Sure more than one of us has once thought of travelling the world making a living out of one of our talents, earning some money when possible and discovering new places continuously.
Perhaps the idea seems fascinating, but quite risky. After all, so many things could go wrong, right? Well, thanks to our volunteers Anja and Azrael we have seen with our own eyes that this is not remotely as complicated as it seems.
This couple, she is German and he is Venezuelan, met a little more than two years ago in Colombia, after which they have travelled around Peru, Ecuador and now Mexico selling crafts they make out of steel and leather. It was a clash of two worlds in the beginning, but it lead the path to a new way to see life for both.
“We met as travelers. I had the European way of travelling, almost as everyone else you work back home and then you leave and don’t have to worry about anything while on your trip. Then I met him and it was a completely different world. He has to work because otherwise he has no money and nowhere to stay,” Anja recalls.
Azrael, now 36-years-old, became a craftsman from an early age, which gave him the perfect opportunity to set sail. “I learned when I was 18, around there, and I only made crafts but never moved around, then when I was 20 I felt that eagerness, that urge and just said ‘that’s it, I’m leaving’. And I started traveling to the beaches, which was what normally people did and was the best thing to do, work on the beach selling crafts”.
Changing plans and adapting to this new life was not easy for Anja, but looking back she has a clear view on what one has to do and she can give some advice to anyone willing to start a similar adventure.
“Perhaps let go of shame, that feeling of going out in the streets and doing it for the first time. That to me was the first thing, it was something like ‘oh, I don´t know, I’m a bit ashamed to be here, everyone is looking at me, I’m standing right on the street.’ That I think was the first step, let that, that thought go and just try”.
Once that first obstacle had been overcome, they both realized that the talents and knowledge each one has could help them grow much more than they expected.
“We complement each other, for example, if we go to Europe we can start selling our crafts on the internet, do these things that are not so common here. He didn’t know how to do it and that is an option too, so we are a good team,” Anja says.
Of course, it is not always easy to sell crafts on the streets and you even have to be prepared for a few blows, such as the one they faced in Peru. “Around five city agents came to us and took our stuff. Earrings, bracelets, rings, almost everything we had sold up to that moment was taken from us because they said we didn’t have a work permit, that’s the negative side.”
But luck also can always change from place to place. “More than anything here in Mexico, the truth is that you see people really like what we do and we noticed that no matter where we go, we sell, and in other countries it was a bit more difficult, but here in Mexico the truth is things always flow.”
The lessons you get, beyond the earnings, are some of the most valuable things in this business. “It’s beautiful because what I like is to know the people, society. If I’m going to a place I also like to be around people, get to know what their customs are, their happiness, why do they fight for, what do they like,” Azrael tells.
Finally, another important lesson, that they have very well learned, is that you must find balance so that you can enjoy this at its most. “On the one hand it gives us freedom to do practically anything we want, but on the other hand you have this responsibility that you have to go out because you rely on this and you have to work. But it is all fine, this is part of what we are now.”
Anja finishes with a piece of advice to whomever has thought of going on a similar adventure. “Believe in yourself is the most important. If you can make anything well, be it cooking or crafts, anything, if you know you have this talent just believe in yourself and try, do it”.
Azrael and Anja know that, no matter what happens, everything flows and you can always have a good life enjoying whatever it is you love, and so it will be now they´re here in Mexico and surely anywhere else they go to.
For now, they want Azrani Art, their common project, to keep growing in the long term. Meanwhile, they are planning to launch Azrani Music in order to pursuit other passion they share. You can get to know what they do in more detail by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Antonio. I travel not to know places,
but to know people.