I Dream of Africa

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It's been awhile since I've done any interviews about #followyourdream but I just could not miss out on sharing this inspiring person's journey with everyone. 

Recently I came across the Facebook posts of Mariu, and the thing that struck me was the absolute passion with which she wrote, showing a love of life that would do everyone well to have. Even more striking was how she seemed to energise people through this and awaken/rewake their will to live. 

Follow Mariu on her Facebook page at (Mariu Pachamama) and read more on her website at (www.unsuenoviajero.com).
Instagram:  @unsuenoviajero

Hola Mariu, and thanks for letting me do this interview with you. We've been chatting a few weeks and I'm very excited to share your story with people.

I know already that there are some questions that drive you crazy haha so I will try to avoid those. 

Marcell:  As an introduction Mariu, please give us a little background of where you're from and if there's a place where you're based at the moment? An introduction to "Who's Mariu."
Mariu:  That's one of the difficult questions!! Haha Those that I have to think about to answer. Where am I from...? I was born and lived many years in Asturias, a small paradise in the north of Spain. I love Asturias, it's a magical place without any doubt, and part of me is and will always be from there. But, where do I feel I'm from? A percentage of me is from Asturias, and the rest (the biggest percentage) from the world. From all the places I got to know and loved, and all those others that I've not yet got to know, but will do, and also will love. I'm a little bit from everywhere. I feel air, and almost almost can fly. I don't feel absolutely anchored to one place and sometimes I feel anchored to all of them. It's something a little difficult to explain. 

My base, difficult question as well! I don't really have one, currently it could be Asturias, but everything is in a process of change. I am change! I very much want establish my base somewhere in my beloved Africa. And, who knows...!

Marcell:  If you have only wish at this moment, what would that be?
Mariu:  Only one! One that encapsulates all,  I wish to continue feeling free. I wish I could in one or other way continue living free, today and always. I want to be able to choose each day of my life. All this forms part of the same wish

Marcell:  You told me that two and a half years ago, the medical doctors gave you bad news and a really big surgery. 
- but then you said your dream saved you! Can you tell us what happened and how your dream was able to save you?
Mariu:  Effectively yes. In February of 2016 I found out that I had a huge brain tumour that was already showing symptoms for more than three years. However, I wasn't paying attention to it, I'm not a hypochondriac at all! In my case it was affecting the motor skills, I was progressively getting weaker and losing the ability to move like the right leg at the moment. I had to leave everything I enjoyed (the gym, dancing, and even yoga) and finally I couldn't even walk well without my foot twisting and bending to one side every two to three paces. 

In addition to that, during the year and a half also had an extreme headache, a pain that would wake me up every night crying. In that respect the medical doctors alleged that it was stress and recommended that I do sport... Never did they do any test until finally, it was a Chinese doctor who suggested that I might have something in the brain. 

When I found out I had a tumour, it was already very very big like I said and had to be removed and removed soon. My life changed in two weeks. I left everything I had in Valencia, (I was living there) rented house, friends, and partner. I asked for permission from my work to go to Asturias to be with my family for the operation, I knew that neither the surgery or post-surgery would be easy, so I wanted to be with my family. I went with one suitcase that I didn't know what to pack in. It was winter in Spain but I didn't know when I would return, or how, or if I would return. So I got some warm clothes, some t-shirts for the heat and little else. I didn't know anything about anything. 

Before I found out I had a tumour, a long time before, but with more strength in the last year, I wanted to leave my job. I was an official (civil service) and somebody told that Spain was in a big crisis - and that I had a secure job for life and a salary that permitted me to do what I wanted. But not many people understood that I didn't want that, and didn't want to live like that. I have always seen life as a great gift and did not want to waste it working in a grey office, that I detested, for 40 years! How could they understand it?!

So the day of my birthday (7 October), four months before I found out I had a tumour. I tattooed a "free" and little birds on my right arm and promised myself that I would leave my work forever and realise my life dream - travelling the world, to be free. 

Later life blessed me with the tumour, it made things easier for me after the tumour and everything I had lived through, there was no turning back. If all went well, I would leave everything and go. I clung to that through the most painful moments, physically and emotionally, there in the hospital. Also clinging to this before my surgery when I didn't know how things would turn out, or if I would have neurological damage as it could've happened and also when I woke up in ICU after my induced coma. I clung to them when I felt I would die of the pain (I also had problems with my lungs and the drainage that was tearing them apart). Also when I felt useless in the hospital, when I couldn't even eat by myself, they had to do everything for me.

My dream saved me from falling into the drama, the self-pity and complaining. My dream reconnected me with the healing, with the happiness, and the love of life. Not one day did I abandon it, it was my light, it was my everything. In the most painful moments I clung to it even tighter, clenching my teeth and thinking of those songs that reminded me of those parts of the world where I'd been first - Latin America. So that connected me to the happiness, despite the pain. 

So that's why I always say my dream saved me. 

Marcell:  I've noticed in how you write about Africa that it has a very special place in your heart. 

Now you're planning on taking small groups with you to introduce them to those places you love in Africa. What kind of trips will these be - I don't think I can call them tours?

Mariu:  Yes, I found my "home" in Africa and loved that part of the world unconditionally since the first day. I totally think that I belong in part, or completely, to Africa. They told me that Africa changes your life, and now I say that's for sure. It changes you, it's inevitable, of course for the better. 

I hate travelling in groups, and have always hated it - that's why I travel alone! So what I want to do with my trips is far from the "typical group travel" which is overwhelming, exhausting and in a hurry. I want us basically to be like a group of friends travelling, that's why the group size is smaller. I want us to create this union and every night we sit down in a circle, sharing with the others what we wish. Of course, there's total freedom to choose to do it or not, including being alone if you wish. There's nothing obligatory, total freedom to flow as one wishes. 

Apart from that, I've called my trip an EMPOWERMENT trip, because whoever wants will also have the opportunity to travel in my hand. They can talk to me, tell me and I can accompany and help in any process of change or blockage through everything that I've learnt and lived through over the last years. It will be for someone who wants that, a type of coaching that can boost them in anything they need. I'm an expert in that!

Marcell:  #followyourdream  is about finding out what people’s dreams are and how they are working towards them. What dream is at the top of the list for you - how does your passion for travel and Africa fit in with it?
Mariu:  Like I told you before, my dream is to be able to continue living free and in my way. To be able to choose each day and live the life I want. No more working in "grey offices" and do what makes me passionate about living. So, as part of this dream of a free life, is to try the trips to Africa, joining my two largest passions. However, I have more other projects, that if it goes well, will allow me to live where I want, moving and travelling- but for now that's Top Secret!

Marcell:  What have you done/are you doing to achieve your dream or at least get closer to it?
Mariu:  I am doing everything for dream for a couple of years, from my tumour. Currently I live the way I want to and how I want to carry on living. 

Marcell:  Is what you're doing now getting you closer to that moment where you can stop for a moment and say "This is my dream!"
Mariu:  My free life, my dream of a free life. 

Thanks very much for not only sharing your dreams with us but also your inspirational journey to realising them. 


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