Between the Sables-d'Olonne and the American great west, Charles Lopez, the lover of the great outdoors, became in a few months an outstanding photographer. It was during one of these passages on the French territory that we asked Charles, aka Vagabond Diary, to give us some of his time to learn more about his career and his adventures, each one more extraordinary than other.
Where do you come from? Tell us about your past, your childhood dreams?
I was born in Vendée and I still live there! I lived with my parents in a little place a bit lost but now I'm living in Les Sables d'Olonne.
Younger one, I spent a year in a hotelkeeper school but after a year I thought it was not for me. I passed my baccalaureat and I got involved to something else.
I have always been attracted to art. I started with music, DJing and producer. I even lived in New York for music. I can be called self-taught: for music as photography, I learned everything by myself with training. I like to fend for myself.
How long have you been traveling?
I have the chance to travel since my early age. We went to see my family in Los Angeles almost every year and had another great trip in the year.
I think that I have this taste from my mother's trip. Today it really became a real passion, almost like a drug. I like to discover different cultures. The country I know the best is the United States and the continent where I still have a lot to discover is Asia.
What is your favorite destinations?
I loved every trips I did! However, I had a big crush on Iceland and Tahiti.
Iceland is really no Man's Land, there is nothing and nobody!
I would even say that it is a lunar country. I think there are about 170,000 people on the island and they live almost all in the capital. There is nothing around.
The landscape: glaciers, lakes, mountains and just next to the sea. That's crazy!
Regarding Tahiti, I arrived in the capital, then, we went to a small island called Huahine. We took a small plane that landed on a very small track stuck to the sea, you must not be afraid !
In this country, people are very kind, calm and close to the nature. I want to go back and especially for the whales. I've never seen, but it's my goal for next time: dive with whales!
The most difficult situations you have experienced, cultural shocks, the most extreme conditions? Tell us everything!
I just came back from Finnish Lapland! The 40 km expedition was pulled by sled dogs. We put a bivuak 300km from the Arctic Circle. The conditions were harsh: outside temperature of -25 ° C, neither water nor electricity and skins of reins as mattresses. Waking up all had frozen.
Last July, I also experienced risky situations. I spent three weeks in Alberta and British Columbia. We camped with friends in a rather isolated place. On waking we saw footsteps of pumas, it was not really reassuring!
I also saw a bear during the same treck, he did not look very shy. In Canada we are advised to never approach more than 300 meters from a bear and to have a bear spray always on you. There, he was barely 15 meters from us ...
What are the essentials of a perfect globetrotter?
There's no need so many things to be on top, I would say that you need a good camera (or even a drone), goals, a mac, a small notebook, a tent, a down, hiking shoes (comfortable if possible), and of course a wonderful pair of glasses REZIN.
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