Flying planes is not something that 28-year-old Chris Bowman imagined himself to be doing today. The thought only first occurred to him when he was 16, after his dad took him and his sister for an introductory flight course out of Lindsay, Ontario. He found the craft interesting since, but it was in 2008 when his thirst for adventure really emerged. After realizing that he wanted more out of his Business diploma, Chris landed a position with a small airline. With dedication and passion, Chris is now one of the lucky ones who gets to travel back and forth from one place to another and sees most of what our grandiose world has to offer. Speaking with tripcentral.ca, Chris shares his amazing travel experiences and the remarkable stories behind his favourite destinations.
“There is something truly exciting about seeing places for the first time. It’s fun to explore and to take pictures of amazing sceneries,” explains Chris. “Being at the Antarctic was such a unique experience. I definitely loved the camaraderie between everyone. The first year I was there, we stayed for about 5 and a half months. On my second year, we were there for 4 and a half months,” recounts Chris.
Having spent a lot of time in the Antarctic flying cargo and passengers, it was very evident that the Antarctic holds a special place in Chris’s heart. Excitement exuded off of him every time he spoke about it: “We went on ice cave explorations. We got the chance to see penguins up close. Everything about the Antarctic was simply surreal and awe-inspiring!” However, despite his apparent attraction toward the Antarctic, Chris also shared some drawbacks in staying in one of the remote places on earth. “You can’t tell sky from land sometimes. You have to pay really close attention. When the sky is overcast, it can be quite hard to find contrast. The base in Vostok (Boctok in Russian) has been around since the 50s. At one point it was above ice. But after 50 years of wind blowing, now it’s completely covered with snow. You almost have to walk through a little tunnel to get inside.”
With inspiration stemming from popular culture such as Flight of the Concords and Lord of the Rings, Chris says that New Zealand is one of the destinations he would like to travel to next. “I’d love to revisit Russia as well though. I love its mix of historic and vibrant architecture. Perhaps go to Namibia which is in Africa and see the desert after. I also really enjoy biking, so anything with cool biking trails is a must for me,” adds Chris quickly.
Aside from his full-time gig as a first officer, Chris every now and then acts as a photographer and drums in his spare time. He is also very zealous about music, drawing influences from icons such as Joe Strummer from The Clash. Five years from now, Chris hopes to be doing something more stable. “I’d still enjoy traveling of course. But I’m also looking forward to the days where I can just appreciate the small moments and do something simple.”