'Explore' for those of you who haven't heard of it, is the ultimate indulgence event for the expedition/adventure lovers among us.
Each year hundreds of enthusiastic speakers and delegates gather together in the auspicious halls of the Royal Geographical Society and spend an entire weekend planning adventures.
I can't speak highly enough about the event, nor tell you how effective it is at providing inspiration and practical help for anyone who has ever dreamed of heading off on an adventure.
If you live in London, then you definitely must go. I'd also argue it's worth travelling from other parts of the UK to come to (I first attended when I was still living in Northern Ireland, and it was the catalyst I needed to set off on my subsequent cycling adventures.) It really is that good.
This year's conference will take place from the 15-17 November. Visit the website for prices and details on how to book.
Below are 5 reasons why you should be there:
If you haven't heard of it already, then I'm excited to draw your attention to one of the coolest adventure film festivals around - the Thrillseekers Adventure Film Festival.
The aim is to showcase the best in adventure travel and extreme sport filmmaking, and it's extremely successful. Go and check out the format and schedule for yourself via their website, but here it is in a nutshell: 15 films, organised into 3 programmes, screening at over 30 cinemas nationwide. It starts tomorrow, and runs through 30th November. If you like adventure films, this is something you shouldn't miss...
I'm very proud to say that a 20-minute 'festival' version of 'Into The Empty Quarter,' the film I shot with Al Humphreys in Oman and the UAE at the end of last year, will be screening in Programme 3 during the AFF tour. The venues and dates are listed below: if you live anywhere near any of these cities and cinemas then please do go and check it out (and tell us what you think of it!) Tickets available HERE.
This project is my attempt to inject a small dose of adventure into every day (more background here!)
DAY 1 - Make the most of a 'business trip.'
I was due to give a talk in Sevenoaks. Instead of getting the train there, followed by a taxi to the venue (and then repeating the process to get home) I took my bike, arrive a few hours early and went exploring. A full morning of pedalling backroads and lanes around Kent was just the ticket. The UK is just full of these public footpaths and through ways - I'm ashamed at how few I have explored to date. I arrived at my destination a few minutes early, feeling very ready to give a talk about adventure! (Lesson learned for next time - perhaps go exploring AFTER the talk. Sweaty and muddy isn't the best look...)
DAY 2: Read a book in a day.
I was on and off trains constantly on Day 2. I also needed some literary inspiration for my book writing, and for once I had time on my side to read. So I read. I love the idea of covering an entire book in one day (even a short and abridged version like this one!) What greater writer to choose that Sir Wilfred himself? "Hunger, thirst, heat and cold: I had tasted them all in full..."
I wrote this blog post with the intention of it being very short. It's now rather long. Sorry. If you don't want to read it all, here's a summary:
For the month of October I am endeavouring to do one 'adventurous' thing every day. I won't be on expedition. In fact, I'll mostly be sat at my desk in London, so the adventures will be small - bite-size chunks of new experiences, snatched in the moments in and around my normal working life. The goal is to challenge myself (even in just a very small way) mentally or physically on a daily basis, in an attempt to lead a more adventurous and fulfilling life. An attempt to feel more alive.
If you want to read more, here goes...