A man of many countries who has spent his first year with Trek Travel guiding in Costa Brava as well as on L’Etape du Tour, Diego has a strong passion for exploring the world, a taste for new adventures and the travel journals to prove it.
So to start off, where are you from?
This is probably one of the hardest questions to answer. I was born in Mexico City, but grew up in Bolivia and spent a few years in Gainesville, Florida. I have three nationalities, Mexican, Bolivian and Swiss. Yes Swiss, but that is a story for when you come to one of my trips. For the last couple of years I’ve just been saying “I’m a citizen of the world.”
What did you do before you became a guide?
When I finished my degree in sustainable tourism and felt like I needed to do something more I grabbed my bicycle and started traveling to visit new towns and taste new cultures. With a group of my best friends we started to ride together and produce a radio show to promote sustainable tourism practices. Being in academia I also had the opportunity to travel around Mexico participating in rural tourism national conventions.
What has been your favorite part about guiding thus far?
Everyday is different. Each week is unique. Even if the days look the same on the website, our trips are memorable. I have the opportunity to meet amazing people from different parts of the world with incredible stories to share. And let’s not forget that we share the passion to ride the bicycle in some of the most beautiful places on earth.
What has been the biggest surprise?
Everything! Last year I had no clue what I was going to do in 2017. My closest friends kept asking, “What’s your plan?” And the only answer I kept repeating was, “I don’t know, but I will surprise myself!”
Well, here I am in Milan, Italy finishing eating the best pizza I’ve ever had while I write these few humbled words to share with you. Meanwhile I also try to imagine who might read this and then who will I have the honor to meet in person. The bonus, and one very important thing for me, is that I’m guiding bicycle trips in Europe with a fantastic group of people that I proudly call my Trek Travel family.
How did you come up with the travel journal idea?
Ever since I was 5 years old I have been traveling by plane alone. Back then, traveling was just a means to get to the final destination. Now I travel to enjoy every single part of the trip.
Since 2016 I started drawing a line and writing the names of the states I was crossing while we were on a road trip from Florida to Washington D.C. And that is the first official drawing in my journal. Now, each detail that happens during the trip I try to put it inside my notebook. I even ask people I meet randomly during my travels to sign their name or write a message. It’s a way to remember where I’ve been and what I’ve done.
Favorite trip to guide?
This year I have been guiding Costa Brava in Spain and during the Tour de France I had the opportunity to guide L’Etape du Tour. I love mountains, they are my favorite place to be. Riding in the French Alps was the most fantastic combination of challenging riding and amazing views.
Costa Brava on the other hand, is just the perfect combination of beautiful roads, rich culture and amazing places to visit. An all around great trip that gives us a new gift every week. Bright red poppy flowers at the beginning of spring or shining yellow sunflower fields towards the end of summer. And let’s not forget that every day we get the opportunity to dip our feet in the Mediterranean Sea.
Trip you’d love to guide soon?
I am very excited for our new trips in South America! I grew up in national parks in Bolivia and when I heard that Trek Travel is introducing Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands to the itinerary my explorer soul jumps from emotion.
And the biggie…favorite ride of all time?
Again a hard question!! I have two in mind. The 385km trip around the biggest lake in Mexico with really good friends. We had never done this together and we tackled every challenge we had on the road. It was the moment I knew I wanted to do multiple day trips by bicycle.
The second all time favorite is when my ex-partner and I gave away all our belongings and started a bicycle trip with our two dogs. We traveled with our bicycles visiting places that we never knew existed, also met wonderful people that open their homes to us so we could sleep in order to continue our trip.
Like I said before, now traveling for me is not only about the final destination. It’s all about the small details along the way.
Catch up with Diego in Costa Brava