• Friday , 1 August 2014

Post Office Bay, Galapagos- A Dream to Reality.


The Story of the Maverick Expedition from Chris Staudinger on Vimeo.

I remember the moment clearly.  It was dark outside and our table was lit with a few flickering candles.  Our leftover pad thai and tom kha gai were resting disheveled on our plates.  He had a bewildered, yet focused look on his face as he leaned close, like he was about to tell a dark secret.  His voice was in a hushed whisper as he spoke.

Years ago, I learned of an island in the Galapagos that holds a whiskey barrel that for hundreds of years has been used as a makeshift post office.  Whalers, unable to contact their loved ones back home, would write addressed letters and leave them in the barrel.  When new whaling ships came into port, they would sort through the letters, find ones addressed to their next destination, and deliver them by hand. 

He already had me completely enthralled, but I knew there was more to come.

The tradition continues to this day.  Now tourists and travelers that visit the islands leave letters without postage, addressed to friends and family around the world.  They put them in the barrel and when other travelers pass through, they take letters that are addressed near to where they live and hand deliver them. 

He paused, letting me take it all in, before he delivered the coup de grace.

I want to go down to the Galapagos, grab a handful of letters and document the story of me hand delivering them to strangers around the globe.  I’ll call it, “The Maverick Expedition”. 

I was in awe and I had so many questions.  When will you do this?  How will you make it possible?  Have you done any research?  Where will you find the funds?  And most importantly, can I come along?

The only answer he could give me was from my last question.  It was a resounding “yes”!  From that moment, over three and a half years ago, there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to accomplish this feat.  This quest is something that I’ve heard about the entire length of our relationship.  When making big decisions, like moving to Korea, we had to ask ourselves, “How will this affect the ‘Maverick Expedition’”?  We spent our two years there saving up money and planning for this big adventure.

Huge curveballs were thrown our way and right when it seemed like it wouldn’t happen for years to come, we jumped.  We jumped without a parachute.  We jumped without knowing where we were going to land.  You could say we even jumped without shoes.  Three weeks ago we bought tickets to Quito, Ecuador and left a week later.  We had no idea how we were going to get to the Galapagos.  We didn’t know how we were going to get a boat to Post Office Bay.  We didn’t even know if we were going to be able to take more than 2 letters out of the barrel in the chance that we did make it there.

I can sit here now, in my firm Ecuadorian hotel bed, and tell you that we did it.  Against so many odds, we made it.  There are so many details to be told, and those will come soon, but the most important fact is that tucked away in his journal are 22 letters addressed to all corners of the globe.

Take a sneak peek at what we’ve been up to the past 2 weeks.

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30 comments on “Post Office Bay, Galapagos- A Dream to Reality.

  1. I am thrilled that your journey has officially taken off! And what a great post to launch it. This truly will be an incredible expedition! (oh and epic video!)

  2. OMG THIS IS AMAZING AND SOOOOOOOO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Let me know if I can help deliver any to Canada! :)

  3. Thanks you two! We did in fact pick a letter up that´s addressed to somewhere near Ontario, Canada. I declare a meet-up! :)

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  5. This is so, so cool!! I can’t wait to learn some more details!

  6. That’s such a great idea! It’s so interesting. Have a good time! Can’t wait to read more about this.

  7. Thank you so much for this blog! Information that I found here was very usefull for me=)

  8. That is a really cool concept. Especially if you just grab a handful out of the bue without looking. You never know where you might wind up.

  9. What a cool story. I’d never heard of it before but am fascinated now! Hopefully I get there one day and can try it out myself.

  10. You guys rock! What an amazing adventure quest. Hopefully we will see you on your travels. Love the videos so keep em coming.

  11. Usually I read about other people’s travel projects and think, “Sounds interesting,” but it’s rare that I think “Holy crap that is a FANTASTIC idea.”

    Your Maverick Expedition is definitely holy-crap-fantastic. Good luck and I look forward to (enviously) following your journey!

  12. That is SO COOL!!!!! Imagine how many years people have been waiting for that mail – and to get it hand delivered by someone who ventured all the way to Galapagos…AMAZING!

  13. Guys this is freakin awesome!!!!! What a fantastic idea and a TRUE adventure!

    I have never heard of such a thing and its the coolest ‘travel’ idea yet! Cant wait to read about each delivery – how exciting, you will walk away from each one with a story to tell and I cant wait to read about it!

    All the best, enjoy and its so awesome what you guys are doing – the recipients will be very thankful :)

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  15. SOOOOOOO FREAKING AMAZING!!! Wish I would have thought up this idea, or wish I could join you in being a year round santa! When do the stories start? I’m so curious to hear about the reactions!!!!

  16. I love what you’re doing. And did you write letters to let in the mail barrel ?

  17. What a romantic excuse to travel! I am so excited to be sharing in your adventures through your blog!

  18. I have to agree with all of the above comments. The trip is beyond epic. Stay safe, and travel forever! Good luck guys

  19. This is SO COOL. What a fabulous lead in to the story, and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures delivering them. I would love to get a postcard that was left for me in a barrel in the Galapagos!

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  21. I headed to the Galapagos in August. Now I want to find the post office and grab a couple of letters myself. How awesome!

  22. Great video! This seems like an awesome and exciting project! Have you delivered all 22 yet?


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