Tales From the Road: Jess Bonde
Jess Bonde, also known as ‘Wildbonde’, is a photographer hailing from Tasmania. You can usually find him in his custom built rustic home on wheels, or pointing his camera in the direction of a beautiful landscape somewhere around the world. He has been travelling for the past 8 years, initially working on super yachts and any other part jobs to keep him on the road, before taking up photography full time over the past 3 years. We chat to Jess about his adventures on the road..
What are the three things you never travel without?
My Camera and all the gear that goes with it, my 5-panel adventure hat, and my toothbrush.
What has been your most eye-opening travel experience?
Seeing the northern lights for the first time in Iceland was such an incredible experience, so much so it almost reduced me to tears as the green ribbons danced across the sky. I was so blown away I forgot how to use my camera and found myself standing dead still staring at the sky for what felt like an eternity.
What is it that you love about travelling? Have you noticed a change within yourself or do you see the world differently since you've been exploring it?
I love the unknown, finding new and exciting places, and documenting all of the amazing landscapes we have on this amazing planet. I have definitely learnt to relax a lot more and be open to experiences whether they’re positive or negative. I think my ability to embrace the amazing moments and laugh at the terrible ones is one of the biggest things I’ve learnt along the way.
Was there a particular catalyst that pushed you towards a life of wandering, or have you always had itchy feet?
I grew up travelling a lot so I think the travel bug had its hooks in me from a young age. I guess what drives me the most is my curiosity for new adventures but my apathy for settling and being stagnant definitely plays a part in it too.
What's your favourite place you've ever travelled, and why?
It’s always a tough decision to just pick one but I think Arctic Norway is very hard to go past. The way the sheer cliffs rise from the ocean and create such amazing fjords blows my mind every time I am up there. The hiking is usually pretty steep but the rewards at the summit are phenomenal and some of the best views you will ever see in my opinion.
Best piece of advice you would give to another traveller?
It’s always good to have a rough plan, but leave a little bit of flexibility for spontaneity in case a local gives you a good recommendation, or you find a place that you just don’t want to leave. Also travel shouldn’t be rushed, so take your time and soak it in!
Where to next?
I am currently planning a road trip from the UK to Australia. It sounds a little crazy but you can actually use regular ferries the whole way until you get to Indonesia, then put the vehicle in a shipping container and you’ve made it. The route will roughly be UK, western Europe, eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia, then Australia, all over 12 months. Wish me luck haha!
To follow Jess's adventures, head to @wildbonde