A family of three, traveling 35,000 km through South America. INTERVIEW part I
Simón, Inés and their two-year-old son Teo are having the adventure of their lifetimes. In March, they left their home in San Martín de los Andes, located in Southern Argentina, and began a journey that will take them through all of Argentina’s 23 provinces, all of Uruguay and part of Chile, in about two years. Their means of transportation is a ‘99 Jeep Cherokee with a caravan. Get to know them in this exclusive interview!
When did the trip start?
I would say the trip started on February 26, 2017, the day we came up with the idea! From then on we started working on how to make this adventure economically sustainable, how to find a proper vehicle and a caravan, as well as developing our website, finding sponsors, and much more. All of this lasted until the day we drove off our home, on March 29, this year.
How did you come up with the idea?
It was during a weekend trip to Argentina’s Atlantic coast. Usually during our weekend getaways, we make decisions that end up being important for our lives.
Do you travel often?
I don’t see myself as much of a traveler. However, we have done short trips on weekends while we were living in Buenos Aires, specially after we bought our first car.
I’ve been to Southern Argentina and Chile. I think I’ll never get tired of traveling around Patagonia.
In 2012 my wife and I traveled around Brazil for a month. And in 2015 we went to Europe: France, Italy and Croatia were our main destinations.
How was your passion for photography born?
It was during a trip, the first one to Patagonia. I bought my first camera, which was a Canon S2iS, 5 megapixels. At that time, it seemed to be too much for me. Later on, I also got interested in filmmaking. Today I’m passionate about both. I think a video can have a very powerful impact, either inspire, excite, or sadden you, and that’s something I really appreciate of films.
How do you and your wife distribute daily chores?
There’s always so much to do! Specially with a child. Teo sets the timing of many of our activities: when we eat, when we sleep, when we can or cannot work.
Usually I am in charge of the van and of the caravan’s maintenance. We both try to keep everything organized and tidy. Sometimes the caravan gets messy but as soon as we start driving we have to tidy up so as to avoid things from falling and breaking.
Both of us make the bed, which is crucial because we use it as a table for breakfast. Inés looks after Teo, she is in charge of cooking and cleaning.
I also look after our finance, and I edit the pictures and videos, generally at night when Teo is asleep.
How long did it take you to get the caravan ready?
I think we’re still working on it! When we bought it, we didn’t realize it would be so much work. Every time we started fixing something, like the electrical system, the painting, lights, water, we noticed we had to rebuild it from scratch. From the original caravan, only the outer case was left. We remade the whole interior. We’re happy with what we achieved, but it was a lot of work. It took us more than a year. Now the only thing that’s missing is the shower curtain.
Do you plan to practice sports during the trip?
We’d like to. I went for a few runs, when we were staying at campsites that had hot water. I don’t run when there’s no hot water because cold showers are too rough for me! Since we left home, it’s been cold, and for that reason we stay inside the caravan. I think when it gets warmer things will change. However, we walk and move a lot.
What are you afraid of regarding your trip?
I don’t think we have fears, we do have worries. We don’t want the van to break again. We worry about our economic situation. I wouldn’t like having to end the trip because we ran out of money. Luckily, thanks to our sponsors and the work I can do during our travels, plus our savings, we’ve been managing to support ourselves.
We were scared once when we were sleeping in the middle of nowhere, with not even the moon to light our way, and had to go outside to pee! Luckily we now have our own toilet, so we don’t have to go through that anymore.
What thrills you more about your trip?
That varies each day. Sometimes it’s the peace we feel, or spending time with the family, being in nature. Every time I see a condor I burst with excitement, I climb mountains trying to get a good picture. The projects we have, people’s reactions to our posts; it’s amazing the love they give us and how they look after Teo even if they’ve only met him through the social network “wrap him up because it’s getting cold”. Also, our followers got really excited with the video we made of our first three months of travels.
Continue to the second part of this interview here.