“Adventure travel is a type of tourism, involving exploration or travel with perceived (and possibly actual) risk, and potentially requiring specialized skills and physical exertion”…well that’s the official definition!
Spending a weekend immersed in a sea of enthusiastic and inspirational globetrotters reinforced the fact that adventure is so much more that that…
Adventure is a personal journey, by definition unique to each and every one of us. It means taking a risk. Challenging yourself. Stepping outside your comfort zone enough to create elements of fear. In such situations, the person whose mind is energized by a manageable amount of fear will be able to create positive responses – anticipation, excitement.
The weekend of 17-18 January 2015 saw the 19th successful year of The Adventure Travel Show at London’s Olympia and was the perfect excuse for me to spend a long weekend in the Capital. It also provided me with the first opportunity of a ‘face to face’ with fellow SUP enthusiast, instructor and adventurer, Nick Robinson from AlgarveSUP. Nick originally approached me at the end of last summer, with outline plans for us to combine our SUP and tourism knowledge and promote SUP Holiday, taking UK groups out to the idyllic Algarve region of Portugal. Nick and I had spent many weeks exchanging emails and messages in order to put plans in progress but online communication is never any substitute for a ‘proper’ meeting.
After a very productive, extended Friday lunch meeting in the depths of the iconic Gordon’s Wine Bar, next to the banks of the Thames…followed by a slightly less productive evening investigating London’s nightlife, I woke ‘surprisingly early on Saturday morning, with much enthusiasm for the day ahead at Olympia, filled with talks from some of the world’s most famous explorers (‘adventurers’ seems somehow too tame a word when considering their feats)!
My waking view looking over a peaceful and tranquil River Thames, towards Canary Wharf, was somehow a surreal experience and did much to change my opinion of the City!
As did my walk over the stunning Tower Bridge on my way to my tube station!
Adventure Show - Olympia
The opening talk by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the ‘world’s greatest living explorer’ was given to a packed auditorium of mesmerised listeners and was undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend for all. His motivation, dedication, enthusiasm and inner drive are unique and in the opinion of many, unmatched.
“I am doing this for many reasons, some of which I don’t fully understand. That there is an inner urge is undeniable.”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE
Other speakers included:
Internationally renowned mountaineer Stephen Venables, whose gritty determination was evident in his achievement in becoming the first Briton to reach the summit of Everest without supplementary oxygen.
Popular adventurer and presenter Monty Halls, whose humour and engagement captivated his audience.
British adventurers, writers and filmmakers – Dave Cornthwaite and Leon McCarron. Whose wit and infectious enthusiasm provided their listeners with much inspiration for planning their own realistic and achievable journeys.
The speakers were many…and all worthy of the title “adventurer”.
My own particular favourite though was Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent
I was fascinated by tales of Antonia’s two month solo motorcycle journey down the remnants of Indochina’s legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail. As well as telling the story of her journey through some of Asia’s remotest regions, the talk was about overcoming your fears and travelling alone as a woman.
Time spent chatting to the many exhibitors at the show, by no means played second place to the seminars and talks. It was the perfect place to absorb the vast knowledge attained from years of travel experience. And to begin making many SUP plans for the future.
As all the weekend’s attendees will confirm, we were all left with no doubt, long-lasting feelings of excitement, inspiration, enthusiasm, motivation…and a pinch of creativity.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”