Exploration is a state of mind about life: it’s about leaving our safe anchorage, and enriching ourselves with what the unknown can teach us.

Hang-glider aerobatics, for the young man in search of extreme achievements. Around the world non-stop in a balloon - a dream of achieving the impossible, drawing on his family heritage. A second trip around-the-world, this time in a zero-fuel solar airplane with unlimited endurance, an all-out campaign to bring the planet into the era of clean technologies. This is the story of a man in love with exploration who wants life to be based on the pioneering spirit, on questioning our certainties and surpassing ourselves. All this to tackle today’s greatest challenge: improving the quality of life for everyone. However could it be otherwise?

Most children grow up listening to their parents tell them fairy tales. For Bertrand, the stories were all about exploration - the conquest of the Poles, of Everest, of space, and the ocean depths. His childhood heroes were all people he had actually met: Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong, Charles Lindbergh, Thor Heyerdahl, Jacques Mayol, Alain Bombard, Wernher Von Braun, Alan Sheppard, John Glenn... And finding himself present at Cape Kennedy for six of the Apollo launches, center-stage in a great adventure, molded his aspirations decisively. Bertrand had caught the exploration virus, and would never again be content with routine or dogma. Nothing would seem impossible to him any longer. All that would count for him were the three values that characterized his education: curiosity in the face of the unknown, persevering to succeed, and respect for what lay around him.

« I am often asked how to become an explorer. In fact, you don't necessarily decide what to explore, you just decide to think outside the box, to take side roads, to seize every opportunity to accomplish the impossible. This is how I lived, just following the common thread in my childhood dreams. With a compass in my heart indicating, not where north lay, but where I could find the unknown. »
Bertrand Piccard
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