Christophe Mausen


Solo voyage

With little enthusiasm for the idea of facing a professional challenge, he made a living doing small jobs and saved the sum of 200,000 BEF (5000 €) with which he hoped to undertake an initial voyage in South America. Under the chauvinistic influence of his room mate from the army, a Belgo-Argentine, he allowed himself to be convinced that Argentina represented a glorious starting point. He landed in Buenos Aires, in the Constitucion quarter, lived there for a hundred days, supported the Boca Junior football club and attended one of the last matches played by Maradona. He loved this town, the mother of all the tangos of the world, but the call of the road was pressing. He was gripped by wanderlust and itching to stick out his thumb along the “carreteras”. He therefore offloaded most of his baggage and undertook a road trip of more than 15,000 kilometres on the roads of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Brazil.
Six months later, he was homesick and his financial resources were exhausted. In the aeroplane that took him back to Brussels, chance would have it that he was sat next to the passenger with whom he had made the trip out. They had become acquainted in English and rediscovered each other nine months later in Spanish. His progress in the language of Borgès had been immense. He returned, transformed by this solitary adventure that he would never forget and from which he would draw many personal lessons. Among these, he would always remember that one is never alone when in contact with oneself. That was the end of 1992.