As 2019 comes to a close, we’ve been asking gearheads like us how their 2019s went and what they’re looking forward to in 2020. Where all the other automotive outlets start announcing their cars of the year (#COTY), we’re more interested in the stories and accomplishments our friends and members care about most.
We call it Care of the Year.
Diego Baltazar went full Adventurist in 2019. Now that he’s had a taste, he’s hungry for more.
What’s the most important gearhead story of 2019?
The most important story in motoring insanity would be my Mongol Rally experience.
It’s a fast dive into a world unknown; filled with all the valor one would need to lift their spirits. It’s along the lines of Burning Man, but with wheels, and people just as dirty. It’s a motoring adventure throughout many countries, ours traversing across 15 total countries, some beautiful, some not as glorious.
There were many times where laughs were had, and fear was struck. Some inklings along the way included: Globeki-Tepe, Kapadokya (Cappadocia), Goreme which is where they state the last supper took place, and was where Jesus was taken to be prosecuted for his crimes. We were able to walk the hand cobbled streets or Hierapolis, dip our feet in Pamukkale springs, and take in the views of the salt pools. There was so much to see, and so little time to do it all, one day I will return to do more.
What feels like YOUR biggest accomplishment of 2019?
I would say my biggest accomplishment is just not dying in 2019.
After the year I had, it’s a miracle. Most people would jettison to a world of resort, spend their time well until they went broke. Some would have went into drugs or alcohol, the party life, and more than likely needed more than a stomach pump. I bet there would be a casket there. So I would have to say staying alive, and being able to do what I still enjoy with my time. I was able to buy land, travel the world, save the planet, and make new friends all while seeing certain parts of the world most people will never see, in a way they certainly have never imagined.
What’s something important you learned this year?
I learned the art of patience. I’m usually quick with it, and on the tip of it all. But I had to learn to slow life down a bit, be a bit more open, and have a shit ton of patience with people. Patience comes in clutch when you need to keep your cool in a Chechnyan guard shack being shook down for money under threat of jail time.
The Turkish cops were way cooler, they pulled people over with tanks… and this is right before the bombings of Turkey/Syria. Fun times.
Patience was also key during each and every border control. The length of time to cross was anywhere from a simple hour to a max of SEVENTEEN HOURS in line [ in a TUNNEL ], with another two hours in questioning.
What’s your most important goal for 2020?
My most important goal for 2020 would have to be to work on myself even more, travel more than I did the year before, and seek out new spots I’ve always dreamed of shooting on film. I would like to pursue my photography more, maybe pick up another lens and see what I can do, or just keep shooting the wild landscapes I already get after.
I want to be happy. Whatever that is, or whatever that takes I want to be happy.
Some value it as wealth. I already had that. Some value it as friends, family, those close knit moments that they can grasp with ease. Mines a bit harder, being as I’m not sure what will ever tip that bucket to splash the real happiness Im after… but I will work on it day in and out, just to better my views.
What’s it gonna take to achieve it?
Oh man. Patience. It’s going to take a butt-load of patience working on myself, from the inside out. It’s going to take something pretty balls-out for me to be struck and say, “Shit, Diego, it’s time man, go do that shit that makes you happy.” So we will see. I’ve been soul searching for years. I might need to add a life partner that has the travel bug like I do; one I can share the passion and experiences with. That’s really what I’m after. Someone to share in the experiences, because doing this alone gets super boring. Maybe I just need a dog…
Whatever it is, I need to get on the ball with this one.
How can we help?
That’s a great question. Man, I wish I knew how to converse about that. It sounds amazing, the way it rolls around in my head, but when I need to put it down on paper it’s just a whirling dervish.
I think the thing I need more help with is the tech side. A simple walk through to a few clicks on things that would be helpful or beneficial. Then, man, I would love for someone to teach me that dang Instagram algorithm so my posts would reach the max potential audience, and from there I believe I could get a better outreach of support from viewers through the click scale.
[ Wouldn’t we all, man. Wouldn’t we all? ]