Want to make a big change in your life? Mateo wanted to make his next 30 years better than the first 30, so he set out on a life changing trip with a bunch of close mates.
Here’s what Mateo had to say about the adventure:
When I turned 30, the certainty of what I had done in the past was overshadowed by doubt. I felt my life was making a big turn. My taste for things in life had changed, including my professional career. Even my native country, Colombia, no longer felt like home, now that I’m living in Australia. I believe that having been in a pandemic for a little more than a year and a half didn’t help with my uneasiness either.
As a child, I always believed that by the age of 30, I would have established my life, possibly with children and a corporate job. None of that was happening at the moment, and embarking on this stage without the certainty of what was to come was just overwhelming to me, but at the same time filled me with some sort of emotion. It felt like a white canvas on which I could start portraying what I wanted in the next 30 years.
In this ocean of doubts, there were a couple of things that kept me afloat and made me feel secure again: my passion for the outdoors and enjoying it from the saddle of a bike, and my most recently found passion for documenting those adventures with my camera. Those two things are sort of an anchor that provides me with confidence for what the future will bring.
For one, the bike has been what has helped me make it through all the past stages and kept me moving both in moments of doubt and moments of joy. I have done it for the last 17 years and will continue doing so for the rest of my life. And the camera was that love at first sight which, from the first moment I saw a photo taken on a trip that transported me back to that moment, I knew would be my adventure companion.
I knew the best way to celebrate my 30s would be doing what I like the most as some sort of ritual, so that my next 30 years would be loaded with so much more of it. At the same time, I knew I had to stop worrying about labelling and defining life stages, and that I should simply live, enjoy, and let it flow.
So I mapped a bikepacking route and shared it with my group of friends to plan our next trip. Nevertheless, I wanted this brand-new stage to commence excitingly and differently, with something we’d never done before: a couple of days of bikerafting down the Murray River, the longest river in Australia.