Around Gaia – A Mission of Oneness And Kindness

Epic. It’s a word that gets bandied about for even trivial pursuits these days. But it really was made to provide a semblance of the magnitude to the kind of venture that Ivana Colakovska and Manu Torres are on. It’s a motorcycle ride around the world unlike any other because it’s not just a ride; it’s a heartwarming mission of unity. The two have chosen to not stay at any hotel during their journey, not just to save money, but to ensure they meet and connect with people in their own environment; experience their life with their joys and their travails as they live it. Be at one with as many people as they can. They have eschewed use of GPS and such modern technology and skipped making precise plans. So that they can take the day as it comes, with its surprises and shocks. It’s an approach that has accumulated for Ivana and Manu an unparalleled richness of experience and a vast volume of stories from around the world.
Ivana, who’s from Skopje, Macedonia and Manu, who hails from Sevilla in Spain started their trans-continental travel on a Yamaha Tenere XT660Z (2012 model) with no major prior experience of a long motorcycle ride, no mechanical knowledge and with a paucity of funds. What little money they had initially came from selling handicrafts they made themselves. They spent a large portion of 10 years in Mykonos, Greece in the warm tourist season selling these bracelets and necklaces that they created from material collected from backpacking winter trips through Nepal, India, South-East Asia and South America. Interestingly, their experience riding a ‘70s Royal Enfield Bullet 350 in India helped firm up their desire to ride around the world. The money from selling handicrafts was, however, not sufficient to turn that desire to reality. So they bought a camera and computer from their savings, acquired the skills to make films of their experiences traveling and created stories which fetched them enough to at least start on this magnificent ride. Along the way, they have continued to pay for their journey through presentations and events, photography and writing, and motivational speeches. Over time, they have even found sponsors.

In the nearly three and a half years since they embarked on this ride of a lifetime on April 17, 2013, they have traversed 124,000 kms across 44 countries so far. The plethora of obstacles they faced – the tough high mountains of the Pamir in temperatures 20 degrees C below zero, mountain sickness in the Bolivian highlands, buffeted constantly by strong winds through Patagonia, tigers in Sumatra, bears in Alaska, venomous snakes and insects in Australia and South America, being laid low by malaria and dengue, a horrible accident in Chilean Patagonia which required Ivana to undergo surgery to fix a couple of plates and 9 screws on her broken leg, passing through dangerous narco-traffic and guerrilla zones, having to deal with corruption, their own loneliness and worrying about finances – did nothing to break their spirit. They had decided not to turn back till their journey was complete and so they continued to push on.


Check more about – Ivana and Manu on their website –  Around Gaia Web


The last leg of their trip finds them heading to Africa from where they will move back to Europe and thence home. Over the course of their journey of discovery – of self and of others – they gradually came to a momentous decision that will mark their travel through Africa. They had started this project with little money and they had got thus far not just with their own enterprise and determination but through the kindness of strangers they met on the road who came to their aid with a warm meal, fixed their bike when needed, provided places to stay and showered the two with care when Ivana was laid low with that broken leg. It was time to give back. As their finances became more stable through income generated through their various activities, they decide to use funds from sale of their shirts online, their presentations and donations from followers to help provide for essential facilities in the remote and small villages of Africa.

Their experience riding a ‘70s Royal Enfield Bullet 350 in India helped firm up their desire to ride around the world.

Through their Around Gaia project, which documents their experiences through articles, photographs and presentations, they want to fire up the imagination of their followers and inspire them to follow their dreams, to instill in them a strong sense of giving back to those that are in dire need of aid, to show them the beauty of cultures and people around the world, to send out to them an unequivocal signal of hope and unity.

Celebrate Ivana and Manu’s travel Around Gaia as they spread their message of oneness and kindness!