Carbon-Neutral World Tour : Meet Mikhael & Nil

carbon neutral travel

Photo Courtesy of Mikhael Brun ©

When a nature and travel enthusiast chooses to travel around the world, but wants to limit his environmental impact, it gives birth to an exciting sustainable travel challenge.

Today, we introduce you to Mikhaël Brun, a one of a kind slow traveler, preparing an eco-friendly world tour without any motorized means of transport.

Mikhaël plans his carbon-neutral world tour, sailing and cycling, to last 2 to 3 years.

His loyal border collie, Nil, will be part of the adventure.

An opportunity for this French videomaker and photographer, passionate about adventures and encounters, to make a documentary to raise the world’s awareness of the environment.

Hi Mikhaël, first tell us what kind of traveler you are?

Photo Courtesy of Mikhael Brun ©

My name is Mikhaël Brun, I am 28 years old, and I am a photographer and video maker.

I am a rather solitary traveler, but I like to meet people.

I like to discuss, share and discover life experiences.

It is a feeling of freedom that drives me when I travel.

I like a paragraph from Bill Bryson’s book “A Walk in the Woods” about hiking in the forest. This paragraph could also very well be transposed to travel in general.

“Life looks very simple. Time ceases to have any meaning. When the day falls, you go to bed, and when the light comes back, you get up and, in between, life goes on. That’s wonderful, no! You have no appointments, commitments, obligations or duties.”

The more I travel and discover the world and its inhabitants; the more serenity grows in me.

The Earth is becoming less and less an unknown place as I travel, and it is a pleasant feeling to feel like a citizen of the world.

I also look into myself when I travel. Travelling (especially solo-travel) allows you to observe and learn about yourself. I think it’s a great school of life.

How did the idea of this sustainable world tour arise?

During a previous round-the-world trip, where I flew about 15 times, I realized the paradox of going in magnificent, preserved natural landscapes on the other side of the planet and having to pollute to get there.

I was in Peru, in the Huayhuash mountain range, and that’s where the idea of this eco-friendly world tour was born.

It is the sustainable alternative I chose to explore the world, but it requires time to travel.

What’s your objective through the documentary you will film?

I would like to reflect the richness of our planet and its inhabitants, through the places I’ll go and the encounters I will make.

The documentary will also show our passion for adventure and respect for the environment.

Can you share the main stages of this trip?

The first challenge will be the solo sailing across the Atlantic aboard our sailboat called “Goëlhan.”

When in Martinique, I think I’ll resell the boat and go hitch-sailing to North America.

Once in Florida, we will travel up the east coast of the United States to Montreal.

From there, we will cross Canada from east to west to Vancouver.

For the Pacific crossing, I don’t know yet if I will buy a sailboat or if we can boat-hitchhike again.

Finally, in Asia and Europe, we will cross Japan, part of China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and eventually Central Europe.

How are you preparing for the Transatlantic part?

I’ve been sailing since I was a teenager. For the past year and a half, I have been practicing on an habitable sailboat with the “Les Marguerites” association in Port-Louis.

I also did internships at Les Glénans, one of Europe’s leading sailing schools.

Have you chosen any specific equipment for the ground part of your adventures?

For the cycling part of my world tour, I chose to equip myself with a very simple bike that I built myself, piece by piece.

The idea is to know all the elements to maintain and repair it easily myself, but also to find spare parts wherever I go in the world.

Nil, my dog, will have a trailer. He will be able to rest all he wants even if he loves running next to me on my bike rides.

Tell us about Nil, does he have sea legs?

Nil_Mikhael et NIl

Photo Courtesy of Mikhael Brun ©

Nil is a 2-year-old border collie, extremely intelligent, kind and obedient, but also a little fearful.

Since Nil was a puppy, he is used to sailing with me. He has never done a long-distance sailing before.

Even if he is sometimes a little uncomfortable, he adapts very quickly and trusts me completely.

I am sure he will succeed in this adventure with me.

What is keeping you busy to prepare the departure in August?

I am preparing the boat and equipping it. The next big piece is acquiring an automatic pilot. It’ll be able to steer 24 hours a day. It is an essential piece of equipment for solo crossings.

I have been self-financing the whole project so far, but now I am looking for partners and sponsors.

I also launched a funding campaign, mainly to help me acquire the autopilot.

The start of this unique responsible world tour will kick-off in August 2019.

To follow Mikhaël throughout his adventure, visit his social accounts where he will be regularly giving us news.

Follow  Mikhael and Nils adventures online, on their Facebook page, or their instagram account

Have questions for Mikhael? Share them in the comments

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