by every day where they sold products to greet them and with whom they made a beautiful friendship. “We met a lot of people who gave us help and their phone numbers in case we needed anything along the way. There are many Argentines traveling like us”.

The course is decided using maps and an application on the phone that helps choose cheap or free destinations and places to sleep. "It gives us the information where to stop to sleep calmly and safely, it is like a network of travelers who leave references to the places where they have spent a night," they say.

Traveling across the US, they reached Canada, to the city of Wadena in the province of Saskatchewan, where they met the family they had met in Mexico, who always stopped by to say hello.

“Here we learned a lot with them, life in the countryside, we gave them a hand with the harvest and it is also invaluable to learn the language living day by day, which is always a great challenge for us”, says Natalia.

"We are doing great in this country, but we know that we are not going to stay forever, because we like to continue traveling, moving around, living for a while in each place, we love the idea of ​​packing our backpacks and traveling in a motorhome, we love it the idea of ​​taking a plane to go to Argentina to see our families, we like to travel by bicycle, we like the idea of ​​taking a trip on foot, we like to feel free”, he adds.

“We don't want to go back to work on what we did on our land, we want to continue traveling, be nomads, spend a while here, another time there. We are training to work online, which would allow us not to have a fixed residence somewhere”, she affirms.

The couple carries a travel book and a cell phone with memories full of photographs and information of each meter traveled and their goal is to upload them to a digital platform to help others who are seeking to fulfill a dream similar to theirs.

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For those who already want to start outlining a possible trip, the couple offers their contacts through Instagram @americaprofunda, where they will find part of the information and can consult them.

“We have collected information from our path and anyone who needs it we are happy to tell them about our experience. The message to all those who want to fulfill a dream is that there is no mold to live. Each one has their own and how it comes out is how we build the path of life”, says Natalia. And she adds: “We are no longer the same wanderers that left Argentina, we are changing, we are growing, we are learning in Along the way, we adjust to see things that we like, those that we don't. This is a lifestyle, it is not a trip and we do not plan to stop.”

“We decided to make this life as travelers because neither of us were happy with the other life. We had to find our path, the one that best suited our essences, our souls. We both enjoy walking. Diego loves nature photography and walking around different parts of the world allows him to appreciate species live and direct, in their natural habitat and free, that was one of his great dreams. Being able to be there close to what he admires, nature. I love to move, for the mere fact of doing it, without more. Seeing, smelling, hearing or walking differently from what is already known, is an experience that I love to have”, says Natalia.

“This is just beginning, we have a long way to go, and I'm not just talking about routes. Learning is something that we decide that we want to have in our lives always. Moving around different parts of the world is a great way to learn a little about everything. We have been out of the country for 3 and a half years, we hope that 2022 will give us the opportunity to visit our families and be able to explore a little more of our Argentina.”

Natalia and Diego spent most of it in Canada, although they were in Argentina to visit friends, family and renew their strength in 2020 and they spent more than 8 months in Bahía Blanca, until they could return to North America with a work visa: they had left their belongings to continue their journey.

“We had a flight in April 2020 and the pandemic started a month before. It was complicated in Argentina, we felt super locked in and our hands were tied”, they say. «When we returned to Canada we lived it very differently, the children never left school, we used a mask like everyone else, respecting social distance, but there are also contradictions in this country, for example for Christmas there were still restrictions that they could not get together anymore of 5 people in the same family house, but if we all went to a restaurant, which were all open, if you could go with the family. Somewhat strange rules. We are in a town of 3,000 inhabitants so the pandemic is much calmer and in July we left off the masks, there have not been many cases and the majority of the population went to get vaccinated, “they add.

«The trip to Vietnam was amazing, we went to a small town called Sapa where we met some rural residents of the place and a lady in the square with whom we took an excursion, she took us for a walk through the fields of rice.

The woman was in her 50s, spoke perfect English that she had learned through working with tourists, a task she does to support her family.

“After getting to know the area, we went to his house where we ate typical food, toasted and had a wonderful time with that family and connecting with the people. It was a beautiful life lesson for us, because without resources they raised their family. It was a great lesson in humility and simplicity, without losing the joy that they also transmit to you, she never stopped smiling.”

Among the various anecdotes of the trip, the young people recalled “one of the craziest experiences was crossing the street in Hanoi (Vietnam), it is difficult to explain to you the world of people on motorcycles that those streets are. Did you see how you see it on TV? Just as it is, they all come on a motorcycle next to each other, an incredible thing, there are no traffic lights. So how do you get across? We hold hands and you cross at a steady pace without stopping or hesitating because they are the ones who dodge you, everyone respects you, but you have to keep a firm step so that they see and can be predictable for them. That day was amazing, it was great, a nice experience.”

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