By RON J. BACKUS
IGNACIO Dean Mouliaá currently owns two pairs of trousers – and he’s walked 14,000km in them. Now, those are what you call travelling pants.
Mouliaá, known as Nacho to his friends, is a Spanish national who began his walk on March 21, 2013, from the Sun Square in Madrid, Spain. His plan is simple – to walk around the world solo, accompanied only by his pram.
After crossing Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia, he finally landed on Malaysian soil on Feb 7 this year.
Nacho flies or sails whenever traversing on foot through land is not feasible. After crossing the causeway to Singapore, he will make his way to Australia via Indonesia, and then all the way across the Pacific to the Americas.
His final port of call will be Africa and after that, he heads northwards, back to his native Spain.
After studying Advertisement and Public Relations and engaging in a short working stint, he realised his love for the environment resonated louder.
“I am doing this purely for passion. The message I am trying to send is that I love nature,” said Nacho, who spoke to us at The White Cup, a lifestyle club in Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.
“Doing this was about displaying my strong desire for freedom. I think we are lucky to be alive. For me, the meaning of life is to fight for your dreams. If you have no dreams, there is no sense in living,” said the 33-year old.
Armed with that philosophy as his mental vitamin, Nacho took a total of two years to prepare for this challenging trip. “I thought about it for a year and then took another nine months to prepare the camping stuff, talking to sponsors, getting my vaccines, planning the route and making arrangements for the necessary documents.”
He only brings items which are crucial to survival in his trolley-pram (attracting attention for it, in the process) – sleeping bag, tent, camera, water and clothes. “I wash my clothes in the river or a fountain before I reach a city. People stare at me, but it’s important to be clean.” He also keeps a first aid kit with him because he cannot afford to get sick while he’s in some desolate place. Nacho joked that people sometimes think he has a baby in the pram because he never parts with it. “They are attracted to me and ask many questions. But there are many good people in every country and I never had problems with the different cultures.”
He uses the sun’s position for directions (his GPS) and he can cover approximately 50-60km a day.
“If it’s too hot to walk during the day, I walk at night. The moonlight is my sun.”
Although Nacho had sorted out his finances long before embarking on this journey, he is confident that by walking, he can keep the cost down.
“There are people who offer donations through my website, so that’s one way for money to come in. If I come across a serious problem, then I’ll probably have to work wherever I stop.”
Besides enjoying the beautiful scenery each country has to offer, Nacho said there were bad times too, especially whenever his trolley handle broke and had to be replaced. “People were nice enough to spare me wooden sticks for my trolley, so that I could continue my journey.”
When travelling, communication between you and the people of that country is very important. So, how does one master multiple languages?
Nacho, who’s proficient in Spanish, French and English, says that ultimately, body language is the most important because at times, when language is an issue, a smile and a few polite hand gestures can go a long way.
After Kuala Lumpur, Nacho will walk to Malacca via Seremban using the trunk roads.
“Highways are forbidden, dangerous and not interesting. I like to see the real life of the country, the village and the people. It’s definitely more scenic than walking on the highway.”
It’s a pleasant coincidence that Nacho literally walked into the country during Visit Malaysia Year.
“Malaysia is very beautiful and has good food. The only snag is that it’s very hot.”
He also feels that Malaysia is one of the best countries in Asia as it’s very comfortable and he doesn’t have to worry about the cleanliness of food and water.
“I have set five years for my walk around the world, but now, I feel that I’m walking fast. I believe I will reach Madrid in three years or less.”
After living a nomadic lifestyle for a few years, it might be a little difficult to finally settle down. Nacho shares his concern that after his world tour, he doesn’t know if he will have to pitch his tent outside his home and worst, part with his dear trolley.
“I’m learning every day. You don’t need to have many things to be happy.”
We asked him, on a parting note, if he would recommend this type of adventure to young people and he responded with a wide smile, saying, “If you love walking, then yes, of course.”
“But what I really recommend, is to fight for your dreams. It doesn’t matter what dream, so just go for it. One day, you will look back and realise that it was worth it.”
Nacho has many beautiful pictures to share, so, follow his journey via his website: earthwidewalk.tumblr.com and his Facebook page Earth Wide Walk.