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A road trip in search of adventure turned into a project to capture the beauty of the natural world. Two friends forged a deep connection with nature, and found a greater purpose along the road. Pacífico is the film that follows their story.

Words by Grace Wright

Photography by Christian Gibson & Chris Gooley

Wake up, sit in traffic, work in the city, sit in traffic, sleep, repeat. It’s a reality many of us dream of escaping. For Christian and Chris, the desire to experience something outside of the 9-5 grind in Melbourne propelled them to leave it all behind for a Latin American odyssey.

“You naturally just fill your life with things you have to do. It’s 10 hours working, an hour-and-a-half driving, sometimes two, and that’s your working week – to sit at a desk in front of a computer. I was excited to go and see more of the world.”

“Some places were hard to reach, many more were tough to leave.”

So they jumped on a plane to America, found a van, and spent the next two years on the road. With little more than a loose itinerary and an intention to keep travelling until the money ran out, they’d spend as much time as possible slowing down, living in the moment and exploring nature with a surfboard or fishing rod in hand.

The plan was simple. Start in San Francisco and drive south aiming for Patagonia. We would hug the Pacific coast and surf as much as possible. In between swells, we’d head inland to explore the mountains and find some fly fishing. Some places were hard to reach, many more were tough to leave. But we stuck to our plan, and drove south along the coast towards Patagonia.”

“What started as a desire to experience nature more intimately quickly grew into a conversation about listening to our environment and exploring alternative journeys through life.”

Between San Francisco and Patagonia, Christian and Chris travelled through El Salvador, Nicaragua, The Galapagos, Southern Chile and Peru. They picked up a treasure chest of experiences that were closely entwined with the natural environment – cooking freshly caught trout on glistening river banks, kicking soccer balls with locals across arid salt flats, and lighting fires in the shadows of the Andes under magenta sunsets. The beauty of these moments begged to be captured and bottled up for safekeeping, which is why Christian and Chris spent most days setting up tripods and gazing through viewfinders. 

But spending so much time observing their surroundings meant they also saw the best and the worst of human’s effect on the environment, and they found themselves longing to protect the wild places they’d grown to love. “What started as a desire to experience nature more intimately quickly grew into a conversation about listening to our environment and exploring alternative journeys through life.”

We hope to inspire others to indulge the planet’s wild playgrounds and re-establish a connection with nature.”

Alongside their newfound passion for capturing the beauty of the natural world through videography and photography, Christian and Chris believed business was one of the most powerful tools for creating environmental change. They wanted to grow a business that could offer more than just profits, one that could have conservation at its very core. To combine their passions, both new and old, Gobe was born – a camera accessory brand that plants 5 trees in areas of severe forestation with every purchase. Through Gobe, Christian and Chris discovered a new purpose, and a reason for coming home. 

When they returned to Australia, Christian and Chris began building Gobe from the ground up, and moved from Melbourne to Byron Bay to be closer to nature. With hundreds of photos and hours of footage from their trip, they decided to share their journey in a documentary that would later be named Pacífico, with the hope of encouraging others to get closer to nature and find the same passion for preserving it. “We hope to inspire others to indulge the planet’s wild playgrounds and re-establish a connection with nature.”

“With every copy sold we will be planting 10 trees in Madagascar, working with local communities to fight the problem of extensive deforestation.”

Similar to the philosophy behind Gobe, Pacífico’s success will go hand in hand with a positive impact on the natural world. “With every copy sold we will be planting 10 trees in Madagascar, working with local communities to fight the problem of extensive deforestation.”

Visit the Pacífico website for more details on how you can purchase a copy, or attend an upcoming screening. Pacífico will be showing at Byron Bay Film Festival on October 23rd, at Yo-Fi Film Festival in New York on November 3rd and at Aesthetica Film Festival in York on November 9th, with more screenings coming soon. 

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Pacifico

Pacífico offers an insight into long-term travel and how engaging with new cultures and environments can widen our perspectives and deepen our understanding of the world around us.