It's time to say our farewells to the group of legends that joined us in New Zealand for the Adventure Guide Program for the last few months of 2018. It's always crazy how at the beginning, 3 months feels like forever. In the middle, it starts to sink in how great it is to have the freedom and fun of a life spent in the outdoors, and the fitness and health benefits that come along with it. By the end of the last month, the days are racing past and it seems hard to imagine life any other way.
It's been an absolute pleasure having Ken our ambassador tell his story through images, videos and writing. Its been super fun having him and the other team members join us this year and we can't wait to see where they all end up! Hearing Alumni updates is the best. For now, let's hear Ken sign off before his next adventure...
In my three and a half months shooting for Pure Exploration I’ve been exposed to, trekked and climbed through some of New Zealand’s most gorgeous landscapes. As a photographer this place somewhat makes my job a bit easier. I have never been one to play into the whole selfie game, however always being behind the camera I found myself adapting during this assignment because it wasn’t just the landscapes that I'll remember.
It will be spending time with people like this...
In places like this.
Sometimes my fingers are too frozen to flip the camera around and accidental selfies happen..
Pretty soon after my first few weeks on assignment, I became a selfie king. First I’d snap a few of the whole crew and then flip the camera and grab a few with myself and them as well. Not to long after that, the crew just began to expect it from me during our group photo sessions. They’d say “ Hang on, hang on, Ken’s gotta do his selfie now.” And it was true, they were right. I wanted to get a selfie with them, not only as part of the crew but because the experience we all had together during this course and the places we went together was truly unique and I didn’t want to just be remembered as that guy behind the camera again. I wanted to put a face to it this time.
From family dinners, to van camping, Snowy day treks to alpine saddles, we were always together. I’m not saying that living with 12 people is a breeze by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn’t have it any other way on a program like this. You really do become family, and team work becomes second nature. Everyone has a strength that they bring to the table and we all play to those. Even if the only thing you contribute is making everyone laugh until they pee, that is just as valuable as anything else.
I owe a lot to these guys, Even if they don’t know it yet. I’ve learned so much from each one of them and have shared and experienced something new with each of them, that those memories and experiences wont soon be forgotten. If I can pass anything on to the next intakes and to those to come on the program after me is that, you could be looking at something like a sunrise over Mt. Cook, and don’t get be wrong it’s absolutely beautiful...
...But it will be better when you have people like this around to see it with you, every single time.
And that is the beauty of this program and everything that the directors have put together for you. Is that you are thrown into the challenging back countries of New Zealand, or find yourself 120 meters up a wall with four of your mates attached to the same anchor, or shivering around a wood stove trying to dry your soaking wet clothes and your doing with with like minded, adventurous people like yourselves. It’s hard to find something quite like it.
With the program now over, and looking back on the entire thing, I am so happy that I had the opportunity to shoot for a company like Pure Exploration and learn as much as I did. Since graduation I have worked as a glacier guide as an instructor at a climbing gym, and am in the process of training to test up to get my New Zealand Mountain Guide Association qualifications. I might even find myself lead guiding later this year. The opportunities just keep coming.
And with that, I'll leave you with this.
Always follow your passion, and never stop exploring.
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If you are keen to learn more about our Adventure Guide Program and getting involved with this experience, then please fire through your details below and we can send you a detailed itinerary. Come join the crew!