Hey There! I’m Julien
I am the guy behind Exploration Junkie. Crazy about all things travel, nature, adventure, exploration, cultures. With an unlimited curiosity about each and every corner of the world. A secret dream? Exploring it all (that’s a heck of a challenge!).
A Few Words About Me – The Birth of a Passion
My passport is French but my mind has no border. As far as I can remember, I have always had a wandering mind. As a kid, I was fond of anything that would make me travel all around the planet and learn new things, such as the Adventures of Tintin cartoons, animal documentaries and so on.
I believe that what you read and watch when you are a kid conditions your adult dreams. So when you think about it, what other passion than travel could have I developed?
However, this travel thing has just remained a vague thought in my mind for many years. But when I was 12 years old, an event that doesn’t sound like much would change my life. I stepped on a plane for the first time of my life.
The destination? Israel. The heat, the desert, the Dead Sea, the people who didn’t speak my language. It all hit me in the face. I was hooked. At 20 I eventually went for my first big trip alone, to South America.
Flash forward more than 10 years and almost 40 countries later, I am still here, more addicted than ever! And as if my life wasn’t “international” enough, I found the way to fall in love 10,000 km away from home, with a lovely girl from Singapore. We have been in a long distance relationship for 5 years, and she followed me in a number of my adventures.
Travel is now a significant part of my life. OK, it’s an obsession. I go on several trips a year – sometimes alone, sometimes with my girlfriend, visiting new places or going back to places I loved to explore them more extensively.
But I must admit that the most obscure, remote, rarely visited a place is, the most attracted I am to it. Talk about an obsessional curiosity!
The Importance of Curiosity – My Travel Mindset
Curiosity is the base of everything. Without curiosity, humankind would not be where it is now. Without curiosity, travel wouldn’t be very meaningful. Curiosity is the reason why we travel.
Everybody is into different things but at the end of the day, we want to see how it is out there. We are curious to know how it’s like to experience a different culture, walk in different landscapes, and eat different food.
When I travel, I never expect anything. I don’t want to expect it “to be good”. The only reason why I am travelling to a place, is because I simply want to know how it’s like to be there. So many people expect so many things from their destination even before getting on the place, I think that’s too bad.
Take Qatar for example. So many people have a layover in Doha without ever taking the chance to go out and explore. It is not exactly an extremely rich destination in terms of things to see, if you compare with heavyweights like Europe, the US or others.
But I went out anyway, rented a car, and explored. With no expectation, no disappointment. With the only goal to see how it’s like. I have even been there twice. I saw Doha, and ventured into the desert.
Many people would say that there is nothing there, why should they bother going there? But the way I see it is, yes there is nothing. That’s amazing. Apart from the southern part of the country where you can find some nice sand dunes, most of Qatar is a very flat and very empty desert.
How often in your life did you find yourself lost in the middle of a vast emptiness? How many times in your life have you walked in the desert under an absolutely unbearable heat to the point of feeling vulnerable? As far as I am concerned, I find it amazing. It’s not something exactly pleasant, and definitely not comfortable, but it’s memorable. And it’s unusual. It is an experience worth living. That’s all that matters in the end, in my opinion.
How Exploration Junkie Was Born
As I started to travel more and more, live incredible experiences and meet wonderful people around the world, I felt something was lacking.
I needed all these experiences to be useful, I needed them to serve a purpose. I needed to share them with the world. On the day of my birthday, 19 Nov. 2013, I registered the explorationjunkie.com domain name, without really knowing what I was doing.
The first years, Exploration Junkie remained a hobby, a site I could show people around me or people I met on the road, but it still wasn’t satisfactory. I needed something more.
At some point I realized that it was important to really share my experience on this blog. After all, I have been planning and going for independant travels for more than 10 years, I certainly developed some travel skills. It’s a great feeling to have my little online corner where I can share what I have learned and the way I see the world.
Exploration Junkie is the home for learning about the planet, discovering new places, trip planning and travel photography. The goal of this site is to make my wanderlust contagious, introduce you to places around the world that you may not have heard of, and guide you through the process of planning your next adventure and take awesome pics of them.
Photography is a crucial element of any trip. Over the years, my experience grew and my techniques evolved. I got to explore different fields of travel photography.
Travel pics are great, but how to explore a place with a static, limited image? Panoramic photogaphy and virtual tours are the answer! As I hope that many people will get to this amazing panoramic photography thing; my goal with this site is not only to inspire you with my own panoramas and virtual tours, but help you get your feet wet and create your own panoramas. Why not?!
I will do my best to share my knowledge and the techniques I use to shoot panoramas and create virtual tours so that you can do the same. I really invite you to stick around as new tutorials get published.
In addition, I recently discover how fun and interesting filmamking is and I decided that in addition to my virtual tours, making travel videos was probably the best way to share my experiences with you and hopefully help/inspire you if you are preparing your own holidays. I really urge you to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be sure not to miss any future video.
Thanks for making it to the end of this lengthy introduction – You can now browse the website via the main menu! 🙂