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.(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

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Sport, torture and guns; Palach was a fighter

The death of Ján Palach inspired protests that led to the overthrow of the communist regime.

Jan Palach

Ruling parties split over attitude to Russia

Slovakia has not updated its security strategy since 2005.

Ľuboš Blaha

University has confirmed: Parliament's Speaker copied large parts of his thesis

The commission did not use the word “plagiarism”, which Danko used to dismiss his critics.

Andrej Danko

Two Bratislava university hospital clinics may collapse

But the ministry and the hospital are not panicking.

Kramáre hospital