Who Am I?

Chris Long

 

Hi I’m Chris Long, a wild kiwi boy who grew up in the wilderness of New Zealand’s South Island West Coast.  My home nestled next to the ocean at Gorge River, 50km, or 2 days walk from the nearest road.  

My family is officially the most isolated family in New Zealand and we have had quite a lot of publicity over the last few years as people become more interested in our alternative secluded lifestyle.  One documentary on my family made by English Adventurer Ben Fogle has been shown of National Geographic all around the world

Gorge River is still my home at heart.  However when I was 17 I left to go to school and gradually over the last last 7 years my sights have widened and I now spend about 8 months a year exploring all corners of the globe.  Its safe to say the world is a small place to me now.

I have now travelled to over 50 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and my favorite of all, Antarctica and The High Arctic.  

 

Who would have thought of that coming from a wild bush boy growing up in the jungle!!


Moroccan Camel

Thailand

My Travelling Lifestyle

For the last 5 years (since the age of 19) I have spent 6-10 months of the year working and travelling somewhere around the globe.  My first backpacking trip was 6 months around Europe and after returning home for a few months I couldn’t help but travel again.  In Europe I met Graceie Bodo, another world traveller and we have spent 3 years travelling to some of the most incredible places on earth.  In 2015 we sailed The North West Passage, From Maryland USA,  to Greenland, and across the top of Canada to Alaska on a 13 metre yacht.  We experienced crazy storms, Stunning northern light, epic icebergs and polar bears!  

 

Graceie is now also building a website to document her travels so watch this space for a link to

Grace Around The World

 

Graceie and I on a yacht sailing around ice bergs in Greenland

Graceie and I on a yacht sailing around ice bergs in Greenland

Oasis

Graceie and I hitchhiking on the edge of the Shara desert in Morocco

 

Footsteps Of A Wildkiwi Blog

Last year I decided it was time to start my own travel blog.  Its been about 10 times more work than I expected but now its up and running and my followers grow by the day.  I hope to share my adventures with everyone as well as sharing the many travelling tips that I learn along the way that can help others to enjoy a similar lifestyle.  

So on the right you will see a link to follow Footsteps of a Wildkiwi on Facebook and Instagram as well as an email sign up.  Enter your email here and after clicking a link in your welcome email you will receive email updates about my latest travellers, ideas and adventures.

If you like my page please don’t be shy, send me an email or some comments on social media.  I will replay just as soon as I can.

 

I hope to Entertain and Inspire the sense of adventure in you! 

Shanghai, China. One of the biggest cities there is.

Growing up in Isolation in New Zealand

Originally I grew up in the wilds of South Westland, New Zealand, 2 days walk from the nearest road.  My family is known as the most isolated family in the country and we try to live as sustainable as possible, away from cars, TVs, shopping centers, roads and the general hassle and bustle of modern life. 

We grow a large garden and hunt and fish for our food.  Food we cant grow or hunt here is flown in once a month by small fixed wing aircraft.  I did home schooling and correspondence school (by mail) before leaving home and attending a “normal” school in Wanaka for one year.  Every 2-3 years we would visit family in Brisbane, Australia and by the age of 17 I had been to Australia 7 times.  Both my parents had traveled the world when they were in their 20’s so it was only natural for me to do the same. 

Please have a look at our website about our life at Gorge River:  www.gorgeriver.org

Both Mum and Dad have written books about our lifestyle and if your interested in a signed copy of these just send me a message at the bottom of this page.

This unique upbringing has given me a range of amazing skills and experiences that can use anywhere in the world.  Not many people can be comfortable in the remotest wilderness as well as on a street in the biggest craziest cities of the world!

 

Gorge River

With my family at Gorge River and on the right 2 friends from Australia.

 

My First Trip To Antarctica

My first trip overseas by myself was to this day my craziest experience of all.  I got offered a job working on a Russian Icebreaker ship leaving in 4 days for Antarctica on a 2 month expedition.  I was 19 and my job consisted of working up to 16 hour days in the galley (kitchen) for 2 months straight for $4 an hour.  No days off, and very little down time.  

I was sea sick and tired but the only option was to do your job!  However I also got the chance to go ashore onto this incredible continent and sit on the ice next to penguins!   Some days working 16 hours straight while seasick and exhausted were probably the worst days I will ever experience in my life.  And in contrast the moments sitting on the ice surrounded by an Emperor penguin colony will always be some my most special memories.  

 

Antarctica with emperor penguins

Sitting with Emperor Penguins on the ice of the Ross Sea

Polar Plunge in Antarctica

Swimming in -1.8 degree water in Antarctica

 

How am I able to travel so much

One of the most common questions I get asked is how do I travel so much??  To me the answer is simple.  

I’m not rich.  In fact I earn less money each year than almost anyone in the western world.  Every cent of money I have I’ve earned with my own hands.  I don’t get supported by my parents.  

My main focus is to travel and I do everything to make that possible by going without a lot of other things in life.  Most of my life possessions fit into my backpack.  I always stay in the cheapest hostels, take the cheapest busses or trains and happily take 3 indirect aeroplane flights instead of one expensive direct one to save $20.  

 Every dollar I save is one less dollar I need to earn and therefore can spend more time travelling.  

My normal budget is $1000 a month for travelling in cheaper countries.  If I’m doing well that $1000 New Zealand Dollars.  If I’m having an expensive month that $1000 USD.   

Yes I rough it in a lot of ways, but in exchange I can earn less than $7000 USD a year and travel at least 6 months.

 

About Wildkiwi

Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people and save money as you travel. Here in Milan at the carnival with Graceie and our 2 Couchsurfing hosts

 

My Work

I tend to work in New Zealand where the wages are higher and you can save money a bit faster than other places.   In February 2016 I worked on another expedition ship to Antarctica.  This time I had a very good job on board as an Expedition Guide and Zodiac Driver.  A job like this allows me to earn a good New Zealand wage for 30 days straight and accommodation and food is all included.  And I get to go to Antarctica again!!   Is that the best job in the world??

Other jobs I’ve done are mostly short term or seasonal.  I worked as Ski Patrol at Porters Ski Field in New Zealand for 2 ski seasons.  I fund raised in Australia for 3 months and saved enough money to travel in Europe for 6 months.  And I’ve done a lot of possum hunting for the fur and skins around my home in New Zealand.

Once I’ve have saved enough for the next trip its important to leave New Zealand where the cost of living is very high.  Its best to go and travel in places that are more affordable, then you can travel longer!! 

 

Working as a Zodiac Driver in Antarctica

7 Comments

  1. Harley Dave H. Bulacan says:

    they say that isolation is freedom. I really admire and envy you for all the learnings in life. Thanks for inspiring people

  2. pita says:

    hi christ, i always love to find in youtube about isolation live and one i found about your family live in newzealand, and also find your blog, what an inspiration live, hope you can travel to my country one day, Indonesia especially jave Jogyakarta , it will love to show you around , cheer pita from Indonesia

  3. Alan and Adrienne Twizel says:

    Hey there Chris! We have enjoyed reading your blog since you left our house. It was an absolute pleasure to have you stay for a night. Please give our details to any of your friends or family passing through Twizel. They would be most welcome. Our 14 year old son Tom has been inspired by your journey. We will follow your adventures with interest. Take care, Adrienne, Alan, Tom, and Fred.

    • Wildkiwi says:

      Hi there! Sorry about the slow reply, I have been super flat out since I got home. I really hope your kids can be inspired by some of my adventures and that they will want to travel the world when they are a bit older. As well as the fact that they have already travelled a lot! If they want any advice about anything please dont hesitate to ask anytime!

    • Wildkiwi says:

      Hey! Thank you! Sorry about the slow reply I have been crazy busy. Im actually now in Antarctica working at Scott Base!

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