By MAY LIN TYE.

 

Since its formation in July last year, Tripper Society has garnered nearly 4,000 Facebook likes and thousands of views on their vibrant videos documenting adventures around New Zealand and abroad.

Eric Lin, Robert Nairn and Ben Mikha began as keen hikers and explorers. They were tired of the nine-to-five mentality and social media culture so common in today’s youth. After coming together, they realised they could utilise social media to develop a following and encourage other young people to make the most of what lies right at their front doors. Tripper Society is a collective movement dedicated to conscious living: adventures, travelling, nature and spirituality.

“To just see more, do more” is what Tripper Society encourages. Showcasing New Zealand to the world is one sure-fire way of doing that. Eric took some overseas visitors out on an adventure, and they told him that New Zealand was like paradise.

“They’ve never seen anything like it: like, just a 40-minute drive straight away into nature. Heaps of people here, they don’t really see that, I guess – especially our age. So that’s what we are trying to push out,” said Eric.

“There are so many people that sit at home, stuck on their screens, not wanting to come out. But I guess through that we can help open up these doors for people to come out into the outdoor environment, where it’s technically proven that the surroundings have an effect on your state of mind,” said Robert.

Tripper Society also recognises the importance of the journey over the destination. Although social media is a crucial tool, Robert noticed that content highlighting specific locations only seems to “make people tag their friends and say ‘let’s go here’”. Whereas Tripper Society is all about shifting the attitude from “not just ‘let’s go here’, but ‘let’s do this’”.

Just like they have, Eric wants others to “just realise that there are places out there and have the adventurer spirit… usually half the adventures we go on, the best part about it isn’t actually the place, it’s the process of finding it.”

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Although Tripper Society is currently experimenting with film in order to draw an audience, they hope to eventually use their platform to promote awareness of bigger issues, like conservation.

“Obviously we are living in a time where the planet is in a state of deterioration. Just bringing people out into nature and stuff like that could potentially help them feel a deeper or better connection with the fact that we actually live on a planet that’s important,” said Eric.

With numerous easily-avoided environmental threats – such as kauri dieback disease and littering – around today, Tripper Society believes that it is so important to sway people’s attitudes on these topics. They’ve also been disappointed to see certain spots become popular and in turn become damaged and vandalised, but the biggest issue is usually rubbish.

“A lot of it lies with people’s mentality as well. Easy fix would be to say ‘okay councils, you could put rubbish bins in this area’, but that’s encouraging people not to look after it for themselves. It’s tricky because there are always going to be people that just don’t really care,” said Robert.

Eric, Robert and Ben go on adventures regularly, with around 12-15 of the 30-40 people in their network. Although limited resources currently restrict them from inviting keen strangers out with them, they do hope to grow their movement and eventually branch into New Zealand’s tourism industry. Long term, they’ve got their sights set on having an ‘office’ we’d all be jealous of – New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes – with hopes of Tripper Society becoming a full-time business that runs tours or youth programmes.

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Tripper Society

To anyone wanting to get outdoors and experience our beautiful country, Tripper Society suggests the Waitakere Ranges as a good starting point, with waterfalls, beaches and great hiking trails. However, the fact that New Zealand has such diverse landscapes means that any direction you travel, you will find somewhere worthwhile. And judging by Tripper Society’s adventures, there is an endless array of cool spots waiting to be discovered.

 

Tripper Society’s tips for new adventurers:

  • Always prepare for the unexpected
  • Take enough water with you
  • Bring energy food
  • Any track or hike is probably going to take longer than anticipated
  • Always have some form of communication with you
  • Take a lighter, in case you get stuck in the bush for some reason – you have means to stay warm
  • Carry a basic first aid kit

 

Follow Tripper Society on Facebook.

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