The Motorcycle Diaries
Ernesto Che Guevara
Che Guevara – okay – a super important revolutionary figure that everyone should know about (and most of you probably do), I won’t go into those details here. If I can attempt to summarize in one sentence: a lifetime of controversial but inspiring political actions leading a revolution and setting off a generation of social reformation all over the world.
But the diaries are so, so much the travelers’ chronicle. Guevara and a childhood friend left their privileged lives in Argentina to take a motorcycle road trip around South America. They visited Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Florida.
It was on this trip that Guevara was first exposed to crippling poverty, social grindstones, and immense landscapes of change that eventually lead him to becoming the revolutionary for the people we all know him for today.
You can so easily see the personal growth that overwhelms Guevara as they stumble through the experiences along the trip. I should note too, that like many other travel narratives, it’s got great humor and is full of hilarious situations. Every backpacker will easily relate to the absurd stuff that can only happen when you are being open to new experiences in unknown territory.
This is truly a classic traveler’s narrative and then knowing how the rest of his life unfolded after this trip is a powerful testament to the importance of exposure to the world at large.