Pushing the Limits with Extreme Explorer Mike Horn
Mike Horn, Chase Jarvis
Pushing the Limits with Extreme Explorer Mike Horn
Mike Horn, Chase Jarvis
1. Pushing the Limits with Extreme Explorer Mike Horn
Pushing the Limits with Extreme Explorer Mike Horn
Sometimes in life, we all feel like explorers. We're going into uncharted territory, doing things we've never done before for the first time, uh, or doing things that we've done a number of times, but we're trying to do them better. And so this idea of moving through life of trying to change and upgrade and transform is very much like the life of an Explorer. And to that end, I am excited to bring to the show today. A dear, dear friend, arguably the foremost living explorer on the planet. And his name is Mike Horn. Now, if you're not familiar with Mike and his travels, just a little background low bio, I'll start by saying that we are dear friends, and I have had the the incredible fortune of traveling some really amazing places with Mike the South China Sea. Um, you know, around South Africa, down near the Amazon in off the coast of Brazil. Um, some of my most you know, inspiring and literally the best moments of my life have been with Mike because he is an explorer. He's also a guide...
. He's a living legend. He is also one of the hardest working. Um stubborn badass is that I know eso with a little that personal endorsement. Some of his achievements, which again are virtually unfathomable for me started out as a special forces soldier at the age of 18 in South Africa developed an entrepreneurial spirit which allowed him to leave his home and pursue the unknown. Some of the expeditions that he's taken early on swimming 5000 miles down the Amazon River. Um, eating crocodiles, literally hunting them with his bare hands, bugs being bitten by snakes that almost take killed him. Um, he's circumnavigated the earth at the equator without a motor that is setting sailing records across both the oceans. Riding his bike across South Africa, I mean again, no motor set a world record for circumnavigating the globe the equator. He's also now done pole to pole, which is he crossed the Arctic and soloed Antarctic. Uh um in record fashion the longest path across Antarctica, um, Thio toe list mawr of his achievements. Besides, like climbing 8000 m peaks in the Himalayas, it just starts to get absurd. But you know the character that is required for someone to do those things that drive the ambition the skill and the relentless passion for what you're doing. All that comes through in this interview, this discussion, Um, and I can't wait for you to if you know, Mike to learn a little bit about him because we have some some great personal connections. I think we're able to go to a place where he wouldn't otherwise have gone. And if you're new to Mike, you are going to love this conversation. So I'm gonna get away and welcome Mike Horn to the show. No. All right. Welcome to the show, Mike. For your second time. Thanks for being back together, but nice to see your face. Yana is great to see you, Chase. You know, the last time I saw you were on the boat sailing off somewhere, E think it was waves and stuff. So being at home is a kind of a different surrounding that. I'm not used to seeing you sitting in front of a screen on you. The same. I don't think I've ever seen you indoors. No, no. You know, the last five years, I only spent 32 days in my own bed s. Oh, you're very lucky. I am. We've been trying to put this together for a while, and, uh, before we go too deep, I want O make sure you say hi to Annika and Jessica for me. You're amazing daughters who who helped us pull together this conversation today. So give them my love. I just spoke with my wife, Kate. She wanted to send her love to you and the family. So we miss you dearly on the other side of the planet here. But, yeah, we miss you guys as well. You know, the planets kind of round, and if we keep on walking in one direction will eventually meet up without you. Turn, You know so well, I'm happy to have you on the show. Second time on this show. The last time you were here was, I think, nine years ago, Um, and it was it was in Seattle. And for those folks who are new to your work, there's millions. Of course, we follow you around the planet, but for anyone who is new, our relationship goes back. Um, something like 10 years. And I want to just recap our initial meeting on. Then maybe we'll kick off, uh, a little bit of history. And then I want to cover a handful of topics that you are well known for specifically, you know, risking your life, going to places and doing things that people have never done before. Also, awareness about climate and climate change and, uh, and pursuing your dream, because I have, Ah, just having spent days and days and days in very small places with you, I know more than most. So I'm hoping to pull some of that out in our conversation and t kick it off. I was contacted by Pana Rye, which is Ah, watch company. And they make some of the world's finest timepieces for those watch lovers out there. And I remember, uh, them proposing the idea of working with you aboard your boat Panga And, uh, you know, we made some arrangements pan awry. Signed, uh, signed the time you up for the campaign, and before I knew it, I was off, flew to Hong Kong and was just given a anat address where your boat was gonna be parked at this particular day. I had to be there, and, uh, I remember walking on board and meeting you for the first time. and I know you'd hosted lots of what you call journalists. Um, and I was immediately taken with your authenticity, your seriousness that you approach life and also the playfulness. And, uh, and we set off, and I'm wondering if you remember that it was two days into our journey where we were caught in a monsoon in the South China Sea. Do you remember that? No. Well, you know, if you if you run about and you've got Thio kind of amateur sailors with you on the boat, you kind of become responsible for their lives as well. And if I'm alone on the boat and with the crew, um, you know, we we know what we can do with the crew that we have. Andi to make people comfortable on a vessel going into a tropical storm. Eisen always the easiest thing to do. And, you know, that's when I I think I got to know you guys very quickly when you guys were out there trying to catch the most amazing content and and get the authentic true, um, pictures that a lot of people can't get because they're not willing to go out there and take these risks and to be able to get those images in the middle of the night with waves breaking over the boat and me trying thio make everybody as safe and comfortable as possible. You know, got us to be good friends. And I believe if you go through a lot of hardship, you create amazing friendships and somebody, sometimes people just want to be friends. But you can't really be true friends if you don't live hardship together. You can't trust somebody if you don't know what they're going to do when you really count on them to do something for you. And that's what I appreciate about appreciate about the work that I do is that, you know, we are their nature on if you meet people in the same surroundings and the same situation as you find yourself in, that is when you get to know them and on the capabilities very quickly. Well, it was literally Yeah, it was literally Ah, life or death moment. I remember you. For those of you who are sailors, Um, this may mean something, but we're out in the South China Sea and I remember asking Mike So the storm is kicking up. And I was like, you know, I haven't seen any boats that air shorter than, like, 800 ft long out here. We passed like one or two giant vessels and, uh, so are we in the right place? And you looked at me, said, Oh, no, we should definitely not be here. But we'll be fine. And I remember just thinking we are entering a moment of adversity. And as you said, um, when you're pushed and challenged and you find yourself in a situation that is not, you know, just like sitting in your front room sipping tea, I think people's true character come out. And that was one of the things among many that I was struck by in our first meeting. And you started to speak about character, and I wanna go back and try and understand What? What? What do you think developed your character? I think it's one of the you know. It's certainly what has propelled you around the world, climbing 8000 m peaks and setting world records, sailing and soloing across Antarctica and going to the North Pole in winter. And what about your your upbringing? Because I think there's someone right now sitting at home in their underwear in Ohio, thinking I don't I can't even relate to Mike. I'm you know, I'm a software engineer or I'm on entrepreneur, starting my business. And I'm scared, toe, you know, right. My 1st $1000 check or I'm scared to invest in my business. And what in your past set you up for success? You know, Chase, I I think that, you know, I had an amazing education. My father, that was amazing athlete. And my mother, that was a professor at university, you know, gave me the opportunity to be who I really wanted to be, not to be who they wanted me to be and gave me a lot of freedom. So my father, that was like I said, he was a rugby player. You call it football in the US, but directly, players don't have all the helmets and all the armor and all the protection gear. It z a pretty rough sport and in many ways, um, the most respected sport in the world because you can be war on the field. But the moment that the whistle blows a best of friends all the rightly place. And as my father played his last match, um, I was privileged to walk into the changing room with him on just sitting next to him and all the other younger players coming to him and and kind of said only good things about him. And the things that was said was like, You know, you were always an example to us. You were always first there you were always lost to go. You were always the one that helped the weakest, and you were always they to listen to us and to be able to guide us through things. And as a kid, listening to what other people was telling my father when they all left on, he said, There I said, You know, I wanna be like you And he looked at me and he said, You know, Mike, you can't be me. And I was. I was disappointed. I was hurt because why can't I be like him? And then a couple of seconds lady just said, You know, Mike, you are who you are, and I can see that you already already bigger than what I will ever be. And if you are who you are, that's the easiest person to be. And to me it was all of a sudden my year was telling me that I was already bigger than him, that I should dream big, that if your dreams don't scare you, they not big enough and every day of his life but my father's life. At six o'clock in the morning, you woke up and he went for a run from the age of eight years old. Every morning at six o'clock I was awake and he wouldn't run any slower for me to keep up to him. It was for me to run faster, to be able to stay with him for a longer period of time. And when I couldn't stay with him anymore, I stopped and I took a stone and on the sidewalk I would draw a line and every day off my life. When I woke up, I wanted to beat that line, and that is an inspiration. And when my father asked, asked me, You know, why do you think I wake up every morning to go for a run? I was brought up to think that you wanna go for a run to make yourself better. You want to go for a run to add value to your team. You want to go for a run to be the best version of yourself that you can be. And that's what I said to my father. I said, You know, you you go for a run because you want to be a better version of yourself. You want to add value and he said No. The only reason why go for a run is because you are awake. You inspire me every morning. And when I crossed that line that you draw that you drew on the on the sidewalk, that is when I know you fighting to stay with me, and that inspires me. So inspiration is vital for whoever or whatever you want to become and be. And for me, I was given that freedom and I had the right education and I wanted to be a better version of myself. And I knew from a very early age that if you work on yourself and if you are who you want to be, that's an easy job to be successful because you're not pretending to be anybody else. Yeah, that the story that you just share with your about your father, The I think right now there are there are people who are listening and watching and have young Children. And for them, the message is obvious. Like said, um, expectation and being inspiration to your kids. As your father, father and mother. I knew a little bit about both of them, but as they were to you. But there's also some people out there who didn't have that example or don't have that example. Um, and do you have any advice for them? Is it within each of us or where are they look for inspiration if they didn't receive it from their family, you know, a choice. I lived the best of both worlds, and when I when I was 18 years old, I lost my father on. He was no longer there, and I had to be the inspiration to others that he was for me. And it doesn't mean that if you don't have the inspiration around you that you can't get it from other people. If you as an individual, surround yourself with people that support you people that bold your ideas, not people that break you down, not people that criticize everything you do. That's when you surround yourself with hope. That's when you surround yourself with an energy that can only push you higher. That's when the moment that that will be the difficult moments, they will be there to support you. And we all have friends. We all can surround ourselves with friends, wives, family members that can support us. And the moment you support people the moment that you, the positive change maker, the catalyst to this, this positive energy that we can circulate around us, that's when we start believing in ourselves. That is eventually when you can dream big because other people support your ideas. We all unique individuals. We all have a value, and it's to find that specific value that makes you unique. And the moment you find that uniqueness in yourself is the moment that you are who you are and that becomes inspirational to other people. It's sort of like a virtuous cycle. I've heard you talk about this before. It makes me, um, think not just about inspiration, but about your the The one of the ways that I've said it is that the most important words in the world are the ones we say to ourselves. You've talked about leading by example, but take us for a second Thio be say in the North Pole with you where you were, um, alone in the dark for two years. What was it, two years and eight months or something like that? In total, your there's No. One. There's no one to draw inspiration from. There's no one to look to for help or support. Um, you've got a satellite phone, but it's just you alone in the dark. And I'm wondering, you know, your your role as an Explorer obviously, is, um, is very, very unique. But I think it's moments like these where you are alone in the dark by yourself for an extended period. Time that that those of us back, you know, in safety or trying to start a business or trying to pursue the dream. That crazy dream that we have. I'm wondering if you can share with folks. What are some of the things that you say to yourself when you're out there in the middle in the middle of nowhere? How do you How do you program your mind to be positive and successful, especially in the in the face of danger and fear. And just how do you give us some guidance here? You know what's very important to understand chases, that I've never started anything in my life thinking I would fail And that is that is vital for any project that you want to want to head on. If you have any doubt on your capabilities, then um, you mustn't engage. But you don't need to know Aled the answers before you leave on expedition, for example, or into a project or any other other direction in life. If you need to be able to do big things, you need to be able to inspire yourself. And the moment that you become inspirational to yourself is the moment that you kind of believe in yourself. Now, in the tent on the North Pole, it's darkness. I've been away from home for two years. The only thing that I want to do is go back home. But I have to overcome these obstacles in life, and the only way to overcome these obstacles is if you are willing to better yourself the moment that you can better yourself. Then obstacles become smaller. You can only wish to have less obstacles and wish for an easier life. You should wish that you actually better. You should make yourself mawr enriched with knowledge and experience and be well prepared and trying to overcome these obstacles, because that's what we can differ from one man to the other in a tent in complete darkness at minus 50 or minus 60. Do you think I'm motivated to get out of the tent now? Not motivated to get out of the tent? If I'm kind of comfortable in my little sleeping bag the moment I get out of the tent, I'm exposing myself to the extremities off the world to freezing, to be to be eaten by polar bay, to fall through ice. That's become very thin on the polar ocean. So it's not motivation that we need in life. People often think, and especially in the US, that you should think positive. They say, you know, think positive and everything will be OK now. It's not to think positive that that will, that will make things be okay. It's to do positive things that will make things okay on inside the tent. I'm not motivated to go out there and confront my day and the cold and the bears. But I'm a discipline man. And the moment you apply discipline to your life and not motivation is the moment you wake up, you get your stuff done and you bite the bullet. You go outside and you pull that sled. That discipline is self inflicted. And that's what we often forget. If it's only motivation that drives you after 10 minutes, you not motivated anymore and you will stay in one spot. Discipline is what we all need to achieve big goals. Did you You said something to me one time that I'm going to recount briefly here. But I'm going to recount it just by, you know, saying saying the thing that you started your story with, which was 30,000 days I remember we were together. This is not the first time we were together in in in the South China Sea. I think this was either in Brazil or South Africa, and we spent some time together and you said Okay, that was you know, that was seven days of 30,000 days, and I didn't really know what you meant. And we talked later over a nice glass of white wine. And you told me the story about, ah, 30,000 days and I'm wondering if you can share it with us. You know it. Z, um, it's one question that I asked my mother Onda. My mother was wise enough. Thio kind of write down some of the interesting questions kids asked asked. And one of the questions I asked my mother was that how many days do we have in a lifetime? And you know, she didn't know the answer straight away, and she did a little bit of a research and then came up with this figure off. The average age is years old around the world, and that's 82 times days gives you 30,000 days to an average life until 82 years old. So we only live for 30,000 days in a lifetime half of the time we sleep. So actually that we have available to ourselves are only 15,000 days now. We can't afford to lose one of these 15,000 days because in the first five years of your life. You don't really know what's happening with you. It's kind of you dependent on on parents until you eventually leave home. But then when you get older, you start making decisions. And if you think of the amount of days we really have available to live our life to follow our passion to be able to inspire others, that's very few days, in fact. So each day to me, each minute that I can live is important. And if I calculate my life in in living days, that is, that is important to know. How long can I love to be able to live life now and not later? Because if I keep on pushing things to do them later, I've got no days left to do everything that I still want to do. So birthdays are simply reminders that we're running out of time to do what we still want to do in life. I that that stuck with me so profoundly. I remember getting home and looking up, and I think I think we breathe something like 20,000 times a day, and I started understanding, you know, you mentioned there's the young part where you get to make decisions. And then maybe as an older person, when you have less mobility, you're your capacity for decisions or freedom is limited. So you start thinking you have roughly the same number of days on this planet that you take breaths in a day and every breath feels like it goes like like that. And the same is true for me out out in the world. And that's I think it's just a very poignant reminder for folks. There's someone listening right now. There's probably lots of people who are have been putting off the tough conversation or putting off pursuing that dream that they have. And it's just I just loved how you had, you know, Couch, that in the simplicity of just how many days you truly have or you truly don't have right time is so limited time. It's so short. Um, you're the most accomplished living explorer on the planet, and you've done a lot and climb mountains cross. He sailed, swam the Amazon, all these things that I listed in your bio that, um and we've talked at length about in previous conversations. What are you doing now? What's what is your main focus now, given that we only have 30,000 days. Um, you know, first of all, chasing I never thought that I would actually love, love or get close to the age that I am now. So, you know, I'm I'm 55 years young on I kind of think that I've that I've lived more than one lifetime on just a small little little story that I would like to share with you is like, you know, I've bean happily married for 25 years. Um, my wife came to me one day and she said, You know, Mike, I have breast cancer, and, um, that kind of really shocked me. I was out there taking all the risks. I was the one that was not going to live to become old. And, you know, after the treatment and the cancer just spread, um, there was a stage that got really bad. And, you know, I went to Kathy and I said, You know, Cathy, you know I can't really live without you. You've given me a love this freedom. You've given me two amazing daughters that we brought up that we educated and that can take care of themselves. And, you know, I think I would you know, I would prefer to die with you. And she looked at into my eyes and said, You know, my your whole life was about fighting to stay alive. Now you're telling me that you want to die and I said yes, because I feel that without you my life cannot be complete. And then she said something that really changed the way I was thinking. And she said, You know, Mike, don't die for me. Live for me. You gotta live for me because I've had my time on Earth and I'm moving out. But you still there and you can live for me and for others. And then she said something even more amazing. And what she said Chase was Listen, I've had more than one life with you in 25 years, and to me, that was the biggest gift to have ever made you and that we could spend 25 years of our lives together. And that's how you have to feel about life. You've got to be able to say that today in my life comes to an end. I have done everything I wanted to do. And there's nothing that I regret. Even all the mistakes that I've made, even ALS, the mist aches or the things that I didn't do that I wanted to do, but I still kept on doing other stuff is the way that the water flows underneath the bridge. You've got to be able to live life for you and for others that cannot live life like you get. Mm. It made me I I got teared up there thinking about Cath. What an amazing woman again. I I feel very, very lucky to have known her. And, um, what a sweet, kind, strong woman I remember sitting with you in the back of the Mercedes G wagon, ripping up the South African Ah, countryside heading up into the the winery, the three of the four of us. I think it was me and Kate and Kath and you and the and I'll never forget those those days, especially in Africa with Kath and the girls. It was so this one once in a lifetime experience for May. So thank you. She was an amazing woman. And what a lesson, Uh, that she gave you in that moment. you know, I think chase those lessons. We don't necessarily have to learn them personally, but we can learn them way can. We can get experience from what's lived through others. And she taught me so much about the appreciation off being alive. And if I can teach others about the appreciation of being alive, then you know that's how life should be. We should be able to add value all of us in life. If we add value and not take value, that's when the world will become a better place. Did you ever have anyone tell, you know, tell you that it wasn't possible? I mean, here you are. You were living in Ah, Africa Moved Thio Switzerland. I won't get into the details there because the main point is you started Desire ing Thio go swim the Amazon and start to do some of these crazy things that you'd ostensibly fallen in love with in Switzerland being outdoors and whatnot. But there's so many people out there right now that have heard no and have taken that answer at face value and decided not to pursue their dreams. So I'm wondering who in your world was telling you know. And what was your response, Thio? The know that you heard from them? You know, uh, it often comes down to How are you gonna finance your expedition? How are you going to make somebody believe that you are capable off doing what they never dreamt about that they think is impossible. And I think that is where I always thought that I should be the guy going out there, and I should be the guy doing the things. And once I've done the things once I've I've proven that that I've got the knowledge and I've got the experience. That's when you can go out on engage and get into into being a professional athlete where professionalism allows you to even dream bigger because you supported financially. So all my first expeditions, Um, I believed in what I wanted to do. Kathy believed in what I wanted to do. I joined the special forces in Brazil. They trained Americans for the war in Vietnam. But I didn't want to know how to go and fight. I just wanted to know how to survive in the jungle on when I got that knowledge that that that I got through an exchange program. I knew that with that knowledge I could do something big, and that's when I did my first 5000 miles swim down the Amazon River. So all I need to swims 5000 miles Exactly. It's like you've got this wild dream as a kid to go to the Amazon, to go and see these anacondas to go and see the Peronnas to go and see this fish that swims up your Penis in bed itself there and that you cannot get out. You that excited me as a kid. That's what I wanted to do. And the first opportunity I had was an exchange program when I was in the South African Special Forces with Brazil So off I went to Brazil and I started believing in my dream. Although my friends knew who I waas and what I wanted to do, there's a lot of them that kind of warned me and said, you know, might just think about this a little bit longer, not discouraging me, but giving me that reflection that you sometimes need from an outsider that doesn't live in in your world. So in the beginning, to be able to create that base, that solid base that I needed. I did things on my by myself where I didn't ask any help from others. And once I started doing that, that's when it became easier to convince partners and sponsors. But the last explanation that Borgia outstanding myself that the crossing of the North Pole to take a boat and you've been on panga this boat sale to 85 degrees north, the highest that any sailboat ever got into the polar ocean to be able to drug, drop us off and then sell out of the ice sale around the world, a world away to speech Bergen while we were crossing the North Pole. So I had my daughter with me. Annika. I had my crew with me and only people that believed in me. There wasn't one person on that boat that doubted our capability of ever making it the moment the boat dropped us off on the ice, and now the boat will sail back out of the ice. But that is the Rubicon, that point of no return. That boat can never get back to us because the isis drifting on moving and it's impossible to find the same spot again because you've got to break through the ice and the boats small boat. The moment I said goodbye to my daughter, Janica, you know what he said. I'll see you on the other side, and it was like she trusted me 100%. But the other side meant that, you know, I would can make it alive. Or if something happens and I die, we'll meet again some time on the other side. So that's the belief that you need to have in people if people believe in you at such an inspiration, if they don't believe in you, it's always an inspiration because you want to prove them wrong. And I take whatever energy comes to my way. If people believe it and people tell me it's impossible, it's the same energy for me. I will do what I think I can do with staying focused on staying alive, because that's the only thing that I do okay. Until now, they like it's a very, uh, focused occupation that you have staying alive. Well, you've also, you know, you talked about motivation, inspiration? You talked about mental, you know, mental preparation and you were very clear about surrounding yourself with people who believe in you. I remember, uh, maybe shortly after our africa, um, exploration that you started coaching. I think you coached a the like Indian cricket team or the German World Cup teams. Um, rugby. Give us. Can you give us a little story there? And what was that, like being, Ah, a mental coach. What did you What did you help those players think about? You know, Chase. It was, you know, I studied sport injuries and sports psychology. So, um, from from university, I was always interested in, in in the human humans capability off, always kind of breaking records going further. And I really found that it's not so much about our physical capabilities. Yes, you've gotta have the right DNA. You've gotta have the right makeup to be a marathon athlete or sprinter or pole vaulter or football player or a baseball player. But once you have kind of you've reached the summit off your performance, the only difference that you can make is your psychological attitude that you have towards things. And that is where then I studied sports psychology and to be able to kind of put in practice. What I've studied that is when I left South Africa and I started doing my expeditions, I wanted to know how far can I go? And after swimming down the Amazon following the quater and motorized around the world, climbing a couple of these 8000 m peaks without oxygen going to the north and the South Pole, I kind of quickly understood that man can go much further than what he thinks. He can go. You can't you don't go a Sfar as you see you go a Sfar as you think. So where do you think you could go? And that I knew from my expeditions? So bringing that into the world on competitive sport now is speaking about the Indian cricket team, the German, the World Cup team. They asked me to come and and make a team out of a team. Making a team out of a team means a team's a bunch of individuals and each off the individuals in the team's got his own agenda. So try and make a team where everybody shares their agenda to be able to reach the final goal, and I remember very well working with the German football team and I did a little a keynote presentation on the first ever winter expedition to the North Pole and I compared what I do with football and I told the boys of the German football team I said, You know, when I play, I cannot lose. I don't only play a match that I can win or lose. I play my life and I cannot afford to lose, So winning is not everything in life. To me, winning is the only thing in life. I have now. That means my engagement, my preparation, the way that I believe in my capabilities, gotta be 100% in sync with what I want to do. And if you can train those methods into a footballer or cricket or rugby player, that's when you can reach your goals because losing is no option anymore. The moment that winning is the only option and you play for your life, that's when you can achieve amazing goals. I remember I was looking back at our texts trying toe retrace our last conversations, and I think you were at the World Cup last time. We're and then the German team win that year. Yeah, well, I won. I won three World Cups with three different teams of South American Germans on the Indians. Uh, in three different sports, right in rugby, cricket and soccer. Yeah, well, if you're listening out there, you realize the level that Mike is flying at. Um, I wanna I wanna change tax entirely. And I you know, something that you and I were talking about before we started recording. And that is the state of the environment. And in and six, when you and your partner we're crossing the or or journeying to the North Pole in winter, you said something like the ice was 9 ft thick. And then by my understanding, you when you went back in 2019, you found something very different. I'm wondering if you can share a little bit about your own personal experience of seeing, um, the effects of what we're doing to the environment. No trace. I think the impact is on will be much bigger than then. We can ever imagine it to be because we always lived in the same surrounding onboard. The surrounding that we live in kind of stays the same. It's guys like like us that wonder up to 8000 m that cross the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica, Um, that that can really see the differences in what the climate and the warming off our planet actually leads to. So in in 2000 and six, Um, the ice waas 9 ft about 2 m 50 Just a little bit more than 2 m, 50 thick when we reached the pole. Um, last year, this time when I crossed the North Pole with Borghi Way had two inches of ice on the North Pole, meaning that Okay, the sea ice obviously draft, but we couldn't find a thick ice to pitch our tents. Now, this is a true sign that the changes are happening much faster than what we ever predicted. And at the same time, in 2000 and six, when we went to the pole, you know, they was polar bears all over hunting, and there's even a polar bay that stuck his head into our tent. There was a polar bay that that sat on my stomach when I was asleep inside the tent, and those those memories that I had off the presence of polar bears because the polar bear is higher than you on the food chain. When it decides to eat you as it will eat you. A polar bear can smell 50 kilometers. Apollo Bay can swim 100 kilometers. A polar bear can walk 80 kilometers in the day. You can't get away from him. And because Bergen myself planned this full crossing off the North Pole in the last year, Um, we we thought one of our biggest problems will be the polar base because they all around you. And in 100 days it took us to cross the polar ocean. We didn't see one polar bay. The ice on the North Pole was only two. Interesting. The ice that was on the North Pole is slowly now drifting into the northern Atlantic Ocean, where eventually it would go into the Gulf stream and melt. Now, if we lose the ice cap, the polar ocean, that would mean that we would know we would. We won't be able to cool down our planet because the wind that actually blows over the ice caps that come down to the equator is what actually cools down. Mhm. Our planet. And if there's no more ice in the winter on the polar ocean, that is when our planet will. We'll keep on heating up and can never cool down. Imagine it would be like living in a in a room with doors and windows that we can't open to let fresh air into this room and the world will slowly eat a pita pita. Antarctica would melt, the sea level would rise by over 18 m and for every centimeter off sea ice rising. Today we have to displace more than one million people. We have to find different places for them to live and our world just cannot supply. The raw resource is to re reallocate so many people that first hand account. I think that that was when when you and I first started talking about your awareness of what was happening to the planet, I think it took it from science and white papers and stuff. You see in the news to your own your own experience, seeing something with your own eyes. So what? What do you recommend? We dio I mean it a very fundamental level. Is it changing our behavior? Is it petitioning our governments for action. Is it all? What? What do you recommend? Having seen this first hand? What can people at home do? You know, it's it's I'm not somebody that gets involved in politics. But already what's happening in the US on now is a change, uh, to the beta on. But it's not what I what I'm. What I'm saying is to the bait off the world's climate. I'm not speaking about the economical situation of any country. I'm speaking purely what the world needs, and we can't always look at the politicians to find solutions for a problem that we as human beings, are actually individually creating. To be able to to use and abuse less off the world's resource is, is definitely something that we as individuals, can make a personal decision to either abuse it or not. And I think that is where we must not look at the politicians. We must not look at the way that other people do things, but we've got a look at the way that we do things. Today. There is sustainable businesses that supplies products that we can buy. Why do we need to support uh, companies that destroy the planet. It's actually killing the mother that feeds us all. And that's what we sometimes forget. We all have a role to play, and it's not only the fact that you should switch off the tap when you brush your teeth, or you should only reuse paper bags instead of taking plastic bags. But the way that we drive the way that we love the way that we consume the way that we basically living our daily life we've got a look at how we can change that. And I've just came back from spending 2.5 months up in in, uh, above small but in the Arctic and we did sound recordings on whales. We had post covert sound recordings. And for the first time in the history of our planet Chase, there was no hunting during the covert because the boats couldn't go out. We couldn't put the crew together. There was this. We're all going to die if we go on a boat together. So no hunting took place during four months. We went up and recorded two months ago, the whales the song and for the first time we can prove that the song is less stressed that they're calling the whales up to those regions where they fed before. But after being hunted, they did not come to these regions anymore. So nature is showing us that even if we give it a little bit of a breather, something positive can come out of it. Now, if we go back after this post covert, uh, pandemic that we experiencing on engaging to the same style off living that we did before then we deserve to die. And that is unfortunate to say, we can't keep on making the same mistakes because the planet cannot sustain it. The planet will survive. But the human beings well, I remember that that story that you just shared about the whales singing I remember, um, coming around the cape with you down in South Africa. And you Do you remember that you share a share with No, you should share it because you will come out of the mosque seeing that seeing 10,000 dolphins the super part coming towards you. Yeah, just I'll recount the story. So we were on Mike's incredible boat panga, which means one world. It's the geological when all the continents were connected. You could look it up and see pictures. Boat is just insane. And that's a whole another story. I could talk to you for 10 days straight, my friend, and we could just make all of the recordings, but, um, so we're on this boat. Uh, this is I don't know, my maybe fourth trip with you and coming around, um, the cape there, down in South Africa. And I think it looked often to this. You just pointed it out. As if I don't know. You just said look over there and I don't remember. We didn't know what it was at first. Do you remember what we thought it was? Or do you remember? I don't remember. Yeah, like, it looked like the wind picking up, because everywhere you just saw phone. Yeah, that's right. That's right. It was like it was a It was a beautiful, perfect sunny day. And he was like, Look, look over there. And it was far away I could possibly see and and it probably got within. I would say maybe a half mile. And Mike says it's dolphins, and I'm like, I don't I don't get it. And literally imagine as far as you can see in either direction. And when you're in the open ocean, you can see far, right. You can see so much volume and to my benefit, the guy with the camera. The crew hoisted me up. I don't know how high is your is the mast, your tallest man? It's Mike 100 yeah, it's 42. It's 130 ft. So they hoisted me up on ah, on a winch 130 ft up. Um, so I'm up on the tip of the mass and I can start to see what looks like the ocean is boiling and, as Mike said, look like wind on the surface because there was so it was so ubiquitous. It was everywhere and as the, um, what it was, is it was a super pod. As Mike said earlier, Super pod of Dolphin, which I think we probably saw. We ended up calling National National Geographic and sending them all this footage and whatnot. But I think it is one of the largest super pods ever seen in the history of the world. And we're out in the, you know, South of South Africa in the middle of the ocean and 10. Imagine if you're on a boat and 10,000 of the most beautiful, playful, jovial creatures surround your boat and it's a Sfar. As you can see in every direction. The water is boiling. You could walk across it. There was so many dolphin, and it was literally one of the highlights of my entire entire life. I've never seen anything like. And if you Google my name and Mike's name and dolphin, I know that there's some videos out there and National Geographic ended up. You know, we got that on their channels and whatnot. What an amazing experience. Um, what do you remember about that, Mike? You know, choice. Um, the other day I was sitting in the office with my daughters when we came back from from Sal Bad. Where we we saw from polar base swimming to the whales to some orcas and dolphins. But nothing, not nothing that I've experienced in my life would would be compared with that day. They're on, you know, just jokingly I I said to my daughters, you know, I've sailed 15 times around the world 15 times. I sailed around the world and I said, When did you stop counting? Because we looked at the logbook when we were up there. Now you have circumnavigated the world 27 times on 10 hour and in 27 circumnavigation off our planet, there is no place that I haven't sailed. And that will stay. Ah, highlight in my life for you to be able to have seen that and to experience that, you know, is is a massive privilege. So true and yeah, yeah, if you've logged the years and I've just cherry picked a couple of a couple of the best moments, but it's it truly left an indelible mark. And I think you know a sui as you shared your story about the difference and just what was it, you know, 15 years between when you started going to the North Pole and your most recent trip to see the such dramatic degradation when I see those dolphins for my own eyes and you realize that that that is what we're putting at risk not only you know our own lives, but the lives of these creatures who are some of the most beautiful and playful and stunning and smart, and it just it changed my behavior. It really made me an advocate. And you having seen, you know, moments like that and so many, countless others. Um, is that part of what makes you dedicate, you know, your life to education? I know you've done so much with the young explorers program and giving talks around the world. I mean, I've had mawr amazing moments, watching you talk about the environment. I mean, I go back to being on the, uh with the Prince of Monaco on your boat, sipping champagne, talking about the environment, and I mean, you just live this insane life. But is it is that these moments that have made it so easy to dedicate your life or is am I putting words in your mouth? Why, Why Why are you so dedicated to the environment? You know, I think, Jace, you've experienced it, and those are life changing moments and the moment you you you love something that changes your behavior or allows you to think a little bit deeper than than what you would think in normal circumstances in a normal life, we call these events key events in our lives, events that allow us to change the direction we're heading into on day for me, my life as an explorer and as a professional explorer I lived out there for 30 years. Um, I cannot climb anymore mountains. I cannot across any more polls. I cannot keep on just sailing around the world. Although I would love to. Andi, if you think of just a little bit off where I've seen and what I've seen, I've seen the world like very few people. And to be able to have that authentic view on true view of the planet, um, only leads to the conservation off our planet. I would like to to make the world a better place for my daughters. I would like to make the world a better place for everybody that's out there, that that didn't play a role in the destruction off the planet until today. And now I'm speaking about the younger generation. If you are five or six years old today, I want to leave a planet intact for the five or six years old kids that's around it because it's not them that destroyed the planet. It's more or less now. You know, with the boomers and the boomers, they, the guys that wanted to progress and all this progression, as has done, done as good. But in we forgot to really take care of the planet. It's about the give and take that we sometimes forget that sometimes the investment in giving is better than the investment in taking. And that's right. Today, um, slowly but surely, yes, I've still got a couple of things to do, but I'm out there trying to make the world on the planet a better place again, having personally been there, like on the front lines, seated at the table with you. When you're having some of these conversations with world leaders, I referenced sipping champagne with the Prince of Monaco on your boat, which was surreal. I know you spoke in Davos at the World Economic Forum about the changes, spoke with the president of France. Um, some of the some envoy from the U. S. And do you have hope? Do you have hope that will get our shit together? I chase. I believe that I believe that we created a problem or accelerated a problem that was in the making, and we are human beings. We find solutions for so many other things and to be able to look at ourselves is the moment that I believe in humanity. If you can look at yourself with a really intend to make the world a better place, I think we can do it as well. And I want this to share the message of hope and not the message of despair, because if it is going to go down and we did nothing about it, I'm going to feel sad about the efforts that I didn't make but even goes down the world. We becomes to a stage that cannot take care of itself and we did nothing about it then. For me, it's a sad moment. But if I did everything in my capabilities to reverse what's happening, then I really don't mind that going down because I try to take care of it. One of things that strikes me is your your your personal responsibility. You your It's like radical ownership to use some of the parlance of the time and we've We've heard this from others, you know, military leaders and we're all leaders. And, um, you where does that come from? Where does your You're just awareness and and self awareness and your willingness to own every every outcome as your own. Is that something that comes from your parents? Or is that something that have learned trait? Because you personally accepting the responsibility that you have to change the planet? You personally. As you know, The first time we met, I boarded your ship and we sailed into a monsoon in the South China Sea. You owning as the captain of the ship? The welfare, I mean, And we were to be clear. We're in 40 m season. No power with the broken mean. How your it out there? Like, where? Where does this radical self like responsibility and self reliance come from? And what What can we learn from it? I think that, you know, it's it's the moment that you take responsibility way, always try and pass on responsibilities Thio to somebody else. And I've always bean the person that that would like to take ownership off what I can take ownership of and the moment that you can take ownership off your responsibilities is the moment that you like that, Um the fact that those responsibilities empowers you, makes you stronger, makes you a better person, makes UME or understanding and that is self enriching, self enriching by taking responsibilities is the most rewarding thing that any human being can ever experience. And if I can challenge anybody out there to take the responsibilities that others do not want to type, there's nothing more powerful in a reward. Then being able to say if they want, don't want to do it, I'll do it for them and it creates the circle of energy that that inspires others and that people want to be part off. And as you mentioned, the Panja expedition or the Panga expedition was taking young people around the world teaching them about the planet and how to conserve it for the future generation. There was 62 million kids following this expedition that just started with one idea where I said, Okay, we'll take the next generation out there, teach them about the conservation of the planet because you can't teach old dogs new tricks. But all dogs can take responsibility, and the moment you take responsibility is the moment that you start inspiring others on, and for those who are not familiar with that. My kind of program for a number of years, maybe a decade or so. The Young Explorers program where we take was a competition to be selected, and he would take too. I think two kids from different countries, uh, remind me of how it went. It was it was any kid could apply, Um, and in between the age of 15 to 20 years old and we took two kids from the six different continents. So we had the world on panga, and that's why the boat was called Pangaea. That meant one world when all the continents were together. So that meant that on my boat I had the world represented Andi. They interacted and created networks and then tried to solve the world's problems. Bye. Working together as one and not as individual countries to be able to workers one in the world today is vital poi existence. Speaking of working together, I'm aware that you have done so much on your own, but I want to bring up the the concept of team. You talked about team with respect to coaching the German soccer team to the World Cup championship. That's a team thing. And well, so much of what you do is out there keeping yourself alive, self sufficient needing toe. Um, you know, as you said, your occupation is staying alive. What role does the rest of your you know, you're there? Are you become incredibly proficient in 10 years since we met? But what what do some of the other people in your organization you know, it's not just Mike, you have. You know, you mentioned your daughters. You have burger your your your partner who you help you credit with. You know, working together across the exhibit or the expedition in the ice is probably the world's renowned polar explorer. What role does the team play? Even in the world where it's just you on nature, you know, Chase without meeting people and having having people support some of my ideas and and make me reflect on on the ideas, you know, I would have bean nobody and wouldn't have accomplished any anything in my life. You know, every person that I've met on that I've spent time with has taught me something and, you know, even even our part crossing and seeing meeting you 10, 12 years ago or even Mawr on being inspired through your creative mind and the way that you shared your passion off creativity to others inspired me. And the world is a za funny way off, kind of off guiding people together that needs to be together and the moment that you open your mind and you open your eyes and you open your ears and you start listening and you're not always speaking to people. But you listen, is the moment that you learn. And that, to me, is so important. I have learned so much from people. And that's why I can only be, ah, humble explorer, because what people know in their fields off work that I don't know is amazing. So, you know, having Kathy there in the beginning, being surrounded by by by friends, a great athletes winning a NASCAR in the world off sport, meeting presidents and princes and being able to tiu mingle with change makers. Um, mhm was important for me, and I think that the moment, like I said, you open your mind and you make your brain available. To be nourished is the moment that anybody in life can teach you something you don't know. Well, speaking of others, uh, I'm I'm grateful. I want to say thank you. I'm grateful for the world, you know, our our different worlds overlapping. And for Kath and Jessica and Annika and Gerard and friends that we've had in our lives, uh, that help us stay in touch. And I just want to encourage, you know, I try not to give advice in this show because this show is really about the guest, but just mhm looking out for the people who have, you know, taking care of us and put us in the same room and given us a path and some guidance and, you know, helped us figure out things that we didn't know I just wanted. It's so clear to me that cultivating community is an important act that nothing, nothing really is a solo act. When you when you boil it down to it, right, everything is is a little bit of a team effort. And I just was struck by that. As you were speaking, I wanted Toto pause and say thanks. And to people listening at home like what Mike has done is, um is incredible, but you get zero credit for stories you don't tell. And if your goal was to create impact, help others inspire others. Of course, you know you need to take care of yourself first, but that you know, that that has so much to do with building a community around you and your work. And sometimes we forget that just need to remind us, right? You know, taste. It's it's like, can't be said better than what you just said that Z we've all got something to be thankful for on sometimes just meeting up with people. Um, I I just thank them for for crossing my path. And the moment that you are thankful for everything that you have been life and you're not bitching and moaning and groaning because you're not actually making as much money or you you're not as successful as you wanted to be. Look at life in general. Look, And the look at the bigger picture off the possibilities off being alive and you don't always get what you want in life, you get what you need in life. And if you got what you need, you've got so much so true. And I honestly in my life. I got everything I needed. And that's why my life is so rich. And it all started from you giving a whale your possessions when you were living in South Africa to you went from, you know, you literally nothing. You had no possessions and moved moved to Switzerland, right? Exactly. Being from from a millionaire in one minute to somebody that had to t shirts and had no positions because I wanted my freedom. And the more I had, the more I felt that I was tied down. And the moment I got rid of all my positions was the moment that I felt free again. Amazing. Well, I want to surprise you with something. So I was just, um, speaking to a mutual friend who I don't know if you know, if we're friends. So I wanted to record. I'm going to shoot a little video here of the screen. And I was just texting with, uh, Mary Buck height. Oh, Mary. Oh, amazing. Mary came and gave us a massive hand with the young Explorers program. Yeah, she is such a superstar, and I don't know if you know, she's She's the chief communications officer for Tony Robbins now and, uh, she's she's doing so well. She's traveling the world, inspiring people. And I know took a big, you know, a big page out of your book. And and she talks about your infectious, the joy and, um so much, um, just inspiration. And I love that she had working with you and Kath back in Switzerland. And so it's our it's our goal to get the three of us together the next time when this pandemic is over. Maybe its's Switzerland, but the three of us need to get together and tip a glass of wine back. I definitely I'll hit out with my boat and sail across the oceans because alone on my moat on my boat there's no Kobe it, man. Awesome. Well, Mike, I'll pass that note on Thio to marry and e want to say thank you. Thank you so much for sharing just the tip of the iceberg. There's a pun intended there. Um, I saw that video of you rolling the iceberg over. By the way. That was scary. And if if shit, man, um, I I want to take a second and plug all your social chanters for anyone who is listening because what you're putting out there so much good content. Uh, the YouTube channel. Um, is that just my corn Explorer? What's what's the YOUTUBE channel? Do you know? Well, I've been progressed. Anything? I I think it's just Michael. Yeah, you've got, you know, nearly a million subscribers there tell incredible vlogs and, uh, you know, when I can't when I can't reach you, um, for a long time. What I figured I do is I just watch your YouTube channel in your instagram because it's mostly it's mostly up to date, but you're putting out amazing content and, um, Instagram, you're you're on instagram as well. Instagram YouTube, of course. Twitter and whatnot. Do you have a favorite place to post stuff or what's the best way for people to follow you? Yeah. You know, I think it's still, you know, we had a chat about instagram many years ago. We knew you, the guy that actually started it. So we still use that little that little platform. Um, you know, having having any kind Jessica so involved in my life, uh, then doing an amazing job. Well, by sharing content that they create by living close to me usually get shown on, you know, on Facebook on instagram. And then, you know, we've decided to start the YouTube channel this year on bond. You know, it took off like wildfire on, uh um, they it shows that, um, authentic true content, Um is still still content that people would like to see. Well, yeah, someone who's, uh, subscriber. And I mean, this is the best way for me to stay in touch with you because you're out at sea. Like you said, you've been in your own bed for 30 to 32 nights in the last three years or something. But if you at all are all interested in the environment in motivation, inspiration in ownership, personal accountability, and truly, truly living your dreams, I cannot recommend following, uh, mike enough. It is ah, almost daily inspirations and just a personal debt of gratitude. Manu, you inspired the hell out of me, and I enjoyed, if so much time that we've spent together. I've enjoyed it tremendously. And it's been good to reconnect after. I mean, I haven't even talked to you face to face on video since your your pole to pole. So, um, good to be back in touch, man. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Thanks for inspiring me many years ago and keep it. Keep it going. It's you often mentioned in our in our discussions and, you know, yeah, sick. And those guys on the pope, we still speak about about you and Chris. And no way should we should do another. We should do another little expedition we needed. Sure. Where's the boat? Right now. The boats embraced in France on we just getting it ready to to settle down to the Amazon and to Patagonia again. So, yeah, Z, the story of my life. One of my favorite places in the world to be When when the ceiling tiles aren't getting blown out because we're in 40 m seas. Yeah. Uh, I'll take care of yourself, dear friend. It's been great Thio to connect and thank you for sharing your stories with all of our listeners. And I think you made some new fans today. Um really, really appreciate it, but And I hope you I hope you stay healthy and happy. Well, thanks a lot for the opportunity, chase and take care. Alright, Alright. Signing off until next time everybody. Thanks for paying attention and we'll see you again soon. The next guy? Yeah.
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