Elisabeth Easther talks to Jordan Ranson, of Motion Bros.
I'm so grateful to my parents for taking me on an awesome campervan trip when I was 12. My little brother would've been 6 and we drove around the South Island. I saw first hand how lucky we are with nature, scenery and people, and it imprinted on me how New Zealanders should see New Zealand before they venture further.
My first big adventure abroad was in 2017. Two buddies and I went to Europe and travelled with Busabout for three months. During that trip my friend Wes and I started the Motion Bros Instagram page. Then when Busabout had a competition last year, to join their Travel Squad, Wes and I won. Something like 2500 people entered, and the prize was a trip to Europe, all expenses paid, to make content for Busabout and that's how the journey I'm on now began. And next week I'm moving to Queenstown to shoot content for Destination Queenstown.
I will always remember the Via Ferrata in Switzerland. We rocked up to this little sports shack in Murren and the guy asks, "do you have any climbing experience?" Then he gave us helmets and harnesses and we were literally hiking up a cliff, with a 400m drop beneath our feet. You do need a head for heights, and you have to make sure one clip is locked in at all times. There are raging waterfalls, and a forest on the side of a cliff. I can't believe you're allowed to do it without a guide because if you forget to clip, you're dead. But it was so exhilarating — although I did lose my GoPro when it fell out of my mouth.
Wes and I were lucky to be sent on an adventure by Jameson's Irish Whiskey and we ended up in the Arctic, in Svalbard, 300km south of the North Pole. During that trip we rode on husky sleds, we saw three polar bears and went exploring on snowmobiles. It was the time of year when the sun had just peaked over the hills following winter. It was like sunrise all day, golden hour light in minus 25C, with a wind chill of -50C. They gave us really good thermals, like astronaut suits, but it was still pretty damn cold.
One time, I took off my gloves to fly the drone but, after about five minutes, I had to hand it to Wes to land it. And I said to this Swiss dude who was looking after us, "Bro my fingers are really cold" and he said not to worry, that I'd be okay. And I'm like, "bro I'm worried" so he told me to stand up, launch my hands into the sky and jump and all the blood would rush to my fingers. I've still got all my fingers but for a while I thought I was going to lose them.
I'm just back from a four-week trip from LA to New York with Busabout. America is crazy, super-progressive in some areas and really not up with the times in other ways. New Orleans was incredible. It's like being in a movie, you just walk down the street and there are all these super creative people everywhere. America also taught me a lot about materialism. The Amazon thing was out of control, but this is where we are — buying things online, getting them delivered, because everything is so cheap, so easy. But people have no idea where these things come from. And do we really need these things, or is it simply part of a weekly to-do list — look at Amazon and buy stuff? Because Amazon guys were everywhere.
We went to Atlas, voted Asia's fourth-best bar. It was like walking into a Harry Potter movie. They'd created this crazy room that was three storeys tall with a two-storey selection of drinks. These guys have to push ladders around, then climb up to grab your whiskey. The artwork was spectacular and you just knew you were somewhere really special. The service and drinks were incredible and it wasn't as expensive as you'd expect for a place like that, something like $25 for a cocktail. Singapore is a really nice place to be, so long as you don't have a chewing gum addiction.
Motionbrosnz on Instagram.