Sunday, 17 October 2021 | News today: 0

Manu Torres: The road is our home

Manu Torres and Ivana Colakovska are a Spanish and Macedonian couple that has been riding around the world on Yamaha XT660Z Ténéré. They met in Mykonos. Since then, they are together, living their dream to travel around the world on motorcycle. As Manu told ‘Republika’, they came up with the idea in India, while they were there on a short trip. Their wish was to ride around the world on motorcycle, to be in closer contact, not only with people but also with nature. As Manu says, this way of traveling is the only way to feel freedom and independence. He said that people in Macedonia are similar to the Spanish people. He loves the Macedonian culture and cuisine. Asked whether they will stay in Macedonia, Manu said: So far the road is our home.


When did you first come in Macedonia?

It was something like 8 years ago. Some months after I met Ivana in Mykonos.



You came from a country with different culture and tradition than Macedonia. How did you manage to adapt to the life here?

At the end I see more the similarities between Spain and Macedonia. Mediterranean culture all around where people like to hang out one with each other, friendly and hospitable. But I never pass long time in Macedonia, so I don´t know what it really means means in this country, I’m passing just like a guest so I don´t get involve in everything that living in one place means. (renting, taxes, work…)


Do Macedonian people provide you help when you need it?

As I said we always come to Macedonia for short time, so we mostly worry about visiting Ivana´s family and friends. I have never had a really situation where we needed very much help. But I felt the most of the people are ready to help in case we need it, even when a couple of bad experiences during this travel could let in my memories some different idea. At the end, when time passes you see the reality, and the reality is that the most of the people are good and ready to give what a traveler and a dreamer need.


What is your opinion about the Macedonian people, the lifestyle here?

There are things that could change for the better. There is potential in the people to get them and make them better as soon they realize what is really important as society. But lifestyle is how I like, and how every time you can see less in Europe. Friends and time surrounded by people more that just work and home.

Manu 17


Do you like the Macedonian cuisine?

Sure. Sarma and red peppers filled with rice and meat. But I like in general all Macedonian food. We always recover and get some kilos when we pass through Macedonia.



Have you traveled across Macedonia? 

I´m the wrong person to talk about that. Macedonia like Spain itself are countries we didn´t visit around very much. I have visited deeper countries like Argentina, India or Kyrgyzstan rather than our countries. Even when I like countries like Macedonia (mountains, small old villages and lakes, but our spirit always push us to explore more outside than in our own countries. But I know one moment we will ride around Macedonia and I´m sure I won´t be disappointed.



Where did you get the idea to travel the world by motorcycle with Ivana?

In South India, after we finished a short travel through India on motorcycle for a couple of months. When we finished this travel we decided that we need more of that. Free on the road, and the motorcycle was the perfect vehicle then to find the experience we where looking for. To decide to travel the world on motorcycle for a couple who has alternative style of life and who built a life without things and possessions, and that means without many responsibilities, it was not a difficult, strange or planned question. We both in a very natural way practically focused on preparing ourselves for such a long travel. But never very aware for what this decision means. We never knew how long time, how many countries, how many sacrifices, challenges to overcome or difficulties we have to face in such a travel. We just went on the road, started traveling and solving problems one by one as they came to us. We were asked this question a few times but we don´t remember who was the first to propose it. Ivana and I, even though so different, we think the same way in important things of life, so our personalities balance each other and make a team focused on the sames big goals.



Did you have any difficulties along the road and how did you cope with them?

There have been many difficulties. Travelling the world on motorbike automatically means many risks to face everyday, but to be like that for so long time makes this life our routine, so now our minds value the risk in very different way. We often think about the time when Ivana broke the leg in Chile or when we were lost and frozen in Pamir mountains. But we don’t need to forget tropical viruses, financial situation, high lands of Bolivia, drugs areas like in Sinaloa (Mexico), war areas infected with terrorists like in Sudan or Egypt, wildlife, loneliness of the desert and to be alone until every wrong thing happening… We overcome every situation as it comes to us. We try to minimize the risk but in a very natural way, controlling that our mind doesn’t get paranoia with the warnings of the people when we are reaching a conflict or difficult area on this planet. Today when this problems arrive we are not even sad, it is an opportunity for us to learn, to broke the monotony of things going good always. We have a chance to think how to overcome the problem, and this always bring us new friends and lessons during the process.


Which countries impressed you the most?

India, Tajikistan, Sudan, Namibia, Patagonia or Laos. These countries first came to my mind when I heard this question, but really, when I continue thinking the answer, more countries show up. Now there is no country that we don´t love, even those that made us have harder experiences. We love and enjoy every single country, all of them are beautiful and different.

Manu 16


What are your plans, are you staying in Macedonia?

Our plans are yet on the road. The more we travel, the bigger looks the world, more things we want to see and know and the answers are out there. Travel and photography is yet our present and future, but with some changes that soon we will start to talk about. Changes that will make the travel more interesting for us and all those who follow our stories. So no plan to stop and stay in Macedonia or any other place.


By: K.N.K.