To the end of the world

As hinted in my last article, I have a great announcement to make: I’m going to New-Zealand for a year!

Wait… what?

I am leaving with a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) that allows me to stay there for a year, to work and travel, however I want it. That means that on August 19, I’m flying to Auckland! My main plan is not to have a plan, but after staying in kiwiland, I imagine myself traveling to Australia, Vanuatu, Hawai… possibilities are endless, and that’s a worry for later anyway.

In New-Zealand, I may work in farms and orchards, do some wwoofing, hitch-hike… I will of course continue writing here at Eiwawar and sharing my pictures with you, so make sure to tune in from time to time 😉
I will also remain a RELEX employee, working part-time with our technical support, so it’s likely I’ll settle down for some relaxed period, in between extensive traveling stints.

The reasons behind my departure are manifold, but the most important is maybe that, simply put, office life is not for me. I spend hours in front of a computer, then spend some more at home. When comes the weekend, I feel completely drained and empty, when I should be pumped up to go on adventures. I miss the days of freedom I enjoyed while writing my thesis; with this journey, I hope to find a more sustainable way of life. We’ll see.

I said I had no plan… that’s not exactly true. On November 11, I will embark on a cruise-expedition with Heritage Expeditions to the Subantarctic Islands, uninhabited archipelagoes where albatrosses and penguins nest.
More than a plan, this will be my first photographic project, which I called SubAntarctica (original, isn’t it?). I want to document this trip to render the solitude and the rough beauty of these islands, to touch my viewers and make them realize how gorgeous, but fragile, our nature is. The final product, as I imagine it, would be a photo exhibition coupled to a 30-minute talk, to bring this work to live audiences and interact with them first-hand.

I’m interested in what you think of this idea (exhibition + talk). When I was a kid, I attended to such talks at the House of Nature and Environment (MNEI) in Grenoble. People talked about their trip to Kazakhstan or the Himalaya, with a slideshow of pictures. Does it sound as exciting to you as it did to me back then?
Would you know someone, a local association maybe, interested in such a project, such a talk? Wherever you are on the planet, I’m sure we can arrange something. I promise you a voyage of the mind to an exotic location, with wildlife and stunning sceneries!

Below is the project pitch; feel free to share it and contact me for more information.

That said, this expedition is only a couple of weeks out of one whole year, and there will be more to discover on the “mainland”. I hope to meet local people, especially birdwatchers and photographers, who could welcome me and show me a bit of their land. If you know someone interested in sheltering a traveler for a night or two, I would love to know about it 😉

Finally, I make this blog for you, and I would like to ask you a question: what would you like to see here during this trip? I’m very open to suggestions, so let yourself be heard! In addition to the usual posts, I have in mind “diary-like” entries, to update you about my most recent endeavours. One of the things I often hear is that my articles come too late after the fact (hell, I’ve just released two articles about last October), so that would be a way to remedy this flaw. What do you think?

See you at the end of the world!

All pictures under a public domain license (I don’t have pictures from there… yet) by Bernard Spragg.

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29 thoughts on “To the end of the world

  1. What a wonderful perspective and how good of you to take this step!
    I have been twice in New-Zealand, once as a high school student, once after finishing University when I travelled through the country for three months. I cherish these memory’s. So for me, just seeing pictures of the beautiful nature there, will be a trip down memory lane…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Samuel!
    Great project. I would think of a TED talk https://www.ted.com/ and I would contact the Ellen Mcarthur foundation. Ellen is very found of albatrosses and very protective of them. Universities wherever your journey takes you may also be interested in your SubAntarctica project. Keep us posted!
    PS: When leaving countries such as NZ and Asutralia, think of sailing. This is the slow way across an ocean and it opens up a whole new world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Francis, thanks for the tips! I’m surprised my brother hasn’t thought about Ellen McArthur, given how much into sailing he is. But that’s a great idea, I’ll contact them (hope I get an answer).
      And I have thought about sailing… but that’s still in a long time from now! Definitely a good idea though. Thanks 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pfiouuuuuuu ! La jalousie monte en moi ! C’est excellent ce que tu vas faire ! Super projet ! Tu pars cb de tps en croisière ? Hâte de voir tout ça, tu vas te régaler !
    Il y a une asso vers Montpellier qui permet ce genre d’évènement tous les mardis soirs. C’est là-bas que j’avais projeté ma vidéo sur les oiseaux de Guadeloupe. Je serai ravi d’avoir ton compte rendu en live.

    Et moi, pour ton blog, je veux voir des albatros, des manchots, et des endémiques aussi ! … et si tu veux rajouter une ou deux Echasses noires, je ne suis pas contre non plus ! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations, Samuel…wow, I’m reading a real cool book that touches on some of your thoughts about working…your year that is unfolding sounds awesome…I just came back from a lovely getaway to the interior of our province where I enjoyed visiting some wineries by the lake in Kelowna…I thought of you often while on our hotel patio as I watched a pair of magpies go about their business while I listened to their chick grunting in the cedar bush nearby…I’m looking forward to following you on all these great adventures coming your way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kimberlee…
      Funny that you mention baby birds: I was in Tallinn on Friday, and I saw baby Fieldfares roaming in parks, the first chicks of the year for me; I haven’t seen any in Helsinki yet 🙂

      Like

  5. The orcas around the North Island eat stingrays, so you might not see them often, but when you do, they might be almost beaching themselves trying to catch their lunch!

    For places to stay I would really suggest trying to find work for accomodation through workaway, helpX, wwoof or something similar. You’ll have no or minimal living expenses, get to know local people, and maybe learn some new skills along the way 🙂 I just came back from a working holiday in NZ, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, thank you for your message!
      Do you know when and where it’s best to see the orcas?

      Did you yourself do wwoofing and the like? Was it easy to find a place?

      Like

    • I worked on a dolphin watching boat based out of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty region and in the four months I was there, we only saw them three times. I think it’s mostly just a matter of luck.

      I did wwoofing at four places that I liked and two that were not so great. It’s pretty easy to find cool opportunities, especially if you’re flexible about where you want to be

      Like

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