Two Argentinians and 5 years of adventures: an earthquake in Mexico, extreme cold in the Arctic and almost imprisoned in Slovenia

Argentinian wanderers in New Zealand

A Victor and Ferdinand From a very young age, they loved to travel and every time they returned home after a while away, they wanted something different. For it, in mid-2017 they decided they wanted to keep traveling and, at least for a while, not have to come home. Thus, in October of the same year they embarked on a journey that took them to five continents, 60 countries and to collect unimaginable stories in the most remote places on the planet. Four and a half years after the startwith a brief visit to Argentina to recharge and visit loved ones, they decided prepare their passports and hand in their backpacks to continue collecting stories around the world.

Fernando was born in Salta 34 years ago, he is a freelance translator and can work from anywhere. This is why he always had income throughout the four years that the adventure lasted and this allowed them both to cover the logical expenses that such a long journey implies. Victor is from Buenos Aires, he is 31 years old and is a nutritionist. He had to find “changas” along the way to raise money, added to the savings he had brought from Argentina. “In principle, the idea was to travel for a year and a half, but with the pandemic, it ended up being four years and two months”recounts the couple in Buenos Aires a day before boarding a plane to Rio de Janeiro to continue the journey.

vagamundosargentinos
vagamundosargentinos

They claim that the country that impacted them the most was Iran. “When you get there you realize that people live in their world, most are against the government”. There they stayed in the house of a “big money” liberal family where women did not cover their heads with scarves. “If you want, you can find everything there, underground parties, gay parties, alcohol. It’s a hidden, suburban world. If no one finds out, you make your own. The people are super nice and they stop you all the time in the street”, they recall their experience in the Persian country, from where they stayed amazed by its architecture. “It’s impressive,” they say.

Another place that “blew their minds” was Svalbardan archipelago in the Arctic Ocean which is part of Norway. “We went in the winter and there was no daylight. We stayed for a week and we didn’t see the light, it was every night”. “We would go for a walk and see kindergarten children play outside in the dark minus 20 degrees with flashlights over their heads“, they recall. They say it was forbidden to leave the city limits unarmed “because there are more polar bears than humans”. “The city has about two thousand inhabitants, nothing more. People go there for periods, a year or two, because otherwise you go crazy. The place is super weird.”

Tramps on a dog sledding tour in Svalbard
Tramps on a dog sledding tour in Svalbard

When they arrived, they were surprised by the many thai massage places there were. When they asked the reason, they were told that, As the Norwegians cannot convince their wives to live there, they decide “to buy Thai wives with the promise of a future in Europe”..

However, the country that made them feel furthest from home was Ethiopia. There they saw in first person a tribal wedding ceremony hammer, one of the most traditional cities in the country. They have a ceremony where boyfriend spanking single women on the back. They run into a field and the man chases them with a whip. because the tribe is a demonstration of love by women towards the man who is getting married. Later the boyfriend undresses and they put him twelve bulls that he has to jump from one to another to prove that he is man enough. If you can’t ignore them all, it means you have to wait a little longer to become a man and be able to get married.“, they explain.

The women of the tribe hammer they use lip plates and braid their hair with clay and animal fat. “They are next to you and miles of cultural distance separate you. You don’t feel like you belong at all,” they say.

Ferdinand (left) and Victor (right) at the Parthenon in Athens
Ferdinand (left) and Victor (right) at the Parthenon in Athens

Recalling the strangest situations they have had to live through, they stand out when they have suffered a earthquake in a metro in Mexico City, a car accident in New Zealand and the day they almost went to jail in Slovenia for forgetting to carry their passport at the border with Italy. “We were in Slovenia and saw a very cheap bus to go to Venice. At the border, people with an immigrant background board the bus before leaving the country. We didn’t have passports because in the European Union they don’t ask for them to cross the border. We only had our Argentinian identity cards. We were under the bus for about three hours trying to explain to them why we didn’t have our passports. the only way to go away was go to a police station and ask us to show you a photo ID with the EU entry stamp. Then we call the person from airbnb who welcomed us in Slovenia, we ask him to come to our room, take passport photos and send them to the gendarme. Fortunately, he sent them and we fled,” they recall between two laughs.

In February 2020, as the coronavirus began to become a topic of conversation around the world, Victor and Fernando were in Bali, the most famous island in Indonesia. Somewhat out of mistrust of the healthcare system there, they understood that Best was to look for a nearby developed country so they could stay for a while until the virus allowed them to travel again. They never imagined they would end up staying a year and a half in New Zealand, working in a milk powder factory, with fridges, harvesting hops and picking cherries, kiwis and different fruits depending on the season.

vagamundosargentinos
vagamundosargentinos

“We traveled on the last tourist flight to enter New Zealand. The government closed the border when we were in the air. We had a good time there because there was no pandemic, there were almost no cases”, remember their experience in the ocean country. They say that in New Zealand it’s easy to find work in the harvest and “you earn well”. “They hire you overnight and pay you weekly based on your production level. We recovered some money and were able to repay our debts. Due to the context of the pandemic, the New Zealand government has relaxed the visa regime and they have been able to stay longer than expected in normal situations.

When Australia and New Zealand agreed to a “travel bubble” In mid-2021, the couple was finally able to get back on a plane after nearly a year and a half on the ground. They stayed in Australia for six months until they finally decided to return to Argentina. “We missed our loved ones a lot, and a bit the empanadas from Salta,” Fernando says with a smile. However, they agree that the best food has been found in Thailand, Mexico, Peru, Italy and Ethiopia.

Fernando with kangaroos in Australia
Fernando with kangaroos in Australia

All his adventures, including the 3,500 kilometers traveled from Moscow to Siberia on the Trans-Siberian train, they save them on their Instagram account (@vagamundosargentinos), which currently has 42,000 followers. They share photos, videos, stories and tips for travelers. Many ask them how they managed to make such a long trip, and they always answer that the most important thing is to speak English and find a work that can be done remotely. Also apply for work visas, look for cheap accommodation options like couchsurfing and hostels and investigate ride-sharing services, such as BlaBlaCaran application widely used in Europe.

After Rio de Janeiro, the couple will settle in Spainwhere Víctor will do a master’s degree in food engineering. They will settle in Madrid and from there they will continue to plan trips to continue collecting stories and memories around the world.

KEEP READING:

Cold, fear and nights on the road: the Argentinian who camps alone in the most remote places of the world
He left the city, found love on the road and visited 54 countries: “It was a quality trip, not miles”
The Argentinian who has circumnavigated the globe twice: “Wearing the national team jersey has helped me progress”

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