Inspiring Adventurers #2 Alastair Humphreys
Some people have a knack for motivating others. It may be by sharing their own infectious love of adventure or it may be that they have a more direct focus on getting others exploring. In some rare individuals, like Peak Mountaineering's second Inspiring Adventurer, it can be both.
I first heard about Alastair Humphreys on the adventure grapevine following his 4 year around the world bike ride. An epic adventure that led on to him completing many other amazing trips and challenges. In fact his adventure CV is tiring just to read! Amongst other things Alastair has completed the Marathon des Sables, rowed across the Atlantic, canoed 500 miles down the Yukon River, crossed Iceland and walked across the Empty Quarter Desert. Alastair is someone whose life since an early age has been defined by exploration and challenge and in between these trips he's written 6 books and carved out a successful career as a motivational speaker. In 2012 he was chosen as one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year.
Then, a few years ago I was discussing adventure ideas with some busy clients from Cambridge. It must be tricky, I suggested, when you want exploration in your life and yet live some distance from the obvious adventure Meccas. Not a problem, they said, as they had been using their new adventure bible to guide them. The book, which one of them later pulled from their car to show me, was a battered and well-thumbed paperback called Microadventures. The author, I noticed, was Alastair Humphreys
It was, I found out later, in 2011 that Alastair temporarily stored away his passport to dedicate some time to developing his idea of the Microadventure. It's a brilliant concept which empowers people to fit more adventure into their busy lives. The book is all you need for stacks of mini escapes (and is ably supported by his comprehensive website which includes additional ideas and a host of videos). Suddenly there is no excuse for any of us not to escape the city or try something new.
So what could be better? An adventurer who inspires others by getting out there and having his own challenges as well as giving others the tools to do it themselves. So, we sat Alastair down and asked him to answer our usual five questions……..
Which destination would be your top recommendation for someone looking for an adventure?
If you want to interact with humans, then India. If you want wilderness, then Iceland.
Which destination is at the top of your future adventures?
I'd love to go to Antarctica, New Zealand, the Lofoten Islands, and the Faroe Islands.
Can you name someone who has inspired you to lead a life of adventure?
Ran Fiennes and Benedict Allen made me realise that it was possible to make a life out of adventure.
Which item wouldn't you leave home without?
My camera. Closely followed by a Thermarest, Buff, Bivvy bag and reading book.
What would be your top tip for budding adventurers?
Begin! Stop making excuses with yourself. Make a plan (even a little one is fine), commit to it, and begin. The rest is easy...