I Turned My Van Into A Food Truck To Travel Around The World

At 24 and living in Buenos Aires, a 14-million people city, I decided to trade my career in marketing for an old Volkswagen ‘hippie’ van, which I named Clarita after my younger sister. Clarita, my new friend, the car and the house, is now in charge of taking me around the world. At the moment I’m travelling South to North, from Tierra Del Fuego, the most southern tip of the Americas, to Alaska.

For several years I was travelling and working various jobs in different countries – waiting tables at restaurants, working at construction sites and car repair shops, selling sandwiches on the beach in Rio during World Cup – to save a little money to move forward.

A year ago I turned Clarita, the van, into a food truck. I’m making “lomitos,” Argentinean steak sandwiches cooked with a traditional local liquor – Fernet in Argentina and Paraguay, Pisco in Peru, Singani in Bolivia. Am I a Chef? Far from that. But had no idea about many things that I ended doing to survive and keep moving.

Travelling helped me break from routine and open the circle. Back home it feels that your circle is locked – same places, same people, same conversations – but travelling opens you to people from different backgrounds, professions, religions and social classes and you end up befriending someone who you wouldn’t even have a chance to meet in your home country. Having seen breathtaking landscapes, worked many jobs and tasted amazing food, I’d say It’s all about people.

So far, I have traveled more than 12.000 miles in 8 countries of South America and met hundreds of strangers who’ve made this journey incredible. The name of my goal is still Alaska, and even though sometimes it feels easier to throw the towel, this battle between a businessman and a freeman doesn’t have a winner yet.

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At 24 years I quit my office job in Buenos Aires to travel in a VW van that I named Clarita after my younger sister

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I worked different jobs to keep moving. From constructions…

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…to waiting tables…

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…to repairing cars

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A year ago I decided to turn Clarita into a ‘food truck’

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now I can work and move around easier

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I sell “lomitos,” Argentinean steak sandwiches

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Made with local liquor – fernet in Argentina and Paraguay, singani in Bolivia, pisco in Peru

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Am I a Chef? Far from that. But had no idea about many things that I ended doing to survive and keep moving

I-turned-my-VW-Van-into-a-Food-Truck-to-travel-around-the-world-5746a6f48e2b2__880

Travelling helped me break from routine and open the circle

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Driving through Salar de Uyuni.

Back home it feels that your circle is locked – same places, same people, same conversations

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Death Road in Bolivia.

But travelling opens you to people from different backgrounds, professions, religions and social classes

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Pantanal, remote part of Paraguay accessible only by boat.

you end up befriending someone who you wouldn’t even have a chance to meet in your home country

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Camping in the mountains of Peru.

Having seen breathtaking landscapes, worked many jobs and tasted amazing food, I’d say It’s all about people

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So far, I have traveled more than 12,000 miles in 8 countries of South America

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In Ibague, Colombia I organized a small Volkswagen festival with other travellers.

I’ve met hundreds of strangers who’ve made this journey incredible

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Visiting Machu Picchu.

 

Via Franco Paltrinieri

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