Raúl García and Mariana Garay are preparing for the trip of a lifetime.
Raúl was born in Palma and Mariana is from Argentina but she’s lived here in Majorca since she was 1-year-old.
They are leaving the island on March 7 on a one way trip around the world and 3-year-old Auka and 7-month-old Nilo are going with them.
“Before we had children we took a trip through Asia for about four months and we met a lot of couples who were travelling around the world with their young children, so we thought that if we had children, we would do that too.”
Raúl is a professional chef who used to work for Marc Fosh and now works for Santi Taura and Mariana is a social integrator.
“When we had Auka we decided that if we had a second child we would travel around the world when he or she was seven months old, because by that age children have already had the most important vaccines and they’re eating purees,” they said.
As soon as Nile arrived, Mariana and Raul started planning their trip and say they’ll home school their daughter while they’re travelling.
“My wife has experience of educational studies, so I don't think it will be a problem and we will also be teaching her about the different aspects of nature, social sciences and the environment in situ,” says Raúl.
They’re both excited about the trip, but Raúl admits that his family were not amused when they shared their plans.
“They didn't understand why we wanted to leave everything that we have here and they told us we were being a little bit selfish,” he says, “but Mariana's family were much more understanding, because she is much more used to travelling.”
Their first stop is Thailand, which is a country they know well and feel safe in.
"We want to start there because it is the entrance to Southeast Asia. We know the area and it is also one of the cheapest places to live and the food is very good,” they said.
They plan to spend a few month in Thailand before exploring Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.
"You can think that going around the world requires a lot of money, but it doesn’t, food and accommodation are very cheap in Asia. We are also planning to go to New Zealand,” says Raúl. “Mariana has already been there, so the idea is to work a season there to make some money, which we know will be difficult without a work or study permit, but we think it might be easier in places further away from the big cities like Auckland or Wellington.”
Then they hope to cross the Pacific Ocean to Canada and from there go down to Mexico.
"We have calculated that we will have enough money up to that point and in South America we will have the advantage of the language, although it’s not as cheap there as you might think, because transportation is quite expensive,” states Raúl. “It could be several months or even years before we decide whether to return to Majorca or complete a world tour, which does not include Africa because Nile is so young, but it will be an unforgettable experience.”
Chased by criminals in Vietnam
In 2014, Mariana and Raúl travelled to Asia and took a cruise on Halong Bay in Vietnam and everything went well until they were left abandoned on an island.
When they got back to the mainland and threatened to report the Tour Operator they suddenly found themselves being followed by several people.
"We took refuge in a hostel, but one of them gave the Receptionist a card and then disappeared,” Raúl recalls. “Luckily, we were able to escape and reach another hostel, where an American tourist hid us in his room while his friends tried to distract the men. We called the embassy in Hanoi and the next day Spanish Police arrived in a car and got us out of there,” he says.
“We were told not to worry and that if we ever had a problem, we should never go to the local police, because they were worse than the gangsters,” he says.
But clearly that hasn’t put them off travelling one little bit and they’re really looking forward to starting their new family adventure.