Sergio and Eleni (Projeto Mundo Cão)

Today's Explorers

Charles Forman
August 10, 2021
5
min read
All photos subject to copyright protection from their respect owners.

Where are you from?

Brazil

When did you start your interest in exploration?

Many years ago. We have been on the road since 2015.

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

We are a couple from Brazil traveling the world. I’m 48 years old and I worked all my life as a sales representative with many different products throughout South America and my wife Eleni, 49 years old, always very entrepreneurial, besides many different works has dedicated her last 13 years with a school bus, transporting children from/to various schools.

We had a normal life in the past years, with our jobs, cars, apartment and with our monthly income that used to give us all the comfort and security we always looked for.

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

I have some mechanical knowledge that I had to learn during these years of traveling, besides that we are both very open to learning and have been collecting some knowledge along the way, during the years on the road. We are not experts in any specific matter but know a little of everything, but the most important is that we are an active kind of people, we don’t wait for things to happen, we normally go for it and solve the problems that may help us on the road.

Where have you explored so far?

In the Americas, all the countries (besides Guianas), in Europe we were in Portugal and Spain, in Africa we were in Morocco and Asia in Vietnam, Thailand and very little of China.

What is a brief understanding of your adventures so far?

We believe that everything that you do for others will come back to you somehow. Due to this and based on our life experience we decided to create a group of people to somehow support the homeless people in our home country and also their dogs. After 7 years working in parallel with this, we decided to move a step forward in our life in order to start traveling the world as part of this project, and this means feeding stray dogs along the way. This project called Projeto Mundo Cão is very simple, as our life is, and we are not trying to change the world but inspiring people to spread the love for the dogs without homes, simply because these dogs have a lot to teach for us, due to their unconditional love. If you use part of your time to help. To spread something good, you will be a better person, especially if this love, this action, is free of interest. It's made for something that can’t give you something “material” back. Just feeding a dog on the road is very simple, but this action hides many teachings.

But in principle we travel to meet people, make friends, learn and challenge ourselves, discover new ways of life, to understand the world with our eyes and hearts, to eat good food and just live!!! The best we can.


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

Turkey, because of the amazing landscape and FOOD, and the Stans and Mongolia for the landscape.. and of course always to meet people. (Iran would be complicated, but is one of the top countries we want to visit.)

Where would you recommend others visit?

Vietnam, Patagonia and Arctic Ocean in Canada

How do you primarily travel on your adventures today?

We drive our sexy white Land Rover Defender 110 named Mundrunga. This model has a 2.5L, 300Tdi Diesel engine. Very simple and reliable. Top 3 modifications were the pop up roof +270 awning + shower cube, the internal furniture and solar system. All the modifications we did on her was to enable us to sleep in our pop up roof, but specially inside in case we don’t want to, or can’t camp. This helps us to save a lot of money and worries. We usually try to never pay for overnight trips in order to save money. So, every place we feel safe (after asking locals, searching for info, etc) is a place for sleeping. And talking about driving a Land Rover, this is not a vehicle, it's a lifestyle. Love it or hate it. No other vehicle will make more friends along the road than a Land Rover! It's an experience!

What are five pieces of equipment you always travel with?

Our MSR multi fuel spare stove, our tools, sleeping bags, cell phones for music and our peace of mind (the most important equipment we have)

What inspires you to explore more?

We wanna end our days full of experiences, feelings, stories and knowledge of ourselves! And the best way to make us a better person is facing the world and all the challenges that come with it.

How do you engage with others?

Social media, talks, emails, whatsapp, anyway that keep us in contact with the world, but mainly a good talk around the fire after a full day of adventure.

Why is it important to embrace global cultures?

It’s important in order to stop judging and build pre-conceptions about people and cultures. It is also important to teach us that we know nothing. As much as we learn we discover that we don’t know anything and this puts us in the exact place we must be.. in our path of learning and knowledge. People must learn how to be more humble. With the advent of the internet, people used to think they knew everything, but in fact this shows how weak they are and how much we all have to learn.

What are your goals when you explore?

To be happy.

What are some challenges you have experienced?

We were robbed two times in these 3 years. First time was in Puno, Peru. They opened the car and cleaned everything we had. After one year, we bought everything again and in Villahermosa, Mexico someone broke one window and robbed the same things again. Was a lesson for us to not relax so much while in big cities.

What has been your most meaningful moment so far?

Impossible to describe once the most meaningful moments are the very small ones and they were so many in these 6.5 years on the road. Just one very simple moment in your own life, like sunshine on the beach, or seeing two people hugging each other with life and this is one of them.

How has exploration changed you?

Make us way stronger and prepared for life.

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

That life can be way different and more interesting, and on top of everything that you can be truly happy.

How do you explore locally?

Walking around, talking with people. That's basic!

What does the explmore mantra mean to you?

Means that we can be happy if we truly want.

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

Be in mind that dreams are built daily through your daily decisions. Have goals and focus on them. Be humble, be simple, be open to the unknown and respect the fear, but never let it become a wall impossible to climb. Excessive planning is also detrimental. Travel Light without too much weight on your shoulders and more importantly, make sure to be happy on top of anything.

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

It being way easier today and less challenging, due to so many resources and information available. The world would be completely different without the internet. For the bad and for the good.


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