PHOTOGRAPHER

Marcin Konkel

From Stockholm with love

Pierre Oberkampf is a multi-talented artist. Apart from being a composer and a photographer, he is also a video producer. Picture & original music for the below movie about Stockholm are created by Pierre. The production does not shock with spectacular landscapes or vivid colours. It surprises the viewer with a rather melancholic features of Sweden's capital city. Yet, together with a well composed soundtrack, it reveals a more mundane, so to say, view on Stockholm. See for yourself.

A journey for a smile

It's when I started fulfilling my dream of travelling giving the foundations for #projects. It's like a bug that's incurable once you get going. It gives you freedom and you have to give back with expanding your comfort zone. You meet dozens of people which help but it's you that make the decisions if you'll use their help. I'm talking about hitchhiking of course but let's begin from the start..

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The plan - Камчатка 2016

Planning is something needed at times especially if you want to know your budget that you'll need to have. Same goes for saving up some money in order to find the best price-quality ratio. It's quite easy to spend money to complete your dreams and desires. It's harder (or easier?) to make it as cheap as possible and still have a blast. The constraints have something fun in them because they urge you to think and be creative. That's why the more money you have doesn't necessarily mean that that you're gonna have more fun. When things come too easy to us we tend not to value them enough.

Volcano Koryaksky (Kamchatka) at Sunrise. Copyright (C) by kuhnmi (flickr.com/photos/31176607@N05/). Used under CC BY 2.0 licence.

Few of the above thoughts were accompanying us when designing the plan for our Kamchatka 2016 expedition. We have passed on going to Japan (flights too expensive) and pondered a bit on North Korea (still do) as an extension of our trip from Vladivostok. For the time being though we have what we need - an agreed plan and we're waiting for the promo's to come and to do our first bookings. Read more to find out what have we planned.

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More than one life

"Everything you can learn, and everything that defines you is just a relative version of reality. Your version of the truth." - says Krzysztof Gonciarz (a Polish vloger) in his movie about Hong Kong. A city that, as New York, also does not sleep much but is located in the other part of the world. It is so densely populated (7 million inhabitants) and has the largest number of skyscrapers in the world that you'll be amazed how many new faces you can see with a single walk on the street.

"You can spend a lifetime learning about Hong Kong and still only scratch the surface".

The most interesting fact about the movie that Krzysztof made is how he made it and how's he telling the story. This is how travel movies should look like.

Kamchatka travel diaries

Voulcanos on Kamchatka. Photograph (C) by Jolanta Siedlecka. See ljaguszka.blogspot.com for more.

As we dig in deeper and craft the draft plan we find that not much is written about Kamchatka, the remote peninsula or Russian Far East. Or it's not easily accessible at least. We are reaching out to people and talking about our plans. Jola is one of these people. She has visited this remote land few months ago and has agreed to support us in terms of gathering information and contacts to locals. Jola is a traveller and has seen quite a bit of the world. She is blogging in Polish at "Dzienniki z podróży" (en. Travel diaries). Her last posts are about the journey in question. I've asked Jola about the impressions on Kamchatka and what were the highlights of her journey.

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Land of kings

Neftali, a Costa Rican "aspiring filmmaker and uprising blogger" as he call himself has visited India in 2015. The region in particular that he explored was Rajasthan ("Land of kings" in literal translation) - India's largest state by area. He catches the Indian spirit and explores what the culture has to offer. 

Photographic highlights of 2015 

BUDAPEST | A couple seating on a bench on Margaret island admiring the views.

This year came with several changes. The blog changed it's name to "Go further" which reflects how I view travelling and it got itself an own domain blog.marcinkonkel.com. I also started working with The Travel Stories where I shed new light on the Trans-Siberian railway journey from 2014 in reportages from Mongolia and Russia. I also started promoting #kamchatka2016 project together with the team. Below you can see highlights from the places I've been to this year. Click on the photograph to go to the full gallery. Hope you like them! 

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Sherpa

In 2015, it's 62 years since the first ascent by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay (a hired Sherpa) in 1953 more than 3,000 others have “summited” the world’s tallest mountain. Sometimes the media will show how busy the most popular routes to the peak are. For around 30 000 US dollars almost everyone can ascent the mountain with a guide. The Economist in a recent article states that some pay even 90 000$. Just to compare, an average income in Nepal is around 700$, the climbers leave quite a bit of money in local businesses and for licences which significantly aids the economy in the region.

Jen Peedom, in her movie, tells a story of a quarrel between climbers and Sherpas that happened in 2013. The main character is Phurba Tashi Sherpa - a veteran of 21 Everest summits. What unexpectedly happened when filming in 2014 (6.45am, on 18th April) was a 14 million ton block of ice crashing down onto the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. As the synopsis states:

"It was the worst tragedy in the history of Everest. The disaster provoked a drastic reappraisal about the role of the Sherpas in the Everest industry. SHERPA, tells the story of how, in the face of fierce opposition, the Sherpas united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain they call Chomolungma."

The movie is entering cinemas world-wide. Learn more by reading the above mentioned article on The Economist website and watching the trailer.

Russian Far East is getting closer

We have our official logo of the expedition (above)! It was designed by Natalia Jaźwierska and we are proud that she collaborated to the project and devoted her time. This artwork will be used across all information regarding the project and the journey itself. Just as a reminder - you can also search #kamchatka2016 on this page and in social media to find content posted by us over time. Soon you can also expect an interview with a traveller that has already seen the distant land of Kamchatka.

Most movies about Kamchatka, at least at Vimeo, are about surfing, snowboarding or skiing. One can judge that the conditions for these sports must be at least good. "All about Kamchatka" is a promotional video about the region. Still it presents much more than just the mentioned sports. See for yourself.

28 073 miles and counting

Nathan Millward has made an uneasy decision to move from Australia (where he spent 9 months) where things didn't work out for him. The idea was to get back to England but honestly he just wanted to "get lost somewhere in the middle". In the effect he rode on his bike for 9 months with everything he owned on the bike in a small box and 2000$ in his pocket. His route to London had 28 073 miles..

"The road is a very confronting place when you are alone in the middle of nowhere with only you and your thoughts it can play devilish tricks on your mind. When you get home and you lived this adventure and every minute of every day (...) and the road suddenly stops I think it's the bit that can eat you up. That's why a lot people find it very difficult to stop. The hate of confronting themselves when they aren't moving forward."

A tremendous journey on one side and a harsh story on the other. It's not always that beautiful as you see it in the media or read in some books. Listen to Nathan's story directed by Fraser Byrne. A story with a good ending.