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Roadsign is an Australian Outdoor and Lifestyle Brand. We offer clothing and accessories for the people who love travelling.
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SHAMS, digital rolling stone

Lifestyle

Papa was a rolling stone, great hit of the seventies, says « Wherever he laid his hat was his home”. Shams was not born at this time but he also chose to move where the wind, the encounters and his desires take him. Today, Shams is a film director, specialized in adventure and extremes sports, self-sustaining and full time traveler. The perfect definition of a Digital Nomad. Younger, he preferred yomping with his buddies and early tried climbing, paragliding and freefall. His passion for cinema and image started at an early age but “In that time, Internet was not what it is today and we did not really know how to train.” After a few films about freefall with friends, he had to wait the mid-2000s to get efficient and affordable equipment. Reluctant to sedentary job, he pursued studies until thesis but before the final test “I broke, I was losing my time”. In 2010, he quits his PhD in computer graphics for a great leap into the void! Becoming an independent cinematographer is not so easy but, persevering, Shams takes almost one year to find his place. Several little personal projects, a first job for a mountain guide and a successful video featuring a friend paraglider… An equipment brand contacts him. He admits that finding alone significant customers is difficult but you will see that he really spread his wings. ... ... [ Growing while keeping a child’s soul ]  ... Still found of adventure, mountain and glide, he follows sportive events and gets a few awards like Best Cinematography at the Chamonix Adventure Festival in 2014 or Winner of the Mountain Film Festival in 2019. Over the projects, Shams has professional meetings and reinforces friendships. Being independent and always moving doesn’t mean you don’t need others, quite the contrary! In a professional area where feeding agendas is quite difficult, gathering expertise and being able to share projects with trusted persons is an asset. Shams thought about creating a collective of professionals, the Big Kids Cartel. Director, sound engineer, camera operator, editor, photographer, drone pilot, gimbal helicopter operator, aerial and underwater cinematographer are their specialties. Their common point: they like discovering, filming and being outdoor! Their motto “The creative adult is the child who has survived.” Surfing into Shams friend’s club like leafing through a picture book, we understand the diversity of their work, from advertising for famous luxury brands to TV series and magical documentaries full of adrenalin. In love with great outdoors, we bet that you will get swept up in “Sounds of paragliding”, a multi awarded documentary. Together or individually, those 11 pros have a wonderful journey. ... [ Van life, free as the wind… ] ... Shams (Sun in Persian) is not a screen name but his third first-name, inherited from his father born in a train between India and a land that would become Pakistan. An omen? Growing in France, the young man chose to live as a Digital Nomad in 2018. Not for doing a world tour, no. His plan is that there is no plan. A comfortable camper van, equipped for working and long travel. “I first left to Norway for two months… and I never came back.” ... ... Since, he crossed the most remote corners of Europe, explored Turkey and joined Nepal, India, Pakistan. He has no geographical limits, no return date. His other motto: I haven’t been everywhere but it is on my list. Untold scenes he crossed, the power of encounters evoked in a few words or photos and a film project in Pakistan, land of family origins that he knows so little, here are his motivations. When we talk about the versatility required by this way of living, steady adjustments to uncertainties of the trip, he says: “I am free, I stop where I want. No need to go far. Moving, exploring, discovering helps to take a step back.” ... ... [ … Well almost! ] ... With a touch of irony, the epidemic chaos we meet led him to cross France where he is confined… in an apartment! He compares this temporary isolation with ten days stuck in his van under an unceasing rainfall and (if you are still reading, you guessed), he relativizes. For Shams, coming back to a settled life would be hard. “Some things will change during the next months. We are so conditioned by school and work. It is difficult to change our life, to understand that there are different ways of living, other priorities.” Perhaps, a Digital Nomad could humbly contribute to this awareness? ... More photos on his Instagram Travel with Shams on advanturouslife ... ...
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Roadsign School Development Program: 8th challenge met!

Durable

Nearly 5 years without talking here of our commitment in opening schools in India. But we never given up and the 8th primary school of our program opened last February in the Bangalore district. A huge event to be discussed with Wolfgang Paul, Roadsign President for Europe who made the trip there… ... [ A vast collaborative project ] ... If you know Roadsign, it is mostly thanks to him. With friendship and in the footsteps of its Australian founder Roger Carthrew, Wolfgang spearheads the brand in France and Europe for few decades. He ran the world under its banner and aims to share our core values wherever it is needed and possible. Possible is a frequent word when he evokes this program. “Roadsign supplies funds for the construction of schools but nothing would be possible without cooperation of Wessling and Bangalore Rotary Clubs, without the personal commitment of Marcus Burgold (Pt of Jansen Fashion Group), Brigitte and Guido Koch and our European licensees. Easy to understand that he admires and feels worn by their sincere implication.” Then naturally, Wolfgang Paul highlights the awesome involvement of the Bangalore Rotary Club. The driver and responsible of our schools development program is Sridhar Chari. Professional in fabric, Rotary member and engaged with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, he humbly admits playing a connecting and facilitating role for “offering” school to children that have no access. The commitment and assistance brought by DR Elizabeth Cherian Paramesh, President of Rotary Bangalore allow to inaugurate – on February 15 – a brand new school in the village of Rayasandra. Strong action, creativity, time, knowledge, energy deployed on serving a key objective for India and its kids. ... ... [ Brighten horizons for 350 million children ] ... Yes, nearly 30% of Indians are less than 14 years old. Everything seems oversized continent-wide for it will count 1.5 billion people in 2030. India is a federal democracy with 28 states and only 7 territories managed by the central government. 70% inhabitants are living in rural zones and, even if school is compulsory from 6 to 14 since 2010, the lack of primary public schools and their ramshackle state result in depriving many zones of education. The central government trains and pays teachers but could not repair or build schools in those regions. In big towns, private schools – very expensive and selective – can welcome few kids. In the countryside, family sometimes prefer children helping in domestic or agricultural tasks instead walking many hours daily to schools where 80 of all ages are sitting on the ground in the unique classroom listening to several teachers talking about different subjects at the same time… The stage is set! We could add that secondary schools are reserved to an elite and degrees of varying quality. The challenge is critical and Roadsign chose to help giving basic teachings to most children. ... ... [ Rotary Roadsign Gvt Higher Primary School ] ... We are proud of this nice heading on the façade… February 15 was truly a colourful festival in Rayasandra as the entire village celebrated the event. In time, classrooms will welcome 100 kids in 7 levels classes, “and a Nalli Skali, a large room where the pupils are learning by doing, exploring and developing multiple forms of intelligence” adds Sridhar Chari. ... ... In every Rotary Roadsign school, awareness on hygiene is important. Here we have toilets for girls and boys, modern kitchen, pupil’s desks, outer games equipment and clean water. It was necessary to dip to 70m depth and install a water-treatment system. Invaluable things for those kids used to live without running water. In the same time, the World Health program of hand washing (Wash IN Schools project) led here by DR Cherian has all its place. Wolfgang Paul tells “Since the first request to the Government in 2006, local actors and partners have been strongly working together to implement the project”. With his flower necklace and a large smile, we guess on the event photos that he was a special guest. What he did not tell us, we discovered it by the voice of the Bangalore Rotary President few days after the party: “Thank you Mr Wolfgang Paul for flying in from Paris to be at the inauguration. Your presence made a great impact”. ... ... [ Charm and fragility of a land of contrasts ] ... Joyful, Wolfgang teaches us a lot by giving facts and anecdotes lived in India. He highlights “crazy contrasts”, a great simplicity and a total lack of arrogance. He talks about the « deep Indian way of being » of the owner of a famous textile company exporting over 44 countries who is living in the desert and welcomes you bare feet. Or the town of Bangalore where 60.000 Microsoft employees work in top-modern buildings while - less than 2 hours away – there is no water and electricity. He says that a private wedding can easily welcome 25 000 guests like in Bollywood but confirms that the gap between private and public is abysmal, the neglect of numerous zones is a reality. It doesn’t take more for enhancing our motivation to discover and share the world. Moreover, further the animal shelters created by Roger Carthrew in the Bush and after the recent forest fires, Wolfgang reveals that a project of building new long-term shelters in Australia is emerging. Here or there, it seems that Roadsign has new routes to mark up! ...
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Family on Tracks: the six-wheel globetrotting house

Lifestyle

It looks like the title of a fantastic tale. But the story we tell you today is true and enlivened by lucky kids. Let’s start! ... Antoine and Quitterie are thirty-years-olds French, he is an entrepreneur and she is a nurse. Both positive and opened to the world. In 2007, they ran the 4L Trophy in Morocco and since then they criss-crossed France during week-ends and holidays, sleeping in tents and off-the-beaten-tracks. Naturally, they thought about wandering a little farer and a little longer. This eighteen months long-term journey will take them to Africa and South America, traveling in a 4x4 topped with a "roof tent" and a comfy bed. A six-wheel house able to cross nearly anywhere, to suit to road hazards and unexpected meetings. The dream becomes a reality in September 2018 after a long and thorough preparation… Let’s just say that they don’t leave alone! These young parents are going to offer Maxence, Inès and Louis an incredible trip. They were 5 and a half, four and two and a half years old at this time, boarding for the unknown. The family leave Nantes on the way to Portugal, Spain and Morocco, entry point to Africa. The Family on Tracks adventure begins by these words: “9m2, this is the surface of our new house. But our garden will have no limit.” ... ... [ A Family and tailor-made adventure ] ... They are not the first ones to travel far with children. But such a trip leads everybody to remove its own limits and they successfully did! Just for the record (and even if their funny house is well-equipped), Quitterie would say that cooking for 5 on a wood fire with one pan and one pot during 18 months is a kind of challenge. Antoine could tell how trails conditions led him to improve his mechanical skills. They were ready for flawless organization and full adaptability, they did not want any material hassle to tarnish the outstanding beauty of discovering. This quite crazy ride is not a rally, not a time-trial but rather a “tailor-made” road trip. The road-book planned to follow the Atlantic coast of Africa from Morocco to Cape Town and then to step into South America via Uruguay. Sometimes, circumstances changed the schedule and led our adventurers to limit their journey to the African continent. From Mauritania to Gabon, from Congo to South Africa, they stayed a few days or several weeks. News led them to bypass Nigeria by the sea and a strong meeting made them stay 7 weeks in Namibia. A long and emotional stage where the hospitality of a couple allowed them to participate in the installation of a water pump and to help in a small chicken farm. They also lived wild bivouacs in the African bush, a host of star in a girl’s boarding school in the Ivory Coast, a rude incursion by armed men in the middle of the night in Burkina Faso, the discovery of Tata’s houses and a local cook training with two friendly Togolese women following their trip on Facebook, ten days inside a NGO in Benin, sunrises between palm trees and ocean, delicious moments in South African Vineyards… Quitterie feels enriched by this adventure where simplicity and truthfulness of people dazzled her and helped to open her heart. Antoine admits being marked by rough living conditions and insists on the urgency to consider social and environmental realities. More than long distance and the happiness to reach the Cape of Good-Hope, the proudness from a dream became a reality and, most of all, the fact they lived this wonderful slice of life all together make them deeply blissful. Easy to understand! ... .. [ Wide and deep learning of the world ] .. We began this article saying Maxence, Inès and Louis were lucky. Playing freely on paradisiac beaches, being around hippos, bathing at Christmastime in Abidjan or celebrating your birthday in Lesotho, many kids would dream of that. They probably do not know it yet but, following each day a serious scholarship program thanks to their Mom with “practical works” due to chance encounters is a true asset. This reality training had consequences that Antoine highlights: “They have seen and understood what poverty is. They met and played with other children everywhere, have been marked by their situation and felt so happy to offer some of their toys before leaving… They showed us they are generous, they are aware of the others.” The young parents confess they have been amazed and delighted by the way their young kids were analyzing situations. Due to this adventure or not? “The seed is planted, we don’t know yet what they will do.” ... ... [ A well-prepared return ] ... In 2018, some of their relatives have been surprised by the project Family on Tracks but all have been caring. Quitterie ensured to share all discoveries and news by all technical means at her disposal. Yet, we guess moving homecoming. For sure, some of you would like to know how the little adventurers will take or discover the way to school. We asked. Quitterie and Antoine answered with confidence “Let’s see☺”. Despite their youth and the fact they were in nursery school before leaving, Inès and Maxence stayed in touched with their little friends and are eager to meet again. Louis is going to try a new trip and his personality seems to be an asset for this step into the unknown. In fact, their carefully managed a several month stay in the countryside with a small school welcoming sixty children. A situation also helpful for the parents to get used to a mood “where people are easily squealing about a few hours power outage due to a tempest while 600 millions of African are living each day with a full lack of water and electricity.” ... [ What else? ] ... The sharing of Family on Track began online with the adventure itself. When they will be back, Antoine and Quitterie will probably participate to conferences and events where they are waited. They thought about sharing this experience with associations, in order to inform around the problems, engage and commit people to perform solutions. Nothing else for the moment, except these lovely words written on their blog when arriving in Namibia: “We knew that this travel would be strong without seeing all it will give to us. Without any doubt, the most beautiful voyage is the interior journey we are living at the same time…” ... Website - Family on Tracks Facebook page - Family on Tracks ...
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