Miquel Silvestre gave up a lucrative career in law to follow his dream of a life on the road. After seven years and around 100 countries visited throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, the Spanish globetrotter is back in Madrid, where his latest documentary – Diary of a Nomad – is appearing on national television. He tells BMW Motorrad why he finds adventure travel irresistible, but that it isn’t for everyone…As well as authoring four motorcycle travel books, Miquel regularly publishes his stories and amazing photographs in newspapers and magazines. Travelling on his own for such long periods gives him plenty of time to write and reflect, but his latest adventure saw him teaming up for the first time with a cameraman and driver to cross South America in 100 days. It was certainly a different experience for someone who is used to nothing but his own cameras and a BMW GS for company.“When you travel alone, the risk, the suffering and the joy is only yours, but this time it was totally different,” says Miquel. “We were filming an adventure but the actual filming was an adventure in itself. I definitely prefer to travel alone – that is the real and intimate way to travel – but now I am focusing on producing TV shows about adventure motorcycling and that forces you to work with a team. I have to say that working, travelling and living with Antonio Piris (cameraman) and Heber Orona (driver) was initially hard but we got on very well and are now very good friends. I am really proud to make the first motorcycle TV show ever for Spanish TV. I have given seven years of my life to adventure motorcycling so this is the pinnacle of my ‘career’ as a professional adventurer.”While in Madrid, Miquel spends his time writing books and magazine articles, making presentations and editing the videos for TV. It’s a far cry from his 'old' life as a lawyer, but the thought of being back in an office actually doesn’t frighten him at all – largely because of where he has been, what he has seen and what he has achieved over the past years.“Even if I had to go back to an office I would never be the same person as before,” he says. “I had my piece of adventure cake – a really big and good one! I have spent seven years riding out there with no return ticket, and because of this I have learnt a lot about me and the world. I am fully satisfied with what I’ve done so far and maybe this is the time to live another adventure: perhaps getting married and having children?”That’s perhaps a surprising answer from the self-styled nomad, but maybe the attractions of what many of us consider as 'normal' are finally beginning to appeal to him. That said, Miquel believes that most people are already chasing their dreams. The difference is that their dreams are not those of riding around the world exploring distant lands and cultures, but more likely finding the best way to feel secure and loved in a safe environment.“Honestly, I do not think most people dream about living hard adventures in Africa or South America. Their main dream is to live well, get a good job and start a family. From time to time they may watch films, see TV or read books or magazines about adventure travel, and then dream about living a different life, a more adventurous and exciting life – but these are flights of fancy for most. If you really, really dream about going into the wild, then you go.”Miquel should know, for he has the scars to prove it. After many years in the saddle, his body is hardened to the rigours of adventure travel and the effects of outdoor living, which he freely admits has put years on his face, if not his psyche.“My passport says that I’m 46-years-old, but my face tells a different story – I look about 55,” he jokes. “That said, my body feels 35 and my soul is only 20. The wind and the sun have put many wrinkles in my face, but I am fit enough to run for one hour every morning and then drink three pints of beer every night! I believe an adventurer has to exercise and be able to lift his own bulky bike without help. But it is my soul which is definitely the youngest part of me.”With the success of the South American stage of Diary of a Nomad, Miquel has already been out to Mexico and the USA to film a second series of the travel documentary. Later this year he plans to focus on North Africa so it would appear that there’s no slowing down the R 1200 GS-riding motorcyclist from Madrid.Watch a clip from Miquel’s latest documentary series, which began on 25 January, at ...
February 2015 | © BMW Motorrad
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