NatGeo Wants To Send You On The Adventure Of A Lifetime Through Africa

As a faithful follower of all that is Uproxx Life, Travel & Adventure, you’ve seen dozens of stories about people traveling the world on someone else’s dime, living out of their vans and getting paid for it, and checking off every item on their bucket lists before hitting twenty-eight. Essentially, people living the life you dream of. But our goal here is to give you the chance to do those things yourself — because we believe that the nomad lifestyle is one that is accessible to anyone who is willing to stretch even the slightest bit to grab it.

Lucky for you, NatGeo Wild is making that stretch feel more like a gentle yoga pose and less like a medieval torture rack through their Wild To Inspire Film contest. If you’re passionate about wildlife, know a thing or two about filmmaking, have an Instagram account, and want a free trip to Africa, here’s your chance to stop dreaming and start living.

Nat Geo WILD is calling on aspiring filmmakers from across the U.S. to submit to their WILD TO INSPIRE Short Film Contest for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Africa and the opportunity to screen the film at the Sun Valley Film Festival. All you have to do is create a one-minute-video that shares a wildlife story from your own backyard, your travels around the globe, or people you’ve encountered along the way who are making a difference in the lives of animals.

On a recent trip to South Africa’s Sabi Sands Private Reserve with NatGeo WILD, I had the chance to meet the winners of last year’s Nat Geo WILD TO INSPIRE contest, Alex Goetz and Justin Grubb. Having lost the first time they applied, these two aspiring wildlife filmmakers decided just one week before the deadline to give it another shot. They created a video with the aim of sharing their passion and dedication to conservation with a greater audience. As Alex told me, “The goal as a wildlife filmmaker is to bring the most epic, inspiring content to viewers for the sake of conservation.”

A few months later, the duo was rumbling along in the back of a safari jeep with the National Geographic crew, shooting images they’d only ever dreamed about capturing. After South Africa, Alex and Justin were off to Mozambique to meet up with the 3 Fathoms Bull Shark Project; Namibia, where they camped out in the oldest desert in the world to film Desert Black Rhinos with Save the Rhino Trust; and Botswana to film the Okavango Delta and meet up with Elephants for Africa to study bull elephants.

Their careers are taking off, all because of this one contest win. (And their hard work!)

Inspired yet? Good. We asked Alex for a tip to help you get started: “Be passionate about your content. What are you making your film for? Show what is driving you to create your videos and THAT will inspire your viewers.”

His partner, Justin Grubb adds, “My big tip to someone would be to submit a video that is authentic and truly reflects one’s passion about the wild and storytelling. Don’t just submit a video because it looks flashy and cool, submit one that reflects your beliefs and what drives you to let the wild into your life.”

The deadline to submit is February 15, 2017. As entries roll in, Nat Geo WILD will review each film and @natgeowild will be reposting entries via their Instagram account.