When you find yourself standing on the deck at the rear of the boat, in the middle of the night, looking down into the pitch black waters of the Rio Negro, and Mike tells you to jump in five seconds, you know you are at the 11th Pangaea Expedition to the Amazon.
Yoav: “A few important things I learned on the expedition are real life lessons for me. I believe that in life you should thrive to do what you enjoy doing, to actually live the life you dream.
Be active, do sports, always learn and keep your eyes open for different opportunities in life. Trust yourself and don’t let people tell you you can’t do something because if you truely want to achieve it, nothing is impossible. Be involved in your community, people have more power than they think they do, and if we learn the right mentality, if we do this phenomenal switch in our minds, we can achieve much more!”
Lani: “It is impossible to describe these incredible 21 days in the Amazon in one paragraph! It was a mind-blowing journey through a very harsh, yet very fragile piece of earth. The Amazon environment opened our eyes to vast stretches of black rivers creeping through dense jungles. Often dark clouds would rumble in to produce a spectacular showcase of lightning along with a crimson sun setting on the horizon. Living so close to the elements was a thrilling experience. Watching the milky way stretch across the vast night sky as we prepared our beds on the deck of PANGAEA, sleeping in the jungle with the insects humming you to sleep – it was such a humbling feeling!
To get the adrenaline pumping we jumped over railings, got dragged behind the boat while clinging on at a speed of 8 knots, went caiman hunting in the dark… Learning how to live in the jungle from Mike was the best. He showed us so many things we never would have noticed otherwise. His knowledge and wisdom has greatly influenced my life and my ways of thinking. I am so grateful that I had the chance to soak up some of the lessons and advice that he gave us!
The crew was a great bunch of people! I had so much fun with everyone! PANGAEA really is one big family – it is amazing to see how everyone grows and how we all become great friends in just 21 days.
This expedition is one that I will cherish forever. I have never had so much fun, learnt so much and done such crazy (but wonderful) things before! May the trees that we planted in the Amazon grow strong and tall and may those memories be forever in our hearts!”
Shaya: “The epic expedition to the Amazon with Mike Horn, the team and my fellow young explorers taught me so much about nature, people and surprisingly myself. Being on the Pangaea is a magical experience that shows you the beauty of the world through a new pair of eyes. It feels as tough my parents gave me wings but it is only on the expedition that I finally learnt to fly.”
Shruthi: “I’ll never forget the incredible feeling of jumping overboard Pangaea into the Rio Negro on our first night. Being literally thrown out of my comfort zone into 30 m deep, black water, filled with dolphins, cayman, piranhas and more. It was invigorating, awakening and so powerful to feel the mighty river carry us downstream. And the entire expedition was just as beautiful. Being in the water, the jungle, the swamps and in the communities. Every step was just a journey into a new world. With everday I learnt more about myself, the world we live in and now am dreaming bigger than ever before. Mike has taught me that we can achieve ANYTHING and together we can change and protect the world we live in. Thank you Mike Horn, the incredible crew and wonderful team of Young Explorers.”
Tim: “After returning from the Amazon, I really struggled to revert to my normal way of living. Then I realized something that was very important – I absolutely should NOT return to my “normal way” of living or else all of Mike’s efforts would have been a waste! The Mike Horn Team and the Amazon Expedition truly opened my eyes to new ways of analyzing the world around me, determining my own potential for action, and improving my previous mindset and lifestyle. With these adjustments of incredible value in hand, I will proceed into the second phase of my life.”
Alex: The Amazon Adventure was an eye opening, mind blowing experience that has it made it hard for me to adapt back to normal life. The abundance of life in the jungle was incomprehensible, and the beauty of it was inspiring. The Amazon expedition fortified my resolve to do everything I can do to help preserve this beautiful rainforest.
Julia: “Before going on the expedition, I had talked to some old young explorers, and everyone had told me that this trip would be a watershed in our lives. And they were right.
After those three weeks in the amazing Amazon, certainly, I`m not more the same.
In the expedition I learned much more than just the beauty of the Amazon River, or the forest. I learned to live with people from different parts of the world. This was one of the most important things for me. I learned how to think in France, how they living in New Zealand, the customs of the Americans and the beauty of South Africa
The Mike Horn team showed me that everything in this life is wonderful, and we should always run behind our dreams, because then they can become possible.
For me, this expedition had a different value, it happened in my country, which made everything much more wonderful. I learned to see the Brazil with different eyes. I felt like a foreigner in my own country, surely this was a unique experience.”
Alizée: “This 11th Pangaea Expedition taking place in the Amazon was such an amazing experience! Learning from Mike and his team was a real oportunity to get to know more about each one of us and also about myself.
One of my best memories was when we were coming back from visiting some local indigenous. We were sitting in the dinggy but after 20 min, the boat just broke down in the middle of the Amazon. It was going dark and we were paddling with two paddles we fortunately had in the dinggy! This was so amazing to be in the middle of nowhere in the night trying to repair the engine for more than 2 hours! Moose and Luke finally sorted it out and we continued for several kms before Mike came to save us. When he told us we were only half-way to the boat, we really realised how broken the dinggy was!
Bobby: Going to the Amazon for me was the fulfillment of a life-long dream! I discovered that life is what you make it! YOU really can go out right now and follow your dreams! It may be scary, but as Mike says, “That’s how you know your’re dreaming big enough.”
For me the Amazon was one of those scary dreams, and now I can’t wait to go after a new one (with all of my new PANGAEA friends!) I’ll never forget swimming in the black, glistening waters of the Rio Negro…swimming with Pink Dolphins, hunting with Mike in the insect-chatter of the tangled jungle, seeing giant parrots fly through the canopy, being on the MASSIVE exploration boat PANGAEA, and of course, listening to Mike tell endless stories of his life of adventure!
- Blog written by: Amazon Expedition Young Explorers
- Date: March 2012
- Location: Amazon, Brasil