Co-Pilot Spotlight: Magda Love
The Co-Pilot Spotlight navigates into the minds and experiences of travel professionals and professional travelers. Join us in the cockpit with MAGDA LOVE, self-proclaimed artist, muralist, dreamer and total overachiever from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
OTPYM: Where was the first place you ever traveled?
MAGDA: My first really memorable trip was to Salta, a province in the north of Argentina. Such an incredible place, beautiful mountains, cactus, and nature.. Loaded of history, folklore, and deep rooted traditions. Salta sparked lots of emotions, my love of nature, respect for ancient civilizations, and my curiosity to meet and experience life with all kinds of different people. That trip marked what would be my interest for the rest of my life.
Where is the last place you visited?
I was in Arizona a month ago, at San Carlos Apache reservation to work on a mural project with Doug Miles and Apache Skateboards. I have an opportunity to really experience the hardships of life in Native reservations. Then I had a day off in Phoenix, where I fell in love with the people and the Desert Botanical Garden.
Why do you choose to travel?
I love to experience different cultures, the world is so beautiful, so big , there is so many incredible things to see that I really can’t stop traveling. It is a wonderful way to learn about people, to learn about yourself, to become more receptive, more adventurous. Travel always suffices my curiosity. I love being in places I don’t know, with people I don’t know, it is such a freeing experience.
How has travel helped to define your world view?
Traveling has made me realize that even though people talk about our differences constantly, human beings are so much more alike than we think. The desire to love, to be with our families, to see our children thrive– we all have the same wishes all around the globe. It also has taught me to be more open minded, more empathetic, more thankful. It has made me a more responsible world citizen, more aware of social issues and ever passionate to make art that creates dialogues and inspires all kinds of people.
Where is the favorite place you’ve traveled and why?
I love Mexico deeply. I have incredible human experiences every time I paint there and it is such a beautiful country, the abundance and pride of their culture in very moving to me. I went to Isla Mujeres with my son and we swam next to whale sharks in the ocean. Seeing my son’s face completely transformed and just holding hands with him under water pointing the whales, the coral the fishes, I know it will be marked in our hearts forever.
I also love Barcelona. I was there a few years ago and think (late Spanish Architect) Gaudi is an incredible genius. The people are wonderful, the food is delicious and they know how to have fun. I love people who know how to enjoy themselves. And the wine, well, it is dangerous how good and inexpensive it was!
When on your travels have you felt the most out of your comfort zone?
This year I went to do a project with Beauty for Freedom and Together1Heart in Phnom Penh. I was invited to teach an art workshop and paint murals with survivors of sex trafficking. Unfortunately in Southeast Asia women and children are victims of trafficking in alarming numbers. I was able to participate in their outreach programs and visit the brothels. It was a life changing experience. It truly broke my heart and rebuilt it back again. In spite of how troubling it all may seem, working with these survivors really taught me how resilient, how powerful, how capable of overcoming women can be.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met while traveling?
I met Victor Gomez Pin while traveling around Barcelona by myself in my 20s. He is a super smart, incredible philosopher, very well known in Spain. He was with his assistant in a coffee shop. We all ended up talking for hours and switching to beers. I spent the best day with him around Barcelona. He took me to the ports and the oldest restaurants. We just walked around and drank Verdejo all day. He even gifted me a few of the books he wrote. We stayed in touch by email and a year later he came to New York. I took him to Red Hook and showed him parts of New York he’d never seen. To this day, he’s one of the smartest and funniest people I ever met.
What is the most adventurous food you have tried while on the road?
I think I tried Alligator meat in the Cayman Islands, and tons of weird stuff in Asia. I love all food and I am pretty open minded about it in general. But I’m not into bugs, that’s my limit.
What’s the next trend in travel?
I like to believe people now are becoming more responsible about the choices they make while traveling. I think younger travelers are more interested in adventure and experience in a more humane and culturally-enriching way than a luxury vacation.
Any funny anecdotes from the road?
Well I am pretty good at arriving at airports always in a rush, or covered in paint because I am painting murals until last minute. There is never a dull day while traveling with me. I pack while the cab is waiting outside. When you open my bag you can find brushes, spray paint caps, a brush, sneakers cover in paint and a sequin jacket to make it all look nice. I put the lipsticks and my sharpies in the same place.