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Andrey and Family (Land Shiva 110)

Today's Explorers

Andrey and Family (Land Shiva 110)

April 4, 2022
6
min read
by
Charles Forman
Brazil

Where are you from?

Brazil

When did you start your interest in exploration?

Exploring happened from some life experiences that took me very early to travel far away. At 18 I went to live in Germany and for 4 years I had the opportunity to visit almost all of Europe by car with my father. When I returned to Brazil in 1993, I understood that traveling is fundamental for human development, both philosophically and culturally. Soon after, I understood that I needed a car to get to know Brazil, which is a continental country and that I didn't know very well until then.

What is a brief understanding of your background story up until you started seeking adventure?

Since I was 8 years old I traveled 1200 km with my grandfather on many trips to his home on the coast of Brazil. These trips took place until I was 18 years old. These trips were a great experience on the road with him. My interest in expeditions started in 1996 when I bought my first diesel pickup truck. Soon after, in 2001, my first 4x4 arrived and from then on we went on to new paths.

What special skills do you have to help with your explorations?

The skills I developed were built over time. I'm actually not very good at anything when it comes to mechanics, but I understand a little bit of everything. I learned that it is essential to understand the functioning of everything that involves its transport. And even having tools to intervene if necessary. Understanding the itinerary and geography is also fundamental, I don't like 100% prepared forecasts to always keep a good dose of unexpected factors, that's what an expedition is all about. But preparing for adversity in temperature, fuel, water and food is essential.

Where have you explored so far?

With a 4x4, 19 out of 25 states in Brazil, that means a lot considering the size of the country. Also in 4x4 were Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. In cultural immersion trips for 1 month were: Japan, Hawaii, Russia, USA, Panama, Thailand, Indonesia, Greece, Mexico. I also visited Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, UAE, Austria, Ireland in cultural research.

What is a brief understanding of your adventures so far?

Fundamentally being in search of inner growth. Through contact with different cultures, different geographies, behaviors and foods, we learn to understand that our training is never enough.

What are the top three destinations you hope to explore next, and why?

We will cross Asia by 4x4 car in 2023. This is a very old dream that we started preparing for. In second place will be going up the coast of Africa from South Africa. In third place will be Ushuaia, which we will do in December 2021 for 45 days. The three routes have isolated areas with a lot of wild nature that is a focus of interest in my expeditions, with isolation in passages of up to 10 days without civilization.

Where would you recommend others visit?

Certamente México, Argentina, Japan, Brazil.

How do you primarily travel on your adventures today?

A Defender 110 year 2000. I set up a self-sufficient solar energy system, a water system for consumption of up to 150L as I travel with my family. And also several Heavy Duty upgrades in the car with a mechanical safety factor of up to 150% in suspension, traction, steering, engine.

What are five pieces of equipment you always travel with?

Fridge, swiss knife, extra gallon fuel, satellite tracker and food.

What inspires you to explore more?

Moments of silence combined with nature are a unique fuel for the human soul. With a few unusual factors it becomes a lifetime experience. And also being able to admire the beauty of human nature, its cultural differences, colors and shapes, the world is inspiring in every way.

How do you engage with others?

I don't like being with many people all the time, I really like being with the family and in quiet places with few people. That way I can relate in a deeper way, I'm not good at superficial relationships. For me everything is true and sincere.

Why is it important to embrace global cultures?

We live in a constant construction of social and economic models that try to establish pre-determined worldviews for our behavior. When we have contact with other cultures, it shakes our daily convictions and makes us realize that the human factor must be greater than the cultural one. In other words, culture serves to bring us closer together as human beings, and not the other way around as many people do. Establish differences and preconcepts. I believe in a world without borders with citizens of planet earth.

What are your goals when you explore?

Initially collecting visual references for my work as an art director, also exercising my photography hobby. Also my goal is to establish deeper relationships with family, fellow travelers and people we meet on the way.

What are some challenges you have experienced?

There were many. I've already had to cross 10km stretches by 4x4 that took 6 hours of off-road that wasn't in the script. Temperatures of -21 degrees in Russian winter, getting lost in some countries without knowing the language, venturing into Bolivia without a guide in isolated areas...

What has been your most meaningful moment so far?

On an expedition so far we went to spend the night at the Manakeua volcano in Hawaii which is a sacred site. I had several insights about humanity that night at temperatures of -5 degrees. Also when I crossed the Andes for the second time and saw how small you disappear in front of the mountain range, the mountains. And also a starry sky that I saw in the Alps of Austria that was one of the most remarkable in life.

How has exploration changed you?

Mainly to be more open-minded, try to listen more to people instead of giving opinions all the time.

What is the number one lesson that you have learnt through your exploration?

Every minute on an expedition can be a passage, a ritual for a life lesson, it depends a lot on whether you are open to new experiences and connected with the moment. That way you can enjoy the reasons why they took you to a certain place.

How do you explore locally?

I've been making numerous small expeditions of 3 to 5 days around Brazil by car with the family to train more for the 1.5 year trip in Asia. All that we are doing now is with 100% autonomy of bathroom, food and tent.

What does the explmore mantra mean to you?

It's an amazing message, strong and intense, that goes deep in our soul to have a direct connection with what each one believes to be an expedition.

What advice would you give to others who are seeking life changing adventure?

That there are new things to life that teach a lot more than getting through the day, with a life full of predictability. Having this openness is also expanding our perception of the world and of ourselves.

What are some comparisons you can make between exploration today, compared to what you know of exploration in the past?

As there was less technology to support the explorations of the past they seem to me to be much more intense, more visceral. Today we have to be careful with so much information that takes away the flavor of an adventure, which becomes a checklist of places and experiences. That's why I always look for the B side of places, less touristy, less obvious.

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