As a team, we talk quite a bit about creativity. It is easy to box in creativity….think it should look this way or that. Instead, we believe that everybody is creative. We are created that way. We simply live it out in different ways. And that is the beauty of creativity. And where the freedom in it lies. Today we are inspired by these guys, their passion, hearts, and the adventure they are on.
KATHLEEN is going to tell us more…
My brother and one of his high school friends have an enormous passion for traveling and for understanding the world through different eyes. Since graduating from high school almost two years ago, they have both invested extensive time in traveling and I love their willingness to use their youth and energy for new experiences and expanding their horizons.
Armed with some pretty high tech cameras and a passion for meeting new people and hearing their stories, these young men are spending the next six months traveling through South America on the adventure of a lifetime. They hope to find needs along the way and help out where they can, all the while capturing stories and sharing them with the world. They left New York last week and are currently in Costa Rica, at the very beginning of their adventure.
Meet Nate and Micah…
Let’s hear from these guys about what they are doing and why…
Our trip to South America encompasses the heart of three things. First, to go out and see the world for how it actually is. Second, to capture and share the reality/perspective of the people and places we come into contact with through our pictures, our writing, and more specifically our filming capabilities. And third, to try and make a difference in the lives of the people we meet, whether helping a family out with their daily tasks, helping a mission organization out in whatever way possible, or just simply sitting and sharing stories and human experiences with people over a meal or cup of coffee.
Where will your travels take you?
We will be starting in New York City and tentatively ending in Brazil, or however far north we can reach before we decide to fly home. In between, we will be visiting Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, and whatever other South American countries we can reach.
How long will you be gone?
We’re anticipating that our trip should take about 6 months.
AWhat inspired you to take this trip?
Micah: I’ve actually had a desire to backpack through South America since I was living in Australia early last year. Ultimately, what inspired me to go through with it was the desire to merge traveling and interacting with new people and cultures with film and media. I wanted to take the experience I had working with a documentary team last year and use that to create things that will impact people all over the globe.
Nate: Last summer while I was traveling across the US by bicycle, I caught a small glimpse of just how much there really is in this world to experience. And how much I’ve been missing by sitting in the comfort of my home all my life. That taste of wanderlust inspired me to jump at the chance to go explore the world of South America.
What is the purpose behind the trip?
There are a couple smaller purposes that encompass a larger one. We want to practically support and serve the people we encounter- whether that means missions and volunteer work, creating media directly for the people we encounter, or simply spending time with people and giving them a picture or two to keep. At the same time, we want to create content and share stories with people back home, so that they are able to see and understand more about the people of south America, their stories, and their needs and desires. We’d love to use that as an avenue to help raise awareness for different organizations that are already doing great things down there, but could use more resources to help achieve their goals. I guess you could say that ultimately, our purpose boils down to loving others and practically sharing with them a greater love that we’ve found in God.
Where will you stay throughout your travels?
We hope to stay mainly with locals and people we come into contact with while we’re on the road. This is in hope of better understanding and capturing via film the authentic local culture and costumes, and open up the door to different perspectives seen through their ways of living. Besides locals, we also expect to stay with volunteering services where we hope to help out, pre-arranged contacts, hostels/hotels, and probably a variety of other places such as places we find to camp and so on.
What excites you most about the trip?
Micah: I think what excites me most are all of the crazy opportunities that are going to come up, that we don’t even know about yet. The exciting thing about breaking away from the tourist path and connecting with the locals is discovering all of the beautiful places and absurd traditions that you would never get to see from a tour bus or hotel.
Nate: Its hard to come up with just one or two things but one thing that I am really excited to see is the kindness of human beings that I’ve found to be much more prominent once you put yourself out there and become more vulnerable to those around you.
What makes you the most nervous?
Micah: I think the uncertainty is what makes me most nervous. Not knowing where we are going to stay for a night, where we are going to eat, or how we are getting from point A to point B until the last minute can become exhausting. There are definitely those moments when you want to panic, or completely question what you are doing, but I also think there can be healthy amount of uncertainty, and its just a matter of learning to control your fear and remaining focused. Having faith and knowing that everything you do is already part of Gods plan, helps wonders too.
Nate: I agree with what Micah said. The fear of the unknown makes me the most nervous. It reminds me of a quote by H.P. Lovecraft. “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
Tell me about your gear.
Micah: We both have hiking backpacks in which we are carrying all our gear. Besides clothing, hygiene items, and an array of smaller items, I am also carrying a lot of camera equipment. My main equipment is a Canon 6D and three different lenses (a Canon 50mm f/1.8, a Rokinon T1.5 35mm De-clicked aperture cinema, a Rokinon 14mm Wide Angle f/2.8) and a Rode VideoMic. I’m also carrying a Canon Battery Grip (and three additional batteries), a circular polarizer, UV filters, three SD cards, two external hard drives and a portable tripod. All of this equipment is being carried in my AARN Natural Balance backpack with two front “Photo Pocket” pouches that store all of my camera gear in front of me for easy access. AARN is a small backpacking company out of New Zealand, and they were fantastic to work with in helping me find a rig to carry my gear for a long-term trip.
Nate: In addition to my backpack, I am carrying a tent and it’s accessories and we are both carrying an inflatable mat, sleeping bag, and liner. I’m also carrying an AR drone. This is a remote control quadricopter with HD camera attached for aerial shots. I’m carrying a light-weight laptop for editing shots, updating our websites, and contacting people and organizations, which will of course only be useful if and when we have access to internet connections. And I have a GoPro Hero 3 black edition with mounts and accessories and a portable solar panel with a battery backup and a backup hard drive. Between the two of us, we are carrying about 80 pounds of gear.
To follow these guys in their adventures over the next six months, check out their website below. They will be periodically updating through blogging, images, and video clips.
Home page: TWLSOUTHAMERICA.COM