Eliott Schonfeld : The genuine single-handed adventure
His name could be the one of a Spielberg hero searching for a very ancient treasure … But his El Dorado is simply the planet. Traveler by nature, he longs to approach the unknown, to explore remote areas and get back to the origins.
Curious and attracted by new horizons, Eliott gives up his first year of graduate study, at the age of 19. Thanks to casual jobs, he finances its first solitary escapade in Australia in 2011: a trip in the wild lands, far from the civilization. Rookie explorer, He realizes that it is possible to meet no human being during ten days and often difficult to sustain himself. Despite all this, he likes it!
Finding its way
Back to France, it seems difficult to resume his studies. He does all sorts of jobs and joins the big Northern Canada in 2013 to work during six months with sled dogs. In extreme conditions, living as a trapper, he learns autonomy.
Eliott should have made scientific studies. He had the talent but not the will. During his Canadian stay, he starts to enjoy deep thinking led during walking hours and takes pleasure to note all the details and feelings of the adventure. That’s it! He will begin a Bachelor of philosophy while becoming an adventurer!
The courses please him and the university timetable leaves 4 month from May to October to escape. In 2014, it will be Iceland crossed from south to north in 3 weeks, in the cold despite the season.
2015 will be the year of his first long trip in Mongolia. Three months to travel kilometers on foot and by horse in steppes, get through the test of the Gobi Desert, avoid dying from thirst and hunger, meeting nomadic families… He comes back with a few scars, couple of pounds lighter and fabulous memories in head. And the real legitimacy to confirm the proverb Water is life.
He will change of latitude and atmosphere in 2016. Eliott decides to go down the Yukon on a canoe and then join Artic doors on foot. The adventurer suffers from pouring rains, faces swamps and hostile forests and meets bears who give him scare to death. For the first time, the idea to give up occurs but he will not.
“I stood firm. I became self-sufficient and I had the feeling to have adapted myself to the nature”.
Drawing its own route
Eliott says that the adventurer is a selfish man. But by sharing his explorations through movies and travel narratives, he can change our look on the incredible beauty of the planet, testify and inspire. His experiences help him to get confident and call of the wild is stronger than anything. We live fully every event, every emotion, every meeting there. The virtual has no place here. “The first two weeks are difficult then that fades. I often felt as living at the origin of the world “.
Since the Mongolian escapade, movies and narratives help finance his expeditions and allow him to share natural marvels and acquired knowledge. Eliott Schonfeld became a professional adventurer!
Through his breakaways, his ideology of the journey also evolved. As shown by his Himalaya crossing in 2017. Four and a half months, from Indian Kashmir up to the region of Kathmandu.
The journey began in India with the crossing of Transhimalayan. At an average altitude of 4 000m, nothing grows, there is only rocks and desert. During long weeks, Eliott yomped and even celebrated its 25 years with for only traveling companion his horse lovingly nicknamed Robert.
Beyond mountains, the height gives way to a luxuriant jungle up to the river which constitutes the Nepalese border. Eliott wanted to build a raft to float up to the planned entry point in Nepal. After one and a half month of solitude, he was happy to find a village where inhabitants helped him to assemble his raft of bamboo. The Nepalese border patrol did not take the same view. Confiscating the bamboos, they threw him in a bus.
Determined and discreetly backtracked, he will wait one week to build his raft and be able to face big rapids which often spilled him.
The last stage of this Nepalese adventure consisted in meeting the Rautes, last tribe of hunters-gatherers in Asia. Eliott took 10 days to locate them. Small, hardly dressed and building their huts in trees, they are instinctively suspicious. “At the beginning, I was not welcome. But I returned and was finally accepted by the King of the forest “.
Meeting the Rautes was the opportunity to take up a new challenge planned from the beginning: get rid as much as possible modern objects that every explorer uses to replace them by natural alternatives and get back to roots. Goodbye lighter, tent. He replaces his backpack by a bag in weaved bamboo, uses goatskins to make clothes and a sleeping bag. “I made of the fire by friction with bamboo, as the prehistoric men. That learns patience. Soon, I shall learn other techniques of fire, new methods to make knots, ropes”.
Desire to return to sources, need to go away from an everyday life where the virtual too much overrides reality and desire of a favored contact with the nature. Such are the motivations of the nomad Eliott.
Down from his 25 springs and with an outstanding experience, he asserts that “traveling, it is diving into the unexpected, being freed from the tyranny of calculation and foresight”. No doubt, Eliott is a true adventurer and philosopher. Eliott Schonfeld plans his next expedition for winter, 2019. He thinks of returning to the big North with a crew of sled dogs and building a canoe to join Rocky Mountains, in total autonomy of food and equipment, of course.
In the meantime, he will validate his bachelor and will offer us the narrative of his beautiful Himalayan breakaway.
Thousand Thanks Eliott!
If you want to read more about Eliott or get in touch with him:
Eliott’s facebook Page