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Tag: Mercedes-Benz

Rethinking Education

Amazon expedition.Anavilhanas national park

Climate change, inequality, the refugee crisis, debt, corruption, depression, pollution.

There is no shortage of crises and challenges that our world faces today – social, environmental and economic. Yet how many of truly understand these issues? How many of us learnt about the biggest challenges of our time through our formal education and developed the skills, abilities, mindsets, and heartsets required to tackle them?

Mandela so beautifully captured the vast untapped potential that exists within education when he said ‘education is the most powerful weapon with which we can change the world.’

Many of our current day education systems enable us to master academic concepts, secure test and examination scores to enable further education, but how many of our education systems place fostering empathy, creativity, collaboration, developing a connection with nature and all people, a core outcome?

I believe that we need to begin shifting the way we learn and rethinking our priorities. There are many examples to learn from around the world. Kaitiaki Collective is creating the world’s first bush school, where all education is learned with and through experiences with nature. Resources like Better World Ed enables us to teach empathy and talk about social and environmental issues in math classrooms. And we find pockets of schools embracing 21st century skills and values of education. How can bring these conversations front and centre in our classrooms?

And beyond the realms of formal education, we are all ultimately students and we are all educators too. How can each one us seek out information and experiences that will help us live more socially and environmentally conscious lives? And how can we through our everyday actions inspire the same of others?

By Shruthi Vijayakumar

The Namibian Adventure

Trip to the North of Namibia on six Mercedes Benz cars.G350,G500

Walvisbay, Namibia: June 9th, 2016

Day 1 – 16:30: We’ve been on the road for 10 hours now, but one could hardly call what we’ve done so far ‘good progress’ – the thrill of adventure has clearly kicked in, resulting in a large number of sidetracked stops to admire the openness we have finally ventured into. On top of that, while we picturesquely drove along the coast with large waves collapsing onto the sand chasing the GClass tyres, all of the 7 cars eventually got stuck in the soft sand. Although the idea of despair might have crossed a couple minds, the explorers in us kicked in resulting in an intense 1hour battle against the swampy sands to dig one car out after the other. In moments like these, our notion of The Skeleton Coast takes on a different meaning. You begin to realize the terror some of those now-skeletons might have felt before this deadly coastal land was named. Up until now, we’ve had 7 sand-submerged vehicles, one of the 7 cars broke down due to a faulty gearbox, and one punctured tyre. Safe to say we are driving these beasts limitlessly. Riding over the steep sandy dunes, rolling down others, cruising along the flat desert roads, chasing the waves as they collapse majestically on the beach. Although we haven’t covered much terrain yet, we’ve been mind-blown with the most incredible sceneries. One recurring word amongst the large group: “openness”. There is something incredibly humbling about pacing through these vast territories. Almost a feeling of utter vulnerability. As you look around, you find yourself squinting in search of a far horizon. This ever-changing land does indeed carry its name well, there is a feeling of infertility, hopelessness, and even death. Ironically, these same lands also inspire eternity. Needless to say that being here and now has generated a unique energy amongst the team, problems are tackled differently, smiles and laughter seem more sincere, and the topics of conversation are limitless in imagination. The sun is slowly setting, one of those bright yellow African sunsets, as we make our way towards our camping spot for the night. The adventure has only just begun, but oh my what an inspiring day 1!

Keep on exploring,

Annika & Jessica

Namibia: The Importance of Sharing

Trip to the North of Namibia on six Mercedes Benz cars.G350,G500

Walvisbay, Namibia: June 8th, 2016

5am there a loud knock on our cabins’ door: “Wake up babies it’s time for an adventure!” we heard our dad shout across the door with excitement! Today, at the wheels of 7 MB GClass vehicles we are heading out from Walvisbay with a group of 10 inspirational writers to discover the astonishing lands of Namibia. Starting from the coast, we will drive our way inland towards the world’s largest desert, the Namib. There, each one of us will live our own adventure. 5 days of pure discoveries, wildlife spotting, harsh hikes, and stories around the fire that will keep us warm during the cool desert nights. We love that our father has chosen to share his experience with the world by inviting influential people to follow his footsteps. As Mike always says: “Everyone has their own mountain to climb”, but how will the world realize this if we do not seek to spread the word?! Following this short piece of adventure these journalists, photographers and soon-to-be explorers will return to their respective homes around the globe and share their journey through words and images, in hopes of maybe causing a ripple-effect: to encourage one person after the other to step out of their comfort zone, to discover the planet, understand its importance, and act accordingly to preserve it and explore it! Each one us has their own notion of exploration, we do not all need to circumnavigate the equator, climb 8 thousand meter peaks, or ski to the North Pole in complete darkness, as our ambitious father would do! We simply wish for the world to take a leap of faith and step out there in search of a deeper meaning to life. By discovering earth, you will discover yourself, your limits: which you will then strive to push further, your passions: which will then expand, and your purpose: which might see new horizons.

Keep on exploring,
Annika & Jessica

Life at the Command of the G-Class

Thirty Hours. That’s the amount of time we’ve spent so far in the comfort of the fancy G-Class cars ever since our much-anticipated departure from Moscow on Monday. Given the long journey that awaited us stuck in the confinements of our mobile metallic boxes, some strategic team distribution was in order! Mike and camera crew in the Silver Fox (Grey car), and the girls at the command of the Black Bomb (Black car). With Jess as my most-trusted copilot and Masha, former Russian Young Explorer and current freelance journalist in the backseat, we’ve had more than enough time to share our entire life stories, to bore ourselves to sleep and to lose our voices from an overdose of singing.

If discrete was the type of trip we were aiming for, our imposing German tanks certainly weren’t helping us! We’ve been attracting more gazes than hot girls in bikinis, and while we’re on the subject, our rearview mirrors have been reflecting quite the opposite as Jess and I take occasional glimpses of our “current states”. Yet bagless eyes and shiny hair are the least of our worries as we live the thrill of such an exciting journey. As we cruise from petrol refill to caffeine refill, endless landscapes parade majestically before our attentive eyes. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before embarking on this crazy adventure, but I must say, what we’ve witnessed so far has exceeded all my expectations. Next stop: Kazakhstan!

By: Annika Horn

Russian Generosity

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While cruising between Volgograd and Astrakhan, our last destination before crossing the Kazak border, my mind keeps reflecting back to our short yet rich experience crossing the Russian territories. There is something unique about this nation that makes it all the most intriguing. From the window of the G500, I had quite some time to observe the streets, the facilities, and the living conditions of the people of the Motherland. What I saw equaled my expectations; the streets are dirty, the infrastructure is underdeveloped, and government officials are unwelcoming. But on the rare breaks of our journey, we interacted with the locals and were greeted with overwhelming generosity and hospitality. It is then that I noticed the existence of a huge gap between the open mindedness of the people who welcomed us in their houses, shared their food, and told their stories and their country which seems stuck by the restrictions of their USSR days. Along the way, a doctor kindly escorted us in and out and around the beautiful city of Moscow as a result of the unavailability of Russian maps in our navigation system. We then continued Southward out of the city, stomachs filled with delicious food, after a couple invited us in their humble home and proudly made us explore locally grown products. Spasibo Russia! #DrivenToExplore

By: Jessica Horn

PRIVET RUSSIA!

DIM_0253DIM_0396DIM_0851Expedition to K2. Driving from Switzerland to Pakistan

After three days of unrelenting driving, Mike and his team finally arrive in the capital of Russia, Moscow. Brimming with beautiful historical monuments, its unique urban architecture contrasts with the richness of its greenery. From his point of departure Château-d’Oex, Switzerland up until now, Mike and his crew have witnessed spectacular sceneries from the comfort of their two Mercedes-Benz G-Wagons. Despite a couple hours lost stuck in traffic, the team is advancing rapidly towards their final destination: Pakistan! “There’s a pleasant surprise to be found after every turn on the road. This road trip is a lot more of an adventure than I had expected. Our backsides might be numb, but our minds are blown away by the thrill of such a new and exciting journey!”

Mike Horn and Mercedes-Benz: a long time partnership

From 2008 until 2012, during the Mike Horn Pangaea Expedition, Pangaea was the platform for youths from all around the world to share their passion for the environment, learn about flora and fauna with trained specialists and engage in environmental projects to  protect the environment for the future generations to come.

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Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !