Drop everything and see the world. How many times have you been in a traffic jam, had a bad day at home, or had a fight with your boss? Well, there are more people than you might imagine who did it in the end. Every year, for a decade, many of them tell about their adventure Days of great journeys, the original idea of two good adventurers, Idzir Marcodegui and Pablo Strubel, who decided that one fine day all these personal stories deserve to be told and appreciated. This year, on April 13, 19 and 22, in Madrid, the busiest days in the travel industry celebrate the anniversary: 10 editions worked by hand, with little instructions and great enthusiasm on the part of this pair of globetrotters.
“We came up with the conference in 2013, shortly after returning from a great trip through Africa that lasted a year in which we backpacked from South Africa to Morocco. We wrote the book after that trip. How to prepare a great trip, To help everyone who wants to travel long distances on time. While preparing that book, we discovered people who were making such journeys, and it seemed incredible to us that such powerful experiences were so little known. So we are encouraged to organize a series of conferences to make these adventures known through the hands of their protagonists. The conferences, from the first year, became a meeting place for travel enthusiasts, first in Madrid, two years later in Barcelona, then in Seville and Bilbao”, they tell me.
They admit that it was difficult to find candidates for speakers at first because there were few people who made such trips, at least in Spain, where there was not always a tradition of leaving everything, as in Anglo-Saxon and Central. European countries. “Travel blogs and social networks just started, and they weren’t as relevant as they are now,” they admit. “At first we knew them through recommendations, by word of mouth, because we heard them on a radio show or they published a book. The thing has changed: now it is rare to travel without counting, so it has become easier for us to find them … but it is very difficult to choose. This Over the years, we have realized that it is important to travel and share the experience well.Finding people who have that balance is one of the most difficult and, at the same time, most beautiful tasks we face as organizers.
Throughout these nine editions, globetrotters of all kinds have gone through the days of great voyages. Young and old. Travelers with smaller budgets and others a lot. Families, couples or solo travelers. And many different modes of locomotion: bicycle, motorcycle, car, boat, hitchhiking, public transport… For Pablo and Itziar, the bottom line is that there are a thousand and one different ways to travel, all valid and none ideal. They conclude, “The barriers that many people face in undertaking a major journey are usually mental and temporary.” “We want those journeys to end because the return is part of the journey.”
These are some of the travelers who tell their stories in the 10th edition of Days of Great Trips.
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Bell Servant and Javier Marvan, Zara and Oliver: A family traveling by van to Nepal
After a life of traveling as a couple, Bel Servant and Javier Marven thought it would be wrong to deprive them of the same experiences when they had children. So in 2020 they bought a van and came into the world with Zara and Oliver, then 9 and 7 years old. They were out three years, the hardest of the epidemics. They came to Nepal and proved that they can live independently and educate their children on the road.
José Javier Aylan: Four Years Cycling Through Europe, Africa and South America
More than 35,000 kilometers pedaling almost alone. Four years of travel, three of them during epidemics. 63 mountain passes over 4,000 meters in the Andes. And hundreds of great sunsets, but Africa is very hungry. That sums up a great trip on two wheels for Jose Javier Aylon, who admits he’s back in Spain recovering because he’ll soon be back on the road.
Maria Rodriguez and Laura Connell: A ‘minicamper’ to Indonesia
You don’t need a very expensive motorhome to carry the house on your back. After their first backpacking trip through Asia in 2013, Maria Rodriguez and Laura Connell bought a small van with the idea of reaching the Pacific. They did it. They fell in love with that part of the world so much that they eventually shipped the van to Spain and stayed in Bali for another five months. After 14 months, they flew back to Madrid.
Baldazar Montano: Six years in America and Asia without a return ticket
It’s never too late to take the turn. Baldazar Montano decided when he was 34 years old: he would work and save for another 10 years in order not to repeat it in the second half of his life. He accomplished it: at the age of 45 he quit his job as a journalist specializing in economics and devoted himself to travel. Only Covid forced him to return to his hometown of Extremadura. Now he travels through Spain with a Manager And a bike.
Ana Huertas and Evaristo Torres: Double Around the World by Sailboat and Truck
Traveling the world is an adventure of a lifetime. Giving it away twice and on different modes of transport… is brilliantly crazy for very few. Ana Huertas and Evaristo Torres They left Cartagena on a catamaran in 2002 with their dog the moon They traveled the seven seas for six and a half years. When they came back they didn’t settle down: they bought a truck, adapted it and another 11 years passed Wandering All over the world. If you thought that was enough for them, you’d be wrong: they’re already gearing up for the third round, again by sea.
Yesenia Herrera: From the Canary Islands to Bangladesh by bicycle in three years
Yesenia Herrera’s journey began at the end of 2016 in the Canary Islands. He had decided to embark on a journey with no end date, no expiry date and no predetermined destination. For the first time in her life, she felt that she belonged to her time. To get to know his land better by visiting the eight islands of the archipelago, he took a boat to Hulwa, from where he began the journey alone by bicycle. It took him three years to reach Bangladesh (India), where he was surprised by an epidemic.
Marta Insasti: America on Motorcycle, Part Two of the World Tour
In many cases, you are given the solid motivation to embark on the best journey of your life by external factors that you never expected. Marta Inzasti’s companies were bankrupted by economic crisis and cancer. At 59 years old and with two grown children, he considered traveling through Italy on a motorcycle. But the project was extended to go worldwide with some interruptions due to the coronavirus.
Schedules of the 10th Conference of Grand Voyages in Madrid
- Act of the 10th Anniversary: Thursday, April 13, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm CDI Arcánzuela (Palos de la Frontera, 40). Individual event only.
- Opening: Wednesday April 19, 19:00 – 21:00. Casa del Reloj Auditorium (Paseo de la Sopera, 6). Individual event only.
- Main event: Saturday April 22, 10:00 – 20:00. Espacio Rastro Madrid (San Cayetano Street, 5). Face-to-face event and broadcast Streaming. Conversations can be followed on Instagram and Twitter Hashtag #iatiJGV.
- The 10th Anniversary and Opening Ceremony are free. The main event costs 12.5 euros (one session) and 25 euros (all day). On streaming, 6 euros per session.
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