Some of us are used to watch her TV show every Thursday and those great natural pools that she shows us, but today she will spoke to you by written word, so you’re guessing who is my guest and it’s my pleasure to introduce you the 31 years old adventurer Chiaki Nanami from Miami.
Me: Chiaki first of all, welcome. I know that you are used to spend most of your time in the nature, but you’re finally here in the city 🙂
Chiaki Nanami: Yes, when I came I was like – where is my sailing boat but then I said “Chiaki I think you should use a car, because it would be weird to people seeing you sailing in the streets”.
Me: (laugh) So obviously you don’t spend that much time in the city, but I think you would be a sensation on social networks in case of sailing in the streets. Anyways, Chiaki, tell us something about yourself, who is the woman behind the camera?
Chiaki Nanami: Well I was born in Miami in Florida from a Japanese family moved to America half a century ago. I lived in a small house with my parents and a younger brother. Miami is the place where I spent some of my best teen days.
Me: How did your life look like at the time while living with your parents?
Chiaki Nanami: Well it was like any other teen life, but I must say that even in those days I was passionate about nature, especially water. I remember that I loved to wake up, have breakfast and then I would take my surfing board and go to the beach to catch some waves.
Me: Did you know, during those teen days, that this will be your job?
Chiaki Nanami: My dream job was to film incredible nature areas because nature has always fascinated me and I was so passionate about it. I remember in those days I used to go camping all the time and my mom was like Chiaki get back to civilization 🙂 school is tomorrow. So one day I was getting ready for school and when I went out I turned right to our yard, where my tent was and I got back to sleep. But mom never found out about it. Don’t worry mom, I made to graduate.
Me: (laugh): So it’s obvious that your passion comes from your younger days. Could you tell me why you decided to film a TV show about the pools?
Chiaki Nanami: Because Bear Grylls didn’t. I’m kidding. Well I really love water, I love to swim, jump from the waterfall and there are so many extraordinary natural pools that you wouldn’t believe they exist.
Me: By which pool you are most enchanted with?
Chiaki Nanami: Well there are many of them but if I need to pick one, it would be a beach in Hawaii called “Big green bowl”. This beach is interesting because if you want to swim in it, you need to go 300 stairs down and when you get there you’ll see heavenly blue sea, crystal clear. The water temperature is 78F but it has strong and powerful waves so you need to be careful when you surfboard. It also has many caves where you can rest and take a break from the sun.
Me: Wow, that really sounds like a piece of heaven. I could almost imagine I was there. Have you ever been swimming in some nature pools in the snow?
Chiaki Nanami: Actually, I have and it was amazing. This pool is settled on an island and it’s located high in the mountains. I think that we were traveling there for hours because there is no beaten path because snow falls most of the time so if there would be one, it would disappear fast. When we arrived in the mountain by car we continued our adventure by walking, because it’s the only way you can get to the pool. I remember it was really cold during the hiking, temperature was -10, but it was worth it, because when we arrived we saw a pool in the snow and it’s a pool made by geyser, with a hot water. So we took our clothes off and dive in to warm up ourselves. The feeling was like we were in a jacuzzi.
Me: You have really seen the beauties of our Planet. Tell me, did you ever have some accidents during the trips?
Chiaki Nanami: Oh yes. One time we were filming in Costa Rica and that day we decided to visit and jump from La Paz waterfalls. This place is hidden in the woods and the only way you can get there is by horse and the ride lasts for about two hours. I climbed up to the waterfalls and jumped from a 37m height, but when I got out of the water a snake bit my ankle. It got swollen in just a minute. I’ve never experienced something like that and I can say it was hurtful. Luckily because I knew where I was going I had anti venom, but we interrupted filming and I went to a hospital.
Me: What a story. What your husband has to say about it? Does he knows how many times have you been in danger?
Chiaki Nanami: He is like “Stop acting Bear Griylls, you’re a woman”. Kidding. Well, he was scared when I started filming but he has much more trust in me nowadays. I learned how to act and I always take care of myself and my team of course. Years of experience in this job have taught me to be careful.
Me: I understand that. I guess that first time it was hard for him being home and you being out there, jumping from the highest waterfalls. Did you ever think about collaboration with your husband?
Chiaki Nanami: No, because my husband isn’t an adventurer indeed. The biggest adventure for his is descending down a slide. (laugh) It just wouldn’t be a great idea. He’s not someone chasing the wind like me.
Me: Definitely you won’t jump together from the waterfalls.
Chiaki Nanami: Oh no. The only place where we are going to jump together is bed. (laugh)
Me: (laugh) What do you find most challenging about your job?
Chiaki Nanami: First of all, I don’t have fixed working hours and sometimes filming can take for hours – until we find location and if I need to perform an exhibition for the show, it can take several attempts until I perform it perfectly and that again leads us to a possibility of injuring etc.
Me: If you could pick another profession to be your job, what would it be?
Chiaki Nanami: I’ve never thought about it actually. I think I always wanted to be an adventurer and do what I’m doing today, but maybe, because I love exploring, I could be an astronaut. It would be amazing to jump from the space like Felix Baumgartner. You see, manly things. If I wouldn’t be able to live such a life, I don’t know, maybe a voice actor, to be the voice of a character in an animation or two.
Me: I didn’t even think that you’re going to say that you would be a lawyer or economist.
Chiaki Nanami: Oh definitely not. I can’t keep up in one place for a long time.
Me: Because you aren’t at home much, as you say that you can’t keep up in one place for long, how does your love life function?
Chiaki Nanami: We love each other very much. We are committed, loyal and have lot of understanding for our careers. Well, he has, because I am the one that is not at home often.
Me: Did you have any crisis because of it?
Chiaki Nanami: Actually we did. I think it was like after seven years of our marriage. You all know how they say, seventh year of marriage is critical and if you survive that, you’ll be together for life. After so many years being apart loneliness appeared on each side and when we made to spend some time together, we were fighting. We just weren’t at the same wavelengths at the time. I thought that period won’t pass, but from time to time we started working on our communication and most of all at listening to each other and the crisis passed.
Me: Did you ever regret for deciding to be a wind chaser like you said and not being able to spend more time with your family?
Chiaki Nanami: My family and my job are my two biggest loves. If I had to choose between, of course I would always choose my family, but I think we found the way to make everything work this way. There were some moments I regretted because my family is not with me to see these extraordinary scenes and sharing it with me. I think I was loneliest at nights, because when I go to sleep those were the moments when I think of my family for most of the time.
Me: Could you tell me do you have a favorite beach or which beach is the most beautiful to you?
Chiaki Nanami: Actually I have. The most beautiful beach that I have seen is Papakolea beach in Hawaii. It’s one of the rarest beaches that have green sand because there is a volcano near to it. It looks like that you are walking on the crystals. The sand is soft, but the tide is strong so when you are swimming, you need do stay near the beach so the tide don’t pull you.
Me: Are there any other places that you would love to visit but you didn’t have the chance?
Chiaki Nanami: I would love to see Taj Mahal, but definitely I wouldn’t go there just by myself. I would take my hub with me, because the place is a symbol of an unconditional love, so I would love to spend my time there with the love of my life.
Me: That’s really romantic Chiaki.
Chiaki Nanami: There are also some places that I would love to visit and film so I could show them to my viewers, for example Dead Sea in Jordan. I never had a chance to go there and I find the Dead Sea really fascinating because whatever you do, you just can’t sink, how crazy is that, I think it’s the best place for someone who doesn’t know to swim to learn it. And, besides that the water is warm and rich with minerals that can help in curing many diseases.
Me: Do you think about death?
Chiaki Nanami: Sometimes, but for only a few moments. Life is to be lived. When death will come, it will come.
Me: What is your next location for filming the show?
Chiaki Nanami: We are currently planning to sail on the Cape Horn, the place where Atlantic and Silent Ocean meet to film this incredible water board. Of course oceans will mix eventually, but we are going to try to catch the moment and to show our viewers this spectacular scene.
Me: Do you plan any other projects in the future?
Chiaki Nanami: Maybe. We are talking about expanding the show on caves or tropical sums perhaps. There is one cave in Mexico called Cueva de los Cristales that I would like to visit; especially I would love to film crystal Sistine Chapel. Now we are concentrated just on natural pools, but who knows what the future brings to us.
Me: Do you plan collaboration with someone in the future? Bear Grylls maybe?
Chiaki Nanami: I’m having an idea to bring some famous people in the show, but I’ll do it after we expand the show on caves etc, because as you know, the concept of the show is showing natural pools where you can spend your vacation. It’s not like surviving in deserts, but it would be interesting having someone famous to jump with.
Me: Speaking about being famous. Do you have fans?
Chiaki Nanami: (smiles) I guess I do. I receive a lot of letters and emails and photos! One teenager sent me a fanart, a figure of me as a sprite, under a waterfall, it was really nice. And touching. There is another guy who wrote me he started making a collection of quotes, something like Chiaki Nanami quotes. I don’t have much details about it but I guess there are some memorable things I’ve said and done, I hope they’re funny. But I’m not an icon, I don’t consider myself one. (laughs) Imagine this: Chiaki Nanami the Icon. Let’s not forget, a fan of mine, so I do have fans, created some anime with me and shared over social media. It was funny, I tasted it. Then an animated gif again, under a waterfall with me standing still and the water falling around, I enjoyed it. I just hope they don’t get to the point they make a wallpaper with me, that would be too much, I think. Or a cosplay.
Me: Nice. Let’s get back to all those extraordinary pools that you have seen, which one is your favorite?
Chiaki Nanami: Just one. My own small swimming pool in the yard where I can swim with the kids. There are so many amazing places in the world, but my favorite is my home, being with my husband and kids.
Me: Do you have any advice for our readers?
Chiaki Nanami: I’d say for all of you who are feeling lost and don’t know what your dream job is or what you want to do for the rest of your life, don’t worry, everything will settle. You just keep working, investing and believing in yourself, because one day you can lay down in your bed and next day you can wake up in your dream come true place. You never know what the future holds for you.
Me: Thank you Chiaki. This was an inspiring message for all of our readers. I’m wishing you the best in your career and keep showing us the places that we never knew they exist.