2019 Montbell Challenge Award
Montbell Challenge Award
CHALLENGE AWARD 2019
NOMADIC FAMILY BY BICYCLE AS A WAY OF LIFE
Montbell Challenge Award was founded to support people who dream of traveling to remote regions or of adventuring in unexplored places. Montbell proudly supports people who offer positive influence and hope towards others. Montbell supports unique challenges, regardless of their outcome.
Just before starting our talk, Tatsuno San, the founder of Montbell, spoke. He introduced us, then offered us the Montbell Challenge Award. Surprised, goose bumps and tears in the eyes of this honour, he handed us the trophy intended for each of us: Xavier, Celine, Nayla and Fibie. On it is written: "Nomadic Family by Bicycle as a Way of Life".
This award is, for us, a recognition of our life journey. The MontBell Challenge Award supports people in the realisation of unique projects. Since 2002, eight other prizes have been awarded to explorers, scientists, humanitarian projects, until now only to Japanese people. Tatsuno San wishes above all to accompany and support people who are trying without fear of failure. When he was 21 years old, he left Japan to climb the north face of the Eiger and the north face of the Matterhorn. Arriving in Switzerland was already an expedition, two weeks between the ferry to Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian to Moscow, the crossing of East Germany and Europe. At the foot of the Eiger, he knew he had a 50% chance of life or death. Today at 70 years of age, and 50 years later, he plans to climb the Matterhorn again. In these conferences, he talks about this tiny minority of people who push the limits of what is conceivable, who open the mind to other ways of being and doing. And who finally, through their audacity, are helping humanity to move forward.
We are honoured to receive this distinction, not for the prize but for its symbolism, for what it represents. A recognition of our nomadic life, of our life path, of the inspiration we carry around us. And of course an immense gratitude to Nayla and Fibie. Nayla is the first baby to have cycled across the Nullarbor Desert in Australia, 1,200km between two cities. Fibie learned to walk in a yurt, and she is the first baby to have cycled through the coldest desert in the world, the Gobi Desert.
It is above all a path in the intensity of a life where we really immerse ourselves in the landscapes and culture of the world, in the lights of elsewhere.
What was the greatest difficulty? Tatsuno San asked us. The hardest part doesn't come from the outside, unlike what people might think. It comes from the inside. It comes from the fears that vibrate within us. It comes from what needs to be pacified in us. It comes from what we have to transform.
Somewhere inside us, we have the feeling that Japan is a little like our second home, as if this country have chosen us.
WHO WE ARE
As a way of life, we choose to experiment, we choose to feel in each of our cells what it means to dive in the world, to be out there and trust our inner guidance. Since 2010, we are nomads on a bicycle. Xavier is a photographer and architect. Celine is a writer, anthropologist and mountain leader. In the celebration of this life, our two daughters were born along the way. Nayla and Fibie chose to be nomad from the first day of their life. Nayla learned to walk facing the Angkor temples in Cambodia, Fibie in a yurt in Mongolia.
We live a life of simplicity, a life in a tent and every day we dive in the unknown to explore the sumptuous landscapes of the earth and discover the culture of the world. And thus we feel deeply alive and grateful for every detail that enlightens our day. There is no word to express this life force that every day takes us a little further.
ABOUT OUR BOOK
Nomad in the Heart of the Elements
To guide you in the heart of our nomadic journey, we have chosen to write about the teachings we learnt along the way. The chronology of the journey is thus placed in the background in order for you to dive into the teachings of the Lands and the Peoples, through our Truth. Time thus disappears behind the Power of Spaces. From one place to another, you will be immersed in the transforming energy of each element, the consciousness of the Metal, the roots of the Earth, the harmony of the Wood, the transformative power of the Fire, the feminine energy of the Water and the freedom of the Air. We wish you a great journey in the heart of the elements.
What we like
MINI TARP HX
item #1122474 *This product is not currently available.
A perfect protection from the sun or the rain. It is a must when it is rainy, in order to have a shelter for the girls and avoid cooking in the tent. And finally we used it so often for the shade from the powerful sun rays.
In the remote part of the world, in the deep wilderness, this tent is our home.
It is our protection from all the elements, in storms, torrential rains or powerful winds.
The entrance is perfect to store some of our equipment and the pole system is really handy to build it in no time.
The footprint allows us to protect the tent, and also makes it more waterproof.
We would never leave without it.
And in fact we also use it as a blanket when we stop to rest or cook.
We only have two shoes, this sandal and our cycling shoes.
We love to able to wear them also with large socks in winter, or cold temperatures.
RAIN TREKKER KID’S 130-160
item #1128557 *This product is not currently available.
Always dry even in heavy rains.
Our second skin: it feels so good to be able to wear a shirt for 3 or 4 days, or even more if needed and not smelling at all.
At the same time, it leaves all moisture and sensation of cold out of the skin.
WICKRON LIGHT HAT KID’S
item #1118352 *This product is not currently available.
It’s width gives the perfect shade for the head and face.
Big size for the perfect tea or coffee, and light!
Xavier likes his coffee to start the day. He
just loves the Montbell filter. It is so
ingenious with the chopsticks system. Now
it is part of our essential.
CLIMAAIR JACKET KID'S 90-120
item #1106493 *This product is not currently available.
Fluffy, warm and soft. Nayla loves it.
*These products are currently available at Montbell Japan website.
Perfect to play with layers, it is warm and small when compact.
When it is cold or chilly, Nayla and Fibie always asked for them.
They feel instantly well, happy and secure, as if they were in a nice duvet.
MEADOW WALKER KID'S
item #1129337 *This product is not currently available.
Perfect for playing, running, cycling, hiking, climbing.
It was Nayla’s only shoes for 2 years.
CHAMEECE PANTS BABY’S
CHAMEECE PULLOVER BABY’S
item #1105514/ #1104094 *These products are not currently available.
It was their second skin for nearly a year.
Dries amazingly fast and it seems the stain never stays.
CLIMAAIR BABY'S POLAR BLANKET
item #1106491 *This product is not currently available.
This polar blanket was perfect to keep Fibie warm, whenever she needed it.
And it dries so fast.
She used it a lot in Siberia, Mongolia and China in winter.
THERMALAND HOOD VEST KID'S 100-120
item #1101521 *This product is not currently available.
Everytime Nayla feels a little cold but doesn’t want to wear her down jacket, she uses the vest.
And when it was really cold it was another layer to add.
She also loves the fact it is reversible.
COOL LONG SLEEVE ZIP SHIRTS KID’S
item #1114221 *This product is not currently available.
Perfect sun protection for summer and powerful sun rays. So light if the skin even in really hot weather conditions.
O.D. PARKA BABY'S
item #1103250 *This product is not currently available.
Fibie wore it often as a wind stopper, and over her down jacket in cold weather.
So light, it is perfect to travel or hike with.
And it can be so useful in many situations.
We never think we would use it so often.
For example: to take Nayla and Fibie out of the trailer or to go to the bush toilet when raining.
So light it gives the perfect layer to keep the wind off without sweating too much while cycling.
This product is currently available at Montbell Japan website.
In all weather conditions, we know we will be warm at the end of the day.
And this is a very reassuring feeling, especially after a hard day.
It smooth our mind and comfort us.