I like to go on extreme expeditions in extreme environments. Admittedly the main and initial driving force for going on them in the first place is for purely self-indulgent reasons as I have found what I love and just keep finding ways of continuing doing it. No harm in that, right? Other parts of my life suffer from that passion but compromise is the golden word here. Thankfully there are other elements that come out of it which also give me a kick. They have less selfish reasoning behind it like promoting the can do and self-belief attitude and defying stereotypes as well as highlighting the biggest issue of our time, climate change. All of these make it all the better. I am one of those 'lucky ones' who has found their passion and is able to make it a reality but if you haven't found your passion or you are not doing what you love for whatever reason... Why not? There's a whole world out there for you and you can make it yours!
I really want to drill home to you guys reading that what I do is not exclusive. It takes time, effort and complete dedication but that’s the beauty of it as I enjoy all of that just as much as the expedition. It all goes hand in hand.
People are surprised to hear that when I’m not actually on one of my expeditions, I work a full-time job in London. It’s in another one of my loves – making TV. With TV comes the ability to pick and choose what I work on so that I can take months off at a time (just, still must consider that I don’t get paid and risk returning to no job) TV doesn’t come with the pay cheque that running your own business or bank jobs give so I have to find ways to fund and make time for planning and training for my expeditions. I fit my life around it in order to make my goals happen.
Those with busy jobs often choose the guided route to see the world. That’s all very well (expensive too) but for me it’s going independently. I’m not saying taking guides isn’t the right way of doing things to begin with– it absolutely is if you’re going out there with no experience at all. But if you are really serious about doing these things, build up to making it happen yourself, there’s no better feeling. Yes it takes much more time which is something that not everyone has but putting that plan of action into place on what before seemed so far fetch is such a wonderful feeling.
It’s all about starting with little or no knowledge and learning so much along the way. I have got to a point in my adventure career where it takes most of my spare time so I must be careful that other areas of my life do not suffer too much. Balance and all. I am steadily increasing my comfort zone to reach environments and scenarios that I could have only dreamed of as the kid once was, aged 12 watching Bear Grylls prance around in places that I wanted to prance around too. Every expedition makes me into a better person than before and it can do the same for you, too.
There are lots of entry level adventures for those who perhaps wouldn’t be comfortable climbing to 20,000ft or being in -40C. (Pushing your comfort zone is good and all but pushing it too much is just foolish.) Even going for a solo hike for a week or wild camping in the highlands can produce the same benefits. It all starts with a plan (often over a few drinks).
Keep it simple, seek advice, make it affordable, don’t go in blind and prepare every tiny detail. There are plenty of people (me included, obviously) and societies there to help to help, guide and answer any questions.
So make a start, get that foot out the door and expand from there.