armchair traveler diaries Armchair Traveler Diaries: Nicolas Dubreuil’s Dispatch from France and Greenland

Armchair Traveler Diaries: Nicolas Dubreuil’s Dispatch from France and Greenland

With his expedition lifestyle on pause, Ponant’s director of sustainability is forest bathing, drawing unicorns with his daughter, and dreaming of future adventures.  

What is life like for you right now?
I live between two very different places: Kullorsuaq, a small village located in northern Greenland, and Sarran, a quaint town in the rural department of Corrèze in southwestern France.

Where are you working from these days?
I was in Greenland, but now I’m back in France.

What’s your typical day like now?
I wake up around 5:30 a.m. to go for a two-hour walk in the forest. After a hearty breakfast, I help my daughter with her schoolwork before participating in conference calls with colleagues in China and Russia. Later, I take a one-hour break to train on my bike at home. To wrap up, I have more calls with the Ponant teams in France, the U.S., and Australia. My day ends around nine. 

What do you do to stay sane?
I love walking! Walking in the forest is my favorite wellness activity. I can spend all day in the woods observing animals and trees. I take advantage of every opportunity I get to be out in nature. In Greenland, I spend my days on the ice floe – on skis or by sleigh.

What are you watching, reading, listening to?
During this kind of quiet time, whether related to Covid-19 or during a storm out on the ice, I take the opportunity to write. I recommend it to everyone. 

What travel plans have you put on hold for the pandemic?
To quote French novelist Joseph Kessel: “Great journeys are marvelous in that their enchantment begins before the actual departure. We open atlases, we dream on maps. One repeats the magnificent names of unknown cities...” I take advantage of this period of confinement to dream: reading, browsing maps, writing, and looking for new destinations and mysterious places. 

Nicolas Dubreuil’s favorite travel memories are filled with icebergs.
Nicolas Dubreuil’s favorite travel memories are filled with icebergs.
Photo by Getty Images 
Where do you want to go when travel is possible again?
I want to explore the Northern Sea Route.

The parts of the world you most like to show travelers on Ponant expeditions.
I’d definitely say the Arctic and Antarctica.

A favorite travel memory that’s top of mind right now?
Every trip brings to mind at least one extraordinary memory. It’s hard to choose. Perhaps it’s the sparkle in the eyes of our passengers as we approach the first iceberg they’ve ever seen – that moment always strikes me.  

Your best feel-good moment since all this started?
Taking the time to draw unicorns and princesses with my daughter by the fire.

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