joan manel monterde contreras
Around the world by bicycle
I could tell you that I am a photographer or an avid storyteller, but my heart, I am above all a simple traveler. All the countries I have visited, each one of them, has left something in me. In the past my trips did not always go alone, I did it accompanied by two of my best friends, with them I discovered friendship in all its dimensions, and I made wonderful trips such as cycling one of the highest areas of the planet, the Himalayas. But it was necessary to return to the routine and I did not like this idea. Over time I wondered if the life I was leading was the best option, if waiting for the holidays to experience this feeling that traveling by bike was the only possibility, I was participating of my life as I wanted? What if my dream of traveling by bike around the world with total freedom. I determined that if life is lived experiences I would leave my previous life to launch myself into a nomadic life. Since then I am more and more a citizen cut into pieces from thousands of other different places while I realize that we all have the same instincts and emotions. We all laugh and cry, we smile, we fall in love and we fall out of love. The surprising thing is to discover how essentially similar we are in creating any of these emotions and reacting. In short, what we all seek is happiness. For me happiness is partly being able to decide. Due to the nature of traveling by bicycle, I can relate intimately to the places and towns I visit. This means spending most of your time in nature and / or with local people, creating and building relationships that are truly unique and have the power to change the way you think and ultimately who you were. Each of them has encouraged me to further my desire to learn even more. I went out to face everything, both to fascinate and to frustrate. I went outside to interact with people who are sometimes radically different but the more I get involved with them, the more I learn to see the world from a different perspective. This keeps my heart and mind fresh, open and alive. I sold my house and my car to participate in this dream. It is in this intimacy that is built through empathic connection with other human beings that my spirit flourishes. My photographs and my stories are a direct consequence of my experience. I live the stories they contain and photograph them. Through them, I seek to portray the human condition, the people and the environment in which they live, in the most dignified way, because behind each person in this world there is an underlying dignity, there is humanity, there is something within each of them that intrinsically links them to me and links me to them.