Happiest of birthdays to you @cinematowski 💙. Thanks for teaching me to believe in growth, as individuals and as a couple. I see and appreciate more and more, how much you’ve always had the constant courage to put yourself in new and foreign situations, often starting from scratch or taking a chance on wherever our crazy path leads us. I know that’s not easy, especially when I’m at the wheel. Thanks for allowing me to fall in love with both you and the world and encouraging both passions to feed our growth. Thank you for always reminding me of the importance of spending time with family, getting outside, making the bed and drinking more water. Thank you so much for being the most enthusiastic eater I have ever met in my life. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I swore that eventually my cooking would get old to you and your praise would fade but watching your eyes light up as you still exclaim joy and appreciation with every bite secretly warms my heart on a daily basis. Thank you for being so hot and handsome yet having no desire whatsoever to be an Instagram model of any sort. What kind of rare and precious breed are you? And thank you for flying across the globe to once again have my back in our pursuits and to spend your very special day together. Love you 💙 . Photo by @greta_rosee
Sometimes I just need to let things swallow me whole. Completely, without regard to any form of balance, moderation or timing. That’s what this journey has felt like and I really want to thank you all for appreciating that. I couldn’t have prepared myself for how penetrating -from the depths of my soul to the core of my bones, this trip would be. But once it hit me, well I just had to stay there and absolutely drown myself in it.
I want to say, thanks for accepting that. Thanks for tuning into the real the journey as I let it overflow from me, paying no attention to curating a well balanced gallery of color coordination or usual themes. Trading in pro edits for iPhone photos and letting organic conversations take over the stories. It felt good. I also really want to thank my sponsors who had nothing to do with this and got absolutely no love during it. Haha. I kind of threw responsibility to the wind and gave no regard to the great brands who’s support allow me to live the life I do. It didn’t matter if I was wearing the clothes or the slippers, or whatever, you weren’t gonna get tagged in it because it simply wasn’t about that. It was about the people, the culture and this heart opening experience. Today as I opened my eyes and started to wonder how and when to make my way back to reality, I also wondered if by ditching all responsibilities if I had let anyone down. Instead I opened my inbox and to my absolute surprise, received emails from most of my top brands simply saying “good for you” or “I’ve been watching- thank you.” Olukai even asking if I could do a small private dinner for them and just share more, more photos and more stories just to honor it all and inspire them with real journey. So really, thanks to all of you for absolutely supporting me and for caring enough to crave true grit. Not just pretty pictures but cultural richness and people who deserve to be seen too. -for diving in with me, as together we taste the sweet paradox of diversity equaling oneness. Thank you. And don’t worry I wasn’t injured in this photo. The tribe was just telling me an extremely INTENSE story and this is how deeply they do that. You’re all in, or you’re out.
Staying with the Asaro Mudmen was enriching beyond words. They are the descendants and experts chosen to pass on the story, skills and craftsmanship of their ancestors, the original Mudmen of Asaro. . The story they told me was that an enemy tribe attacked their village and stole their land. When they returned to it later trying to plant and tend their gardens, they were driven out once again -told it was no longer theirs to use. They were far outnumbered by their enemies and knew that a normal plan of attack would surely lead to more defeat. And then they came up with a plan.
Papua New Guinea has very strong beliefs in spirits and ghosts. The men of Asaro had a meeting and decided to use clay from the river to make masks that looked like spirits. They knew their enemies would never expect them to attack since they were so little in numbers. Early in the morning when the darkness was just lifting the sky, covered in white mud and wearing their masks, they snuck up on their enemies behind veils of smoke, with their bows and arrows and attacked! The enemy tribe was so frightened by the appearance of the Mudmen that they immediately fled and deemed the land haunted.
I love that there was no real written history of this within the tribe. I love that to pass the story down, the art of mask making had to be taught. Dances, complete with mud, bows and arrows had to be created, practiced and passed down. And they tell their stories with grace and honor knowing that a small village was able to reclaim their home. . *side note- I got to try their bows and arrows!! They had me shoot at leaves and bushes. It took me many tries to hit the target leaf and a lot of coaching as I was doing it all wrong. But once you get the hang of it - damn it’s amazing! The bow is made of palm wood from the same tree they get beetlenut and the string is pandanus leaves that have stretched and soaked in water. The arrows are so intricately carved with detailed designs that serve as barbs and daggers making it go in but not come out without tearing its target. The mask was freaking heavy. I definitely couldn’t do both at once.
Only had about an hour to rush and get in a quick dive because I had promised to be back onshore no later than sunset for dinner around the campfire. Made it! -with sashimi for all! ❤️🐟🌅 #dogtoothtuna . Photo by @harborhouselife@freedivingdan
Scribbles- I write in them, draw in them and most certainly think in them. Sailing far away from the highlands but they’re still scribbling through my mind. . I wish you could see the pure joy that comes over her when playing naked and wild in the big river. Swimming and splashing with such freedom and delight. Bellyflops and screaming and tackling her siblings- all so small, yet all knowing exactly where to play, how far to swim and where exactly to stop before the rapids sweep them away. Such a big wild river, filled with such life. 💙 . To everyone writing in and asking about the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit PNG- thank you. It literally happened mere moments after my plane took to the sky. All of my friends in the highlands are safe and fine and still waiting to hear confirmation on the areas and villages that were damaged. 🙏🏽
So hard to say goodbye to such untamed beauty. So hard to leave when I haven’t even scratched the surface. I want to know more, do more and feel more with you. I’ve only been a pest of questions. Questions after questions after questions- none of which you didn’t answer with anything less than pure, genuine, unfiltered truth. Yet it’s the infinite complexities of these truths that I’m still trying to wrap my mind around, still trying to catch up with. The fact that they can all simultaneously exists at once expands my whole perception on the depth and soul of human -being. Saying goodbye, it hurts like my favorite scar. You’ve left a mark on me. And I want to keep it forever. 🖤❤️💛 #png
Just want to say thanks so much for all the beautiful comments and love on the video and story I posted about my time shared with women from the Sialo tribe of Papua New Guinea. The post has been taken down by instagram and the funny thing was that when I got the official notice, my first thought was, “Oh shucks! Was there a song in that video? Did I somehow post something that infringed on a copyright?” It wasn’t until I read the notification, did I even realize that the offense was that there were bare breasts in this video! Oh my, the nerve of me!!! Quick folks, alert the authorities!!! 😉🙄 . Though I do think it’s an ironic shame that this post was deleted “to protect our global community” from things they might not want to see, I do need to say that it is beyond AMAZING that just like me, out of all of the hundreds of people who wrote in with comments, not even one mentioned bare breasts. Not one!! Probably because this post/video was not about breasts. It was about global community. It was about women truly seeing themselves and celebrating their beauty and their skin and the beauty of others. It was about culture and heart and it captured a tiny glimpse of the rich ethnic diversity that does indeed still exist and deserves to be respected, along with an outpour of love expressed- all while speaking different languages. . Rather than complain about the censorship, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who saw, felt and celebrated the love and beauty that this video showed. The ones who truly saw these women with your hearts, instead of irrational judgements and self righteous concepts of norms. Here’s to you! And here are some screenshots from that video of us celebrating ourselves and each other. Don’t worry insta, all nipples have officially been removed! Though they still exist 🤫 and we’re gonna celebrate them anyway 😉😘
Such a soft voice, almost a whisper, “Hello, my name is Moses. What name is yours? Where do you come from? Come now Kimi. You must come this way. Follow me; I will lead you to the Mudmen.” . Such a soft voice. Such a deep soul. Such a young boy; such a strong man. Thank you Moses 🙏🏽 . *Song by The Wood Brothers
Traveling the highlands of Papua New Guinea has been perhaps the craziest experience of all of my journeys. Would I recommend doing it alone? Absolutely not. I can’t sugarcoat the fact that it did indeed feel like the most dangerous place I’ve ever been. Inland, you are not free to roam. Land ownership is a BIG deal. Bush knives, “roadblocks,” crime, bows & arrows- it’s all real. You have to be cautious, alert, smart and on your toes. You have to be aware that you are in a different world, far from whatever sheltered, privileged bubble you’ve been living in before. You absolutely must show respect and be open to learning a new way of life even if it goes against all the rules and ethics you’ve brought with you. But once you’re in, you’re in. If you earn good reverence with your tribe, they will protect you with everything they have. They will make sure no harm comes your way. They will never let you walk alone and will literally catch you if you fall. From the young boys and girls to the village elders- they’ll hold your hand as you cross the river and yelp in pain like a wounded pup if you even slightly stub your tow. They will tell you their truths- what they have been through, what they have fought for and what they have seen. Truths I simply can’t retell in fear of painting them to be heartless savages which is the absolute furthest thing from the truth. It’s not wrong; it’s different. And this contrasting complexity adds a splash of diversity to life as I knew it, making me more grateful for every breath of air I take. Danger comes in many forms- car rides, plane crashes- there are no guarantees. But this trip has given new meaning to things I’ve always preached- man being part of the ecosystem and the fact that when I feel truly at home in the wild- that’s when I feel one of the greatest sensations of true love.
Fish n (sweet potato) chips with starfruit salsa. The after picture. It’s interesting that for the masses, this is a totally acceptable version of a dead fish photo, but showing the truth of the process can create so much judgement. I think it’s important to know where food comes from and to offer transparent information about that. 😍😊. Glad that every bag of @kettlebrand chips can also be instantly tracked back to the farm that grew it; glad that this starfruit came from my tree the fish straight from the sea. I like to honor this kind of knowledge because transparency isn’t always easy in a world that has been conditioned by censorship.
Patience. Such an easy thing to preach, but when you really want something, each second feels like an eternity and each heartbeat feels like it’s going to make your heart explode right outta your chest. But I guess that’s also what makes us live each and every one of those seconds feeling the true weight and vibrancy of what it really means to be alive. . Even if you don’t have the hunting gene, hopefully you can still relate this to other parts of life. 👍🏽 . Screenshot from 🎥: @cinematowski
Ok ya big ‘ol hunk of wood, we’ve been together for what, eight years now? And I’ve been lugging you all over this globe ever since day one. And though I’m sponsored speara of @riffe_international , the company who built you, I still have declined to ever upgrade you- not even once, my bluewater tool of choice, to any of their new streamlined, lighter hybrid-innovations. Why? Simply because we got history and you haven’t let me down yet. Now let’s go get some dinner! . @riffe_international happy 40th anniversary!! I’m sad I can’t be in two places at once to celebrate with you! But to anyone in the San Clemente area I urge you to get the last few tickets available to attend the celebration and the premiere of “Jay,” a film by @perrinjames1 depicting the history, the family and the man behind the brand who pioneered it all. Thank you Riffe for supporting me for so long and though I won’t be there in person, please know that me and Old Faithful will both be underwater and there in spirit. . Link for tickets in profile. Proceeds from event will benefit the Mares Foundation, a Non-Profit Organization who provides Charitable Educational Support & Training for Underprivileged Youth to assure that they become adult leaders that promote protecting our ocean and keeping our coastlines clean. . Photo by @cinematowski