If you aren’t familiar with Stefan Haworth’s work then we invite you to feast your eyes on some tasty photography. We’re super proud to have Stefan on board as a Will & Bear ambassador because well, who doesn’t want a well travelled, all-round legend on their team right?
Stefan travelled to Mongolia a while back and we want to pull some magic from the archives and share this trip of a lifetime with you!
Inspired by the movie ‘Tracks’ Stefan set off on an impulse trip to Mongolia a few years ago in hope of teaching himself how to ride a horse. He set off on his solo expedition during the Mongolian Autumn to do exactly that.
His impromptu decision to travel to a place he had never been before, to do something he had never done before, saw Stefan’s head buried in youtube channels just a week before the trip.
Despite his fear of horses, the incredible difficulties of language barriers and the unforgiving barren environment, Stefan somehow pushed past all of these challenges and continued to place himself in the deep end, sending him on a journey of exploring his own limits.
Unlike visiting the tropics or the southern Alps, Stefan describes the majority of Mongolia’s landscape to be flat grassland or vast desert. And when he says flat, he means REALLY flat, for as far the eye can see. With barely any trees around in most areas, autumn in Mongolia was far from vibrant and instead a thick palette of browns and neutral hues.
Perhaps his experience doesn't sound like the visceral delight of Morocco or Iceland, but he can assure us that Mongolia has its own experience. Like waking up to the sounds of horses trembling the earth or herds of cows moving about the barren landscapes and the constant whip of wind in your ears.
What held the most part of Stefan’s interest was the way of life within the villages. Everything from what they ate to how they sourced firewood without trees, why they milked horses to how they went about in their day-to-day lives. “I was helping to train their new eagle for hunting by running with a dead rabbit on a string and calling it or releasing it to hunt. It wasn’t a zoo, it was real life. It’s those moments that made it so much different than anything I’ve ever experienced. I have such respect for them in the harsh environment of which they live.”
Its one thing to capture the many wonders of a place, but its another to actually be amongst it and if it’s one way to describe how Mongolia makes you feel, Stefan says alone yet confident, strong yet weak.
It tested him beyond anything he had previously endured and not in the physical sense at all, instead, it was purely mental. It could be said that travelling through Mongolia can be dubbed as ‘bland’ but he says there is SO much to learn. Their way of life is something he has never experienced