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About me

I have been travelling for over 35 years now. kaminski_omnie.jpg
I travelled on my own for the first time, from my city Gdansk to Łódź, when I was eight. I have always loved exploring the world since I remember. I would ask many questions starting with: - what, why and how?

When I was a child, I loved playing on the snow, going sledding and skiing. I even happened to fall into an ice hole a couple of times. I still remember that piercing cold.

When I was in high school, I felt an urge to go on a longer journey - a freighter cruise to Denmark, which I did.

A year later I travelled to Morocco on a similar ship. It was my first encounter with a different culture, religion, people and customs. Huge emotions and fascination with the diversity of the world. Since then, travelling has become an important part of my life.

1stare013.jpgThe next years brought new challenges - journeys to Mexico and Spitsbergen. Studies at the University of Warsaw. Starting my own business which still operates (previously Gama San, presently Invena).

During the expedition to Arctica in 1993, Wojtek Moskal and I started to think of reaching the North Pole. No Polish person has ever been there before. We believed that we could do it and that nothing is impossible. It took us months to plan, save money and prepare for the expedition.

We took off in spring 1995. After 72 days of exhausting walk we reached our goal. A few months later I walked to the South Pole solo. I was the first person to get to both ends of the Earth in one year. It was when a dream came true, however, it did not stop me to travel. There are still challenges, ideas and things worth doing I want to accomplish.

I have taken part in the cruise around the Atlantic, I have reached and explored the sources of the Amazon River, I have crossed the Desert of Gibson. I have attempted the traverse of Antarctica. I did not succeed but it was a precious experience. I like learning new things, experience new adventures. I believe that setting new goals in one’s life is very important.

I would like to share my knowledge and experience which I gained during the expeditions with others. In 1996 I established Marek Kaminski’s Foundation. Its objective involves, but is not limited to, support for the disabled and people in need and creating educational programs.

It is through this foundation that I met Janek Mela, a disabled boy from Malbork, who dreamt of reaching the Pole.

We organized an expedition together. It was a big challenge, huge responsibility and a tremendous success. Janek became the first disabled person in the world to reach both poles of the Earth.

My daily duties involve working for the Foundation, lecturing, writing books and leading expeditions to different parts of the world.

I am also a member of several organizations, including: Polish Council of AA Business, the Union of Polish Writers, Polar Research Committee of Polish Academy of Sciences (an honour member) and Sopot Sailing Club.

I have a family: a wife and two children - Pola and Kay.

Every day I drink green tea somewhere close to the beach and I walk along the sea coast.

I try to find some time for my sports hobby. Besides, I love reading books. It is the books which give me inner peace and charge my life batteries.

New ideas and challenges are ahead of me: continuing the cycle of family expeditions “Through the World with Pola”, learning new languages, next travels and, who knows, flying to the space…

Marek Kaminski

Awards and distinctions

2014

  • The Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for the outstanding contribution to the development and promotion of Polish business and achievements in the community actions

2007

  • Special Award at the International TourFilm Festival in Płock for outstanding achievements in the field of tourism and for promoting Poland in the world

  • The Medal of the St. Brother Albert’s for proving that a disabled person can fully participate in social life, meet difficult challenges and fulfil his or her dreams

2006

  • Business and Passion - for those who have Combined a Successful Career with a Beautiful and Interesting Life, awarded at Explorers Festival in Łódź

  • A star in Władysławowo Sports Walk of Fame - for the indomitable spirit and passion for sports

2005

  • The Diploma of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the outstanding contribution to promoting Poland in the world

  • Golden Giraffe for Social Sensitivity awarded by Styl Życia magazine

  • The Fearless Carer of the Elderly and Disabled, the Medal of Gdansk Metropolis His Excellency the Reverend Tadeusz Gocłowski

  • Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador for the contribution in promoting human rights, values and abilities and giving faith in these values to the disabled persons and children

2004

  • Motyl 2003, the award of Jolanta Kwaśniewska’s Foundation for courage and presenting disabled persons as fully-fledged members of social life

  • The Diploma of the More Beautiful Poland Movement [Piękniejsza Polska] for creating beauty that we can be proud of in the world

  • Super Kolos 2004 Award for the Biggest Sport Achievement in the History of Polish Polar Expeditions - reaching the North Pole on 23rd May 1995

2000

  • Explorer 2000 - For These Who Have Courage to Explore the World, awarded at Explorers Festival in Łódź

1999

  • The Amber Butterfly Award [Bursztynowy Motyl] at Arkady Fidler’s Contest for ( My Poles - Expedition Diaries 1990-1998 )

1997

  • The Medal of St. Adalbert, an honorary distinction of Gdansk City Council for promoting Gdansk in the world

1996

  • The Honorary Citizen of the City of Koszalin

  • TV Polonia Award for promoting Poland and Polish values/culture

1995

  • Guinness World Record in the category: Human Capabilities - Explorers: “ First Person to W alk to B oth the North Pole and the South Pole in the Same Year

  • The Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta [ Krzyż Kawalerski Orderu Odrodzenia Polski] for reaching the North Pole, awarded by Lech Wałęsa, the President of Poland

  • The Golden Medal of the Minister of Sport for reaching the North Pole

  • The Ascent of the Year Award [ Wejście Roku] for reaching two poles in the same year, awarded by Sztandar Młodych

  • The Honorary Citizen of the City of Połczyn-Zdrój

1994

  • The Young Business Achiever of Year 1994 at the Polish edition of the World Young Business Achiever Competition

  • The Honorary Citizen of Tarłów Commune