Who says animals can't have dreams too? Meet Monique the chicken who for the past two years has been travelling the world with the young adventurer Guirec Soudée. “Momo” has adapted to the vagabond life so easily it wouldn’t surprise us if she kept spreading her wings forever...
No wonder the 24-year-old sailor Guirec Soudée made the odd decision to choose a chicken as his travel companion: the guy fears whatever falls in the “normal” category. Ever since childhood the free thinking French adventurer has learnt to have a mind of his own. So instead of pursuing an academic career and following the normal road, Guirec instead listened to his heart and left his home country to pursue his biggest dream: sailing around the globe on his boat “YVINEC”.
“I’m not totally normal anyway” - Guirec Soudée
In December 2013, the epic journey started as a solo tour. It was only when Guirec reached the Canary Islands that his path crossed with Monique’s, creating a weird yet wonderful duo ready to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.
“I didn’t speak Spanish and she didn’t speak any French but we got along” - Guirec Soudée
So what’s it like living on a small boat with a chicken, you may wonder?
Both Guirec and Monique have important tasks. While the sailor is busy keeping his crew of two and YVINEC afloat, Monique sorts out breakfast, laying eggs to ensure Guirec has his daily dose of protein.
During their trip to the Caribbean, the sailor taught his new friend Momo all sorts of random tricks. Wind-surfing, skateboarding, swimming, paddle boarding and surfing are now part of Monique’s performance repertoire, helping the pair rack up an impressive 20,000 strong Instagram audience to date.
To fund part of his expeditions, Guirec created a crowdfunding page on Ulule. Unsurprisingly people were intrigued by the idea of a chicken sailing around the world, and the subsequent funding allowed Guirec to accomplish another great travel dream – to sail on the Arctic Ocean.
While the warm-blooded out there would most likely flip out at the idea of spending months trapped in ice-cold climate, Guirec the unstoppable was thrilled to share this experience with Momo. The pair sailed towards the world’s largest island, Greenland, waking up to vistas each day like this:
Oh who are we kidding…..
So was it all smooth sailing?
Guirec confessed that at some points he thought YVINEC was not going to survive and that he’d have to abandon ship with Monique. His exit strategy was a little bonkers though: carrying his chicken from ice sheet to ice sheet until they reached a safer point. Fortunately it didn’t come to this, and YVINEC survived the Arctic to sail another day.
The least we can say about this adventurer and his ginger hen is that they’ve got some serious balls. This improbable duo are living proof that even crazy ass dreams are achievable and that’s exactly the message Guirec wants to send to every dreamer out there. It doesn’t matter how weird and seemingly impossible your travel goals are: if you believe in them, anything’s possible. Even sailing the Arctic with a hen as your first mate.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”- Mark Twain