Written by Asa Björklund for Overland Journal Magazine, United States. Spring issue, 2013.
Most people define a traveler as somebody who sees the world and eventually returns home. But what if the world became your home? Pablo Rey, of Argentina, and Anna Callau, of Spain, have been on the road for 13 years, and their “home” is a Mitsubishi Delica/L300 4WD van, affectionately named The Cockroach.
Pablo defines his previous existence as “a workaholic advertising writer“. “Then, my brain made CRUNCHHH, between other weird noises, and we decided to leave.” Departing their base in Spain, they turned south, through the Middle East, and to the southern tip of Africa. They hitched a ride to Argentina, South America, on a fishing vessel, where they spent the past seven years en route to Alaska. During that time Pablo had an epiphany: People in the West care too much about money. “In a world where sooner or later we will die, the most important asset should be time. Arabs and Latin Americans are good at this,” Pablo reflected while remembering his old life. “Our education usually impels us to stick to a straight lifeline: to study, get married, get a mortgage, have children, and work during the rest of our lives, as automats of a production line. We’ve been inoculated by the sinister ‘Arbeit macht frei’ slogan, Work will set you free, but without the Nazi paraphernalia.
Few travelers have embraced time as well as Pablo and Anna. They do, however, miss friends from home. Pablo says, “After some time, all the mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and zebras, while nice, repeat until they start to became… boring. People, instead, are the color of a trip. People are always different, a surprise that leaves a trace on you.” To assist their shoestring budget and chronicle their adventures, they have published several books. Available in English is Around the World in 10 Years: The Book of Independence.
- The Book of Independence at Kindle and Amazon