Just over 500 years ago, some guy by the name of Christopher Columbus set sail from Europe on a trip whose significance (for better or for worse) is apparent to most of us. However few folks know that Isabella, the queen of Spain, originally denied his request for funding. It was only thanks to a change of last-minute heart by King Ferdinand that Columbus' trip was ever possible. As the story goes, a dejected Columbus was already on his way out of town on a mule when Ferdinand's messengers fetched him back to the castle to receive the news.
I don't think of myself as a new-age Columbus by any means, but if I may be so indulgent, I do have quite an offer to those of you who plan to follow along as I explore South America: how would you like to be the King of Spain? Well I can make a king (or queen) out of each and every one of you. Here's how:
Become a Mantra of Miles sponsor!
"Mantra of Miles Cerveza Fund" ($1) - As suggested by my boss. My planned mode of existence will be relatively spartan during my travels. Travelling by motorcycle, camping as much as possible, preparing my own meals at the campsite or the occasional empanada from a street vendor, etc. If you'd like to treat yours truly to a cold one, this is the sponsorship for you! Feel free to recommend a local brew with your gift!
"High-Five Master" ($5) - If anything you've read on this site ever made you think "that's pretty neat!", then consider giving me an intercontinental high-five with this sponsorship level. For example, five dollars will get me (almost) one gallon of gas in Peru, or a tasty bit of street food!
"1-Up" Sponsor ($20) - Every now and then it would be nice to renew my spirits with a shower and to sleep on an actual mattress.
"El Amigo Más Amigo" ($50) - When you're living on $10-$20 per day, $50 goes a long way. Anyone donating at this level, as the name implies, is a friend among friends. In the name amistad, I'd be remiss if I didn't reciprocate. For each gift of $50 I will grant 1 personal request (as specified by the donor) and document it on my blog for all to enjoy. Dare me to eat a guinea pig or reenact Sister Maria singing "The Sound of Music" from the top of Macchu Picchu....or politely request that I send you a postcard.
"Say My Name" Sponsor ($1500) - Ever wanted to have a motorcycle named after you? Well, you're in luck! Whoever donates $1500, not coincidentally the estimated price of a Chinese/Korean/Brazilian made 250cc dual-sport motorcycle in Bolivia, will get to choose what I name my motorcycle. Whether you're looking to advertise your company all across South America or you wish to subject yours truly for a continent's worth of embarrassment a la Top Gear, this is the sponsorship level for YOU!
So if you want to live like a king, this is your chance to get started! As your loyal new age conquistador, I steadfastly swear that for each and every donation (and I mean every donation) I will submit a personal "thank you" via my blog. Share the glory with me of my accomplishments without having to endure any of the hardships.
Although my trip is designed to be self-funded, I want to be able to share it with anyone who is interested. Of course, carrying camera equipment and maintaining a website would be normally be the first things struck from the packing list when travelling across a continent by motorcycle. However, I am well aware that my "solo" trip is only made possible with the support of my loved ones back home, and I want to be able to share this journey with all of you as it unfolds. As a soon-to-be-unemployed vagabond with naught but a motorcycle and a tent, I humbly suggest that you consider a donation to make this trip a success that everyone can share. Family, friend, or stranger; all will be welcome to my tales whether they originate from the road, the city, the jungle, or mountainside.
As the journey progresses, I plan on partnering with organizations supporting local projects focused on economic development, education, healthcare, and sustainable agriculture. MoM readers will have the opportunity to donate to these specific causes through the SUPPORT page soon.