Week 1 - Orientation - Expedition Leader program

Over the next 12 weeks, the students on our Expedition Leader program will be embarking on a journey taking them from Ecuador, into Peru, China, Laos, Thailand and Nepal. Stay tuned here for their updates. 

First up is Chloe Saulnier, 21yo hailing from Canada...


While excitement is one of the primary emotions felt when embarking an adventure the size of Pure Exploration’s Expedition Leader Program, it is difficult not to also feel anxious about what’s to come. After months of preparation and communication over the internet, the day arrives where you will meet these strangers with whom you will be travelling the world for the next 12 weeks. For us, it happened in the Middle of the World. From Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Hungary, and Australia, we all flew to Quito, Ecuador to start what would be a life-changing experience.

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I landed in Quito at 12:30am local time on June 5th, thus I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit some iconic spots in the city before meeting with the rest of the group. That being said, I took it easy on my first day to give my body some rest and adjust to the altitude. I come from a coastal community, thus my body is not used to elevations such as Quito’s and the Andes’. Shortness of breath, slight headaches, and a little bit of dizziness were all part of the deal, but nothing to be afraid of- it simply requires that you be patient with yourself. Later in the afternoon, I went for a stroll around the city, checked out the Parque La Carolina area and ran a few errands. I was surrounded by colourful buildings, local music, palm trees and enthusiastic vendors as I made my way across the city. It was then that reality truly set in and I said to myself, “Wow, I’m really doing this!”. The following day I continued to explore the city and saw parts of Centro Historico de Quito and made it to the top of the TeleferiQo. Again, fantastic views and charming locals were all part of my day. While I was having a fantastic time, I couldn’t wait to meet up with the rest of the team.

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On June 7th, I woke up, packed my bag and made my way to our meeting point- Hotel San Francisco de Quito. I was feeling all the excitement built up from the anticipation, but also a lot of nervousness. So many questions were going through my head. What if we don’t get along? What if I can’t complete the challenges I will be facing? Thankfully, these feeling were put to rest the moment I stepped foot in the hostel. I was greeted by Jessica and Keri (our two instructors) and a few other team members who had arrived before me. The rest of the group made its way in over the next 30 minutes and soon enough we were all sitting together in the middle of the world.

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After 4 days , I can confidently say that I feel very comfortable and ready to take on any challenges we will face. The program’s DNA has the ability to attract like-minded people with similar intentions, thus I know for a fact that the connections I will build here will remain for the rest of my life. As I sit here today, writing this blog from the rainforest in Tena, Ecuador, I need to continuously remind myself of how incredibly lucky I am to be here doing what most only dream of. This is only the beginning. I hope you’ll be joining along for the ride.


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Exactly one year ago today, a group of 10 strangers embarked on a journey they'll never forget! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While currently separated over 3 different continents, some of the group still live together, some have reunion plans on hold, some are glad to never, ever, see a long drop again, and others are living that rad van life! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We caught up with program Alumni, Summar, to get her take one year on...


Over the weekend New Zealand did a thing! 👏👏 One step closer to the return of adventure travel!


Our Outdoor Instructor Training & Industry Experience is the true zero to hero program, for those with the determination, drive and aptitude to explore, grow and succeed! It is an accelerated, practical immersion program, which offers a unique pathway from training to employment in the outdoor industry. It offers an unparalleled combination of training, qualifications and mentored transition from practitioner, to leader, and then to instructor, with quality industry experience. Pure Exploration Director, Zach Johnston, gives us the inside scoop on the Outdoor Instructor Program! Watch to find out more...


Such a great day and milestone for New Zealand, our home. An early and tough lockdown meant we now have zero cases and life from midnight tonight is set to look almost normal! We look forward to welcoming you into our bubble soon, as other countries begin their own recovery. 🎉🎉


We're excited to announce that our Outdoor Essentials online program is now underway! Thanks for all of the support so far, we're pretty pumped to get back in the classroom even if that means indoors! If you're interested in one of our courses, talk to us today! We'd love to hear from you. https://www.pureexploration.nz/online-adventure-training-programs/


Start preparing for the good times ahead with our Online Adventure Training Programs! Study in your own time with one of our 4 - 8 week programs taught by NZOIA qualified Hiking and Rock Climbing Instructors. Program Topics; 1. Outdoor Essentials 2. Global Citizenship 3. Mindset & Resilience 4. Jungle & Altitude #stayhome but #staylearning and lock in your core skills today! Visit our website for more details: https://www.pureexploration.nz/online-adventure-training-programs/


2021 ASPIRING OUTDOOR LEADER SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED!⠀ Our team is going to have a hard time choosing a winner among all the amazing applicants!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But if you missed the deadline no need to worry because we’ve got you covered with some sweet early bird deals for our 2021 programs! Or if you are craving adventure right now, sign up for one of our BRAND NEW ONLINE PROGRAMS. See our website for details.


Caroline McQuistan has touched down in New Zealand for the Adventure Guide Progam based in Queenstown. Over the next few weeks we will follow the crew with Caroline's updates as they begin their technical climbing and hiking modules and explore our beautiful corner of the world! Learn more about this program here https://hubs.ly/H0n7k1C0


It's officially the end of an era as we say goodbye to our Sales Account Manager and original member of the Pure Exploration team, Kerie Stewart. Kerie has been a part of the Pure Ex fam since day one, joining the team in the pursuit of setting up a company which was committed to teaching eager participants the skills required to become successful Adventure Guide's here in Queenstown, NZ whilst undertaking some epic missions along the way! Kerie, we'll all miss you immensely but we're looking forward to catching you up the mountain or by the lake for a drink. We're sure our pool of graduates will join us in wishing you the best of luck with your future ventures and thank you for everything you've done to make Pure Exploration the place it is today!


We are proud to work alongside the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust and are thrilled that our students get to work alongside, and learn from, their deeply passionate and driven team! This excellent charity is committed to helping grow and plant native species within the Wakatipu Basin and would hugely benefit from receiving funding from 2020 Crux/The Hills Charity Gold Day. If you have a spare few minutes please take the time to click on the below and place your vote. 🌲🌲🌲


We think the biggest benefit of travel is the feeling of reinvigoration and inspiration you feel from surrounding yourself with new things. Shake away the dust, move those limbs, challenge the mind. Our Adventure Guide Programs are an epic way for people to get a foot in the door to a hiking or climbing guiding career, or the perfect option for those looking for a comprehensive course that helps them gain 100% confidence to navigate, hike, climb, guide and survive in the outdoors. This year our scholarships will offer deserving people the chance to join us on one of our Adventure Guide Program intakes in 2021, based in New Zealand and Patagonia. With more than NZ$200,000 in financial aid available, we are super excited to get some motivated and deserving individuals on our programs that are keen to grab this chance to challenge themselves and grow their leadership skills. We are offering one full scholarship worth NZ$13,975 to a deserving individual who embodies the enthusiasm we have for exploring the outdoors, who demonstrates leadership among their peers, and someone understands the importance of looking after our environment as we enter a new decade with heightened ecological challenges. We will also be offering several Partial Scholarships to people who are keen followers of our story. They will be outdoor lovers who are keen to use hiking and climbing as a way to challenge themselves, who understand the impact experiential travel can have in positive change. Applications close 31st March 2020, so don’t miss out! Learn more here: https://hubs.ly/H0mRsmK0