Adventure is Out There: Insights from the Adventure Travel Show 2016

A lot has changed for me since I went to the last Adventure Travel Show in 2015. At the time, I had only been on one secret adventure and I knew no one at the show. I spent the day alone, listening to Ranulph Fiennes and then collecting brochures from all the different travel companies as I began to scheme about going off on one of their exotic trips.

Since then, although I never went on any of those trips organised by the travel companies, I’ve been on many adventures, big and small. I’ve been injected into a whole community of full-time adventurers and their followers, interconnected ‘tribes’ of like-minded people with an adventurous spirit. This year at the Show, I spent the day watching friends up on stage and chatting to those sitting in the audience beside me, while meeting many others – some that I recognised from interactions on Facebook and Twitter, others that were completely new faces.

Sean Conway
Before (on the screen) and after (at the podium). Reading up on Sean now I find that he’s always been adventurous, but it was as recently as 2011 that he sold his business to a friend for £1 and decided to dedicate himself full time to a life of adventure.

One of my favourite talks of the day was Sean Conway and his message to #findyourbeard. A real-life Forrest Gump, he encouraged us to aim higher, to not be afraid of falling, and to take the leap. For Sean, the message to #findyourbeard is quite literal: he underwent a physical transformation from being a clean-shaven young man to a yeti in his thirties.

Sean identified a triangle of three factors that contribute to your happiness in life: money, relationships, and purpose. A lot of us forget about that last one, and in one of the round-table discussions of the day, Dave Cornthwaite echoed the value of having a purpose also for your individual adventures and travels: whether it be simply writing a diary, meeting people, taking photos, sketching… having a purpose for your trip will ensure you’re getting something out of it, something that you’ll remember for years to come.

Money, of course, is one of the biggest concerns that people have when considering taking time off work or quitting to do something a bit different, like changing to a more creative career or starting a business. As Duncan Milligan pointed out, however, “The less money you need, the more opportunity you have.” He talked about one of his first jobs where he earned $14 a day – but since he had no flat, no car, no outgoings at all at that time, he could spend all that money on beer! He was “eternally poor but experience rich”. As you make changes to your lifestyle, you’ll find that you’re spending much less money and as a result you’ll also need less. The money you do have you’ll be investing in experiences, rather than things.

Female adventurers
It was refreshing to see so many female adventurers up on stage. You have to wonder what the equivalent ‘adventurer’ look would be for women instead of a beard?! The female adventurers I saw at the show were all very stylish…

There are other fears, too. Fears of making the ‘wrong’ choice, of things going wrong. Ness Knight talked about how she has created new neural pathways over the years: she has learned that confronting her fears will lead to great things, in a paradigm shift that has made her more confident and comfortable in all areas of her life.

Of course, it’s not all “roses and cream” (an expression rather unexpectedly coined by Dave Cornthwaite to capture some idealistic vision of what being an adventurer is all about). It will be tough at times – “get over it!” says Sean. Anna McNuff, who recently ran the length of New Zealand, told us how she has learned to embrace the tough times and in fact it has been the act of sharing these less glamorous moments with her followers that has been the most rewarding. Adventures are messy, life is messy, and the democratisation of adventure thanks to the internet and social media has allowed this real and authentic insight into both the highs and the lows.

Adventure round table
Dave, Leon, Anna and Duncan share their most embarrassing stories from the road, including a lesson on what not to do when hitch-hiking in the Middle East…

If you’re sitting there thinking, “Wish I could do that…” – you can! Have you been considering some epic journey, a personal quest to be the first to do something; or maybe you have a goal on a slightly smaller scale? Adventures are no longer the domain of “grumpy old men” says Dave. Here are some final tips from the various speakers of the day:

  1. Don’t let other people’s opinions of your capabilities stop you. You’re going to get people who tell you it’s impossible, you can’t do it, says Sean, and when times are tough you’re going to start believing them. Surround yourself with positive people for whom failure is not an option, and go out and prove all the others wrong.
  2. Don’t go after big sponsorship deals. “Bootstrap it, all the way!” says Ness, and fellow female adventurers Anna McNuff and Lois Pryce agree. Borrow the equipment you need, and most importantly go because you’re passionate about it and you would do it with or without the money. Then you can talk about it and write about it when you’re back, and earn money that way.
  3. Tackle your concerns one by one. When Anna first started questioning her office existence, she wrote down a list of all the reasons why she couldn’t go off on an adventure and addressed them, one at a time. Whether it’s a mortgage or your children or whatever it is that you’re using as a reason (an excuse?) not to go, look at them one by one and find a solution. And don’t wait around to find someone else who wants to do the same thing, just go on your own!
  4. Recognise that it’s not all “roses and cream”. Leon McCarron shared that he probably spends eight months of the year still sitting at a desk, writing his books, doing his tax returns… Becoming an adventurer (or changing to whatever your dream career may be) is not going to get rid of all those tasks that you don’t like doing, but you’ll be more willing to do them as they are enabling your broader lifestyle.
  5. You don’t have to go away to find adventure. There are like-minded people here in London, in your own hometown, Dave reminded us as he told us to hug our next-door neighbour. You’ll find them at events like these, talk to them and you might be surprised at the opportunities that open up and the friendships that are made. Join the Yes tribe as a start.

 

The Adventure Travel Show is on every year at Olympia London and brings together adventurers and adventure travel companies to inspire and educate on the latest travel experiences.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

One Response

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also be interested in these articles

“Everything you’ve ever
wanted is one step outside
your comfort zone.”

Book a free consultation

If you’re feeling a bit stuck and not sure how to move forward, let’s get on the phone to explore how we can work together to help you achieve your goals, and which option is the best fit for you.

Outside of the 9 to 5

Anna continues the journey in her new book, where she details what’s needed to sustain your initial escape from the 9 to 5 in a guide to designing and building a profitable business that gives you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how One Step Outside uses and protects any information that you give One Step Outside when you use this website (https://onestepoutside.com/).

One Step Outside is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

One Step Outside may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What information we collect and why

We only ever collect the information that we need in order to serve you.

Generally, this just means collecting your first name and email address that you enter, for example, when you request a resource, register for a webinar, or submit a message via a contact form.

If you are a paying customer, we also collect your billing information including your last name and your postal address.

Comments

When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use Gravity Forms to allow you to contact us via the website. We will use the information you submit for the sole purpose of that specific form and will explicitly ask you to provide your consent to allow us to do so.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Advertising and Analytics

Google

We use Google Analytics to track and optimise performance on this site as well as embedding video content from YouTube, and this means that your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page that you’re visiting and your IP address. Google may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising.

Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse and personalise content and ads that you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps. See their Privacy Policy to learn more about how they process data for each of these purposes, and their Advertising page for more about Google ads, how your information is used in the context of advertising and how long Google stores this information.

Facebook

We use the conversion tracking and custom audiences via the Facebook pixel on our website. This allows user behaviour to be tracked after they have been redirected to our website by clicking on a Facebook ad and enables us to measure the effectiveness of our Facebook ads. The data collected in this way is anonymous to us, i.e. we do not see the personal data of individual users. However, this data is stored and processed by Facebook, who may link this information to your Facebook account and also use it for its own promotional purposes, in accordance with Facebook’s Data Usage Policy https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/.

You can allow Facebook and its partners to place ads on and off Facebook. A cookie may also be stored on your computer for these purposes. You can revoke your permission directly on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ads/preferences/?entry_product=ad_settings_screen. For more guidance on opting out you can also consult http://www.aboutads.info/choices.

Who we share your data with

We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include a hosting and email provider (Siteground), mailing list provider (GetResponse), and a payment provider (Stripe).

Your information will be shared with these service providers only where necessary to enable us to run our business.

How long we maintain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

The main reason for collecting this information is to be able to send you resources, updates and, sometimes, information and products and services, as well as for internal record keeping.

The rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy, you can get in touch here >>