Mikolaj - pronounced Mik-oh-lie - believes that every day spent traveling is a day not wasted. In addition to his mother tongue, Polish, he speaks English, Russian and Spanish. His first job in Antarctica was as a biologist who overwintered as a member of the 27th Polish Antarctic Expedition to the Arctowski Station on King George Island.
Mikolaj Golachowski lives in Warsaw, Poland. Fascinated with animals ever since he was born, he graduated at the Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw and began working there as a researcher and lecturer of Zoology and Ecology in 1995. His carnivore research meant spending long winter months in remote field stations in Polish forests, leading to a growing interest in colder climate zones. Upon receiving his PhD in 2002, he started working for the Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences and went to the Polish Antarctic Station Arctowski for his first over-wintering expedition as a researcher of Southern Elephant Seal population ecology and genetics. From then on, he has spent more time in polar regions than in Poland, participating in three more expeditions (two summer-only and the over-wintering of 2007-2008, when he was also the Base Commander and Leader of the 32nd Expedition) and studying his favourite seals. For the past seven years involved with Antarctic and Arctic tourism, he enjoys travelling far away from civilisation_ as much as possible. When incidentally back in Warsaw, an activist of Greenpeace and WWF and a happy provider for two black cats and an introvert tortoise, he writes about nature conservation and spends his free time practising the gentle arts of Tai Chi and Aikido.
Mikolaj has joined these expeditions:
What skills do you bring to the job?
"Good communication skills. The ability to drive a Zodiac. My experience on glaciers and at sea, as well as my interpreting skills."
What keeps you coming back season after season?
"Fascination with the polar regions. It verges on an addiction to snow-covered landscapes and wildlife who do not know the fear of men."
If you could time travel, what historic expedition would you like to join, and why?
"I very much admire the skills and wise preparations of Bruce, Nordenskjold and Amundsen. Although the determination and resourcefulness of Mawson make him my favorite hero, right next to Charcot and his air of decadence."
Mikolaj's advice to Polar Travelers
"Prepare to find out that Nature really rules in these parts of the world - no matter what our plans, skills and equipment. We are merely privileged visitors."