I first discovered Heather Hillier on Instagram when we started liking one anothers photos. She was on horseback going down the coast of Chile, discovering surf while documenting her trip with her boyfriend Matt Hannon. Without much planning, they went on a journey that sounded like no other ordinary surf trip. They embarked on an adventure with only paper maps, camera gear, camping equipment and clothing while traveling from Alaska to Chile; first on motorcycles, then on horseback. I was impressed by the trek and vulnerable modes of transportation—neither providing shelter. Heather and Matt didn’t aimlessly trek down the coast. In the absence of their GPS, they were guided by a paper map, instincts, and intuition. It’s easy to make your way along a coastline, but the times you cross river mouths, around rocky headlands, and into town for supplies is what makes the journey complicated. Heather and Matt’s journey seems counterproductive when there are other faster and more efficient ways of getting around. But with them, more focus is put on the journey than the destination. Their approach was unpredictable. It’s easy to know the direction when heading along the coastline, but on a paper map you can’t tell there’s a rocky headland ahead and are then forced to turn around and find alternate routes. The art of getting lost allows people to truly challenge their senses and patience, something unknown to most people in the information age. What is it like to get lost in another country on horseback? Have we curated our senses and experiences to only find the best cafes and surf spots? With torn up paper maps and a lack of internet data, Heather and Matt experienced more adventure than they bargained for. —Gilda Hariri
To read the full interview with Heather and Matt, grab a copy of Issue 003 here.
Photographs by: Matty Hannon