So here we are again hey? Just days out from the new year, scratching our heads and wondering, where the heck did this year go?
It’s been a colossal year here at We Are Explorers. We’ve had three new full-time staff jump on board, got ourselves a fancy new office in Sydney, raised over $25,000 to help protect the Daintree Rainforest, had our very own short film take out Best Film at the Port Fairy Film Festival, plus all the other adventures and escapades we get up to in between.
We’ve also championed some crazy stories and jaw-dropping photography thanks to all of those clever and creative Explorers who get involved with the Explorer Project! Here’s a look back at some of our favourite articles of 2019.
We LOVE photo essays. You should see how much the office starts frothing when we get to share a stellar story through photos. So for anyone who’s ever spent a morning watching the sunrise over the ocean as you straddle your surfboard and bob about the waves, you’ll understand the extreme levels of stoke being experienced in these images. They’ll have you grabbing your wettie and making a dash for the ocean in no time.
If there’s a place that We Are Explorers love even more than the ocean (hard to fathom, I know) it’d have to be the mountains. Specifically NSW’s Snowy Mountains. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, camping or hiking, we’re always thinking about the mountains at the back of our minds.
We’re always banging on about how adventure is right in front of you, in your backyard, or in this case, on your commute to work. Beau Miles does adventure like no other, seeking it out in places you wouldn’t think it’d dare visit. And documenting all the guts and glory along the way.
Earlier this year, Explorer Jono had the privilege of heading down to Wilsons Prom to go on a three-day hike with a bunch of mates, lucky bugger. He had an absolute ball and put together the ultimate guide to the multi-day hike, stunning images and all. Put this one into your calendar as a must do for 2020.
Speaking of multi-day hikes, have you ever done one with a surfboard on your back and both your siblings by your side? The Doherty siblings have. They won the Osprey Adventure Grant this year and set out on an absolute mission – to chase waves in the Nadgee Wilderness, on the coast of NSW and Vic on a five-day hike. And they crushed it.
Before I started working with We Are Explorers just four months ago, I read this article written by Tim, WAE’s Editor and resident adventure expert. He made me laugh out loud several times and shake my head at the tenacity (and touch of lunacy) that it must have taken to take on the Overland Track in winter. Now I get to laugh at Tim’s jokes everyday and I completely understand now why he went out there. How good’s type 2 fun? Onya Timbo.
We’re lucky enough to get to test out a fair bit of high-end gear here at WAE headquarters. So when Saphira came to us, asking to put the Aldi hiking gear through its paces, we were intrigued to see just how it would hold up. We hooked her up with the whole kit and kaboodle and she gave it a real run for its money.
For something a bit different, we sent our mate Pat way out west to Deniliquin just in time for the Deni Ute Muster. He spent a whole weekend getting down in the dirt with 20,000 other cowboys and cowgirls at one of Aus’ biggest festivals. And he had a hoot!
Excessive screen time is a major barrier to adventure. We can look at and read about adventures online all day, but actually making the move to put down the phone, step out the door and get out there is a challenge for a lot of people. Ruby dissected exactly why she was using her phone so much and worked on finding solutions to those problems. Her three-week reflection on reducing her technology use is something we all relate to.
Not that we want to toot our own horn, but this interview with Jezza Williams (along with the film we produced about his story) are out of this world. Jezza is a remarkable and resilient person and the story of how he became a tetraplegic and now helps other people with diabilities seek out adventure, deserves to be told to as many people as possible. In 2019, being able to share Jezza’s story was a major win for us. We just hope we did it justice.
LIMITLESS: The Tetraplegic ParagliderPLAY VIDEO
THAT’S A WRAP! Can’t wait to see what shenanigans we get up to in 2020! See ya out there.