Special thanks to Lisa-Marie Rahlmann for translating the interview.
My name is Manu Reyes. I am an adventurer, reporter and traveler, in that order. Since I was little, I had three important dreams and many secondary ones.
I remember being very little and going to my parents’ room and telling them:
- Daddy, I want to be an astronaut.
- Son, go and study. (On my second try, when I was a little older)
- Daddy, I would like to be a motorcycle driver.
- Son, go and study.
The third time I decided to be an adventurist, and I also decided to keep it to myself. I realized that when you have a dream, the most important part is that you know what you want. Even though – to say the truth – I have always had help.
What do you dedicate yourself to?
I am a reporter, mostly for television. Recently, I have created a production with my two associates and good friends Ruben Gama and Paco Portero.
How much did you fight to pursue this?
I thought about what I would like to do, and how to pursue it in the best way possible, adjusting my point of view by learning from my mistakes. I have always been good at telling and inventing stories. I love travels and adventure, hence, I am a journalist for travel adventures. Creating content is what made me pursue it.
At another time, I would have been a nomad or a crew member of whatever type of trip on a ship would go far, or on a plane, or a submarine, or a rocket…I said at another time, but even now any project of that type interests me. In fact, I look for them and if they don’t exist or haven’t been made yet…they have to be made! That’s why I created the audiovisual production company Memento Productions.
What is your educational background?
I have a degree in Publicity and in Journalism. Journalism opens a lot of doors to many different kinds of worlds, lives and jobs that otherwise would be difficult to get to know and to experiment with, because it makes you be very open-minded and because you have to adapt very quickly to many different types of situations. You do not specialize in just one particular thing; you learn everyday how to transmit the wisdom of experts…they give you a chunk of their work, their soul, their mind…and you package it in a way that anyone can understand.
You entertain, you teach and in the end that is what makes life worth living. Health is important, and so is the family and money, but in fact, what we are all looking for is to be able to enjoy our time that we have here in this world and to live those moments that tell the truth…I seek to pass them on, to teach them, to create them…
Official trailer "CENTAUROS: HORIZONTES A CABALLO."
Reality documentary series that shows the trip on horseback undertaken by two adventurers, Ruben Gama and Manuel Reyes, across the Spanish plains from Murcia to the border with France
"I realized that when you have a dream, the most important part is that you know what you want"
A project that you have realized or would like to realize one day?
One project that I finished that I am very proud of is “Centauros: Horizontes a caballo” (“Centauros: Horizons on horseback”). A series about travel and adventure for television, which, on top of that, was a real trip. Everything that is shown in the series is real, and it is the first project we created with this production company.
It consists of the trip of two men on horseback from the south of Spain till France, during more than 2 months and 1,500km: Ruben Gama, a horse expert and adventurer, and myself. It was hard yet unbelievable. You get to see how we cross mountains, villages, rivers, highways…our day-to-day life with the people that we encountered along the way, and, also times where we fought death. One of the best experiences I have ever lived, that we are very content with and very proud of, and on top of that it was all filmed by a professional film crew.
What do you think are the three key factors for success?
When I am successful I will let you know…the truth is that one time when I was little I said that for me, success is to have everything you need to be happy and now I could not agree more with the little boy who said that.
What is your biggest passion?
My biggest passion has always been going to travel, which should not be confused with being a tourist. A trip like that is one in which you lose yourself to find yourself. A trip like that is one which you are dying to talk about, and later you don’t. Where you meet people for life that you will never see again, and places that you will never come back to. And if you do, they are not the same. A trip has to consist of a story that when you remember it, you remember how you are, how you are supposed to be…when the day to day and its worries (the city, money, obligations, work, family…) make you forget.
"One project that I finished that I am very proud of is “Centauros: Horizontes a caballo” (“Centauros: Horizons on horseback”)"
A fancy… better four big ones: 1- a sail boat with a cabin to – well, how can you not - take a trip. 2- a yellow two-seat helicopter. 3- a plane ticket to take a trip around the world in one year (that actually exists. It’s a type of global interrail). 4- a motorcycle: or the Triumph Truxton or the BMW Custom.
A web page…one of the three crazy storytellers that know how to tell them really well, as the big stories and the small ones ought to be told; music, images, voice and text. www.memento-producciones.es
A place… that I don’t know and would like to see: the Machu Picchu. And one that I love and that is very close to here: Cabo de Gata in Almeria.
When I get off work… sports, a movie, and a beer with my buddies.
In another life I would have been… difficult to say, very difficult. I have a karma full of information and I believe that is because I have always tried to be one of those who believe in lost causes. I will never say that they are my favorites, like the song says. I believe I have been many things, especially animals (laughs). Now that you mention it, my back hurts from a gun shot because I was defending my tribe in the Far East, my shoulder from getting hit by a sword in the middle ages, and also my head from stones being thrown at it in ancient times.
I believe in… a Pluton-like being in the shape of a crab that feeds off stones (laughs). The truth is that I am profoundly spiritual in a way that is completely opposite to how the big traditional religions are established. There is something truly magnificent in every place that has life, in the gaze of whatever living being and I don’t believe that all that would be the result of simple, random chemistry in proportions of luck and huge statistics that came together at random in one spot in a specific place…the way I put it, it seems like there is a plan, and where there is smoke…
Do you believe there will be something after this life? Yes, yes I believe so.
A piece of advice that was given to you… they didn’t give it to me, but my parents taught me: if you dream, you do not fail. The simple fact of having a dream and fighting for it is to have won.
A failure… many. Most of all work-related ones. I wasn’t lucky in the sense that neither of my parents work in a field as difficult as the audiovisual one. Any time someone sees you, in this field, if you are not descended from someone or recommended or someone’s favorite, you fight at a disadvantage. What they do not understand is all the work and the quality that is behind it.
If you only look at the tip of the iceberg, you do not think of the huge mass of ice that is under it. I know that a meeting with the person in charge of content to show them, for example, a few minutes of “Centauros: Horizontes a Caballo” would give the movie an opening in the schedule. But they don’t even listen to you.
"Memento Mori” – remember that you will die -. So that we enjoy our time as mortal beings.
What you’ve learned… I’ve learned that sometimes a more difficult path makes you arrive at your destination more prepared.
To motivate you… I am motivated by a lot of stories, songs, movies…Stories like the song “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan, the life of Alejandor Magno, Hannibal (of Carthage), the Florentine poet and writer Dante…Even if they are giants, one day they must have felt small and lost, just like we all do in some moments in our lives. These type of people are the tip of the iceberg that shows us that we are capable of doing very great things.
A proverb or a citation… "Memento Mori” – remember that you will die -. So that we enjoy our time as mortal beings.
Who would you like to meet? Christopher Columbus, Leonardo Da Vinci…any unknown brave man that joined expeditions in the past without knowing what would happen. Real heroes that know that their sacrifice will save lives and that their actions will never be known, told, nor heard. People in history that gave everything in exchange for nothing against our survival instinct. Could there be a better proof of the existence of something greater than simply vital functions…? The soul?
And who would you like to slap in the face? All of us, and actually myself first, for killing and letting die everything that surrounds us for the system of life that we have created.
A note that comes to mind…a note that has burned itself into my mind was the draft announcement by Captain Scott for his expedition to the Pole in which he said something like this: “Survival of this expedition cannot be promised, but fame and fortune is guaranteed to those who do return.” It was a success.
I believe that basically we are a bunch of mad geniuses capable of the most brilliant as well as the worst. It’s almost as though one extreme as to exist so that the other can exist as well. Let’s hope that those who are in the middle know the tipping point of this balancing act.