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The experts’ advice on how to lead an adventurous life
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The experts’ advice on how to lead an adventurous life

by immenseplatformAugust 2, 2019

Phoebe Smith – wild camper extraordinaire

Award-winning editor and travel writer Phoebe Smith is author of eight books. On the wilderness and wild camping, including Extreme Sleeps. Adventures of a Wild Camper Wilderness Weekends: Wild Adventuresin Britain’s Rugged Corners and her latest book, Britain’s Best Small Hills. The experts’ advice on how to lead an adventurous life …

Favourite destination for adventure

It has to be the UK. Why? You can find it on your own doorstep – and the UK is mine. From searching out the old Scottish mountain huts. In the highlands, to climbing our own collection of ‘mini Matterhorns’. Teetering on the edges of sea cliffs and wild camping in the woods. We really are spoilt for the diverse range of scenery and adventures right here.

Most adventurous travel experience

Probably my most recent mini-expedition. I went to Greenland to walk the Arctic Circle Trail by myself, unsupported from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut. It’s a true wilderness and in the eight days it took me to do it I saw far more reindeer than people, got to glimpse a smear of the Northern Lights, battled storms and river crossings and found the perfect beach to camp on and stand, hundreds of miles from any houses or roads, in awe of the complete silence.

Tip for leading an adventurous life

Adventures can be as big or as small as you want them to be. I have a busy full-time job and yet I still fit them in to evenings and weekends. The key is to always be prepared. I keep what I call my ‘go-bag’ packed and ready for an overnight camp at all times. That means when I get the weather window I want or just need to escape the city, I have no excuses, I simply pick up my bag and get out there. I urge you all to pack yours too. The experts’ advice on how to lead an adventurous life …

Chris Bonington – legendary mountaineer

Chris Bonington – mountaineer, writer, photographer and lecturer – started climbing at the age of 16 in 1951. It has been his passion ever since. He made the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger, led the first ascent of the South Face of Annapurna and lead the successful first ascent of the Southwest Face of Everest in 1975. He has written many books on his adventures including Ascent: A Life Spent Climbing on the Edge.

Favourite destination for adventure

My favourite place for adventure is Nepal because it’s so beautiful and there really is something for everyone – from gentle tourists to the most adventurous mountaineers. The people too are lovely – the Sherpas, the Nepalese – it’s a great part of the world.

Most adventurous travel experience

My most adventurous experience was in 1996 but began in 1982 when. Whilst flying from Chengdu to climb Everest, we flew over an immense mountain range. The range stretched to the far horizon but one peak stood. Higher than any other and I was determined to find it. After a failed attempt in 1989 when the Tiananmen Square protest prevented our entering Tibet, we set off again in 1996 with nothing more than a single photo of this mysterious unknown mountain and a Tibetan guide who had never heard of it.

It was while staying in a guesthouse in a magical little town that a woman recognised the photograph and directed us on the final four-day trek across undrivable terrain to the mountain, Sepu Kangri, above a sacred lake. It was the sense of discovery that made it such an adventure. The experts’ advice on how to lead an adventurous life …

Charley Boorman – motorcycle-mad adventurer

Charley is best known for his TV motorcycling adventures with Ewan McGregor, Long Way Round, from London to New York via Europe and Asia, and Long Way Down, from Scotland to Cape Town..Right to the Edge and Extreme Frontiers.

Favourite destination for adventure

One of the most incredible places Ewan and I went to for our adventure Long Way Round wasMongolia. It’s still very rural and underdeveloped, so there wasn’t much tarmac, which made the riding more of a challenge.

Most adventurous travel experience

The Dakar Rally is probably one of the most dangerous off-road races in the world. I went in 2006 when it was still in Africa, a 16-day race across the Sahara Desert. The first time ever a British guy called Sam Sunderland has just won it.

Tip for leading an adventurous life

One of the biggest tips I was told about travelling was to have patience as things don’t always go your way when you’re on the road. I learnt that you’ve got to be willing to adapt and not be too rigid as life can turn on a sixpence.

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent – travel writer

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent is a travel writer. Her latest book, Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains: A Journey Across Arunachal Pradesh – India’s Forgotten Frontier, tells of her three-month journey across this wild, mountainous state.

Favourite destination for adventure

My favourite destination for adventure has to be the wild, mountainous and little-explored state of Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. Few other places are blessed with the same intoxicating mix of proper mountains, dense forests, exotic flora and fauna and array of tribal cultures.

Most adventurous travel experience

In March last year, I trekked through an extremely remote valley on the Indo-Tibetan border in search of a mystical Buddhist land called Pemako. For two weeks, myself and my guide – a whimsical Khampa llama called Dorje – walked through deep forests and wild valleys, spending each night with Tibetan families in tiny villages. I felt like I’d been teleported to the 19th century.

Tip for leading an adventurous life

To stop making excuses and just GO! It’s so easy to find reasons not to travel and have adventures but ultimately, if you genuinely want to get out there and explore the world, there’s nothing to stop you making it happen.

Sarah Outen – waterborne daredevil

Adventurer by land and sea, Sarah’s journeys have taken her all over the world on long and remote expeditions, including London2London: Via the World – a journey that saw her row, cycle and kayak from London all the way around the northern hemisphere and back to London. Her latest book Dare to Do was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Book of the Year.

Favourite destination for adventure

​I love the ocean so either somewhere on the coast or way out to sea. Alaska is my top choice for its wilderness, massiveness and beauty – it’s raw.​

Most adventurous travel experience

​Kayaking through the Aleutian Islands and Alaskan peninsula in 2014, I was taking a wash in a stream one day when I looked up and saw a brown bear walking towards me. Instead of staying calm, I screamed and ran out of the stream, tripping as I did so. The bear took this as cue for a game and chased me – thankfully. He was young and only curious and we managed. To scare him off with lots of shouting and rocks. ​

Tip for leading an adventurous life

​Get outside as much as you can, open your eyes and ears to everything that is around you,​ and spend as much time travelling in a human-powered way as possible. You see things from a totally different perspective this way.

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