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Behind the scenes • Community

Meet a traveller: Alex Chacón of Around the World in 360°

By Jane Atkin   10 July 2014 11:31am Europe/London

If you don’t know who Alex Chacón is then you aren’t one of the 8.6 million people who have seen Around the World in 360°.

At the beginning of his adventure, Alex sold everything he had, including his car, TV and clothes and left his hometown of El Paso Texas with nothing to return to and has been living only out of his motorcycle for the next three years. Since then he’s taken his motorcycle though more than 36 countries, crossing more than 75 borders, clocked over more than 200,000km and  around the planet, discovering the most unique places and people on earth! Our kind of traveller.

Alex extends an arm to capture his motorcycle-helmet-wearing face against a backdrop of the arid Argentinian countryside
200 days of travel and finally making it to the tip of Argentina and the Patagonia, sub arctic temperatures and 30,000+ miles to get there. Image courtesy of Alex Chacón

WHERE WAS YOUR LAST TRIP?

My last trip was a motorcycle ride through the middle east in Oman and the UAE, before that it was a ride from Alaska to Argentina in 500 days.

WHERE IS YOUR NEXT TRIP?

Headed to Morocco next week for a ride across the Sahara then the following week to old Route 66 in the USA.

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST TRAVEL-RELATED MEMORY?

When I was two years old my mom and dad would put me in the car and drive me around the neighborhood which would put me to sleep, I remember the road moving before my eyes – that was surprisingly relaxing.

AISLE OR WINDOW SEAT?

The budget traveler in me says whatever seat I get I’m happy with, I’d even take the space in the aisle or cargo bay just to get somewhere new! But I always like to see what I’m flying over from the window as well if possible.

Alex stands with both arms extended on a rocky rim overlooking the enormous rust-coloured valleys of the Grand Canyon
Overlooking the Grand Canyon in Canyonlands N.P. while riding the White Rim trail. Image courtesy of Alex Chacón

DO YOU HAVE ANY TRAVEL HABITS OR RITUALS?

Try to not get killed that day is the idea. Every trip is different, every country has its unique challenges and people you deal with aren’t always the same. So despite the same jumping pictures or my unique 360 Degree spin in the major sights, I make the effort to keep each expedition entirely unique.

FAVORITE CITY OR COUNTRY OR REGION?

I love each place in a different way.

WHAT IS YOUR BEST OR WORST TRAVEL SOUVENIR?

Driving around the world has left me with some scars I could do without. The best things I usually take back are the pictures and videos that will live on forever thanks to the magic of the internet! That along with the knowledge of discovering a lake unseen by any foreigner in over 100 years somewhere above the clouds of the Andes in Peru.

WHAT IS THE BEST OR WORST PIECE OF TRAVEL ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?

A really bad one would be: ‘Don’t go to ‘blank’ because it’s dangerous’. You can fill the blank with any city or country in the world there. This usually comes from those who have never been to the place itself and automatically deter you from going because of their perception of it from their limited knowledge and experience of the place. It’s one of the most common phrases I encounter that always leaves me a bit confused.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST TRAVEL FAIL?

Driving around the world I would always get lost and would waste hours and days trying to get out of cities, but that’s quite inevitable honestly. That along with being at the wrong place and the wrong time in the Middle East, I was detained by the military and police for no reason for a whole day with no explanation as to why I was being held with no access to food or the phone.

QUICK, AN ASTEROID IS GOING TO HIT THE EARTH IN ONE WEEK! WHICH IS THE ONE TRAVEL DREAM YOU’D RUSH TO FULFIL?

Because I’ve had the privilege or traveling so much, I’ve found a few unique spots where an asteroid wouldn’t do any damage, so I would be most happy and content traveling with my friends and family to this spot to avoid obliteration!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FIRST TIME TRAVELER?

It’s doesn’t matter where you go, just leave your house and you’ll be on an adventure halfway around the world or across the street. Make every day an adventure no matter what you are doing or where you are. Follow your passion and your dreams will come true.

You can find Alex on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or catch up on his adventures on The Modern Motorcycle Diaries.