Slovak student in Alaska: I was fishing for salmon next to a grizzly

Slovak university student won the photo contest with his Aurora Borealis picture.

The Northern Lights in Alaska.The Northern Lights in Alaska. (Source: Erik Malíček)

Erik Malíček is a university student from Zvolen, central Slovakia, who spent his summer working in Alaska. It was the place where he took up photography, rediscovered nature and saw the Aurora Borealis. The picture he took won the US Embassy's Work and Travel Photo Contest this year.

The Slovak Spectator: What made you spend the summer in Alaska?

Erik Malíček: Initially, my friend and I were considering California. Yet, all the vacancies were already occupied. I then caught sight of Alaska on the agency's offer, which I knew well from a programme like the Deadliest Catch, aired on Discovery Channel. I simply told myself that I would travel there, with or without my friend.

TSS: You found yourself to be the only Slovak in Alaska over the summer?

EM: I was the only one at the hotel where I worked as a dishwasher and assistant cook. But at the consulate in Anchorage, I met a Slovak girl who was working in Seward, 40 miles away from my place. I think we met twice. Another Slovak found a job in Denali National Park & Preserve, but I met him only after my return to Slovakia. At my place, I worked with six Czechs.

TSS: Alaska must have been a bold change compared to your high-school year in Virginia, or your previous summer job at an amusement park in Ohio.

EM: Alaska is not for everyone. Anything can kill you there. It is a completely different country, which has not got very much in common with the rest of the USA. Plenty of young people go to the USA, especially to Ocean City, to enjoy a social life. They have two jobs and party all week long. In Alaska, you come out of your comfort zone. A relationship with nature is important there. Although I come from Zvolen, surrounded by hills, I found a way back to nature thanks to Alaska. I really wanted to strengthen the bond with nature as well as abandon social life. My friends wed and I was there fishing for fresh salmon in its season.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Economic restart after COVID-19 should be green

Slovakia’s plan for using money from the EU’s Recovery Fund, innovation potential and examples of green solutions and the challenge of renovating buildings are among the highlights of the latest Business Focus.

The Velux plant in Partizánske utilises 97 percent of waste from production.

Cabinet agrees on COVID screening

More details will be presented tomorrow.

Košice

More tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown

Walks along the Danube bank offer a feeling of being far from the city rush.

This place, part of Ovsištské Lúky (Ovsište Meadows) in Petržalka, is still Bratislava.

Roundup: Fairytale app that makes children read

An award-winning design by a Slovak architect and a trip to Zádielska dolina valley. Here’s your latest roundup.

A man wearing a face covering sits in an armchair on the snow-covered Main Street in Košice on January 13, 2021.