Someone came up to me the other day and said, ‘I loved your video about staying awake for 72 hours.’
I’d completely forgotten about doing that! The last few years have been a whirlwind of change and action, so busy and jam-packed with new adventures that many have disappeared unfairly down the pecking order of conversation.
So, here they are, written down in one place.
Included are expeditions, projects, books, TV appearances and even some of the most enjoyable talks from which I’ve learned a great deal. Each item on the list was a true adventure and if anything, the accumulation is simply an example of what we can achieve if we just decide to say YES more.
Let’s begin with the most recent. First, a quick list, then a more in depth look at each one further down the page
EXPEDITION: ElliptiGO Europe (starting May 1st)
TALK: Endurance Life, Anglesey
TV: Live N Deadly
TALK: TEDx in Bath
EXPEDITION: Stand Up Paddleboard Mississippi River
PROJECT: Hole In One News Reporter
TALK: PIS Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas with Seb Terry
EXPEDITION: Tandem Bike Vancouver to Vegas
PROJECT: Paragliding/ Defeat Vertigo
PROJECT: 1000 Photos
PROJECT: 72 Hours Awake
PROJECT: Australian Speaking Tour
PROJECT: Mototaxi Junket
SUP ADVENTURE: Bath 2 London
SUP ADVENTURE: Lake Geneva Crossing
EXPEDITION: Murray River Expedition
PROJECT: Living on a Boat
TV: The One Show
PROJECT: The Aquaskipper
PROJECT: Quitting the job
Adventures in full:
EXPEDITION: Swim1000 Missouri River
August - October. 58 days. 1001 miles.
I hadn’t swum further than 300 metres in one go before jumping into the Missouri at Chamberlain, South Dakota. Two months later my team (all paddling) and I reached St Louis, MO having accomplished one of the longest swims of all time. Read more
Expedition: Bikecar Memphis to Miami
April - May. 29 days. 1000.3 miles.
Getting hit by a speeding car and ending up 30 metres off the road is not a good way to start any journey but it gave rise to an important question: ‘Do we stop living simply because something bad might happen?’ I chose life, and a tough, rewarding journey on Priscilla the Bikecar was the reward.
SUP Adventure: Wolf River
April. 7 days. 89 miles.
A brilliant little challenge. Sadly I missed the first two days after being stranded in Honolulu airport, but once on the Wolf revelled in the obstacle course of fallen trees, shallow waters and the famed maze through the Ghost River section. A perfect example of how a challenging adventure doesn’t have to take months.
Expedition: Sail Mexico to Hawaii
March. 17 days. 3156 miles.
Expedition1000 Journey #5: This was a social expedition with a group of people who had signed up after I posted on social media channels. How would a group of 13 people change their mindsets after being at sea for three weeks, far away from the pressures of land, work, the commute, banks, supermarkets and daily stresses?
Finally, I decided to turn down offers from Publishing Houses and self-publish my second book, a candid and unorthodox tale about trying to find a girlfriend. Bringing it all together - including researching, writing, formatting the copy, designing the cover and finding a printer - made this one of the most satisfying projects of my life.
Talk: Endurance Life, Anglesey
Another fun talk partly memorable for an 18-hour train journey home afterwards! It’s not easy making 70 people who have just run a mountain marathon laugh, that’s all I’m saying!
TV: Live N Deadly
Fresh off the Mississippi River Expedition I was asked to guest on the BBC Two children’s show, Live N’Deadly, where amongst other things I was to challenge presenter Steve Backshall to an unusual race.
Talk: TEDx in Bath
One of the best days of my life, opening the TEDx Youth @ Bath conference was a big test in the early days of my speaking career.
Expedition: Stand Up Paddleboard Mississippi River
June - September. 82 days. 2404 miles.
The 4th journey of Expedition1000, this became a new world record for the longest distance travelled by SUP and without doubt my favourite expedition to date. An unbeatable way to spend three months.
Project: Hole In One News Reporter
Seb was determined to tick off No. 18 on his list, to get a Hole In One. He tried on three separate occasions during this speaking tour, without success. I decided to chronicle his efforts via a spoof news report.
Talk: PIS Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas with Seb Terry
Well, we made it to Vegas just in time and cycled straight into the conference to give the talk. Here are the highlights.
Expedition: Tandem Bike Vancouver to Vegas
April. 14 days. 1396 miles.
Expedition1000’s 3rd journey. Seb and I had been invited to open an Australia company’s annual conference in Las Vegas, but accepted only on one condition, that we be flown into Vancouver so we could cycle to the conference. We hadn’t ever tried a tandem before flying into Canada.
Project: Learn how to Paraglide
It took me a while to agree to head to Nepal and face my fear of heights, but a paragliding journey was on the Expedition1000 list and I had to start training despite my fears. Thanks to Alex Ledger, it was one of the most memorable three weeks of my life.
Project: 1000 Photos
Life is a series of moments which become memories. I remember little of note from when I was a graphic designer, every day seemed to merge into the next. On 1st January 2011 I took a self-portrait, promising to take one each day for 1000 days. The places, people and situations in each shot give me a daily marker by which to retain my memories.
Project: 72 Hours Awake
Another speaking tour followed the tandem ride and throughout we ticked off a few items from Seb’s 100 Things bucket list. One of them terrified me, staying awake for 72 hours. Equally painful and exciting, we packed quite a bit into those three days.
Project: Australian Speaking Tour
October - November
Seb Terry and I again joined forces, this time on a speaking tour around Australia. We simply decided to try out speaking together and pulled this tour together in a matter of weeks. Jeep even sponsored us!
Project: Mototaxi Junket
August - September
The Adventurists asked me to manage one of the first Junkets in South America, a mad 4000km journey from Peru to Paraguay on local mototaxis. Although I wasn’t taking part it was a proud day, having spent six weeks working with the local team to bring all this together.
SUP Adventure: Bath 2 London
June. 7 days. 146 miles.
Having lived on the canals in 2008 I was joined by adventurer Sarah Outen in this cross-Britain Stand Up Paddleboarding challenge, which included portaging over 120 locks in a week.
SUP Adventure: Lake Geneva Crossing
April. 3 days. 53 miles.
My new friend Seb Terry and I paddled the length of Lake Geneva on Stand Up Paddleboards, a testing ground for a possible world-record journey by SUP.
Expedition: Murray River Expedition
October - December. 79 days. 1476 miles.
Journey #2 of Expedition1000. A source to sea descent of Australia’s largest river and my first taste of travelling on water and self-filming an expedition (not always successfully!). Formative, life-changing expedition.
Project: Living on a Boat
January - September
Following the publication of BoardFree I wallowed in self-congratulation and confusion for a year. Not knowing what I was meant to be doing anymore I spent most of 2008 slipping back into surviving in London. Eventually enough was enough, I wanted to move to the country, live on a boat and paddle every day. So I did!
A proud moment, seeing the first book on the shelf. Becoming an author was one of my dreams, magic moment.
TV: The One Show
Former England cricketer Phil Tufnell had a segment on BBC One’s evening magazine show in which he was challenged by the Olympic Hurdler Colin Jackson. This was one of a few occasions when the Aquaskipper was required for a TV skit, and as pretty much the only person who could make it work in Britain I got the call.
Project: The Aquaskipper
An article in the Metro newspaper sparked my interest in this extraordinary hydrofoil-based contraption. I determined then to win a competition to become ‘the face of Aquaskipper.’ Mum was proud.
Expedition: BoardFree Australia
August ‘06 - Jan ‘07. 105 days. 3618 miles.
My team (in vehicles) and I set off from Perth, WA on the 20th August and took the best part of five months to reach Brisbane. A new world record for the longest distance travelled by skateboard and the first journey of over 1000 miles I’d completed.
Expedition: BoardFree UK
April - May. 34 days. 896 miles.
A ‘warm-up’ which turned out to be the hardest challenge of my life. This was the first time that anyone had travelled the length of Britain by skateboard and the journey strengthened my resolve that crossing Australia was possible.
Project: Quitting the job
The first lesson of living a happy life. More is less. Don’t do a job or make any decision based on money, otherwise you put money before happiness. I quit and started living.