Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 65 in total
My name is Alastair Humphreys. Back in my youth, my glory days, I spent 4 years cycling around the world. Ever since then I’ve been interested in the idea of Living Adventurously. But the definition of Living Adventurously differs for everyone. And it also changes over time, as our lives and circumstances change. So I decided to get back on my bike and spend a month asking different people what living adventurously means to them....
Claire Fuller is training to be an occupational therapist. She loves wild swimming and getting out onto the North Yorkshire moors for overnight camps. Finding the balance between being a busy working woman and a carefree adventurous soul can be difficult. I spent a month cycling around Yorkshire, interviewing people along the way about their perspectives on trying to live more adventurously. I'd never interviewed anyone for a podcast before; Claire had never been interviewed. But she did bake me flapjack and take me on a walk to the birthplace of Captain Cook. So I deemed this opening foray into the world of podcasting to be a success! I was interested to talk to Claire about learning to commit, about adapting to a new career after many years roaming and dabbling, and the ups and downs of being a busy 27-year-old woman who loves the outdoors and adventure.
Kay Willis is the director at Beyond Boundaries, an organisation that provides opportunities for people with learning disabilities in the beautiful setting of Commondale, North Yorkshire. My ride to the farm took me up and over impressive, empty moorland. It was a stunning location and extremely peaceful. The farm exuded an atmosphere of warm, welcoming kindness. I was invited in for a cup of tea amidst the busy bustle of getting ready for the day; choosing activities to get stuck into and preparing to feed all the farm animals.
Getting Older, the Benefits of Having Time, and Being Aware of your Mortality - Living Adventurously #3
Mike Bagshaw is a Lancastrian by birth and a zoologist by training. He spent his working career in education, initially indoors, but then for 30 years he worked in outdoor education centres, introducing children and adults to the delights of watersports, mountaineering, forest education and how to understand and appreciate the natural world. I met Mike for lunch at the picturesque Runswick Bay, at the foot of one of the steepest hills of the summer. The pub has a strong claim to the best sea view in the country, I reckon. Over a lunch of laughter and cheesy chips, I found myself hoping that I can be like Mike when I grow up.
Simon Jackson launched the superb Moors One Hundred bikepacking event in North Yorkshire. He guided me around some of his favourite trails on a glorious day of summer heatwave. Simon has a normal job and the usual commitments of raising a family. So he has to work hard to squeeze in bursts of adventure and spending time in the wild places that he loves. I loved the story he told me about setting himself the Strava challenge of cycling every single street in his hometown. Simon is an evangelist for the North Yorkshire Moors and I could see why. We cycled over open moorland, through forests, and sweeping singletrack. It was a hell of a ride. Best of all, given that it was blazing hot, was that Simon planned our ride via a pub lunch and a return ticket on the famous Goathland steam train.
Tommy Banks was the youngest chef in the world to be awarded a Michelin star. The Black Swan at Oldstead was rated the best restaurant in the world by TripAdvisor in 2017. As a connoisseur of banana sandwiches and dehydrated expedition meals, this was not my usual world! But that is exactly what I was interested in on this bicycle ride: to learn about different people's worlds and ask myself how their lessons might overlap with my own.
Adventure is Being Open to the Possibility of Something Changing Your Life in Ways You Can't Predict - Living Adventurously #6
Helen Mort is a busy woman. She is an award-winning poet and novelist, a runner and a climber. She has also recently become a mum which has transformed her perspective on living adventurously. She told me about being open to the possibilities of change in your life, and the weird way in which an expedition to Greenland can feel less daunting than staying in Sheffield at a gathering of other new parents.
The Inspirations and Limitations for Women Getting into the Outdoors - Living Adventurously episode #7
Hetty Key combined her industry experience of the Outdoor / Adventure world with her academic background to investigate issues surrounding women in adventure. Hetty is passionate about using data to increase diversity and improve accessibility within the outdoors. Women in Adventure offers a collective voice for women, empowering others through the sharing of information, inspiration and advice. We took refuge from the torrential rain in a cafe to chat. I asked Hetty what she believes limits women getting more involved with the outdoor community. She is an adventurer, an endurance athlete, and a massive data geek. It's a good combination!
Sarah Lister was drifting through her twenties until a 'doorstep mile' moment of commitment saw her quit her unloved job and begin again. Today Sarah lives in a cosy cottage at the foot of beautiful fells in the Peak District National Park. She works as a coach these days and this has given her a new way of thinking, teaching her that a fresh perspective comes from asking open, non-judgemental questions. I arrived at Sarah's house in a torrential storm. I was soaking wet and a bit fed-up. So when Sarah invited me to join her for a swim in the stream cascading down the mountain behind her village I was not particularly keen. But I remembered one of life's immutable rules: you never regret a wild swim. And, sure enough, the hills were beautiful, the waterfall was bracing and bouncing and we galloped back down the hill happy, and hungry for homemade pizza.
Louise McMahon is a climber, caver, diver, occasional photographer and a trans woman she/her. So says her Twitter bio, and I like the order she has chosen to list things in. Once Louise had unpicked and identified the problems she faced, the big change of committing to transition was a sudden release and huge relief. Committing was, in the end, easier than hiding. And none of the worries she had beforehand came to pass. I began this podcast to ask people about worlds that overlap with my own but are also very different. Louise's open, thoughtful explanations of realising that she was not living the life she wanted to lead - and then summoning the boldness to make a massive change - are the very epitome of what I wanted on this living adventurously podcast.
Don't stand on the edge of the diving board with your toes over the edge for hours - Living Adventurously #10
Tomo Thompson is Chief Executive of the charity Friends of the Peak District who work to safeguard the landscape of Britain’s first national park. Tomo is a retired Army Officer, with a recent background in business management consultancy. He also enjoys and instructs outdoor pursuits and is an encyclopaedia of knowledge about expeditions, equipment and fine places to unroll your bivvy bag for the night. I asked Tomo whether the word 'adventure' was inappropriate for a career in the military. One similarity in our lives was that military life gives you restlessness and an appetite for uncertainty. Now caring for one of the most beautiful corners of Yorkshire, Tomo believes that a small thing which greatly improves life is to go to the top of a hill, sit down, turn off the phone, accept what the weather's doing, and accept both how big and how small you are. Wise words indeed.
Jon Barton is the founder of Vertebrate Publishing. It sits at the very heart of British adventure writing and outdoor sports. Jon says that "we publish books to inspire adventure. It’s our rule that the only books we publish are those that we’d want to read or use ourselves. We endeavour to bring you beautiful books that stand the test of time and that you’ll be proud to have on your bookshelf for years to come." I asked Jon about the lessons he's learned from starting a company, the discrepancy between male and female authors in the outdoor world, and his scorn for self-titled 'Adventurers' (like me) who spend a lot of time talking about themselves on the internet...
We Need to Reclaim Time to Think in Our Life if we are to Do Meaningful Things - Living Adventurously #12
Sophie Stephenson was living the life she’d always wanted. She had a well-paid dream job in Australia, lived in a beautiful place and felt secure in the knowledge that this could go on, indefinitely. But she was, she realised, unfulfilled. She was not, it turned out, truly happy with this life at all. By chance Sophie came across a reference to Nancy Kline’s book Time to Think. She described a way of being with one another that is both incredibly simple, and incredibly rare. We don’t give ourselves, or others, the freedom to think without interruption, or judgment, or time limits, or an obsession with outcomes. We limit our thinking, our conversations, our relationships and our entire lives by confining our minds. Sophie began to question the life she had chosen. She began to ask what she really wanted, to explore the ‘authentic’ me, her instinctive mind, and gradually, she began to reclaim what really mattered. Sophie left corporate life, moved back to the UK, and met the man who is now her husband and father to her two children. We need to reclaim time to think in our life if we are to do meaningful things with our life. I was struck by how deeply Sophie listened and quickly figured me out. It was almost bizarre, in a nice way. I asked her how I could become a better listener, and how to ask better questions - both pretty crucial things for a novice podcaster to get to grips with...
Professor Ian Rotherham is an expert on a range of environmental issues, including urban wildlife, extreme weather, flooding and climate change. He has published extensively in academic journals, and has released a number of books on UK wildlife and the environment. Ian is a man positively bursting with enthusiasm and knowledge and ideas. Ian poured forth a cheerful stream of lessons on the environment, eco-tourism and rewilding. We talked about the cultural severance between cities and wildness, and the reassuring dictum that you can change the world, a little bit at a time: perhaps by beginning with rewilding your back garden.
Thom Barnett runs Mamnick, a clothing brand passionate about cycling. The tagline is "one thing at a time, as beautiful as possible". I cajoled Thom out of bed at early o'clock and we cycled out of Sheffield together, nipping down the back alleys and cycle paths he knows so well. Over breakfast I asked the fine arts graduate about life as a fashion designer, loving what you do, and Thom's love for exploring the hills and lanes of the Peak District.
Ben Cummins is on a mission to deliver a piano from Liverpool to London. On a home-made raft. That he propels himself. Within 25 years... So far it has taken Ben seven years to push his raft the 127 miles along the canal from Liverpool to Leeds! This adventure / art project / way of life began when Ben asked himself a brilliant question, "what is it that I want from my life?"
Imran Mughal was the first British-Pakistani to cycle round the world. Over a delicious curry cooked by his mum the proud Yorkshireman told me how going out to explore the world was not encouraged within the Pakistani community. But the decline in health of his dad was a wake-up call to Imran that good health is not a given, nor does it last for ever. That, combined with redundancy, spurred him into action.
Tim Frenneaux is a former martial arts instructor and nine to fiver. He decided to return to the outdoor life that had brought him so much happiness growing up, and that the best way to make the difference he wanted to see in the world, was to start a business founded on social and environmental principles: Gather Outdoors.
Annie Berrington is the founder of Get Out More, a social enterprise working to help people engage with nature to feel better in mind and body. She is a qualified forest school practitioner, a busy mum, and a keen microadventurer.
I'm Out Of My Depth, Let's Do It // I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again. Living Adventurously 19.
Boff Whalley, from the band Chumbawamba is a keen runner, never happier than when mud-splattered and gasping up on the windy hills of West Yorkshire. He is also a playwright, the founder of Commoners Choir, and the author of Run Wild - an account of his experiences as a fell runner.
Ben Dave ran a lap of Yorkshire because he needed a big challenge after running changed his life, helping him lose 30kg and stop smoking a couple of packets a day. Running also helped Ben with his mental health. When he was feeling down and lonely, Ben could only think of going to the pub as an option. Therefore he set up the Early Bird Run Crew - a friendly, daily, early 5km run in his home town to connect the community, making everyone happier and stronger individuals.
Michaela Hanna has completed IronManUK, the Lakeland50 ultra mountain marathon, cycled from Edinburgh to London and across the Western Cape of South Africa. She therefore has personal experience of the significance of precise and relevant nutrition and places a high level of importance on the nutritional value of the food. Having spent time working in fine-dining restaurants, high-end event catering companies and as a private chef alongside her day job, the time came for Michaela to follow her joy and feed people full-time again as a private chef.
Rob Cowen is the award-winning author of Common Ground, selected as a ‘Book of the Year’ in the Times and featuring in the Guardian’s Top Ten Readers’ Choice. After moving from London to a new home in Yorkshire, Rob found himself on unfamiliar territory, disoriented, hemmed in by winter and yearning for the nearest open space. So one night, he set out to find it – a pylon-slung edge-land, a tangle of wood, meadow, field and river on the outskirts of town. Despite being in the shadow of thousands of houses, it felt unclaimed, forgotten, caught between worlds, and all the more magical for it.
Brant Richards is the Co-Founder of HebTroCo which smashed Kickstarter funding targets and grew into a Made In Britain menswear brand from the ground up.
Steve Bate has a condition that is slowly robbing him of his eyesight. He has now lost most of his vision, and because the condition is degenerative, Steve will go blind. He was devastated when he heard the optician tell him that he was going blind. Steve was working as an outdoor instructor at the time. It was 3 months before he began to find his way out of depression. By then, he worked out there wasn’t much he could do about his degenerating eyesight. But he had total control over what he did next. Just like everyone else, Steve isn't going to be on this planet forever, so he might as well make every moment count. And how much he let his condition get in the way of that was completely up to him.
Jamie Wardley is a professional sand artist who creates far more than the sand castles I joked about. In his own words, "I am a mixed bag with a dose of art, a sprinkle of theatre and an education in Environmental Sciences. I have always tried to do things that bring enjoyment, as I believe if you do, then there is a real chance you will be successful and fulfilled.
Chris Goddard is the Yorkshire Map Maker. He has been exploring and mapping his local landscapes ever since he was a child, spurred on by curiosity and a love of being outdoors. Chris dedicates his passion for exploring the minutiae of the world to creating intricate, beautiful books about the woods and moors around his home.
Theresa Robertshaw helps the elderly get back on bicycles by taking them for rides on an adapted electric tricycle. The mission of Cycling Without Age is to create happiness among our fellow elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community.
David Oakes is an actor known for his role in "The Borgias" and Prince Ernest in the ITV show "Victoria". David also runs the Trees a Crowd podcast "for those curious about the world around us."
'Yorkshire Rows' are four mums, friends, businesswomen who rowed 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. The expedition resulted in an intriguing variety of outcomes: the same journey impacting on different personalities in very different ways. We talked about the perceived stigma of 'irresponsible mothers' swanning off on selfish adventures, about the struggle of life after huge adventures, and the differences in risk between running a business and rowing the Atlantic.