There are many, many things to do to get ready for an expedition of this scale.
Here is my shortlist of things we are having to pour time into over the next 2.5 months before we leave (I will blog individually about many of these as time goes on). Leon and I will share these tasks, and my wife Christine is also being amazingly helpful (it was her who built this cool website).
- Getting fit and getting used to the gear we will be using (boots, kayaks, etc). This is a non-negotiable. If we aren’t physically strong, we won’t be able to pull this thing off.
- Researching the route - logistics. Finding out about weather, terrain, waterways, deserts and bureaucracy.
- Researching the route – interest. A major goal is to make a cool TV series for Nat Geo – and the more we know about the regions we pass through, the better.
- Getting the gear. We are a tight budget (contrary to what people may think, TV work does not pay well unless you are super-famous!), so endeavouring to get sponsored a lot of our gear. Things are going quite well so far (I will announce sponsors on this site as they are confirmed), but there is still a long way to go.
- Improving my Mandarin. Teaching myself, plus my wife is helping me with my tones. I am enjoying it, but progress is tough, and it takes a big chunk of hours out of my day if I take it seriously.
- Raising money for Viva – the children’s charity we are passionate about helping. There is huge potential to raise a lot of money for Viva, but it also requires lots of hard work connecting with people and groups.
- Keeping the publicity machine running. Takes up more hours than I care to think about.