We are back with a new collaborator! A great opportunity to share travel tips about destinations I personally haven’t visited yet.
Today, the videographer Dawid Wiktorowski tells us about his last adventure in Antartica. Here is the interview:
Welcome to the community!
Tell us about yourself, about where you come from and about how and when did your passion for traveling start?
Hi! My name is Dawid Wiktorowski, I’m a director and a videographer currently based in Warsaw, Poland. I specialize in commercials, shorts, travel videos and doing stupid things with my life. I always liked to travel, but a true passion started when a first video related job came in. It was in 2014, two weeks in Malta shooting a promo video for an English language school. When I’m shooting I’m forced to sink deeper into a location than a average tourist and really get to know the place, connect with locals and so on. Oh, and someone is paying me for doing that, that’s also an important factor. Being some place nice and doing what you like – that’s a way for you do it.
Today you are going to share your recent trip to Antarctica. Quite exciting! How did you decide for this location?
My phone called. A Facebook message to be specific. They were looking for someone to develop a concept and execute a YouTube travel series, one-man-crew style. I asked for more details. “Well, It’s five weeks on a yacht somewhere in the Antarctic. Do you know anyone who…”, “Hell yea I do!”. So, the location chose me. Maybe Antarctic Circle wasn’t my dream destination but I couldn’t let it pass. Location seem so exotic and hardcore that i knew I will shoot tons of awesome footage.
Tell us a little about your trip.
Did I mentioned that I was never on a ship before my trip? I mean like, no longer then two hours. So me, a complete newbie and a beginner was about to spend five weeks on a twenty meters sail boat in one of the most restless sea on southern hemisphere. Haven’t really think that one over. Skipper threw me into a shift system so I had to steer a boat for a few hours every fourteen hours beside shooting a video. “That way you will know what is sailing all about”. Turned out it wasn’t that hard – just keep it on course, watch out for a drifting chunk of ice and try to not kill everybody on a ship. Taking shower every seven days to conserve water, living in a average temperature of 5 degrees C. I hated it and I loved it.
The main goal was the South Georgia island – and this place is just amazing. Just look at the photos – I’ve would never believed that so many animals could gather in one place. Fur seals, penguins and elephant seals were in the middle of their breeding season. It was a paradise. Well, very cold, windy and urine smelling, but still paradise.
How did you travel to the location. Is there/how is the transportation there?
Flight from Warsaw to Ushuaia via Frankfurt and Buenos Aires. Ushuaia is the world’s most southernmost city and it was a starting point of our expedition. We were visiting South Georgia, South Orkney Islands and Elephant Island, places reachable only through sea.
Could you explore on your own? How was the language barrier?
Of course on the ocean you always do what your Skipper tells you – you embark and disembark when you’re allowed to, so no lonely wanderer altitude here. But I was in Argentina for a while – four days in Ushuaia and two in Buenos Aires. Really liked both places, I think I wouldn’t mind living in Buenos Aires for a few months. Very few people there speaks English so I had to quickly learn Spanish. I still remember the basics like “Buenos dias”, “gracias”, “una cerveza por favor”, “una mas”, “senior, fuego por favor” or “Marlboro rocha”.
What surprised you there in a good way? Any strange/unpleasant experience?
Elephant seals. Those enormous animals don’t have a natural enemies so they don’t really care what you do. Some of them even try to make friends with you, like dogs. Penguins are funny – they wander around like they just woke up or came into the room and forgot why. Yeah, animals in their natural habitats, that’s something you see in TV but you don’t care unless you see it by yourself.
What was your favorite sight/thing in Antarctica?
Penguins chilling on an icebergs!
What are the 3 things about that location that would make you come back?
Animals, landscapes and the ocean.
Why should people visit it?
Beautiful scenery is a one thing. There’s something else – while being in an extreme place like this you start to think differently. For example – you have to be careful not to sink your hiking boots while on shore. There is a high chance that you won’t be able to dry them right away, so you’ll have to walk in wet shoes. And that is unpleasant and could be dangerous for your feet, especially in the cold. One small incident could lead to something bad just because you don’t have an access to things you take here for
Any tips for future visitors? Anything you would have love to know/ be prepared for before arriving?
Invest in a top grade thermal underwear. Ten pairs of socks are not enough. Make sure you have at least three pairs of good, warm gloves and hats. Sunglasses are also useful. Have a good attitude – if you’ll keep thinking that you’re doing something unusual and extreme you’ll be scared to make every move. If you’re mindset will be more like “just another interesting day” you’ll get through every obstacle.
Do you have a bucket list? What are some things/places on it?
Not really. But I think it would be a good idea to make a tv show about checking off thing from a bucket list, pretty sure someone did it before though. It’s always a good idea to make someone pay you to fulfill your dreams. So if anyone from HBO is reading this, give me a call. I’m cheap!
Was is your next adventure? Anything planned yet?
I’m going to Greece for two weeks in April, doing a second series of a show. Exited already.
How can we see more about you and your trips? what is your website and social media?
You can visit my Instagram @dwiktorowski or check out HERE a YouTube series I was talking about. New episodes every Tuesday 4 p.m. GTM, English and Spanish subtitles coming soon!
Hope you liked this post.
if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate in commenting below or contact me. If you want to collaborate in the blog, with your experiences or your trip’s photos, get in touch!