Nicole Apelian on ALONE (S2): Do not give in to any fears

Nicole Apelian, one of 10 survivalists on HISTORY Channel's reality show ALONE, shares with Imagine TV Network about living in the present moment and why it is difficult to transition home after being living in the wilderness.

Imagine TV Network

When ALONE first premiered in 2015, it became the most-watched non-fiction television series in the United States for HISTORY Channel across all key demographics. With many contemporary reality shows synonymous with 'scripted reality' programming, ALONE returns to the roots of the genre with a fly-on-the-wall format.

Image credit: ©2016 A+E Networks, LLC

The new season of ALONE promises the same format -- the 10 survivalists are placed in the wilderness with no camera crew, and tag-along teams or producers. Nicole Apelian, a current adjunct professor at Prescott College in the United States, was previously a game warden with the U.S. Peace Corps and had experience working as a field biologist in Botswana.

As one of two female contests among the group of 10, Apelian remarks that women have a big advantage over men because they weigh less and thus require a lower intake of calories. Asked what her daily routine in the show is like, she chuckled and says she lived her life dictated by the moon. She explains that because the ocean was the main source of food, she had to plan all other activities, such as gathering firewood and building up her shelter, around the ocean tide.

"I don't think you can prepare too much for [loneliness]... Make sure you don't give in to any fears... Once fear gets a hold of you, it really can take a hold of you."

Having faced predators from her first day in the wild, she emphasizes that her ultimate nightmare would be to encounter a human predator, adding, "I trust the wilderness more than I trust the city."

Although she acknowledges there is no way to prepare for the eventual loneliness she faced while being on ALONE, she did some preparatory work to transit to a life in the wilderness.

Other than stopping any consumption of alcohol, caffeine and carbohydrates, she read up about people who had lived there and the ecology of the place so that she can identify edible and medicinal plants. One thing the show has taught her is allowing her to see that she is a joyful person and someone with "lots of peace" in her heart.

Commenting on the importance of spending time in nature, she says, "The other thing that's so important to being in the woods is that you have to live in the present moment and I think living in the here and now is really what leads to people being joyful and having happiness."

She says that being alone quietens her mind and allows her to figure out what is important to her life. "If I don't have quiet, alone time, I get sick and my mind gets too busy," she adds. Even as a mother, she says she still makes it a priority to be alone.

She also reveals that being in the wild with no human contact has changed her as a person but does not elaborate, only saying that these changes are evident when viewers watch the show. She does, however, mention that she plans to move out of the city for good.

Given a hypothetical scenario where humans are forced to leave the concrete jungle and live in the wild, she says that even though skills like starting a fire is essential, she feels that having gratitude and love are more important. Rather than pushing other people away and fending for yourself, she says that helping each other and working as a team will be what she will advocate for.

Season 2 of ALONE broadcasts on HISTORY Channel (StarHub Cable TV Channel 401) every Thursday at 9pm.

 

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