At first, Matyas Amaya had planned to be away from home for a few days. Little by little, a few days turned into five years and more than 80,000 kilometers (49,709 miles). That's what happens when you work up the nerve: you end up cycling across the Atlantic.
"From Argentina, I went north and traveled across Brazil, then I went by ship to Europe and traveled across the EU, Madrid, the Basque Country, France, Eastern Europe… and then I arrived in Moscow," Matyas Amaya told Sputnik.
And here he is, in Moscow. With the same bicycle, he left Argentina on and that has ended up weighing more than him after five years. "It weighs 90 kilos," Matyas assures Sputnik. And believe it or not, Sputnik couldn't lift it off the ground. "Of course… All my life's in this bike, everything that has happened to me, we are inseparable, it's my house," he says.
There are dozens of Latin American and European flags, four cans of more than five liters of water, winter and summer clothes, hundreds of stickers in a handful of languages, toys, posters, maps, a drone, several hard drives "full of everything he's been through", photographs of his loved ones, toiletries, cameras, more stickers…
"What I have here is a company," he says.
How can a person survive five years of cycling? "I don't have money," Matyas admits.
"I live on the help that people give me, otherwise I couldn't survive. There are those who give me money, people who have never let any stranger into their homes, let me in and give me something to eat or let me take a shower," he explains.
From his experience, he has learned that there are a lot more good than bad people. "Many more good than bad things have happened to me," Matyas adds.
The fact that he arrived in Russia right during the celebration of the World Cup is purely coincidental. But he's not complaining. He managed to see the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia with his own eyes. A family of Russians approached him interested in who he was and they asked him if he thought of entering the stadium.
"They said to me how was it possible that I had traveled such a long way and had no right to enter." So they started collecting money for Matyas and in the end they were able to buy him a ticket. Now Matyas has a Fan ID.
"They have a very big heart and are always willing to help," he says.
Many have helped him and are helping him during his Russian journey. From the world's largest country he's planning to go to Qatar, or even Finland, or maybe both. He has time as he's still young. "I will always be 33," Matyas says.