In conversation with… travel bloggers Alesha and Jarryd of NOMADasaurus
Australian travel bloggers Alesha and Jarryd of NOMADasaurus tell us about how they went from Antarctic tourists to tour guides.
Meet Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem, the couple behind Australia’s biggest adventure travel blog, NOMADasaurus. After launching the website in 2013 to document an overland journey across Asia, Alesha and Jarryd have grown NOMADasaurus into one of the world’s most popular travel blogs. Having visited the White Continent three times and South Georgia twice, they now lead their own small-group photography expeditions to Antarctica and South Georgia. We sat down with them to find out more.
First things first, how did you come up with the name NOMADasaurus?
Haha, one of our most common questions! We wish we had an awesome, intelligent and witty response to this, but sadly we don’t. After we had made the decision to start a travel blog, we were on a road trip trying to come up with a name for it and looking on Namecheap to see what was available. We were throwing ideas around, and started to lean on the word ‘nomad’, but everything we came up with was taken.
Eventually, I said, “What about NOMADasaurus… like a nomadic dinosaur? Or a thesaurus for travel?” We checked it was available (of course it was) and we registered it, not knowing that one day this random little name would become our full-time business.
Alesha and Jarryd at Machu Picchu (Credit: NOMADasaurus)
What does a day in the life of a travel blogger look like?
Every day really is different. On days that we’re on a travel assignment, it usually starts off early, shooting sunrise somewhere and then trying to smash out some admin before breakfast. The day is filled with random activities and attractions, creating photos and videos as we go. We’ll try to squeeze in an hour or two at a cafe or back at the hotel in the afternoon to catch up on more emails, editing and checking on the team, then head out for sunset and dinner. We’ll then stay up for a few more hours editing before heading to bed.
On days when we are at home, it might start off early with a yoga or workout session, emails over coffee then smashing out a solid 8-10 hours of work. We have several businesses these days, so have a lot on our plate.
The beauty of working for ourselves though is that we can make up our schedule. We have an awesome team working for us and know that if we need to take a few hours to do life admin or catch up with friends we can.
Jarryd kayaking in Antarctica (Credit: NOMADasaurus)
Outside of travel, what else do you guys like doing?
We recently built a home on Magnetic Island in Australia, our first home ever, so when we’re not travelling we’re usually hanging out with friends, chilling at the beach, snorkelling or going on random little adventures on Maggie. I also play music and Alesha is loving being in her garden.
We are avid hikers, love snowboarding, are slowly getting into surfing and spearfishing and generally just enjoy being outside. Travel really is our life though, and even if it’s not for work we’re always planning trips somewhere.
Could you tell us about a stand-out moment from a trip to Antarctica?
We’ve been fortunate enough to visit Antarctica three times now, and South Georgia twice, and every excursion has its own special moments. But our most incredible one is an entire day we had on the Peninsula during our first trip. It was one of those absolutely perfect days, with glass-like sea conditions, no wind and lenticular clouds scattered across the sky.
A perfect day in Antarctica (Credit: NOMADasaurus)
We stepped foot on the continental mainland for the first time in the morning, enjoyed a barbecue lunch on the deck of our ship and in the afternoon had the most incredible whale experience of our lives. Dozens of humpbacks surrounded us in the Gerlache Strait and we dropped the zodiacs to go for a cruise. The whales came right up to us, breaching, spyhopping and waving. In the evening while we were all on a wildlife high we were treated to the best sunset we’ve ever seen. Truly an exceptional experience. We made a YouTube video from the day here.
Why do think heritage is important?
We’ve been to Port Lockroy, Damoy Hut and Wordie House and it really added a remarkable element to our Antarctic travels. While most people visit Antarctica for the landscapes and wildlife (or to follow in the footsteps of Shackleton), learning about the heritage and history is equally important in our minds. It reminds us of the fascinating and difficult endeavours humans have endured over the years to explore and conduct research on the continent. In the days of climate change too, seeing the places actively taking part to document how things are being affected can help alter people’s perspectives as well.
Wordie House being restored in 2014 (Credit: UKAHT)
Do you still have a dream destination you haven't visited?
Yes! Africa is our last continent and we’re finally ticking that off our bucket list next month. We can’t wait for an entirely new wildlife experience. Also, we’d love to visit Svalbard to see polar bears and the emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill Island on the Antarctic Peninsula.
If you were working at Port Lockroy for the season, what luxury item would you take?
The two biggest luxury items we would take with us are a good camera to document our entire experience and the ever-changing conditions over the Austral summer and an Aeropress with lots of good coffee beans. We’re addicted to coffee.
What's next for you?
The travels will continue for us, and we have a long trip to Southern Africa coming up next. We’ll also be back in Antarctica this season on photography assignments.
Besides the travels, we just purchased our dream car and have plans to turn it into the ultimate overland adventure vehicle to drive around Australia and then the world. Stay tuned for updates!
Finally, what’s your favourite species of penguin?
This is such a tough question! But if we really had to choose our favourite species of penguin, Alesha adores the Adélie because they are so full of character and I love king penguins because they are so regal.
Alesha's favourite species of penguin is the Adélie (Credit: Dominic Hall/Shutterstock)
Join NOMADasaurus in Antarctica
We’re now running our very own small-group photography expeditions to Antarctica and South Georgia! The next two we have is our Antarctica and South Georgia photography tour in 2024, and our Crossing the Antarctic Circle photography tour in 2025.
Alesha and Jarryd now lead trips ro Antarctica (Credit: NOMADasaurus)
Support our work Protect Antarctica's heritage
Every membership and donation we receive helps our expert teams deliver vital conservation work across the heritage sites that we preserve. Without your support, sites of great importance in Antarctica's history could quickly deteriorate, taking with them historic artefacts, tales of scientific advancement and human endeavour that inform how we, as a global community, view and value Antarctica today. With your help, we can continue to conserve this special continent to ensure its protection for years to come.Donate now
Follow a unique colony at the end of the world
The gentoos of Port Lockroy are perhaps some of the most famous penguins in the world! The colony made their home with us on Goudier Island over 30 years ago and we have been studying and contributing to their protection ever since. Inquisitive, fluffy and funny, we love sharing their activity with everyone around the world.Buy now Buy now as gift Renew your adoption