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Living Adventurously

Author: Alastair Humphreys

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Living Adventurously, with Alastair Humphreys, is the story of ordinary people choosing to live extraordinary lives.
Alastair interviews artists and chefs, students and pensioners, athletes and travellers. He wants to discover what living adventurously means to different people, what universal obstacles stand in the way, and how each of these people took the first step to overcome them and begin their own fascinating journeys.
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I spent a glorious summer month cycling around Yorkshire, the county where I grew up.I wanted to feel how exploring locally compared to exploring distant continents. And I was interested in the idea of ‘home’ - and whether it is possible to have a proper adventure — make a REAL journey — close to home.It turned out to be such a fantastic experience — riding through mile after mile of beautiful landscapes, discovering so many places I had never seen in all my life, and sleeping out under the stars for weeks on end. It was genuinely one of the adventuring highlights of my life. But the best part of this journey — by a long way, was the privileged opportunity of learning from so many ordinary people who have chosen to live extra-ordinary lives. This then is not a podcast about adventure or cycling or camping. I met students and parents and pensioners. Poets, artists, athletes, teachers. An IT expert and someone who earns a living from making fancy sandcastles. A man who lived out of a van; another whose castle had been in the family for 800 years. I met a self-confessed lazy chef, and a woman midway through running 100 barefoot marathons. I interviewed a gold medal Paralympian cyclist, a couple who had cycled round the world together, and a retired lady who takes old, homebound, lonely folk out on a modified electric bicycle for a taste of freedom, adventure and feeling the wind in their hair once again. In each episode you’ll hear an un-edited conversation about the guest’s slant on living a curious, adventurous, fulfilled life. I also had a deck of blank playing cards on which I’d written some of the big questions from life — about finding a balance between work and play, the barriers that stop us doing what we dream of, overcoming fears, and where you sit on a scale of weirdness from 1 to 10. Asking very different people an assortment of similar questions created some fascinating answers.The interviews will all be released in the order that I recorded them, mirroring my own journey on the bike and the lessons I learned from each guest along the way. Every character I spoke to was good company and a thoughtful guest. But inevitably you’ll find one person more interesting than another. If someone doesn’t float your boat just skip on to the next episode: there are over 40 interviews in this series. Life’s too short to listen to a chat you’re not that keen on!I had never recorded interviews like this, never done a podcast before. For Many of the people I chatted to it was their first time being interviewed. I liked that very much. Ordinary people pursuing their own version of out-of-the-ordinary. I really wanted to speak to normal people, not famous people.  It made the experience fresh and surprising and honest. I hope that you agree.The podcast world is a crowded one — there’s so much good stuff out there clamouring for your ears. So if you do like the sound of this Living Adventurously podcast, could I ask you to help me by subscribing to the podcast (it’s free of course) on the podcast provider of your choice. If you can be bothered it would also be a great help if you left a review, or mentioned Living Adventurously on your own social media channels.Thank you, and welcome to Living Adventurously — I really, really hope that these conversations give you some ideas of your own towards living more adventurously every day. SPONSOR:Your very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.★ Support this podcast ★
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.Please Subscribe to the Living Adventurously Podcast(It's completely free, zero hassle to do, but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you're feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app - that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn ("Alexa, play the Living Adventurously podcast") or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastThis podcast is brought to you by Komoot.Your very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.Show Notes If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Follow Claire on Instagram: soon to be occupational therapist making the most of the UK & Ireland’s natural wonders, wild dipping along the way... Learning to slow down and choose priorities Travelling the world made her realise that to be a true traveller she needed to know what was on her doorstep Hitch-hiking round Ireland as a student pushed her boundaries but showed her so many amazing places TranscriptBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It's done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it's worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me...!). If you'd like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/aBVxKYX0RYqonZTQQMFkuwAlastair HumphreysHello. This is the first time I've ever recorded a podcast.Literally just take it out of the box and press go. And of course I want to start my podcast with a major hard hitting celebrity interview.So, would you like to introduce yourself?Claire FullerAnd yeah, my name is Claire. I live in Middlesbrough. And I thought that it would be great to meet Alastair to talk about living adventurously.Alastair HumphreysThe reason I wanted to meet you is because you're NOT a hard hitting celebrity, which is exactly what I wanted. I want to try and find normal people living interesting lives. And you live two minutes away from where Captain Cook was born. A Great Yorkshire adventurer. And that seemed like a good, good place to start. So what is your what's your day job?Claire FullerMy day job is I'm a student, I'm training to be an occupational therapist.Alastair HumphreysAnd you like it?Claire FullerI do. I love it. I love working with people and I love the flexibility and variety that we have for like peaceful therapists, the kind of people we work with.Alastair HumphreysOkay, but when when you first got in touch with me, one of the things she said was that you sometimes find it hard to be stuck indoors. So what have you done about being stuck indoors?Claire FullerYeah, so being a student means lots of time in the library or working in a hospital. And so basically every bit of free time I gotta try and get outdoors. Thanks to the concept of micro adventures I get I try and do the overnight camps when I can find a hill somewhere and company. I love wild swimming so I swim down in the river Tees just down the road whenever possible, not in the bit where there's loads of pollution and industry but some nice bits further down. And in the sea when I can.Alastair HumphreysAnd you were out last night.Claire FullerI was out last night. Yeah, yeah, I camped up by Roseberry Topping with beautiful views between there and Captain Kirk Cook's monument. And the stars. I saw shooting stars. And it was a gorgeous night.Alastair Humphreyspractising what you preach. So you also told me that you struggle a bit with trying to do too much in life, because life is so amazing. And you want to go here and there and do this and see this and do that. So how do you go about trying to find some sort of balance between work and play, earning money, being with your friends, balance,Claire FullerI find the balance really hard. It's something I'm really working on. But I'm a bit too excited and enthusiastic about life. Lots of my friends and family will tell you that. And yeah, I have a part time job to see me through my studies, I have money. I study a lot of my time. I volunteer. I've obviously got friends I want to see a lot. I've got a boyfriend and my family live far away. And I'm all about adventure. And so basically, there's not enough hours in the day to do what I want to do. And I have to prioritise, which is unfortunate as studying is my priority. But whenever I've got their free time I do try and get out as much as possible and make sure that I go for a swim once a week and that keeps me keeps my head straightAlastair HumphreysSo how do you get some sort of balance between living adventurously and not burning yourself out? How do you go about trying to get some sort of happy medium on that?Claire FullerGood question. I'm still very much working on it. And I'm trying to learn to relax more. And sometimes it is nice to just stay in one place for a little bit rather always be racing about and wearing myself down. But I know that for me been nature's day rejuvenating, and even if I am tired when evening, like last night, I've just finished work, I just finished a six day week. And I was just like the sun's out, and I was gonna make you feel amazing if I go out tonight and then come back in the morning. And I did I mean I'm pretty tired now. But it's just about thinking about a week ahead if I have got a pretty busy week or a stressful time ahead and just work out what my priorities are. And just try and try and slow it down. And I think it's always going to be in my nature to do lots because I like to make the most of time and make most of my life but I'm just working on slowing it down a bit and just just gonna stick your face.Alastair HumphreysI Think that notion of trying to choose your priorities is the important thing. you can do anything you want, you can't do everything. And what I've found is that trying to figure out the things that help keep me sane. So exercise, jumping rivers, sleeping on hills occasionally - to me doesn't feel like a luxury indulgence. It's something that is necessary. Not every day, but within certainly within the framework of say a month.Claire FullerYeah, I definitely my problem is that applies to every day.But now it is about working out what is actually feasible because I think I do not self reflection. And I realise I'm very much like a big picture. Big, idealistic type person say unlike is possible. If it's the most deeply it certainly isn't. There's another stretch myself a bit too hard. But yeah, it's just trying to find that balance and the space we're working onAlastair Humphreyswe talked earlier about some of your travels, you've travelled a lot spent a year in Mexico travel around the Philippines. All over the world you've been on, like a typical, enthusiastic, personal wanderlust. But you also told me that you've started to travel closer to home, can you tell me why you've started to travel close to home and what you've noticed from it?Claire FullerYeah, so just from time abroad, and been really far from family and things, I suppose I realised I've seen all these amazing places around the world, which left me you know, memories for a lifetime, but I'm not as the scene close to home. And I thought if I'm really a traveller, and it really adventure, Surely you've got to know your own home country as well. And what's what's on your doorstep. So I've kind of made it my mission over the last four years since I got back from Mexico, to actually just get outside and see what's there. So I spent a lot of time in Scotland and Ireland. And where I'm from originally, Devon West Country. And I moved up to the north eastern England here, Middlesbrough last year. So it just basically just try and get out and no matter the weather, just see what beautiful places around and see what's what's out there to explode. Because then there's so many faces, it's unbelievable what we've got here.Alastair HumphreysIt takes going all the way around the world to realise all the things near to where you are. And so tell me about your the trip you did around Ireland, what the impact that had on you.Claire FullerAnd yeah, it's been about a year working in Ireland as an outdoor instructor. And then I had a few months to kill basically, before I was going to start university to do my masters. And I thought, What can I do with this time, and I left it to the last minute. And then I decided I'm just going to go over to the west coast of Ireland and see where it takes me didn't really do any planning. I just took my 10 and I decided I'd go most of the way by hitchhiking wherever I could go basically, and I never hitchhiked a bit before but not much. And so that was pushing boundaries a little bit. And I just found so many amazing places. I ended up going from Galway on the west coast, all the way around to Belfast. And so it's kinda like half the circumference of Ireland. And just just the people I met the place I saw it absolutely blew me away. And this was October November time. And despite like by the winter was coming, just the autumn colours are incredible. And it was almost more special because it was out of the tourist season and people were surprised to see me out travelling and really intrigued by why someone might be hits in on the west coast. It's time again.Alastair HumphreysI'm glad to hear that these travelling adventures and close to home in having a an impact on us. One of the reasons I'm doing this bike ride around Yorkshire now is to try and figure out the idea of home and what what home means and travelling close to home. So what What does the word home mean to you? What's it convey to you?Claire FullerGood question makes youhigh when you said I'm so rolling hills and the word Devon just popped into my head. And growing up, I was always all about escaping going as far as I could and growing up in your country. So it's a bit like that. You just want to go to the cool places and be able to go to the cinema without JimenaUnknown Speakerand a half.Claire FullerBut it was it was leaving that made me really appreciate what is close to home and you know, it's home, his family, friends, that place that you feel that you can be fully yourself but also the landscape that you love and you just that? Yeah, that just feels close to the house.Alastair HumphreysYeah, definitely. Seriously nice. long way from where you're having a new home. Good. Okay, time for a tougher big question. What's your favourite cheese?Claire FullerQuestion up to you.Unknown SpeakerD I've asked that question. Cheese lover.Claire FullerAnd Amy. Amy mozzarella.Alastair HumphreysOkay, another big question for you. What would be a two year old version of you advise you to do with your life?Claire FullerThat's a great question.Probably to slow it down and just go with the flow, enjoy life.Unknown SpeakerAnd the day that I'm working onClaire Fullerwhat's getting in the way too many exciting things to do at one time.Alastair HumphreysThat's a pretty nice, and the stresses of modernUnknown Speakerlife. Okay.Alastair HumphreysSo when I when I came up with this idea of doing this, what I thought I'd do is try and find some questions that I'm finding that I think are quite interesting. And stick them in a deck of cards andUnknown Speakerput them over to you to just take a card. Give me a wisdom to go pack or playing cards from the top.Claire FullerNo, I was gonna be thisAlastair Humphreysis around the border. But my thinking is thatUnknown Speakertoday's edition ofClaire Fullerit ask your child itself he thought you would be now with the measure up?And what three things with your younger self be proud of?Wow.I think I think charted me it was a little little Explorer. Him. He was very shy as a child. I think I wanted to. Yeah, I think I would measure up because, yeah, now I'm a lot more confident. And I've done a lot of the things I want to stay. Say I think a child itself would be quite crowds.And free things to do. Be proud ofsaying the people I've methave contributed so much to you, I am as a person. So in fact, I've actually gone out and put myself out and met such wonderful people made such good friendships and Connexions.Unknown SpeakerAndClaire Fullerthe place that some of the places have been quite proud of, and exploring, especially closer to home. And finding Yeah, finding, finding a path to live on working on it, but I'm getting there. So think about themAlastair Humphreyson the path. I think you're doing pretty well as your eight year old self. You seem to be heeding her advice, and there were younger selves quite pleased to see you go quite well. Okay, next card.Claire FullerDwhat is stopping you from living more adventurous thing?Probably just working a job and being a university and thinking about boring University things like dissertations.But But I try. I think it's like I said, it's all about balance. SoAlastair HumphreysI think you're doing pretty well on squeezing and squeezing in the law, I think.Unknown SpeakerNext,Claire FullerOh, I love these questions. What was your favourite failure in life? And why was important?Some people would say that me I'm jumping about between over the past 10 years, I've probably had seven different career paths six or seven. And people are like, Oh, is it doing money going to sit with, you know, what you're doing with your life. And I have gone in all these directions, and have stopped not not committed to things very young. But I've now found the place I want to be. So by making this wrong turns and going in funny directions on the side is actually taught me who I am and where I want to be. And if I hadn't tried those things, then then I wouldn't be I wouldn't be on the right path. I thinkAlastair HumphreysI think it's really hard to make choices of where you want to go in life because you have no idea. Firstly, where the end destination is, and you have no idea what you will be like in 10 years from now is it and I think quite often people get paralysed by thinking up. Well, I need to make a decision now that will be the right 110 20 3040 years from now, which is impossible. So I think I think you're doing the right thing of just choosing the path that feels right now doing what the destination is where you're choosing these paths for the right reason, though, feel. And the way you want to beClaire Fullera man change my mind in a few yearsUnknown Speakerright now. And I think, well, I asked you about your occupation therapistsAlastair Humphreysare training to me. Yeah. And I really got a sense that you'd like to change direction. But you seem to think you're set on this one.Claire FullerYeah, yeah, this brings together random things I've done in the last few years and things I love doing, I feel that there is a way to bring it all together in the long run.Alastair Humphreysin certain directions to get there. It's interesting is that how you do these random different things in life, which at times seem totally different. But each is exciting and you're interested and curious about but they do seem a bit disconnected. And then eventually that jigsaw unfolds in our that's how these pieces do fit together.Claire FullerYeah, exactly. And it's just about being aware of that and linking them because yeah, I think we are everything can be connected. It's just working outUnknown Speakerwhat's right for you. And take another card.Claire FullerTell me about the last time you climbed a tree or swam in a river or watch the sunset from the hilltop saying like Alastair just mentioned earlier last night, I went up and I comes up by rays be topping and watch the sunset. sat in the tree.And the tree.So yeah, yeah, sorry. I yeah.Unknown SpeakerThat's a good one. It's last night. So what what what I'm, yeah, that's good. Yeah,Alastair HumphreysI hope it's always quite recent challenges itClaire Fullermight not be next year.What does living adventurously mean to you? Has that definition change with time? What did it mean to you as a child? So, yeah, now living adventures, they definitely means something very different. So before now is about just appreciating what we have making the most of life, doing what you want to do following your passions. For me that's being outdoors, just wild swimming more than anything. And come camping up the hill somewhere. But yeah, I suppose it's about challenging yourself. And that could be small or big. So yeah, by definition, when I was a teenager, I thought let me of interest he was travelling to Southeast Asia or South America. Yeah, which is what I did my felt like I needed to do at that age. But now I realise that that's not what I need to do is what's meaningful at the moment.Alastair HumphreysI found it interesting myself to notice how the reason I asked that question is because my definition has changed so much over the last 20 years. But it took me quite a long time to accept that a changing definition of something doesn't mean that your early one was wrong. You've worked, hopefully showing that you've grown and progressed a bit and said, You my early adventures, were all based around, trying to show how amazingly tough and mature I was. So yeah, it's, it's an evolving thing, isn't it? And again, and that game goes again to you, you have no idea what it will meet you in. It is time, that it can all be something different, that it's not, it shouldn't be a reason to not do it.Claire FullerIt's really about doing what you love. And it might not always be the easy thing, but challenging yourself together, wherever that may be.Unknown SpeakerNext question.Claire FullerWhat did he think that being aged 27? Why now? What's going to be like? What is that today? Like? I remember being a teenager, I was the favourites and to my friends, I think in 10 years, we're going to be married and have kids by now. That was probably about 16. Then say I suppose I thought maybe I thought that that's what my friends were thinking of, I think deep down, I knew I'd be a bit of a, I don't like to follow the crowd and do what everyone else wants to do. So I had no idea what I was going to make as I've never make my mind up. AndAlastair Humphreyswhat is life is to seven year olds. LikeClaire Fullerthinkit's about trying to find the balance and reflect on my life more and where I want to be maybe I suppose I didn't expect I didn't expect it towards go back to university. But yeah, so it's just my priority to make sure I'm doing what, what makes me happy.Alastair HumphreysAnd what was it like being a 27 year old woman try to go out and have adventures?Claire FullerGood question. Well, we have we have recently, it's people will see it as a bit shocking. Because a lot of people in the area I live in you settled down by now with with children, and so on. Yes. Do they think they think I'm amazing? I found people with similar interests and same time I embrace it people. people still think it's interesting.Unknown SpeakerI mean, does it bother you?Alastair HumphreysDoing Stuff that not everyone else is doing? So the notion of being a weirdo? Does that bother you? Like, do you like it? Or does this does it stop? YouClaire Fullerknow, now the notion of being really doesn't stop me because I've always liked going against the title of it and being a bit different. But what does Why do you struggle with this when people don't do what they say they want to do so and people and I want to go to the beats and then just like on the border? Do I really want to do that I'd love to go to China. And I really struggle when people don't act on what they want to be doing. So people often say to me, I'd love to go out and come somewhere I'd love to going to bike ride, okay, while it's women, that yes, I am quite interested in finding out people's motivations behind things and and it's almost like it's, it's a bit of a mission for me to help people to achieve what what they say they want to do.Alastair HumphreysSo what is it that stopping these other 27 year old women who are going to do these things that they say I'd love to do this? But it's because that's something I hear all the time? Yeah. And that's been one of the things that tipped me from going from someone who likes and ventures into someone who started trying to write and do debut podcast is exactly I'd love to do this. I'd love to do this. But and so what is it that stops was the but the 27 year old women you hang out with.Unknown SpeakerUm,Claire FullerI think one thing is fear, fear transmission, you know, even just speak my age and a people have moved the last five years or so you've said they'd love to do this and that, but it's it's been fear that stopped them getting out there. And thinking nice, they don't have the right equipment, or they, they they're just not the right kind of person for that even if it's a massive dream of theirs.There's something else not forgotten.Sometimes not having the similar kind of similar minded people around. And it often takes someone who's doing something that you'd like to do to encourage you and get you out there. Before you do it. Thanks. It's a massive thing to just be like for the first time I want to just get come from that hill on a when you don't know anyone in your area that's done it,Unknown Speakeror none of yourClaire Fullerfriends or family have ever done it. So I think it's often people and and just that fear and lack of confidence.Alastair HumphreysAnd so thenI'm interested to know your the question I'm going to ask you is how to how should they come out and get on with it? And the reason I'm asking you that is because I'm often hesitant. When people ask me, How do I go sleep on the hill, my instinct is shot,Claire FullerOh, it's so easy to just go and do it. And that'sAlastair Humphreysthe reason it's easiest, because I've been doing it for 20 years of my life. So and because I'm a man. And and you know, basically everything for me is easy in terms of go sleep on that hill. So how do you encourage people not to not to literally sleep on a hill. But these all of these things if I'd love to do this, but the reason I was interested to talk to you, because it was apparent that you seem to manage to overcome those barriers, which will often get stuff done. So what would be your advice to the 27 year old women who are struggling with that?Claire FullerI'd say break it down. So it's not necessarily guns, they've run around them heal it, if you wanted to go camp out Chaitanya garden first. So get a few friends around, break, break it down into achievable things, basically, in order to get there and look for groups in your area, even if you don't know someone, and there's bound to be someone around. And that's what I found here. When I first moved. I struggled to find people that were interested in similar things, but then I got involved in certain groups and then I realised Oh, there's loads of people that you actually have to go out and look for them. So even if that's during the Facebook group, so like the adventure queens Facebook group was amazing. And there's there's loads of Facebook groups on meetup groups and seeing what other people are doing can inspire you to do that. But also thing is try and break it down into smaller, more achievable tasks. Okay, that'sUnknown Speakervery wise answer. Thank you.Unknown SpeakerRight. I got time for one more card. If it's a good oneClaire Fullerplanet Okay, nice.What advice can you give me when I look back on my life was satisfaction rather than regret. So that's anUnknown Speakerexcellent oneAlastair Humphreysadvice me declare. never met before you kindly invites him for tea and flat jack,Unknown Speakeron a Sunday on my bike ride. I feel like this would be nibbling around.Claire FullerJust follow your dreams and passions. And that sounds super cheesy. to really find out what is meaningful to you. Find out what you're passionate about what you love, and gives you purpose. And do that. Find a way to do that even if it's just 10 minutes every Monday. Find a way to incorporate that into your life and spend time with the people that you love.People loving connexion, I think.Alastair HumphreysThank you very much, Claire. Thank you. You've been my first ever podcast guest. I hope all podcast guests give me flat jack. One day you're going to be an international mega star for this podcast.★ Support this podcast ★
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 (after a terrible night's sleep in a gale in a wood) up and over impressive, empty moorland and the first massive hills of my trip. 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.Kay described the work of Beyond Boundaries, which she runs along with her husband Anthony. "Our service users range in age from 14 to over 65. We also provide a service for people of school age who are perhaps finding school very difficult and need a day or two of practical work.We offer a wide range of activities and like to be outside as much as possible, either looking after our animals or perhaps activities in the private woods on the farm. One popular activity is cycling and we have a range of inclusive bikes so that everyone can have a go. Some service users enjoy working with tools and we have a well equipped workshop for those activities.We have donkeys, pigs, sheep, chickens, ducks, pygmy goats and llamas which our service users help to look after, there are also cows on the farm."Kay and Anthony were made redundant after 20 years of teaching. This difficult event has eventually led to a new life for Kay, of uncertainty and fun. She no longer wants to take time off, loves coming to work, and is enjoying this new chapter of her life now that her own kids are leaving home.Morning at Beyond Boundaries was fun, informative and thought-provoking. I am sorry to say that I do not know very much about the world of profound mental and physical disabilities. Kay gave me some fascinating perspectives on adventure, challenge and achievement for the disabled people she works with. I loved how much Kay had learned from working with such a variety of characters, and the lively cheerful banter of the farm. It was a happy, kind and inspiring spot, nestled into a beautiful Yorkshire hamlet.Please Subscribe to the Living Adventurously Podcast(It's completely free, zero hassle to do, but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you're feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app - that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn ("Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast") or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastThis podcast is brought to you by KomootYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.Show Notes If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Beyond Boundaries offers fully inclusive training, activities, sports and courses for people with a range of disabilities in the beautiful countryside and coast of North Yorkshire. Find out more about Beyond Boundaries on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/beyondboundariesNYorks/ The main difference from working in mainstream education is the never-ending stream of questions. "I've never really noticed things [slow worms] before, because I haven't looked". "They've not learned to hide their curiosity because they don't want to look foolish". "They are more spontaneous" than we are. TranscriptBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It's done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it's worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me...!). If you'd like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/r6ZEdxD-SWm8WhbxuJf6swAlastair HumphreysWell, hello, hello. Introduce yourself.KayOkay. I'm Kay. I run a small business called Beyond Boundaries, where we look after people with learning disabilities and physical disabilities.Alastair HumphreysBut you haven't always done that. So can you tell me about your life? In the olden days? What was your life?KayI was a teacher in mainstream education, and I taught business and economics for 21-22 years, something like that. And until my daughters were grown up, when I felt I needed a change.Alastair HumphreysAnd and what was that change?KayWell, when I first left, I took a redundancy payment and spent a year doing not very much really trying to work out what I wanted to do, I met up with a lovely lady called Lucy, who ran a business very similar to the one that we run now, at the same place that we run it, who needs somebody to help her out and we getAlastair Humphreysto go back. So you went from being a teacher in a normal school, being a mom as well, for 20 years pretty normal routine kind of life with it's the excitement's and dramas of being a teacher. Today, and I only just met you this morning. And I arrived Monday, early Monday morning into what I think I described as a very happy chaos. It's a there's people all over the place doing stuff. And this is running around. There's a lot of energy here, but but it feels to me, like a totally different world to life as a teacher in normal school.KayAbsolutely. I think you've probably summed it up better than anybody else yet. Chaos, but happy chaos. And I never thought I'd have a job where I actually don't like taking time off. I want to get up in the morning and I want to come to work. And I am as my kids are leaving home. I feel like I've got a new family, somebody else to sort of look after and careful. So yeah, it's a massive change. Very happy change.Alastair HumphreysSo when you about being a teacher, did you ever anticipate that you would stop that? And then go do this fairly? unconventional work? Or did you do was your life mapped out towards through teachers pension? trip to the sunshine?KayYeah, pretty much as decided that 55% retention early, do a bit of part time work, maybe to top it up? And then by 60? Yeah, holidays do very little. That's completely gone out the window. Now. I'm coming up very rapidly to 55. And I have no intention whatsoever of retiring in the foreseeableAlastair Humphreysfuture. Can you compare the life of certainty you had them to this life of uncertainty now?KayThis is so much more interesting phone. And I don't have to do the bits and pieces that I didn't enjoy with teaching. didn't mind the teaching. I didn't like all of the paperwork that goes with it. So the and also done it for so long, I got to a position where I was a little bit bored. I'm never bored now. I like the uncertainty out like the unpredictability. I like being able to decide that maybe next week, we'll go out on a trip or do something different. So yeah, it's much more fun. Much more exciting.Alastair HumphreysAnd I'm one of the pension prospects.KayI've still got my teachers pension. Oh, good. So I still will retire at some point. I just don't want to yet. Yeah.Alastair HumphreysSo which is actually I think, actually a nice things. One of the things I'm interested in is people moving to a life of more uncertainty. But I think having a sensible safety net is a good balance between doing something daft and practical, isn't it?KayYes. I mean, we do have that safety net. And in that, because we both got teachers pension and in that way, we're very fortunate that we've been able to, I suppose take a bit of a risk on something, but knowing that we had something to fall back on if need be, yeah.Alastair HumphreysOkay. What does living adventurously mean to you or that phrase mean to you?KayIt was means getting out and about doing different things, meeting different people, and meeting interesting people. Not that I didn't meet interesting people as a teacher, but I meet people who are very different now come from all different kinds of backgrounds to me, who coordinates volunteers, who just passed by and popping for a chat. So I think it's about getting out there and doing things that are different. And I think that adventures linked to being outside as well. We're outside a lot now. And what doesAlastair Humphreysliving adventurously me, what would that phrase mean to some of the guys thatthat you help here,Kayit can be something very simple, we've just got bought some bikes, and three, some of them are trace, of course, some of them, the ones that you sell pedal with your hands. And just being able to cycle in circle could be an adventure for some of them, because they've got a very lack of good balance, and they've never ridden a bike before. And that can be adventure to them. What can the dog is up to the woods can be adventure, building a shelter in the woods can be an adventure, it cannot be very simple things, but things that they've never done before.Alastair HumphreysAnd why is adventure important to the people you're helping here.KayIf they didn't come and do out outdoor things like that, some of them would be inside quite a lot. And which would be very unhealthy. This is getting them out and about in the come the comeback on a lunchtime or in an evening. And they often have a real pulse about them. And it's something that they've done. And it's it's all linked to phone and being part of a team. And one of the nicest things they ever say is that they feel as if they're part of a family. And I think that's all linked to the kind of great times and the adventures we have together.Alastair HumphreysThere's a young lady here and Claire. Yeah.And she was telling me about the time she went up to the woods to create the street. Can you tell me about that?KayYeah, Claire is absolutely great. And she'll I forgot anything. But she can be very, very unsteady on our feet. And what was we had a straight we had a stream, I should say, and we're trying to build bridges across it. But part of it is not to necessarily go on a nice, safe, secure Bridget's. It's about getting in the water and stepping over the stones. And the first time she did it with help from some of the other guys, the sense of achievement was just amazing. So some things that we might feel is very, very simple. to her. It was just she talked about it endlessly.Alastair HumphreysAnd and I find that such an important thing is people, the kind of world I live in it's normal and veterinary stuff. And this seems to be quite a thing of measuring your adventures people worrying that or what this thing I'm doing now is not that amazing? Because so and so climb Mount Everest, and one thing I'm really interested in is people trying to do adventure of their own levels. Yeah, yeah. And I guess that's something you experience here is each of them have different needs and skills Don't be so adventurous, different from allKayYes, it absolutely. One of our service users. He sometimes stairs over here. And I think if his parents are already aware for a rest of the stairs here for kind of respite care, and staying on a farm to him as a massive adventure as well, he got he likes to hear the animals early in the morning. And he gets up and he goes around and looks at them. And that's an adventure to him. You know, walking the goats can be an adventure to some, some of them, everything is different. They all see different things in the activities that we do.Alastair HumphreysAnd a lot of the guys here got quite severe. Physical mental difficulties. Yeah. And and they're not going to be going on to get normal jobs and normal. Conventional lives. Yeah. So what is what's the importance of trying to stretch them and help themselves grow and become more ambitious with the things they're trying to do? what's what's the purpose of that in there?KayGail, just like everybody, they need a purpose in life, they need to feel that they're achieving something. And so, you know, just by going off and collecting the eggs and counting them and putting them on the cart for everybody. So collecting the money in counting it up at the end of the day, that's given them a real purpose. And it's something that they find really interesting, really exciting. It helps to build their confidence, because it can sometimes be daunting to go out. And big crowds, if you have certain difficulties. Some of our guys, quite a few of them have autism, and find crowds difficult. And helping them to not to enjoy being in a crowd, but being able to accept being in a crowd, sometimes without panicking. I feel that's a massive achievement for them as well.Alastair HumphreysAnd you mentioned purpose a few times in that answer, what's what's your purpose,Kaymy purpose is to get to give them really the best experience that they can have. If at the end of every day, I can send them home, and they've all had either had an achievement or had a good time, or just enjoy being here. They're not that that's whatAlastair HumphreysI want to achieve. This is one of these, those lovely places that you turn up to occasionally. And you just feel welcome straight away. And it's just full of lovely, bubbly, loud, kind, cheerful laughing people. And I think that's a lovely thing that you're all so kind and giving. So I'm not nearly as nice person, you. So what's in it for you. Out of all of this.KayAnd massive self sense of satisfaction, I just, I just having a job that I enjoy is a massive achievement for me, really. And I think one of the things that I've taken from the people I meet is that they've taught me to stop being so judgmental, they, they don't judge anybody at all and how they look, if you're nice to them, they'll be nice to you. And I think I've learned a lot from that, that in mainstream education. And every day life, we do judge people a lot. And these guys just don't, they just if you're nice to them, they'll be nice back.Alastair HumphreysSo you've been you've been working here for about four years or so. So we're the guys who taught you, that would have been really helpful for you to know 20 years ago when you were normal teacher, normal life normal job.KayAnd I think mainly, that people who have tremendous difficulties, you don't always see that. And maybe you're not as understanding with people as you should be. Because what you see on the surface isn't necessarily what they have to call it with, in, you know, their everyday life.Alastair HumphreysAnd one of the things I'm finding in my own life that I'm really trying to cultivate is more curiosity, I find that when I do stuff out of curiosity, then it just interesting things happen. And one thing I noticed this morning was that the younger I can't remember who was asking a lot of questions about the rabbits and the ducks. And and there's there's a real sense of curiosity here. So have you found thatKayyet? It's about never ending stream questions, some of which I can't answer. We usually managed to find somebody who can answer them. Walking up to the woods, we can stop every few yards to have a look at something that I would walk by, I wouldn't noticed it. What's this? What's that? Why is it there? Sometimes it's nothing. Sometimes it's some we see if you slow worms. I've never really noticed them before, because I've never looked. Now I've seen quite a few since I've been here. And every time we see Well, we stopped. We talked about it. We look at it, we photograph it. So it's just never ending stream of questions. Yeah.Alastair HumphreysWhy? Why are they more curious thanyour eye?KayI think they they lack some inhibitions. And they don't care. If they're not worried that people don't think, maybe think well, you should know that they don't care. They'll just ask. They've not learned sometimes to hide their curiosity because they don't appear foolish. They that they. They're just more spontaneous, perhaps.Alastair HumphreysSo I've, I've met you now on this day three of my adventures cycling around Yorkshire. What do you think I could learn from the Beyond Boundaries thing that will help me as I go off on my adventure around YorkshireKayto not worry about the little things. And to have a good a good time and just to be to be nice to people. I'm sure you are nice to people, but that's what I took from them. Don't judge people and be nice.Alastair HumphreysThat's very good advice. Thank you. The last question I want to ask you Is it is this if you had one extra hour a day all to yourself every day? What would you do?KayAnd MOD That's tough. I probably Alan read the book.Alastair HumphreysOkay, well follow up them what what book should I go and read that will help me become more wild and bold and curious was a good book for me to read?Unknown SpeakerOh, heck, he put me on the spot here. I'mUnknown Speakertrying to think which book?Alastair HumphreysSo I really puta pause that then and ask you one more question about about beyond boundaries, which would, which is what do you need here? How could people the wider world or the millions or dozens of people listening to this? What can people do to help the work you're doing?KayWell, we do get a lot of help we have. We met in new person, a new volunteer today. Basically people who are willing to give up some time to come along and volunteer, be it for one day a week as some people do, or even just a pop in every now and then for a cup of tea and a chat. And just talk to that they love having visitors just talk just talk to them.Alastair HumphreysMostly local visitors and support you need rather than anything byKayI mean, there's always a business like this money is always important, but it's the time people give that is much more important. Rarely.Alastair HumphreysYeah, I see. Sorry. I'm so bad at these podcasts. And having been number two, one of the main things I wanted to talk about, which I completely forgot, is that you reminded me of that, because the two things that stopped me doing things in life, usually time or money. And I think for a lot of people, there are two big barriers, but the guys you're working with here, that's not that's not really the issue of their life, or money. So So what are the sort of barriers that they face.Unknown SpeakerAndKaya lot of them will face.Maybe transport could be an issue for them want to get out and about. Also, maybe that they haven't got access to some of the facilities and clubs that other people would have. There's not so much for the guys that come here. But for some people that we meet, one go into schools, facilities, change the facilities and things that that can be a massive barrier, that if there aren't correct changing facilities for people who are severely disabled, it will stop them getting to where they want to go on to, to doing what they want to do as well. And how do theyAlastair Humphreysgeneralisation, butby and large, cope with society lies to society. look after them properly, help them properly.KayI found that when we when we take them out, I have actually been really, I think pleasantly surprised at how many people are kind to carry with them, to the talk to them, they lack the chat with them. And then look after them. I think of seeing a nice Society of society, then perhaps, you know, you see in the news that awful things go on when you go out there with these guys, you think now there are a lot of people out there who are really nice, we just don't hear about them.Alastair HumphreysThere are a lot of people who are nice, and some of them are here today. So I thank you for inviting me or welcome unless you did invite me Thank you for letting me come after invited myself and I really admire what you're doing. And I think it's a very happy place.KayThank you. Thank you very much for coming. And I hope you enjoy the rest of your adventure.★ Support this podcast ★
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.Now retired, Mike is still extremely active, adventurous, and determined to keep behaving like a 20-year-old! He continues to explore many wild areas of the world on foot, underwater with scuba gear and afloat in canoes and kayaks. He is the author of two Slow Travel guidebooks to Yorkshire.Mike lives near Whitby with his wife and two dogs and spends his non-travelling time managing the small birch woodland they own, volunteering for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and writing regular nature columns for local newspapers and magazines.Please Subscribe to the Living Adventurously Podcast(It's completely free, zero hassle to do, but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you're feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app - that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn ("Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast") or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastThis podcast is brought to you by KomootYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.Show Notes If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys A love of wild camping, wild places, natural history. Retirement: the benefits of having time, and being aware of mortality. Mike's Magic Moment: lie down and just listen for a minute: what can you identify? Recommended book: Waterlog - Roger Deakin Slow Travel guidebooks Yorkshire Wildlife Trust TranscriptBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It's done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it's worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me...!). If you'd like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/dFozsyt8QeuS3_GAWOiyVAAlastair HumphreysCould you tell me what you had for lunch?Mike BagshawI had cheesy chips? not the healthiest meal in the world, but nice.Alastair HumphreysHave you been on a podcast before?Mike BagshawI've never been on a podcast before.Alastair HumphreysYour son that was surprised that you can be on a podcast. There was? Why?Mike BagshawWell, he thinks he just thinks I'm slightly odd for doing lots of young men things when I'm an old git. It doesn't think a 60 year old should be doing some of the things I do.Alastair HumphreysSo on a scale of one to 10 How weird are you?Mike BagshawI think I'm three, but I think the rest of the world the rest of the world thinks I'm 9.5Alastair HumphreysI love this specific use of your threewhy did why does the world think you're weird?Mike BagshawI do lots of things outdoors.I love camping. I have a mug which says I love camping but on the other side it says but I hate campsites so I love wild camping. I love wild everything. I love wild camping. I love wild swimming. I love wild places. And I'm a passionate natural historian.Alastair HumphreysSo none of that sounds weird to me. Now the people your normal friends, what are the things weird about you? What should you be doing at your age?Mike BagshawI should be playing bowls perhaps put my feet up watching a lot more Telly and staying in bed and breakfast rather than rather than camping.Alastair HumphreysVery good. So, what does living adventurously that phrase? What does living adventurously mean to you?Mike Bagshawit means trying new things, going to new new parts of the world parts the world of I've heard about but when I was working never had the time to be able to go to now suddenly I've got the time to go places. Now, and I'm aware of my mortality, I know I've not got that many years left. And it's so so much so much world and so little time to do it. So I just want to go out and do as much as I can. While my body still works. And and have you always had that sense of urgency to get stuff done. It's not so much. Well, a lot of our friends will will laugh if I would say Oh yes, I'm always getting things done because because I'm quite slack on actually finishing jobs. But I've always had the urgency to explore.Alastair HumphreysOkay, and you're so imagine yourself, say when you say 20 or 30? or pick a number that seems relevant to you? What what would living adventurous live looks too long time. Yeah, has it changed your view?Mike BagshawIt's pretty much the same thing. I think that's the essence of it is I'm still 20 in my head. So.So it really takes me by surprise whenwhen when young people stand up for me on the bus and things like that. IAlastair Humphreysthink I'm better than you.Mike BagshawBecause I forget. I forget that. I know, I'm an old bloke and I look like an oboe because I don't feel I Well,Alastair Humphreysyeah. It's amazing, isn't it? Andso, how is life different betweenwhen you are busy working to now when you retired, how has that changed your perspective on things. And,Mike Bagshawum, it was hard at first when I retired, because I still had this guilt feelings of I should I should be doing productive stuff. And but once I got used to the fact that I can do what I want, I found that what I want to do is actually, a lot of it is what I used to do in in work. So I worked in outdoor education. But now I don't have to have a group of kids into when I go kayaking. So I can kick at my pace and and go when I want. When I go mountaineering, it's peaceful with with no script, no, no responsibility to look after other people. It's much more relaxing,Alastair Humphreysjust responsibility for yourself. Yeah, no health and safety forms to fill it out. Absolutely.So he spent many years working in outdoor education and the young people who came through your place what was what were the barriers that were stopping them living as adventurous as they might have done. And I mean, living adventurously not just in terms of going kayaking, just living a fulfilled and life reallyMike Bagshawworried parentsand peer pressure.Because a lot of the time, it's it's not seen as cool to be interested in natural history, for instance, orcertainly for girls.doing sports, outdoor things isn't cool. So there's a lot of peer pressure involved. And also, if they live in towns, just the access to wild places as well.Alastair HumphreysAnd what did outdoors education? do for them? What? What did you hope to achieve between them coming in the door and then leaving a week later, or whatever it was,Mike Bagshawit was a fantastic job.All the teachers used to say, it must be really frustrating for you to just see kids for a week at a time, because you don't get to see the progress that they make over there. But But I would disagree because they they they made unbelievable progress within that week. And it was fabulous. To see the exponential growth in theirAlastair Humphreysin their self esteem, their confidence that and their appreciation of the outdoor world. And do you think that would have does that have any use for them in the lives that they're going to live because as you say a lot of them in towns, they're not going to be outdoor people themselves.Mike BagshawRealistically, most of them will forget it almost immediately. In fact, some of them hated it. And you know, that they're never going to go to the outdoors, again. But the majority said that was brilliant. But you know, they're going to forget it. But you just hope that it's planted seeds in, in this in a minority of them that that will make them want to connect with outdoors for the rest of their lives. And when I look back, how I ended up in that job is because somebody provided me with that opportunity when I was at school and I'm forever grateful for that.Alastair HumphreysYou're very keen on them. Natural History side. Yeah.Being out in the wild. What's your favourite bird?Mike Bagshawput me on the spot. peregrine falcon.Alastair HumphreysWhat's your favourite birds? Cool. seagulls?Mike BagshawMy favourite birds Cole. Song.Alastair HumphreysI'm quite, quite late to enjoying.What I've really noticed is that by learning the names of things, and by identifying the songs, I get so much more enjoyment out to be just going Oh, there's a pretty bird. Oh, that'sfine. Why is that was the main account you know, but, andMike BagshawI've, in recent years, I've been volunteering for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and doing bird surveys for them, which has made me sharp have to shout knock on identifying bird songs. Because in the woods, you hardly see any and you have to identify them all by the bird song. And it's opened up a whole new world.Which, which I love.Alastair HumphreysYeah, I think justonce you start to notice, yeah, right, it opens up. And it's good.Mike BagshawWith the children, the outdoors. And we used to just we used to have what was called Mike's magic moment where you just had to lie down and be quiet for two minutes and just not move and listen to everything you heard. I never actually just say, Well, how many different birds did did you hear? And some of them would say all three or four or five? We never said what they were? Because it didn't matter. So just the fact that they sounded lovely was enough. But But yes, I find I want to find out more and and find that extra line makes it even more special for me.Alastair HumphreysYeah, absolutely. So I'm honoured. I'm spending a month cycling around Yorkshire. Yeah, and I'm on day three. And I've made it so far from Middlesbrough. It runs with Bay where we are now this well, you were saying is potentially the best view from a pub in Yorkshire a beautiful view of the beta.But I haven't come very many miles at all.It's probably 20 in a straight line. It's pretty pathetic.But you're you've written a book, slow travel.Tell me that I'm not being pathetic wimp by only making it 20 miles in three days. Now you are to be congratulated because it means that you areMike Bagshawyou're not just whizzing through and getting a cursory glance at the place you're getting to know it grassroots so you find it out what makes the place tick, you have to spend time to get under the skin of a placeAlastair Humphreysso it was your favourite slow way of being an outdoorsMike Bagshawit's got to be CK nothingAlastair Humphreysdon't you get itchy buttocks and that's my pet hate was right wellMike BagshawI have a secret which I can reveal it and it's to go commander don't work on defence. Because that is what gives you it you booked itAlastair Humphreysthat's what it is my friends bespoke shows.Well this is very invaluable stuff. One of the things one of the things I was hoping from this ride was to go around and seek out wisdom so going commando Zika is exactly the sort of wisdom I'm after I will say written a series of questions on some cardsto figure out soI wondered if you fancy that giving give me me your best shot at a few of these so if you take one off the topOkay, and you can ignore and you don't want to answerMike Bagshawthat one on a scale of one to 10 How weirdAlastair Humphreysthree right I love the specifiedMike Bagshawnextwhat is an absurd thing that you love?St. Helens rugby league team.Alastair HumphreysWhy?Mike BagshawBecause that's my hometown. It's his own wild place as you can possibly imagine. It's it's grim. It's up north. It's grim. But it's got lots of nasty Belgian memories fromAlastair Humphreysso how did St. Helens for how did you get from St. Helens into loving the outdoors?Mike BagshawThat's a very good question.I went the school I went to have had some in some inspired teachers in there who had the idea that that these townie kids ought to have experience of the countryside so they bought a house in the Yorkshire Dales and shipped us kids off to it at weekends for peanuts. And it was both for most of us it was that our first experience of proper countryside with no pollution. And what I vividly remember no street lights at night. So it was it was black at night. And you could see stars for the first time and so and and that's whatled tomy life I'm nothingAlastair Humphreyswell, and hopefully there are now a bunch ofyounger people who've experienced similar from your years in the outdoor world to be doing the same.Mike BagshawI would love to think so. I'm sureAlastair Humphreysthere will be I'm sure my brief time with you suggest that they will have been Okay, next card, right?Mike BagshawWhat small thing do you regularly do which greatly improves your life?Now this is quite recent, actually.I do 15 minutes of yoga every day.Alastair HumphreysAnd why is that improving your life?Mike BagshawBecause I'm 60 And so my poor decrepit old body is getting stiffer and stiffer. And somebody suggested yoga.And it works. It really does. Yeah, it'sAlastair HumphreysYeah, I've I'm really on on flexible and and it's done wonders for my back. Yeah, now now I'm on a bike for a month, which really tightens up your hamstring. Yeah, and then neck is my back. My resolution at the start was to do a lot of stretching every day. Yeah, course day three. I've done nothing butyeah, the intention is there. Yeah. Okay. Next one.Mike BagshawWho was the most adventurous grown up you knew when you were a child?Unknown SpeakerWow. That's aMike Bagshawtricky one. Probably. A teacher at school. My form tutor, a bloke called Allen's daughter and it was him that used to take us off to this out this house in the Dales. He was a big orienteering. He was a big bird watcher. And he introduced us and he lifted a caravan which we which we foundreally exotic, exotic.Yeah, so I'll start out my old teacher. It'sAlastair Humphreyswhere we see on the witness scale of one.Mike BagshawOh, he was very weird.Alastair HumphreysYeah. The best people alwaysMike BagshawYeah, it was probably is it with hindsight he was way way upon the autistics butAlastair Humphreysso good to have. I do. The reason that that question interests me is I can't remember any adults being very adventurous when I was a kid.No, I know. I struggled to think. And the best I could probably think of is a couple ofoutdoor teachers at school. But yeah, I wasn't that convinced at thattime. So it's mostly just thought they were a bit weird. Yeah, it was my epiphany on that.Mike BagshawNext other one.What book should I read to make myself more wild? bold and curious?Is this me that I should know me? You are like I was going to suggest one of yours but you've already read.Alastair HumphreysVery good. Yeah.Mike BagshawAnd I can't suggest mine because because they're not the truck. The travel books. They're not super adventure one.AndI would probably say my mind because we've been talking about him, but I would probably say, Robert McFarland wild places, Robert bloody MacFarlane. Oh, no, no, no, I've got a better one. It's cold water log by Roger Deacon. Why do you like water log? Because he's barking mad as well. He is he was a scalewas barking mad. Blessing rest in place.Unknown SpeakerBut IMike BagshawI loved his idea of swimming in as many wild places as possible. And having no respect for authority whatsoever.Alastair HumphreysI love him a Winchester getting told off at that side the policy. He's walking down. the riverbank in his underpants couldn't get his clothes off.You can't see him here. Why not?Mike BagshawI remember him swimming down at a Class A class a trout stream somewhere and getting shouted out.Alastair HumphreysThat was it. Yeah, andI have to confess this got me wanting to swim down lots of charts during Yes. And yeah, that book is wonderful, isn't it? Yeah, I think that not I think that was quite pivotal in a lot of people in Britain's approach to the outdoors.AndI don't know if you've noticed over your time enjoying wild stuff. If you've noticed in the last, I guess, 15 years since that came out if you've noticed any changes in itbecoming more mainstream, orMike Bagshawwhilst while swimming definitely is. It's a big movement now. Yeah. Yeah. And, and in no small part to that book, I think.Alastair HumphreysYeah, I absolutely love network choice.Born one day, I love him having a moat at the bottom is God. And when's the thunderstorm? He fills his bathtub with hot water. Sprint stock is across the board to swim this moat and then jumps into his hot. I want to be that weird on that.Yes.Mike BagshawMy son would say I already am. But there we go.Alastair HumphreysOkay. Okay, next question. A couple more.Mike Bagshawsticker twist. In general, my life is comfortable and happy. So should I risk a new challenge and make big changes?Unknown Speakerseeking your wisdom here? AndMike BagshawI would say, stick.Enjoy your children while they're nine and seven.And then when they leave home, then make a big change.You'll still be easilyAlastair HumphreysWill I still be so I'll be not being calculated, but I'll be 52 on that date. Oh, a young daughter finishes a levels. Right?Is that I might not too old, an ancient and over the hill? whitelist? Absolutely.Mike BagshawNo. I was still played football.And I kept going long enough to play in the same team in the same match as my 16 year old son, because he had to be 16 to play in the same senior team and we played one game together and then I have moved. SoAlastair Humphreysthat is it. That is a brilliant life goal to aspire to is to get play. Keep yourself in shape long enough to play in the same team as your son there. Okay, Challenge accepted. Right? My personal challenge has been to my son will be 18 when I'm 50. Yeah. And I'm curious about who will win in a running race. Who do you think will win?Mike BagshawWe did this with my son. And he was beating me last before he was really I'm afraid.Alastair HumphreysYeah. Yeah. And how does that day feel you happy or sad?What the day when you're finally trying your hardest? You know, it'sMike Bagshawit's a real it's a real mix of emotions it Oh, god, I'm getting old. This is the beginning of the end. And just pride that I've produced this. This human being that can now run fast. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Real mix of emotions.Alastair HumphreysThat's very good advice. And he I think that's a perfect place for us to to end on. So thank you very much for being my thirdpodcast interviewee and your debut podcast. Thank you very much.★ Support this podcast ★
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.Please Subscribe to the Living Adventurously Podcast(It's completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you're feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app - that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn ("Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast") or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastThis podcast is brought to you by KomootYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.Show Notes If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys A weekend introduction to the joys of bike packing on the glorious North York Moors: the Moors One Hundred. Goathland steam train (as seen in Harry Potter). Living adventurously is about trying to not be at work. Pressure to do interesting stuff when short of time due to work and family. If you ponder it too much you're never going to do it. Tug between wanting to go on adventures and wanting to be at home with his kids. Finding pleasure and beauty and interest close to home: count your blessings. Challenge of trying to cycle every street in his own town. Is that not adventure? TranscriptBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It's done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it's worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me...!). If you'd like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/F-QH9VhxTKSRqpReaFTZkwAlastair HumphreysRight. I'm sitting in a camper van. Very, very sweaty with Simon. Hello, Simon. Hello. Welcome to the podcast. Nice to be here. Are you in? Are you a veteran of lots of podcast?SimonNo, this is my first podcast experience. Excellent.Alastair HumphreysThat's how we like it. And what's your day job?SimonI have a small garage. Nothing terribly interesting.Alastair HumphreysWhat do you do then to try and fit adventure into yourSimonnormal life, try not to be at work. And that's, that's the key. Especially midweek because they're the best adventures made week. Yeah, they're the best ones they feel and feel a lot more special. Because you should be at work. You know, you shouldn't be sat behind your desk, you shouldn't be doing something tedious and mundane. You know, and other people are, and it feels great not to be doing that.Alastair HumphreysOkay, so what then is the secret of not being at work in the middle of the week?SimonAnd having good people around you you can rely on a very understanding wife that complains but doesn't really mind in a heart that you are taking a day off to kind of blow off steam?Alastair Humphreyshow'd you go get your adventure kicks? Would you like doingSimonanything you know, it can be something you've seen on TV, something you've read about something you fancy doing something you read in a in a book, something that fits in with that available time that you've got something that's going to be worthwhile when you don't have a lot of spare time when you're working when you've got a family has to be quality notes. You can we just Well, that was all right. Yeah, there's a pressure there to do something. Interesting. You just gotta try and make the most of it. And if you ponder it too much, never gonna do it.Alastair HumphreysYeah, that's very true. So we've just been out for a day out on a few hours out backpacking around North York tomorrow is that's how we got in touch originally, you run the most 100 isSimonthat we call it last 100. Yeah,Alastair Humphreysyeah. Which is a bike packingSimonas a bike talking event that runs on the most hundred miles, hence the name over two days. Pretty much doable for anybody of any level on any bike, very sociable. It's great fun, I really enjoy organise it and everybody's who's done it say the vast majority or whether whether you really did or not, but there seems to be a lot of happy faces.Alastair HumphreysSo I you you've been showing me around some trails day and I really enjoyed this beat North York was a beautiful place to this is beautiful. It really is. And you're clearly a real evangelist and passionate about it. You kept telling me all these facts and figures and interesting stuff about it. So I get the you like it, but why bother? organising an event already busy enough? Why are you organised by you organise the most 100SimonI don't know. He got he got the Lake District. He got the Peak District. And it's it's rammed it's really busy. There's a lot of conflict with walkers and mountain bikers these days. Come on North Yorkshire, most as you've seen today, apart from down at the train station, we've seen no deal day, I've seen absolutely no, there's not that conflict. And people that do come to North York tend to head to the trailer centres at Dolby. And don't get me wrong, I love the place. It's great. And I think it's a really, really wonderful place to spend time whether that's walking aside and and I just want to kind of educate people to that. And you know, it's so worthwhile just having someone say, That's brilliant. I'm going to come back here on my kids, I'm going to bring the wife back here on a partner. It just, that's the reason why really, it's just it's just to expandAlastair Humphreyson that really? Well, I think it's I think it is an event lots of people enjoy so highly, highly recommended. I am very sweaty right now.SimonIt's very hot. He has been the hottest day of the Actually, it's been a sticky one.Alastair HumphreysBut what one of the things I like about being out biking with someone. And actually, it's nice if it's someone you haven't met, it's just nattering away about the world. And I like today your approach to life in the world. So I wondered if you might like to answer some of my questions. These are my These are my big questions for life. I'm looking for answers for you seem like a wise man. From the top. Let's, if you don't answer you have toSimonwhat would you say to someone who told you that your life was becoming less adventurous?Alastair HumphreysKnow, is your life becoming less adventurous? Or is your Are you on the way?SimonI think it ebbs and flows, isn't it, you know, your life changes. circumstances change when you've got children, there are periods in that time where you have a little bit of spare time away haven't. It's something to be mindful of. Quite often, it's something you may not have control over. So it is about grasping those opportunities whenever you can, and really making the most of them and then not letting themAlastair Humphreysgo by new you're in your 40s Now, are you conscious of trying tokeep up an adventurous life?SimonYeah, cuz as you get older, and I've been mountain biking for 30 years and things ain't as easy as they were. Things don't heal as fast. Knees are getting creaky and going upstairs, you know, that whole thing of Oh, yeah, I could ride across India for one to two. One day, I could make it even right to the shops. So there is that sense of, you know, the bigger things that you've always fancied to do that, you know, as the years go by the small pressures and achieve those things, you know, on the other hand, you see your guys on bikes, and they're still enjoying themselves.And there's other things walking claiming to be about bikes. It's about having fun and enjoying yourself, isn't it?Alastair HumphreysSee? You don't have any intentionSimonto accelerate? governor? No, no way.Alastair HumphreysNo. Good, right. Next question.SimonWhat are you willing to sacrifice from mission.And,again, it's about finding the balance, isn't it?There's lots of things I'd love to do. I mean, we've discussed family and stuff, as we've been riding along today, I do miss my children and my wife a lot when I go away. So that's like, you've gotten this thing where you really want to go away, you see these, these things, these places you want to go. But on the other hand, you know, sometimes when you go, you're going to be a bit miserable, because you messaged them. So although I want to be adventurous now, great fun. There's gotta be a limit, really.Alastair HumphreysSo you need you see these ideas of big adventures, but you're not willing to sacrifice time away from your family for that. SoSimonit's not so much it's not an issue, not conscious. Where the thing is, it's kinda in the, in the heart of it, say, on paper, you think, Oh, well, you know, it's just a few days or a week or something. But you know, it's going to be difficult. So it's not a it's not really a conscious thing. It's not something you really have much saying is it?Alastair HumphreysYet as perfectly valid thing. So in that case, then if you if you're then pausing your ambitions of let's say, I'd know cycling cross India, how do you then scratch the itch, while still fulfilling all the responsibilities in your life? It wasSimonhard, isn't it, you just gotta,you just gotta look at things that are attainable, are achievable. And, and find pleasure in that, you know, there's still so many things that we've seen today where you can see, you know, beauty and things are interesting things are, you know, a great bit of trailer, something, you gotta be, you gotta count your blessings, you got to be thankful for some of your doorstep, or what you can achieve in that time scale. Right? somewhere new, right, with someone different, you know, what a great time today.That's, that's what you gotta do, really, you've got a temperate in a different way.Alastair HumphreysAnd you can't just say, when you're cycling around the North, you must suck out of it as much as you can. Bearing in mind, you say not the cycle across India,Simontwice, some guys do. And you know, it's always nice to find a new piece of trail of learn something new or compensation and learn something new. Some of the times you just want to go out and paddle and you just want to enjoy this. You know, just wanna enjoy the scenery. And I don't, I don't think you can do any ride and not take something from it. I mean, it can be a miserable day weather and the chain snaps and the rains howling sideways. But you still take something from that, even if it's a negativeAlastair Humphreysthing. Or even just the as you said today, just the gratitude of getting back to your van in the end.SimonYes, it's just nice to get back.Alastair HumphreysI've often found that that sometimes a day so miserable, that the only good part of it, which is a good part is how grateful you feel to get into bed with your sleeping bag. And just that actually noticing it and remembering to appreciate it. Yeah.SimonAnd you and you adjust what you do going forward, you know, maybe a piece of kit that doesn't work or a piece of trail that was horrendous in the wet, but it was great. Last time you went down in the summer stage. Use it in the summer. Yeah, listen, you've got options. You know, it's not as though you're stuck on a treadmill and do the same thing day in day out. You adjust and you adapt.Alastair HumphreysThat's very true. And next question. Here we go.SimonI don't got my glasses.Well, you doing at times you feel that you are being a parent?Alastair HumphreysYeah, Woody, what are the what are you doing at the time to nearly got it sorted aboutbeing aeither husband or a dadSimonreally know, justAlastair Humphreysjust getting through life and so many challenges these days? It seems to be more and more. But I think there's a difference between the times when you think you're just travelling through the routines of school, do the shopping, take the bins out? And then the time to think yeah, this is this is going good.SimonYeah, you get that. But you still you've still got you still got space in your mind to daydream about things as well. So you might be doing the iron in our cooking results or something like that. But you can while you're doing that you're on a kind of autopilot. So you are thinking about riding that trip across India, right in the middle. So it's been a while since I've been to the Lake District. So you never kind of switched off really a cane if you can do you can, you can be doing one thing in a physical practical sense. And you can be daydreaming about the other thing. ButAlastair Humphreysyeah, I find interesting say that because I find in my own life that I really when I start doing that, that's when I don't do things well, and I'm trying to dabble with two different things at once is it's one, it's one of the reasons I have my shed to work in Turkey, go to my shed, and write books, and then leave the shed and then I get on with the rest of my life and try. And so I find that to really separate things like this part of my life. Yeah. And this part of my life for the time, so I try and mix them or model them or blend them into goodSimonkitchens that place with me. When I'm in the kitchen. When I'm cooking something I'm just right. I've done this before. I'm on autopilot. I know I'm doing right that routes that I've got plans and you know, tick tock and I'm working on that in my head and is kind of writing that needs to boil for two minutes, the phone comes out and I'm looking at the map and looking at options and listening. Yeah, that works. Okay, so even though you've you've got the what some people might think as mundane things of the day to day life, it doesn't mean that you can't be thinking about adventure and planning adventure. I think that's the difference. If you keep that adventure mindset, whatever you're doing, whether you're actually physically doing thinking about it, so it's all good.Alastair HumphreysSo are you thinking about adventure? Quite a lot of your time. So when I eat when youSimonYeah, all the time? Yeah. Yeah. And it's not just a base I think places you could go and places protect the children to and things you can see are something that you've read about that you want to go and see. Or even just reading about things, you know, something new, you've heard you hear a snippet of something, I see an image anything I want to learn about that, you know, so that's an adventure in itself because it leads you from two different avenues as well of learning and knowledge and seeing different things, seeing other people's opinions.Alastair HumphreysSo do you do you think it's possible to scratch the adventure six, do you think it's possible to live adventurously withoutSimonleaving the house? No, no, let's go. There's got to be a balance andAlastair Humphreysthere's gotta be a balance.SimonYou've got toI think as long as you think of Benji and fit in every spare moment, the cameradoesn't children'slife semester, and he just sat around the house when he could be out doing something. That's the difference. We've all got busy lives. We all have things to do whether we want to do them or not face these challenges when you get them take them.Because you've been thinking about it for so long. You've already got pretty formed idea. So it's not like oh, what am I going to do myself? It's like, bang don't do it.Alastair HumphreysYeah. And your self confessed? Bit of a struggle obsessive. We have been perhaps at some point.Getting you miles inSimonYeah, get me miles in Yeah, not be fast, but just Okay.Alastair HumphreysTell me tell me about the time that you rode around your town.SimonThat was a great afternoon. I suppose. That was an afternoon where I seen the idea in one of your books and of walking around the town. And I came out the house one day I thought I wish I could go today and I've done this. You know, I'm gonna ride around every street in the town. It's far more difficult than you think it is not big town I come from I can't think population off the top my head. It's not it's not big. It's a typical market town. Things don't realise how big these players are. How many little streets and Nick Cole this x and avenues, little nooks and crannies. And you think you're doing a pretty good job of taking them all off you go into one street. And when I when I got home and have a look at the results on Ostrava met such a massive it. There's so much it missed out. So what you've done. There's like a kind of a math puzzle here.Alastair HumphreysIt's amazing, isn't it? how little we know about where we live?SimonYeah, it was, that was a really cool thing about it. Because it be street that you've driven past every day, or an entrance to something you driven past or a hedge that when you sat down low in your car that because you're on your boat, you could see over it. And there's a there's a house, or something, so many things that didn't know about your hometown. It's just adventure. I went home that night, and I thought was pretty good. I've done like, probably 50 miles or something in this little market. And I'd seen so many things, and I bumped into a couple of people and really nice day. So if that's not adventure. Yeah, I know. It's not climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro or anything that I had a great day.Alastair HumphreysYeah, I agree completely. And do another another count. Yeah.SimonTell me the storey of something. You thinkAlastair Humphreysit's a good thing to learn from them?AndSimonthen we'll do stuff that would be great.Alastair HumphreysAt some point. Remember, this is a public podcast.SimonYeah. Yeah. And I mean, I've always tried to be pretty decent. But I mean, you make certain decisions that didn't work out. But I think if you learn from your mistakes, not saying yourself.Yeah, yeah, it's a tricky one to answer that one. Okay. Good. As long as you as long as you learn from that one, I think.What will you be able to do in 10 years time? Can you do that he can then so I'm probably hook really big gap jumps on bicycles. As you get older, you get a little bit more cowardly. And the things that I wrote down 10 years ago, that I wouldn't write down now. So in 10 years time, I'm just wondering what that what that that graph, if it's linear, or whether it's the stuff that I will do now will terrify me in five years time? And doesAlastair Humphreysthat affect what you choose to do now?SimonYeah, it does. Yeah. Because there's certain routes that you can do. Not so much in the northeast, most it's all pretty mellow. And there's nothing really scary, but you can go go to certain places, and this was where you need some commitment. You know, breaking down Dolly work waggon pike on the hotel the other week, you know, I was thinking, Man in it, you know, 40 odd years old. And if you come off at this speed onto that surface, it's really going to hurt.Were a senior. So 20 years ago, you see these skinny kids on YouTube and stuff are in the button jeans, and they have massive accidents, and they get up and it's all high fives and stuff, you know, and it's reverting back that way.So yeah, there's this thing's I that yeah. So that has a bear and away you go. And we can get off and walk them. ButAlastair Humphreysyou're right thatSimonYeah. There's no shame in walking.Alastair HumphreysGood. I'm glad to hear that. No, definitely not. Next,Simonwhat he is scared ofrunning that time.Running that time?Definitely. Me too. It's terrifying, isn't it?Yeah. When did that kick in? as well asAlastair HumphreysI thought I had it for most of my adult life. Right. I actually remembermy 25th birthday. I was in Beirut, cycling around the world. And I'm freaking out that day thinking I'm 25 a quarter of a century old. My life must be nearly over to be 25. Yeah. And I was currently at the time of cycling around the world, but I was having the time of my life. But even so I just sense of mortality. Now this is passing by. So I've always had that affliction. And actually, it's, I don't think it's good that it encourages you to get on and do stuff. But if you become a bit obsessed with it, then it's not particularly healthy, I think.SimonYeah, I can imagine if you dwell on it too much. Yeah. Quite. Now that's that's the big fears and time.Alastair HumphreysSo what have you got to do in that time? JustSimontry and make the no grand, massive ambition to do this. There's things I'd love to do and Amir be able to do and the kids are little bit older. Boy, for me is about just grasping them little moments and making the most of what you have got. rather than sort of like painting thought you can do and I'd love to do this. I'd love to do that. Just go for it and what you can and just be conscious that you can't get away with doing this forever.Alastair HumphreysYeah, that's very, very wise. But we're both very hot and sweaty. And I'm quiteSimonmonstrously hereAlastair Humphreystoday. So my final question is what you're gonna have for tea tonight?SimonWhoo, good question.I don't know. I think I'll swear by the allotments my way home and see what looks ready. And in the hundred and 50 yards allotment to the front door, I will have worked out a master plan. And that will be what I'm having fun. Sounds good. Today could be red onion. And Goosby sandwiches, which sounds pretty horrible, doesn't it?Alastair HumphreysYeah. Hope you can do the chip show. Yeah.Well, thank you for thank you for chatting to me. And thank you again for showing me around and I hope lots of people sign upSimonfor the more than 100 that would be really nice if you did because you will have a really really nice time. The trails are awesome. Yorkshire is absolutely stunning and the people you will meet really are the best people are really really great people. And you have a right smashing.Alastair HumphreysI agree with that. Thank you very much. ThankSimonyou very much. It's been an absolute pleasure.★ Support this podcast ★
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.I was surprised when Tommy agreed to meet me. I thought he would be far too busy and would not waste his time nattering to some bloke on his bike. I made sure to arrive early and swilled my smelly armpits from my water bottles before knocking on the door. But Tommy was so generous with his time and I loved being shown around the restaurant and the impressive kitchen gardens. I asked him about his choice between running a cheap restaurant or a brilliant one, about how restrictions can encourage creativity, and the catalyst that serious illness proved to be for him.I asked Tommy about ambition, defining success, as well as the delights of milk vending machines and flapjacks.And, no, to answer your question, I didn't manage to blag a free Michelin-star meal! Back out onto my bike for more banana sandwiches in the rain...Please Subscribe to the Living Adventurously Podcast(It's completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you're feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app - that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn ("Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast") or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastThis podcast is brought to you by KomootYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.Show Notes If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Tommy Banks runs the Black Swan at Oldstead and Roots in York. @tommybanks on Instagram. Tommy's book, Roots, is available here. He focuses on normal, good techniques of cooking - and just does them really well. In 2006 Tommy was running a pub, and probably not a very good one. In the credit crunch he was faced with two options to survive: "2-for-1 scampi night" or "do something out of the ordinary". The Pub has a bad location - it's hard to get people through the door. Constraints can be good things. His thinking when needing to change: "We need a thing - I don't know what it is, but we need a thing." Putting restrictions in place (self sufficiency) enforced creativity. For the first couple of years of the change in approach they were "serving weird stuff and still nobody was coming". When you spend a long time in an area you get an understanding of the seasons. Home is a connection you feel, not the buildings or the location. Always wanted to be a cricket player but got ill. If he hadn't got ill he would never have gone down the path he is on now. I was a horrible skinny kid with a colostomy bag. I needed to pull my finger out and make something of myself. Impatience has been a catalyst for success, but it's not sustainable. Would you rather play cricket for England or have the best restaurant in the world? Cricket, no question. Values of sport that can transfer into business and into life and into the kitchen Won a Michelin Star at 24, by using recipes out of other people's cook books. Took time to learn to be original. Disappointment of never being quite fulfilled at finishing an achievement. Do we actually want to fulfil our ambitions? Or does it just lead us to flatness and emptiness? Doing 3 things a day, every day, to make the Black Swan better. Endorphins of exercise vs being overwhelmed by the schedule Relaxed approach to sharing of secrets. Tell the world, then go find something else. The way you go about things needs to evolve anyway. Spontaneity is vital, but so to is organisation in the background Sunday lunch tip: Dawney Arms at Newton on Ouse TranscriptBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It's done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it's worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me...!). If you'd like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/WR1pkTSCT8-8iXXhc7Wg8QAlastair Humphreys Can I test the levels by asking you how do you cook a fried egg?Tommy Banks low temperature, I think.Alastair Humphreys Tell me more.Tommy Banks well, it depends how you like fried eggs. Some people like them crispy. But the proteins been absolutely frazzled. Heat the oil or even butter if you feel that way. And then a lower temperature almost boil it in the fat so it's nice and soft. And then if you want a bit more CRISP you can always turn the heat up at the end and crisp. But so many times fried eggs are crispy on the outside. And actually there's like floppy bits of raw white in the middle which is never good. Especially first thing in the morning.Alastair Humphreys Okay. Well, now we've got the sound levels right and I've learned something. Tommy, thank you very much for meeting me today. Am I the smelliest person who's ever been in your lovely restaurant?Tommy Banks No, because I've got chefs upstairs and a hot kitchen.Alastair Humphreys Good point. what is your favourite vegetable?Tommy Banks Well, God, what's my favourite vegetable? Probably peas. Because when we grow peas, and we pick them absolutely tiny. we never cook them - always serve them raw because it's so delicious. So sweet. And when you bite them, they pop. I think it's a really special special thing.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, we live in a world of frozen peas.Tommy Banks actually getting peas from the greengrocer or growing them Is totally different, isn't it? I mean, in fairness, frozen peas are really good product that obviously sustain people. But I think peas can be so much more than than what we think they are. Yeah,Alastair Humphreys yeah. Okay, that's a good first first answer. So I'm cycling around Yorkshire for a month. And back in my youth, I cycled around the world. For four years my diet was mostly banana sandwiches. It's now 2019. So I've upgraded on this trip to banana wraps. If you hadto go if youhad to go cycle for 2000 miles around Yorkshire, what would you be eating?Tommy Banks banana wraps is quite interesting. Do you do you wrap the wrap around the banana? It's still sort of banana shaped and then Munch it? Yeah. Interesting.I don't know. I've seen you guys get you need something quite high carb like oh, I do like like flat jack and things like that. I think that'd be high energy. thing for me. And yeah, I can drink a lot of milk as well. I like milk and I think it's a under drunk thing is milk. Yeah,I have milk and some flat jack. I think we get me around.Alastair Humphreys I will do that as well. I'm curious to know, why is your food good?Tommy Banks I'm curious to know that as well. I think, I think it's, I think the food itself we do quite normal sort of good, good techniques. I think I think we've any sort of food or cuisine anywhere in the world. If you follow the basic principles and the science behind cooking you can get it pretty right. But I think what makes ours particularly interesting is sort of the ethos behind what we do which is growing and foraging a lot of the projects and I think that's where you get very unique flavours.Back on the milk thing, I've discovered this amazing little farmer who has a vending machine where they have raw milk. So totally unpasteurized and it tastes unbelievable. Where is that? So it said pick he'll pick here it's called cow corner. And we literally go up you slot. Yeah, it's like a pound two litre things you put your pound in, and there's the cartons and uses, you get pounds of milk and you walk out and drink it. But when I was a little boy, we had a one cow that my guy that used to milk every morning, and I thought milk tasted like sweet and creamy. And then I realised actually doesn't most of the time because you have the pasteurised milk and supermarkets which we are drinking. I haven't had raw milk since I was about six years old until about a month ago. And I discovered this vending machine because there's so many legislations in place that stop you from selling raw milk set up quite highly scrutinised. But the flavour is unbelievable. I think the nutrition of it's a lot better as well. So that's a definiteAlastair Humphreys visit. Yeah. Okay, that is my next destination when I win, that'sTommy Banks going to power your round trip. Okay, no, come flat jack. Okay. Thank youAlastair Humphreys nutritional sporting advice. And tell me aboutTommy Banks why Why do you bother trying to make this place so good. There's plenty of successful pubs that just do really nice pub grub, you put in a lot of effort and headaches and work at YYD. Try and make it really good. And we'll actually initially it came from the location, because when we first started, we did just run a pub, and probably not a very good one, actually. And that was 2006 and 2008, when the big crash happened, suddenly, people weren't coming out into the middle of nowhere to to visit us. And what most pubs did in the bad economy was discount, you know, two for one state. Now it's all these sort of things bargains, that's all very well, but you're not going to travel out in the middle of nowhere for a bargain when you can get that probably from your local pub. So I think the only way for us is to survive was to do something more premium, something that would make us into a destination that people would travel to, to get here to actually try it. That was the only way we could survive was to do something out of the ordinary. And it was born out of necessity. Really, that's reallyAlastair Humphreys fascinating that you deal with hard times by making stuff more expensive. That's a really unusual approach, isn't it?Tommy Banks I think so. But I think there's only there's only two ways of dealing with that you can either go the discount way or the other way. And with our location, I think they put the problem with the discount thing is, if there's no margin on it, you're never going to survive any way, even if you are getting people through the door. But it does work. And you know, certainly in bad economic times, the bottom of the market often does survive. But the middle of the market probably doesn't. And I think it was really forced by location. Because the thing is, if you've no idea, it's all very well saying I'm going to make something the best it can be with an idea of it becoming a destination. But how? How would you do that? If you've no idea, and I think the set a year or two, I was like, we need a thing. I don't know what it is. But we need to thing and like, why would you travel a long distance somewhere because it's unique. And you know, I think I've taught restaurants which have a real thing about them, that people would travel a long way for. And that's when we started growing, produce and foraging because I don't have any culinary background at all. Actually, I can't just I wasn't trained in Paris, I started cooking. So amazing French food never not come through the only sort of food memories you had, were actually growing our own food and eating it as a kid. So started doing that. And by putting these restrictions in place, and try to aim towards a more self sufficient angle that really took the creativity because you have to be creative to make things and it all kind of came together. But certainly, there was a year or two where we were just doing quite strange food and no one can. Okay,Alastair Humphreys I think is really interesting. So before we there was a time when you weren't trying to make amazing food. You were just was it just a fairly normal, nice ish pub.Tommy Banks Yeah. And that was only the official trip state pilot. No.Alastair Humphreys And Was that your limit your aspirations at the time? So if for example, if I carried on trundling along happy enough, would you have to stay doing that?Tommy Banks Yes, quite possibly. Yeah, I think so. But you don't I mean, when we started the tour, I had no idea what a Michelin Star Wars or tasting menu or, and it was all unknown, you know, grew up in old stuff. And that left old stuff and we just want to make a nice poem. You know, it was all right.Alastair Humphreys I find the the storey of you, starting here with no training really interesting. And I just wonder, what were your parents thinking when they bought this place and put you and your brother in charge? Because you were a pair of numpties?Tommy Banks Yes.Alastair Humphreys What did Yeah, what were they thinking?Tommy Banks I've no idea I saw it now. We're we run into a really small farm, which would never make ends meet. So growing up, my dad did a lot of contract farming to work really, really hard. And mom rather than breakfast in the farmhouse, so always growing up, we were kind of involved in hospitality because we always had people staying in the in the farmhouse, and I think they usually they thought that was the next obvious step was to maybe get the village pub and try and run that because they've been running a bed and breakfast. So I suppose that was sort of the end. But for me and James, when we started this, I was 17. I literally left school after Elon Musk was like, it sounds like way more fun running a pub than being here. And James already left school and I think he was he we weren't when intelligent, what bad lots but we weren't focused, I think as a age of 1516 is a, which is a lot. I think it's quite hard to be focused on academia really.So yeah, it was a bit of a, but I think we totally didn't make a success of it anytime. Early. No.Alastair Humphreys I said, It's me. One of the reasons that I'm spending a month cycling around Yorkshire is that I grew up in Yorkshire but so far, I've been going for a week, I'm actually wanted to place a base haven't been anywhere I've seen before in my life. And I'm really interested by this idea of what knowing home so and what what does home mean to you?Tommy Banks Well, as by the time the total opposite. I never actually left home. And I know. So I know my area around me really, really well.I think when you spend a long time in an era, you begin to know the seasons very, very well. And when you're involved in survival, culture and cooking, I was trying to brag that I think if you put me in like a time capsule, and then it's dropped me in Olmstead, I could tell you to within a week what time of year it was by by the seasons, and I think you get a real for me home is I is an understanding. Whereas I go anywhere just too late street something, I wouldn't have the sort of same connexion. But oh, that's weird. Like all that's flowering now. And then that's then they're doing this and well that they would be doing that, you know, and I think it's more of a connexion. Really, I feel it, as opposed to the actual sort of buildings and the location. It's more just like, the general feeling of being around in the land. I make sense. Yeah, it does. No, it does. It makes a lot of sense. And it's interesting because I grew up also in a tiny village, very similar size to this but in the Yorkshire Dales.Alastair Humphreys And yet, I was just desperate to get out. And for years, I just thought that the interesting world began away from here. And so I spent years just going off all around the world for many years. And it's only recently that come home and started exploring home and taking more of an interest in it in the way that you're kind of saying that and and and i think that Yeah, so so so that the the point of that is that I'm trying in my way to live adventurous, that's what I want to do is live an adventurous life. And this one of the other reasons I'm cycling around is to try and meet interesting people who are living adventure asleep, but in different kinds of ways. And what you're doing is definitely bold and adventurous in different ways. So I'm wondering, what would your take on living adventurously, me.Tommy Banks Just just to touch back on what you were saying there, I think when you grow up in a rural area, you do think I want to get out here. And I did think that. And I really, I think you end up being caused by like necessity, like I talked earlier about changing what we did through the necessity of the economy, but also for the situation to put into and I always wanted to be a cricket player Actually, I always travelled the world playing cricket me to men, awesome.Alastair Humphreys ButTommy Banks I got quite l when I was sort of 19 my partner's thing was to spend the winter in Australia playing cricket. And I think if I'd never got to totally different path, I had no interest in doing this whatsoever. I too wanted to travel the world and be adventurous and do things. But I couldn't. And I think that reevaluated my my situation. And actually, that's why suddenly you play with the tools you've got in front of you. And I think that's why I free myself into this and make a success of it. Because of the situation I was in. But what was the actual question? Well, what would I think about being adventurousAlastair Humphreys I kind of what the question was because that's more interesting. And I think but I think this is this is a really interesting thing that a lot of people I talked to really want to live adventurously in their own ways, but they can't do it because of x, y and Zed. And that's usually time or money that to ones but in your case it was it was illness was Yes. Newer, us more lesson in and out possible for a year. Yeah.So what then what did that experience that year teach you.Tommy Banks It's a very humbling experience. I mean, I think the thing was, isnot that all diseases aren't nasty, but the disease I had was most of colitis was when I actually as an 19 year old lad had a colostomy bag for a year, which is not cool. In any stretch of the imagination, local history credit, I think, I think it made me not an angry person, but kind of like, frustrated with the cards have been dealt and I think very determined to be successful, which I would never have had that determination. Otherwise, because I was pretty chilled out. And I was I was you know, wasn't successful academically, I had no drive, really, anything I was interested in was playing sport, and actually having a good time and a laugh and I would never have had the drive to do something. But after that I kind of felt I've got no qualifications and this horrible skinny teenager with a colostomy bag lied. I need to really pull my finger out and make something of myself. I think that it gave me a drive and determination I wouldn't have had. So I think in a lot of ways, it was an awful time. But in many ways I have a lot to be thankful for it because I have no idea what i mean i wouldn't I definitely would not be announced that I liked you growing up in a rural and out of gas morass that's entirely different, if not for that, but you get dealt these cards that you kind of roll with it because something good usually just coming up.Alastair Humphreys So you're now in a hurry in your life.Tommy Banks Yeah, I need to not be back. definitely been in a hurry. I think that's something that I'm finding that impatience has probably been a catalyst for success. But actually, it's not a sustainable thing is interesting. We were talking earlier you said I'm trying not to hurry as much. And I think i think that's that's exactly right. And it's something that over the over the next decade. I'm going to try and slow it down a little bit because I think there can be a lot of success in taking your time and things as well. Yeah,Alastair Humphreys yeah, there's different ways to do things. And would you rather have the best restaurant in the world for playTommy Banks cricket for England? cricketbut I think you always want what you haven't built opposite to what you've got that you but I mean, that was always the dream growing up and I think I still love cricket more than anything and I probably think about cricket more than anything else. Because as a kid I was obsessed stuffed aholic used to watch teletext flashover, which is fairly dull by you find it enthralling. So I think that's still my first love. Yeah. AndAlastair Humphreys how is the World Cup final? Amazing?Tommy Banks Yeah, absolutely amazing. I think that was a best effort of cricket ever because people know I'm obsessed with cricket. And but most people don't like cricket. So they always like was it was the pilot, you know, and that was the ultimate advert. And with it being on telly. Yeah, it's wonderful. I think that's brilliant. because growing up, I watched cricket and witnesses has not been afraid to tell you I think you miss out on a generation of children who could have seen it. And I think we've been been on telly they made the thing was weird, like seven hours of high tension drama, then was a draw, and then another draw of witching the world on a technical role, which no one even knew about in the first place. That couldn't be any more cricket. And that's why I love it. Yeah, itAlastair Humphreys was amazing. Was it Yeah, also, growing up in a rural village, one of my main memories of being a teenager, when I start to find being in a village really boring, was trying to sleep as late as I could just to kill a bit of time and waking up ready for the test, Matt? Yeah, to get settled in in front of the 11 o'clock,Tommy Banks but then you come down, this covers around, it's raining, what we're going to do watch the highlights. But the other thing for me, the escapism was actually if I could play cricket for men's teams on a Saturday, you as a teenager, you get if you're good at cricket, you get teams playing for you get picked up, taken for a game of cricket taken to the pub, few beers and come back. And so I was I was living the dream as a 1415 year old you said it was decent cricket user f1 way to play them. So you go out and play No, you get driven everywhere and you go to the pub, it was great social, I think. I think sport is a really, there's a lot of values in sport, which can transfer into into business but into just general life. And I played so much team sport growing up and I always seem to be made the captain. And I think the man management skills are developed at a very young age helped me a lot when I actually go into the kitchen and looking after two other people.Alastair Humphreys It's interesting, isn't it? How things you do at one time in your life means provevery helpful forUnknown Speaker another time. And like you can't predict at the time? No,Tommy Banks not at all. But I think that's why the start just classroom activities are developed people. And I think I think finding sports incredibly important, but any other sort of activity that is involved in human interaction. And that's a really important thing. Because that's really how you get on as now you unless you're on your own rowing across the Atlantic, of course, and you really have to get over yourself. That's what I struggle with most actually get on myself.Alastair Humphreys And I get a veggie box. Pacifica, local veggie, which I loveit and learning to cook new things, butthe root get a lot of it. There's a season of a lot of people, how can I make beet root not be disgusting?Tommy Banks Well, our signature dishes were beetroot cooked in the fall, which transforms it somewhat. And I think if you cook anything long enough in the face, that's good. But by no means it's so funny because that is asking to dish with certain people come to the restaurant I don't like be true and they refuse to eat. And you are please. And I think it comes from like a school dinners sort of thing where you know that pickle beaches are so acidic. I think that's a really that's it. Yeah, cooking beef is a really good way to end it but actually pickling it, but doing it in a slightly sweeter pickle with some nicer vinegar than the malt vinegar interviews would is a really nice way to have it as well. Okay,Alastair Humphreys thank you. And I was reading a an interview you did once in which you said that you felt a bit weird that you've reached the pinnacle number brilliantlyreached this of Pinnacle without really feeling that you were in your words, pioneering in any way or doing anything amazing, classic imposter syndrome, you still feel like an imposter.Tommy Banks Less so but I thinkI feel we took steps from that. I think that the thing with that was I want to miss our 24, which was the youngest daughter or something, which is, which is fine. But at the time, I was very insecure in the way that we were cooking. And certainly the food I cooked at time was out of other people's cookbooks. So a Top Chef would bring out a really good cookbook, but that's a great recipe. I tweak it a little bit. And hey, the food was very good. Of course it was because it but it wasn't there was no originality. And where I sort of felt fraudulent was the people holding me in some sort of genius, when actually, I think a lot of people apply themselves, they could probably recreate other people's, you can make it quite good. And that was a real catalyst to try and do something more unique because I was like family keep getting this praise, I really ought to deserve it in some way. So that was the way of,of being more creative and really inspired. We can run on the farm.But imposter syndrome, I think we all have that load, because but I think we all look at other people and their achievements and hold them in higher esteem than we'd ever held our own achievement. And so I think we all feel a little bit like imposters and think I look at them, they're doing something amazing. They probably mirror image it back. But it was a good thing. One thing I always learned is that you always think things are going to feel better than they actually do. I mean, a you might be the right person to ask about this. Because I always add the two I'd love to be able to do that with that. And then you achieve it you're like, Okay, well, we'll try to achieve this and never feel quite fulfilled, which I always feel very disappointed about. But then your goals are more extreme and like, more precise, I suppose like, like, the moon, the Atlantic travelling right right around the world. Do you get the buzz that you are hoping for at the end? Or do you hope for boys? I don't know. Or is it all a little underwhelmed? by the time you've done it either? Now you feel like as I struggle with I always find that I wanted to achieve something, achieve it and then it doesn't give me what I thought it mightAlastair Humphreys I feel exactly that. And when I get to the end of something, something that on the face, it seems like a big achievement, or they generally think is well, if I've achieved it wasn't that hard. I should have tried something harder. Or a big journey. So yeah, something like syphon around the world. So I set off at 24 was the same age as you getting Oh, yeah. Michelin star. I think the one thing I could think that age has for is just reckless enthusiasm. Energy is energy. Yeah. And, and just a sufficient ignorance to just get on with. Yeah, so I set off site around the world. And I was very conscious that it would have been really fun. It should mean to be doing the whole journey, purely in order to get to the finish line and the achievement. That would have been a stupid thing. spent four years doing that. So it's I'm really trying to appreciate the things along the way, which is easier said than done. And yeah, getting to the end, I felt very flat and then anticlimax and everything I ever do journeys, writing books, finishing films when I'm finished. What's next? And I don't behind that.Tommy Banks Yeah. Do you feel that emptiness? That thing that is pulling everything towards? you almost don't want to achieve it? Because you always striving for something. And then when you achieve it, it's like, oh, I need something now to achieve otherwise, you just flat an empty? I mean, we just talked about the World Cup. How do you How does it feel to win the World Cup? But how do you get up after that? Like, what do you do? Yeah, I think I think you know, people who are serial achievers like sports, like Roger Federer, how does he have the drive to do that over and over? Because once he's won everything? Like, what does he do nice to find some aliens that play tennis against I'd like for you know, it's it's a weird or miss interesting to hear you say that i think i think if I thought I could ever achieve the things that you would achieve, as I understood the either you just give up long before, but I think I would really struggle with afterwardsAlastair Humphreys what to do next. So do you do what you say gets getting the Michelin star say, once you've achieved that did that?Tommy Banks Does that encourage you to what more and more and moreAlastair Humphreys move on to the next level? Or does it make you worry that you might lose what you've got seen? Does it put you wanting to achieve more? What's it make you think I've got this and I'm worried I'll lose that.Because you can only go once you've got Michelin stars,you're going to go downhill going.Tommy Banks Citizen of India is fearful. I think I'm alittle bit more of a slightly different approach, I think.No, I think less actual worry about it. I don't worry about these.This bigger things in life and that think actually, before achieved it, you think that's the pinnacle is all you can achieve. And then once you achieve anything much about that actually now there's actually more important things like a much more interested in creating something amazing, that's going to put a smile on someone's face or, or getting into it like opening another restaurant, like changing the way we farm. Making different products I investigate are the things right in another book, things that are more inspiring to me. But I mean, like at the same time, if what I want to do is make the restaurant better and better every single day. And if we do that, then perhaps more missions as a come our way, because we're making it better all the time. But certainly we never be getting out of bed thinking that we can get that second star that doesn't really enter my brain.Alastair Humphreys Okay, that's interesting. And one of the things that I've really noticed slightly change in my own life. Actually, I was gonna ask it for you. First of all I tell you about me is deep in your life. Do you measure success, your successes, or do you measure your progress?Tommy Banks progress, I think I think we're under percent.Because I think going back to thing that successes and never feel like they just because once you've achieved it, it's just one of the things is.Whereas I used to have that thing which I can no longer achieve. But I used to have this thing that I used to try and do three things a day, every day, seven days a week that made the Black Swan better. When it was a talk about it as a 24 Inch Nails. I have felt like this imposter syndrome exactly that and I'm thinking how can I I've got to make because people are travelling here now. And they expect this to be awesome. And maybe it's maybe it is good, but maybe it could be better. And there's just a million things that could be better. And I tried to three things a day every day. And I think that's what I real high achievement because I was just nailing it every day. But asUnknown Speaker a lot of things that I foundTommy Banks fascinating could it could be anything that I thought I thought was better. It could be fromsourcing a new piece of equipment that was going to make things better, or changing a dish that I believe was better, or implementing a new way of doing things or changing the way we have stuff doing different things, anything I thought was gonna have a positive impact on the future of the restaurant. But it had to be three things that progressive it didn't have to be, I've made a new way of making this awesome. That's amazing. It was all food based, it was more sort ofteam based, business based location based. Now by probably if I could do three things in a week ever quite happy.Alastair Humphreys Yeah. Well, I appreciate that. Because in the early days, the lot to improve asTommy Banks Yeah, yeah. And it probably had a lot simpler situation. You know, I think I think in them days, I'm probably only received an email once a week or something. So there was a lot of things that could be always now it's you know, life's all about restoration or something.Alastair Humphreys So if you had if you had one hour extra day, just to do just for yourself, what extra Magic Hour, what would you do each day?Tommy Banks I probably exercise because that's it that makes me feel really good. But I never get to do I find it very stressful if I try and take an hour out of the day to do like, I went to the gym or go for a run on Facebook, no idea. If I yeah, it was to find that I always find that very stressful because by the time you've done that hour, and then you pick up the songs emailed you sort of miss a call, you got to go see so and I was thinking, careful, it's been an hour doing that. So if I should do it, I would exercise because I think it would make me more effective in everything else.Alastair Humphreys But not sufficiently effective toTommy Banks merit an hour as it is what it should do. They should do something I just I know you know, there's many things that you can say you know, you should do but don't and that's one thing that because I know the endorphins releasing you, it makes you more energetic makes you even if you're tired, you're more energetic and makes you more creative again, but tend to be overwhelmed by the schedule and just never get to it.Alastair Humphreys So you're almost 30 or 30 you are 30 any signs of a midlife crisis?Tommy Banks Yeah, I think so.Well, I we were talking about this earlier, actually, I now fear drinking. Whereas as a young younger band, it was like the dream was going out and getting beers with the lads like, it just gives me a hangover and I feel awful and I'm not very productive afterwards. And I feel guilty about my lack of production and I just don't need it in my life anymore. So I think that's one thing that massive change, but it's not really a midlife crisis as though that's been growing up. That's just been growing up.Well, it's good, you know, probably not then give it 10 more years.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, you'll be writing about Ron Yorkshire.Tommy Banks Yeah.Something like academia. I have too busy at the moment to think of something I'm sure what was your midlife crisis? You can't tell you that because you've wrote around the world. 24 So start with the midlife crisis right around Yorkshire.Alastair Humphreys Know my midlife crisis really came withchange the change from being aadventurous, ambitious, hard working full on charging at life madly to be the best I can be.And then getting married and having kids and suddenly having to compromise in my life. Right. And suddenly, me selfish me was not the only thing in the world. That was the challenge I faced.Tommy Banks Okay. Yeah, I definitely.I definitely chase a little bit.stops, like things hurt more, don't they? Later, we're still play cricket a bit by knowing it was good. And very shortly I'm playing cricket tomorrow. And as a chart, she's just like, maybe you just need to play more regularly because you're getting so bad at it. And I definitely chase him. I know I could be better if I played more. So maybe that's starting to get a little bit of a midlife crisis. I haven't really cared that my ability was getting worse and worse. But suddenly I do like I feel it falling away from me. So maybe that's the start of something to rebel just start playing cricket three days a week. That'd be nice to get the exciting covered as well with the lovely with net.Alastair Humphreys And going back to when you got started. How did you manage to get some work experiencing Raymond blocks red restaurant, because he must get a millionTommy Banks young idiots? Yeah, probably does. I mean, I was only the only did a few days. Well, yeah,Alastair Humphreys I know. It's aTommy Banks taste it. But I think actually something that in our industry is quite common. That usually you just email a restaurant and say I'd love to come and do a storey called stars, which comes from the French word TechStars. You mean you just there for a time. And it's just free work experience that we we have someone to that we have someone every week, the next six weeks coming in, and welcome and do week. It's quite common. And also, it's a great way of recruitment. Because you think if you have somebody in for an interview, how do you know if they're any good? How do they know what they want to work? There you go new weeks, and you're fairly certain about the place and you're fairly certain about them. So it's actually fairly common place in our industry, which is really nice thing because a lot of industry and a lot of people wouldn't share. I think traditionally, chefs would never share the recipes. Whereas now we just allow people to come in and out. And it's cool. Like people come in your kitchen for a week, they see everything you do, they move on, this holds part of it. Okay, that's,Alastair Humphreys that's really interesting. One of my life, my working life is very lonely. Like, I travel around on my own doing stuff. And then I sit in the shed, and I write books. And I love it. But what I really love the idea of his mentors to do this sounds like a really good system of trying to help young people come up. Was Did you have any of that mentorship helping you? Not really not?Tommy Banks Not in like necessarily being a chef in way, but I think, definitely my parents have never left home. I've always kind of been beenin that sense, I suppose.But I think I think the having the blend and that you'll be I think it's really important because actually you learn from them as well. There's always when you sit down talks when you always learn something. So I think it's quite good to have that sort of free free movement and, and not be protective over anything. Your intellectual property really, because at the end of the day, you're not going to like it anyway, in a year's time, you're gonna thought something new. So this is no need to be. Yeah, protective, I think it's good to be free with things,Alastair Humphreys I found exactly the same in terms of so about 10 years or so ago, I thought, right, and you want to try and earn a living out of adventure stuff in order to do that people need to know about because they know nothing about me. So the way I started telling the world was by blogging, writing, writing, writing. And what I found through blogging, is the more I give away, the better things become. So I just tell everyone, everything I know how everything just tell tell tale. And there are some other adventurers I know who are very protective or don't tell anyone but was I've really think that the more you give away, the more you receive back.Tommy Banks Absolutely. The thing is, you can bank on the things you know, now being early the things you're ever going to know. I think that's where people go wrong, exactly the same. So don't tell them about this, I will just tell about it. Because what you need to do is and venture is find something else. You can't just bank on to the secrets forever. I think that's the same with with cooking. There's no point being protective over what you're doing right now. Because really, you're not doing your job properly. If you haven't discovered something totally new within a couple years. And then it'll be interesting what you're doing anyways, you might as well share it,Alastair Humphreys yeah, share it and move on. And I guess you're sort of backing yourself there. Like it says, Yeah, give me what I can see. Keep ahead with things. And I'm interested in how you balancehaving months of planning like broccoli in a plant a load of onions, and they'll be ready in six months,Tommy Banks however long it takes to grow.Alastair Humphreys Plant loads of onions versus the spontaneity and imagination if we've goneforaging, we found a loadedsorrel today. So how do you This is something that I struggled a bit with? How do you was the difference between people planning versus just action in your life?Tommy Banks Yeah, it's, it is a difficult balance. I think, going back a few years, it was all action, no planning, it made for a very interesting site and food andquite sort of stressful.But then there's we've got busier and big empty, you gotta have more planning, or it doesn't work on, if you don't have planning, you can actually put anything on the menu. Because unless you grow a certain number of them, you haven't done enough, I can't serve a red pepper to three people in the business of tomorrow, because that's I've only got three of them. And two of them, you know, I need to grow enough of the things to do enough of so what we generally try and do is we'll have like a list of ingredients that we know we want to put on the menu, we don't necessarily have to come up with optical with the dish eight months in advance, but we kind of know roughly what we might do with them. And we make sure we grow a big volume of them. So we can have enough to use on the menu. And then we'll grow some experimental crops as well. And then sometimes you end up doing things not as you plan. But unless you actually have the, the ingredients in the first place, you can't really do anything. So the key thing is to get the number. So I know have enough of these to serve every guest for a month, what we do with it near the time is a little bit more spontaneous. I think that that's the sort of balance strike that balance it works quite well. If you just go I will wing it and see the light off court is amazing. This year, we've only gone for Atlanta that there's a catchy service to anybody. That's where we kind of went wrong in the first place.Alastair Humphreys So you need to have the lay down this sensible, slightly boring foundation safety net, right? We need this, this, this and this. And then things you know you want. Yeah, yeah. And that's an important thing. That then on top of that, you can just throw on this of crazy, have found whatever go with it.Tommy Banks Exactly. It's like Well, we've got polytunnel full of tomato. And until three days ago, we didn't know we're going to do with them, but they're all getting ripe. And they originally were going to go to actually the cow corn place Tell me about we're going to make some fresh fruit kata, and serve that with the tomatoes, really simple fish, then submit the last minute the tomatoes ended up being semi dried, to the quite sort of sour and sweet and sour and sort of scholars. So I just had it happens, youAlastair Humphreys know. AndTommy Banks that's the beauty of it. But we didn't have the tunnel before tomorrow is going to be at the end of it. So I think it's quite nice to Yeah, it's it's spontaneity, but with the organisation in the background.Alastair Humphreys When I was in cycling around the world, I the phrase that I used a lot called pragmatic recklessness, because what I wanted to do on that trip was be as reckless and crazy and spontaneous as I could, because I was a young guy having a big wild adventure around the world. But equally, if you go full on reckless through Africa, or Colombia, then you might as well die, or the very least fail so so I came up with a system of trying to be pragmatic, so lay down the basics of need visas here, I need to work out where there's a war, blah, blah, blah, sensible kind of thing. And then on top of that, just through the recklessness of To hell with it, let's turn down that road and accept this invitation for these dodgy looking people to their house and just see what happens. Okay.Tommy Banks Yeah. So yeah, that was that was like that's it recklessness here. And you start a new restaurant?Alastair Humphreys Yeah. In New York, called roots.Tommy Banks And how long's that been going? It was last September that we opened. Well,Alastair Humphreys here. Has Joe route been to route?Tommy Banks He hasn't? He should do Really? Yeah. Is that on your? Maybe I should invite him to do list. Yeah.Alastair Humphreys And you're doing so well, with this place here? It's fantastic. Success, storey? Why? expand? why did why are you getting busier doing that thing? Why are you risking failure to your reputation? Why don't you just stick with this places doing great.Tommy Banks is? It's a good question. I think it came from sort of two things. One, we're not fully booked all the time. Now. We're busy. But we're not fully booked with it was time when we were totally fully booked. So you couldn't get it. And so that would seem like it was a necessity to have more seats available for people to eat things will put your price up. Yeah, I think that so long term, ladies will very well, you're never going to be fully booked forever it and then when you put your prices up, I think you know, you think you've got to think you can't there's no get rich quick in any form. I don't think that's a sustainable thing to do. And but the other thing was, it was more from the the actual growing point of view, because we were expanding the ground, we're growing lots of different things. But actually, when you just do in one menu, in one place, it's very hard, you can't be self sufficient, you have no use for a lot of the stuff because you might use all tomatoes one size, but not the other size, or, you know, if you grow too much things or you could use one part of the plan, but not the other. So we need another outlet really. And and with with roots, it's allowed us to become much more self sufficient, because it's a little bit more casual, sort of sharing plates sort of thing. And it allows us to use all the produce. But the flip side is we don't have to force it at the black swan. Whereas in the past, I'd have to force it as I've grown all this will have to use it. And I'll have to use them even though that's not quite what I wanted it I'm going to use it anyway because it got to I can't waste things. Whereas now we can cherry pick exactly what we want for the Black Swan, and then use everything else still gets used. Not there's anything wrong with the other things. But if you know if you're trying to really get the exact specification of something that you want. So is it enables us to be more self sufficient and sort of close the circle a bit more? Okay, let's seeAlastair Humphreys here. You have a good answer to that. And on the roots. I was reading that you do the food comes in the three seasons, essentially breaking down the year to three seasons, which I love these phrases. You have the the preservation season, the hunger gap in the time of abundance here, which I love those. They could all be novels, they're greatTommy Banks phrases, and what what are they briefly? Well, interesting novels, they actually came about from me writing a book. So a book called roots, which came before the restaurant. And I suppose roots also sort of the concept of the book. The idea is I wanted to write a cookbook, and I was very nervous about run a cookbook because I think it's there forever. And I didn't feel they like it was very, I was far enough down the down my culinary journey. However, I also felt what we're doing needed to be recorded. And aside from most cookbooks are spring summer, autumn winter, if you're a farmer up in North Yorkshire, there isn't really any produce in spring. In fact, most of our party doesn't really come to the middle of June. But when I pick up chefs book, so they're always your peas and beans and things and it's all end of April and May in their books. And that's why they do grow in Europe and then we ship them in us and so I kind of la carte, right? Truly a spring summer autumn winter book and believe in it, whereas I see it as a January through to June we call you up for reasons that we don't really have anything there's a few seasons ago maison, Yorkshire rhubarb, some great root vegetables, and last year brassicas but we use off a lot of things that we've preserved. And then right now it's July now it's a time of abundance, because I can literally do menus with just the projects that come straight to the land, little amounts of effort into it, cook it serve, it's beautiful. But that's a very short window. And then the end of the year, we we really spend frantic for the trying to preserve as much of the lay of the harvest and, and the Autumn is brilliant, because you get some stuff from the hedgerows. And that's just a free harvest, if you know what to do with it. And so we frantically try and make as much stuff between then at the end of the year to last us through. So I felt like we cook with three seasons anyway. And from a bit from a growing and cooking point of view, there isn't four seasons, there's kind of like the time we got loads of stuff a time we got nothing the time when there's a bit of autumn little stuff. So the three candidates together.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, I really love it. And something I haven't figured this out in my head yet, which isn't good. Because it can be too late. But somehow I feel this is applies to life, like the phases of life and like the hunger gap time to abundance preservation season. I haven't worked it out yet. But I've got a month on the bike, I think that's a good decision about the different phases of your life. So I'm going to try and figure that out. And I'll get back to it.Tommy Banks Yeah, I kind of get I mean, it's a very traditional way of looking at the hunger gap is not a phrase I made up. That's a traditional,Alastair Humphreys okay.Tommy Banks Its traditional thing, I think, going back before we had refrigeration and air, freight and sea freight and everything, but when people were more self sufficient, they would talk about the hungry get when nothing grows. And the only gap actually doesn't really refer to January in February refers to the month of May usually, because the month of May could be scorching hot, beautiful, everything's it's lovely time, but that's actually a time when the plants grow. There's nothing to eat too hard. That's the time when we got lovely weather, but we need all that energy to go into the plan to create something we can then harvest in the time of abundance or the preserving season. So that would be quite an old fashioned term. I think like going back a few hundred yearsAlastair Humphreys that the day is not being wasted. Thank you.And so my last question to you is,I'm cycling around Yorkshire for a month. And one of the great things about Cycling is you're continually hungry and therefore very greedy. And where where do you go as a chef, where do you go and you got an evening off and you want to want a nice meal in Yorkshire. Okay.Tommy Banks So well my favourite thing to do is actually Sunday lunch. Amazing. We used to cook Sunday lunches at the restaurant for years and thought I never would touch one eat one again. see another Yorkshire pudding was since we stopped doing Sunday lunches. I now think they're the best thing I can see why it's our tradition like roast beef from Yorkshire puddings and meeting to evangelise delicious. I go to a place called the door the arms news which a little poke down on the river cruise. And they just do the most brilliant Sunday lunch and it's really good value and incredibly good quality. And it's it's always around for Sunday lunch because everyone people know it's good. But that's my go to and that's my so happy place no matter what time of year is. I have a glass of red wine. Sunday lunch.Alastair Humphreys It's pretty relaxing. Sounds very good. Tommy, thank you so much for your time. Thanks for showing me around. You've been very gracious and generous and I've really enjoyed it.Tommy Banks Thank you very much. Thank you. It's been a lot of fun.★ Support this podcast ★
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. Helen is not only a highly-acclaimed poet but also a lecturer in creative writing. So I was intrigued to hear her take on imposter syndrome and her masochistic enjoyment of attempting creative projects that she has no idea how to complete. I had slept on a river bank (beneath a tree with a noisy hooting owl) the night before meeting Helen, so I was glad that I had the chance to chug down a speedy espresso at the cafe before Helen arrived. She is an incredibly smart woman and my brain needed all the help it could get! Helen graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Social and Political Sciences. In 2014, she completed her Doctorate at Sheffield University with a Ph.D thesis in English and Neuroscience. To clear her mind, Helen enjoys running in the Hills of the Peak District.Please Subscribe to the Living Adventurously Podcast(It's completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you're feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app - that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn ("Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast") or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastThis Podcast is brought to you by komootYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.Show Notes If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys ​"Helen Mort is among the brightest stars in the sparkling new constellation of young British poets" - Carol Ann Duffy Helen's website and Instagram. "I enjoyed running because it was the first time I'd ever been good at something physical." The difference between running and climbing for clarity. There are times in your life when you can't just 'take off' but you can pretend you can by manageable adventurers The changing approach to adventure (and writing) with parenthood. Taking a baby running or up Snowdon - Helen enjoys that side of adventure The baby gives her adventures more purpose because Helen is exposing them to adventure and the outdoors. Adventure is being open to the possibility of something changing your life in ways you can't predict. Life feels less risky when I'm in Greenland rather in Sheffield with a group of mums The need for security stops Helen going freelance as a writer. Fear of your own inadequacy. Wilfully feeds her imposter syndrome by trying new genres. Likes doing things she doesn't know whether she can do. Writing comes from an urge to communicate and to connect TranscriptBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It's done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it's worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me...!). If you'd like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/jhNKddo2Rq2HyzVN8GXDGgAlastair Humphreys Helen, thank you for meeting me. I'm sitting on a Saturday morning outside nice cafe, your local cafe, you seem to know everybody walks past with the little one. And who's desperate at the microphone. So we'll give this a go see how we get on. And my first question to you is because I asked this for everyone who's done a PhD? Yeah. Because I love it. What was the title of your PhD? andHelen Mort I'm embarrassed to say it! So the first part is a quote, I must emphasise. "something else, then something else. neuroscience: neuroscience and connexion making in contemporary poetry."Alastair Humphreys I Really, absolutely love people's PhD titles. And I won't I won't ask another question about it! You're a climber and runner?Helen Mort Yeah, kinda. Definitely. Not so much of a climber.Alastair Humphreys Okay. And, and one of the things you enjoy it for is the clarity of it. Can you tell me a bit about that? Why you like the running and the climbing.Helen Mort And well actually is I came to climb in a bit later I ran, I was quite, I think it was quite a quite a stocky little kid, I did a lot of walking with my dad, when I was a kid, I was always quite into something German sports, but I never thought of myself as particularly sporty. And I sort of got into running a secondary school and got picked to do a race decided to train for it. And then on the day that PT should pick someone else. And I was really upset and asked if I could run anyway, and then ended up doing quite well. So it kind of all started from there. And so I always enjoyed. I enjoyed running because it was the first time I've been good at anything sort of physical. And that then became my because of that it then became I became confident doing it. And it wasn't my sort of time to think. And so I did that from when I was 12. I always started climbing when I was like sort of 1718 and in the Peak District and I and I realised that I liked climbing for different reasons, because it was more running for me, just give me clarity, but it's not always a way of switching my thoughts off, I can still worry quite a lot and do things when I'm running. But when I'm climbing, I realised I can't you have to think about the next hold. And then it's much more kind of good for me maybe because maybe because I'm, I'm pretty bad at it. And definitely compared to running and there's no kind of competitive drive. There's no sort of obsessive side to it. There's no yeah, there's no ego, really, it's just I'm never going to be good at it. I just enjoy it. And so, and also because I'm not particularly competent at it, I have to really concentrate. And so it feels for me a bit more of a kind of pure sports in a funny sort of way. It's not tainted with any, like, bad things, I guess. Whereas running is a bit more ambivalent. And I have quite funny relationship with running at different times and sort of Finn. That changes. Yeah, so I think I kind of prefer climbing. If a clarity actually these different kind of way.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, what I'm a meeting you got my bike here, I'm cycling around for a month. And the Bs, couple of lines struck with me. In terms of the notion of why I'm out on my bike ride from the dog. Oh, yeah. You plan the plans to set off pass the meadow down behind the back beyond the blunt profile of silver How? And nobody will call me back.Helen Mort Yeah, yeah, yeah, the idea of just just being able to, to take off. And obviously, there's times in your life when you can't just take off. But you can kind of pretend that you can through manageable adventures, I think caught you like going on a road or sort of? Yeah, I think that that was what actually when I wrote that poem. That was funny. It's interesting that the lines spoke to you about sort of the idea of setting out and stuff because at the time when I wrote that it was actually quite a stark thing I was thinking about, it was about freedom. And it was about being able to run over the fellows. But it was also about the idea is like, something that I think about a lot which is like, at the time when I wrote it, I was thinking if I didn't meet with misadventure on one of my adventures, of kind of wouldn't be like, leaving anyone but I only have my myself to be responsible for and to, which is kind of liberating, but also can feel fat. So like, so how,Alastair Humphreys how's that approach to?You said it to me Just now you said? Was it pretend freedom? Yeah, yeah. How's your approach to that changed your new stage of life?Helen Mort Yeah, it's interested in I think it applies to writing as well. Because the interesting thing about having to say no, he must be writing lots about him and said, Well, no, I don't have any time to ride. So your your time is much more.Yeah, it's much more constrained, every got the microphone.But I suppose when you do get out, you value it more, or you have a sense of I haven't had a lot of people told me that when I climbed, I'd find that I'd become more risk averse. I think perhaps because I was so risk of it. made any difference? I've been soloing and stuff like that and haven't felt any more. kind of worried still hanging on tight? Yeah, then I would do before. It's not kind of Oh, I shouldn't climb that because I've got a baby or whatever. But I could imagine how it could make you feel like that. I've actually kind of seen it's a really nice chance to have sounds a bit cliche passwords have new adventures, because I really love having a little accomplice. Okay, the moment blessing doesn't have a choice in the matter. So I can do things. I enjoy doing things with a baby that No, I mean, you wouldn't think this kind of stuff was was particularly brave, or like, some people would think it was a bit brave to do with the baby like taking him up Snowden taking the mountain stuff and carried him and taking him running with me quietly lot. And I enjoy that side of the adventure go and actually I'm gonna, I'm gonna take the baby with me.Alastair Humphreys So it's easy adding to adventurous life rather than getting in the way of it.Helen Mort Well, no, he's just changing it is changing the balance, he's definitely making it feelmore like it's got more of a purpose, because it's the sense of introducing him to places into things that you might love later on. I know thatI can delude myself that the exposure to those adventures and those things in will sort of stay with him and the way that it did with me with my dad and my dad is because of my dad, but I love walking and I love climbing and lifting outdoors and I'd be so chuffed if that got passed on. And I was reading this. I think there's something about because my partner's two older children, they're not into the outdoors at all. But he is I always wondered why they were and then I was reading something about how apparently it's it's more of an influence in that if your mom is 40 or into the outdoors, you're more likely to thenAlastair Humphreys whether you're a boy or a girl. Yeah,Helen Mort yeah, I thinkthat has more of a it's more of a predictor of what you do is a novel which I don't know why.Alastair Humphreys It seemed quite interesting. Are you inspired by your dad?Helen Mort I was Yeah, it was my my mom was very sporty as well. It's just that my dad loved mountains, right. Yeah, it's interesting. And so yeah, I suppose it's the idea that you can instil that love in someone else from early on, even if it's not true. Even he doesn't even know that he's been up snowed andshowing the pictures you don't like to live and that would be quite cool, I think.Alastair Humphreys So what does the phrase living adventurously mean to this stage your life now?Helen Mort Sir, I mean, having a baby has been living adventurously for me because it was a bit of a risk. And he wouldn't mind me talking about that. I mean, myself and my partner hadn't been together very long at all, and we decided to have a baby, he's 18 years old. So, just decided toinvolves being open tochanging your life. But that is what living adventurously means, to me, I suppose.talks about this in relation to the baby quite a lot as well. So for instance, those are the things that feel risky to me, like being open to your life changing things and not necessarily things that the things that I do with a baby that might be adventurous, like going up a mountain don't always feel that adventurous to me that feels within my comfort zone, where it's like actuallyhaving one in the first place. That's an adventure that's coming from risk or sort ofeverybody, everybody's different in terms of what they consider to be, like, a daunting thing ormeans it's about your creativity as well. I think it just means being, to me being open to things that you didn't know that you do, or to live playing out in ways that you didn't know, and just trying to respond to it. AndUnknown Speaker keep being open.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, I think it's interesting, isn't it, how it changes over time. So I originally was trying to do fairly traditional adventurous expeditions. And I realised that after 20 years of going camping and cycling a long way and stuff, I was pretty good at that. Yeah. So to try and get complete, change your perspective on adventure. AndI am I spent a month busking through Spain, not being able to play the violin. And so in order to really exactly like normally Yeah, just to scare myself and shock myself. And that felt like a very adventurousHelen Mort that's interesting. That's, that's, I totally agree with you that that's, that's a better way of putting it. It's things that scare you. And like, so I got this book that I'm trying to write about dogs is because I had a phobia of dogs. And up until the age of 25. I tried lots of things to cure it, and I only managed to cure it by getting a dog. And so yeah, I think doing stuff like that is always the kind of Yeah, it's like the way round is this. It's Christmas to you. I agree with what you're saying about expeditions as well, like, like, I've always said that, for me. Life feels less difficult, and sort of less risky when I'm like in Greenland on a climbing trip. And then it does when I'm in Sheffield. Dealing with a group of moms are some, like people's comfort can be in those extreme environments. I think it's much simpler when you know what the things that are going to be demanded of you on the quiet survival focus that actually makes life feel quite manageable. When when you haven't got that instant threats. And things can feel more daunting in a funny sort of way. Maybe that's just the way our brains are they kind of look for danger when there isn't any kind of like it's easier to to outsource all your worry if it's about polar bears, then it's a real threat and the outside become rather than it being about, you know, how you're going to manage the day or a social situation and all that kind of those kind of adventures, I suppose. Yeah. I thinkAlastair Humphreys an interesting thing I think about living adventurous is that I think everyone wants to do it. Yeah, everyone wants to be a bit older and a bit more. A bit more. Today, like everyone all of us do. But so often we don't Yeah, because of the barriers obstacles and generally in life I think they're either a lack of time or lack of money, in your case very little kid getting in chaos.Unknown Speaker But what what are theAlastair Humphreys barriers that you've faced that stop you trying to live adventurously? Because then I think that often, internal more than just, we hide behind we say without time or money, but that's reallya front for the internal barrier that stops us doing stuff.Helen Mort Yeah, yeah, we saw his stuff isn't likesecurity, like wanting that always stops me from going freelance or writing, for instance, like thinking, Oh, no, I need a pension and I need it, which is actually a fear of not being able to manage things yourself. Because obviously, you could sort that out yourself. But also in think, yes, fear of your own inadequacy. And when I went to Greenland, I am sure yeah, like, No, I don't mind admitting this, I nearly I paid lots of money to go on this trip, we booked the flight. And I nearly cancelled it about a week before I was to go in.And I would be a liability and the climbing was going to be too demanding for my skills.My, you know, my mood was reliable. I thought I was going to what if I got really down or reallythe people who taught me violence into really helpful and just said, and it was the best experience? One of the best experiences of my life really, certainly the best trip over gone, it would have been. But it's fear of yourself. I think it's fear that you maybe it's imposter syndrome, is that somehow you're going to be found out is not being up to the adventure or the challenge or happens to be ODGGAlastair Humphreys still feel them? imposter syndrome as a writer?Helen Mort Yes. Yeah. All the time. Yes, opponent? Yeah, definitely. Yeah, he's worried that haven't got any more problems left or that. And, and I suppose I make it worse for myself by constantly trying new genres. So I wrote a novel haven't never written.kind of done. I've tried to write a non fiction book. So I'm always like, feeding my imposter syndrome by trying to be an imposter in a new show. But that's, that's part of living adventurous, I think, as well as social. You know, not just settling for what you know, you can already do. I think that's important. I know, I can sort of write poems. And I didn't know I could write a novel. So that was an adventure. I didn't know I could write a nonfiction book. I think it is about Yes. seeing if you can do those things and maybe getting comfortable with the idea that you might notAlastair Humphreys and you willing to take the take the hit if you're not.Helen Mort Yeah, I think so. I like to hope fail. Maybe I'm yeah.I'm less money to do that. And I think obviously worry about that a lot. But and I don't think I'd do those things. If If I was too afraid of theAlastair Humphreys consequences if you see what I mean. Yeah. Do you read your bad reviews?Helen Mort I, I don't I don't find it easier to read good reviews and bad reviews. To be honest, I get very uncomfortable with so all of us are skin review. And just read them but I read them very quickly with my heart and my mouth. And I Don't linger on the good bits either. Because that makes me uncomfortable makes you cringe. Yeah, it just makes me feel a bitAlastair Humphreys the greatest writers and Shakespeare. Yeah, thatHelen Mort would. Luckily, no one will ever say that. But definitely made me realise the way sometimes you know, it's hard if somebody pays you a compliment, some kind and you kind of go or Yeah, and you want to, like dismiss it as quickly as possible.Alastair Humphreys I'm trying to teach myself to accept compliments. Yeah, you give compliments to be kind. Yeah. And constantly brushing them off. It's a very precious thing to do. I'm trying to teach myself so No, thank you, and accept them with grace.Helen Mort Because sometimes it makes the person doing the compliments and feel bad feeling just go.Alastair Humphreys Just trying to be nice. They thank you that the the complete works of anonymous. Yes. And I find the interesting thing, the balance between egoListerine ego and personal satisfaction. One thing that I've always tried to ask myself before I choose to do a trip, particularly back in the olden days.Would I do this if nobody ever found out?Helen Mort Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's interesting. I find thatAlastair Humphreys a question. I was asked myself and what's what's the So would you write homes if no one ever read them? It's a good question. And presumably, when you started don't read them? Yeah, yeah.Helen Mort And I do write poems still that no one will ever see him. But I don't know. Because it is sort of just come from an urge to communicate or to make it because what I get from reading, not just polish. AndI kind of get a sense of recognition in the other person's way. So go wow, someone else's felt likethat makes me look at something differently. Andand so I suppose I want to give that to the people. And I hope that I don't even want them to so we think it's a good poem. And but just to go, Oh, I know that or that, that speaks to me or that kind of so I supposeyou think that someone's you assume that you're writing to an audience not to read but maybe maybe, because you also do that just to make you right into your past or future self and trying to communicate with yourself? Oh, dear, I think you're giving your problemsAlastair Humphreys has been very meaningful, but I think it's probably time.Thank you very much.Thank you.Helen Mort TT thereis definitely trying to buy lots of things that will do good as it sort of bite. Lots of things may go quiet.Those are such interesting question,Alastair Humphreys or you didn't even get on my question. These are my questions. For these questions,Helen Mort yes, yes. They put you back in the sling. All right.Alastair Humphreys We're gonna we're gonna have a round two now. I'll keep my microphonein my ear. So you just answered Really? No, they're not. They're not really quick answers.The questions I'm trying to figure out through the moment, is this a goodHelen Mort idea? I like the idea of having the one car Sorry, I'll speak into the modeAlastair Humphreys of free speech.contained, gagged, there we go is a few more minutes. So you will take it Yeah, from the top. Skip it if you didn't fancy it.Helen Mort Oh, gosh, that's good. And what purchase of 100 pounds or less has most positively impacted your life recently?This is a good answer.I feel bad answering this actually. But I will Anyway, it was a perfect prep milk milk formula. And because I've just stopped breastfeeding after six or seven months, and the why I was reluctant to say things like this, but I really enjoy breastfeeding and I'm very glad that we did it andplease give me a lot more freedom to go off and to have some writing time or to be able toAlastair Humphreys money will spendHelen Mort on a scale of one to 10 How weird are youand I eat your name? Ohyeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah.Alastair Humphreys Other people think youHelen Mort probably the more they get to know me the more weird they might think I am. I'm sure I can pass off as being kind of reasonably normal when I'm when I initially meet people.Probably with timemaybe we all just think we're weird though.★ Support this podcast ★
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!PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Women in Adventure is an independent research-based organisation focused on empowering women through the sharing of information, inspiration and advice Hetty Key is on Instagram as @mudchalkandgears Making a pact with a friend to do a weekly 7am swim - began only going in up to her knees Adventure of moving from a proper job to pursue her research When curiosity and a hobby grows organically into something bigger Eventually she was doing so much with her passions that it reached a tipping point to quit her job and go it alone. Women in Adventure survey around the inspirations and limitations of women getting into the outdoors Mental wellbeing is unanimously improved by being in the outdoors doing sports Life satisfaction, happiness, anxiety, worthwhile - different sports help different aspects of these better than others. Women worry about looking out of place, about being beginners and looking fools A lack of knowledge and information is a common barrier for women wanting to get into adventure The importance of relatable role models TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/vaVwYEmITsekx_MWHnU2LwAlastair Humphreys what does living adventurously mean to you?Hetty Key That's, that's a big question. I mean, I think that it is being out of your comfort zone. And so living adventuroulsy for me is... it's not, you know, the types of fun. So type one, type two, it's not always being sort of uncomfortable. But it's consistently trying to push yourself just out of the comfort zone into that. I think it's quite an exciting, I think the definitely challenging moments, really enjoyable moments, but it's just being out of your comfort zone and kind of going and doing the things that when you first think of them, you think, I don't know if I can do that. Okay, so give me an example of your life of adventure you had that does not include being in the mountains, etc. I think so. About two years ago, I was quite short on time, I was doing a lot of work and my kind of work life balance have gone down the drain pipe, so to speak. And friend and I made a pact the 7am once a week, we're going to try and slowly get into a river near because both of us are actually quite nervous about the concept. I like water fascinates me, don't get me wrong. But I would not have jumped in a river like open water was terrifying. It was like, you know, all the monsters on the bottom, like, the feeling of the ground with your feet, like the whole thing, like completely. It was it was very out of my comfort zone. But actually, every every week we went through at seven in the morning. And just gradually the first time I think I went like up to my knees and I was like I'm good enough. And actually we kept going and starting in started in October. And actually we by February, we were we went through the whole winter and it totally changed my outlook and perception on on water and actually something I still do a lot and really, really enjoy. But that was definitely adventure.Alastair Humphreys Okay, I agree. What about moving from having a proper job to not have a job? Tell me what you've doneHetty Key So recently, I took the decision to leave my full time joband actually pursue my research through a company called Women and adventure.Alastair Humphreys Okay, so we're going to talk about adventure a lot but to pick you up here on the leaving your full time job to go into the freelance or essentially honestly having no job it Yeah, yeah yeahs until Tell me when you put it that way? Well, there's a lot of people who would love to do it. But to tell me about the pros and cons of that.Hetty Key So I think I think the really important thing to remember, or to know is that I didn't just do this overnight, I didn't wake up and think, Oh, yeah, I'm gonna go get it goes big club, I still say, you know, I quit, I quit. It definitely wasn't bad. This evolved over maybe about three years of just, you know, always had a really strong interest in learning about women in the outdoors. And actually, even simpler than that, just learning. And so something that started as curiosity and a hobby just grew and grew very organically, and I could be the drop that I couldn't leave it and every opportunity where I was like, if I, you know, know, including, for instance, I may be benefited, and I could have a lot more free time. And it would be you know, life would be very easy. But actually, when curiosity every time got the better of me, and I just kept going back and doing more learning and it it gradually grew to a point where I felt, actually, I really need to access again, the work life balance, I need to look at them. And actually, I think viably does enough research and enough to do this, that this is a full time job. And, you know, I looked at I looked at my annual leave and public service and gone toward sitting in front of a computer looking at spreadsheet, I looked at maybe half and I was getting outside and and realised that although I loved everything I was doing, I really enjoyed my job, Rob, I, you know, I love the research I was doing. And I also come on the organiser of the climbing festival. And I really, really enjoyed that too. But there is something to be said, for knowing when you're your limit. And knowing how long, maybe managing all of that was sustainable. So I knew I had some decisions.Alastair Humphreys So you essentially you have these hobbies and passions that stayed and grew and wouldn't go away wouldn't go away. And you just kept pushing them and pursuing them until you got to the point when something had to give essentially, yeah, you you got to a point where film right, there's just too much to do it. Yeah, job.Hetty Key And actually, I was so motivated and driven by I mean, I know we're talking about the kind of the research a bit, the number of women that got in touch and the number of storeys are shared and how inspirational they were. I just felt that there was so much there was so much to look at so much to research. And I really wanted to do them justice that women that had responded. And I think sometimes when it comes to surveying and I think questions, yes, you get the answer to your question. But then you end up with 100 more questions.Alastair Humphreys Yes, definitely. Okay, go and then tell us then now about the survey, you did the star stillness. And this is actually that how you and I first got in touch was yes. Yes, sir. Basically, tell us, give me some brief summary of what that was.Hetty Key rewinding the beginning, the first minute adventure survey looked at inspiration, first participation and goal setting for women in adventure, if we have women in adventure, and I know so adventure is a you know, we started the conversation talking about what what you know, what is adventure, that is a broad term. And actually, I really wanted with this for people to interpret that, how they felt, if you love the outdoors, and you love enjoying the outdoors, and you engage with the topic, I wanted people to feel they could fill this out.Alastair Humphreys So what sort of questions we asking people about women of adventure, what was what the kind of questions you were interested in. SoHetty Key the most recent survey, which is probably one of the areas I'm most passionate about, look at mental well being in the outdoors. So what I wanted to do, I think, instinctively, when we go inside, we will talk about how good it makes us feel you you come back from a run or ride a bike or you know, even just going and watching the sunset, and you just I presume it's better for getting out, you know, I've really got to really clear my head. There's all this kind of feeling in terms of feeling but the outdoors helped select mind, body and soul. But actually, when it came to the data, there wasn't there wasn't very much out there. And something that one of the drivers to me was to be able to put accessible information behind this, I thought that that would really give the opportunity to say activity providers initiatives that are helping women in the outdoors, and their mental well being to prove their worth and to say, look, this is what we're doing. And this is the data that shows it's incredible. And that was a huge driver for me, as well as the curiosity. And then on top of that, I felt that brands and organisations are really trying to shut up and listen and and whilst that is absolutely incredible, I won't actually be based on real data, because I'm like, a bit of a sudden geek, and rather than this like gut feeling. And so it was just that was the starting point for me. Kind of equipping everyone with the knowledge to then learn and grow and take the next steps.Alastair Humphreys You put out this survey and you got massive response, you guys, and what what did you learn what's what are some give me a few key pointers that you you learned from your survey.Hetty Key So I think we have to start with the kind of the major headline they speak, which was that 99.6% of women either agree or strongly agreed that the outdoors benefits them into well being. Of course, I felt that that was going to be kind of the overland said that they were degree but to that extent, but so you know when you run that up 100%, which sounds unbelievable. will agree with it. But I was amazing, so high. Interesting as well, if you look at physical well being the same question. So how does the outdoors benefit the physical well being that came out at 97.7. So they're almost on a par? It's normal, it's not that one is greater than the other women are going outside to the food, the mental and the physical benefits. I think historically, we've always kind of like champion the physical benefits. But I was really pleased to see that the mental city kind of equally alongside that.Alastair Humphreys Soadventure helps within the physical health, mental health, yes, and the data backs out of your gut feeling bunch. So whatHetty Key so what I think that's when you can kind of dive deeper into what the survey looked at. And we looked at sport, so specifically, whether that's like climbing, hiking, biking, and that could be the effect on well being that those sports camps. So that was done usingkind of the wrong methodology,and weight lesson. But basically, it looks at four, four key things. That's life satisfaction, happiness, anxiety and worthwhile. What I can do is I've looked at within my data, how that changes for the different sports. And that is fascinating, because certain sports prove to help for support different areas within those for better thanAlastair Humphreys others. So could it could it be then you could recommend sports for women according to what they're trying to get out of it? I think,Hetty Key yeah, I think that's certainly one angle audience. Also, on the flip side, looking at maybe where is safer school has slightly higher anxiety than another, maybe that group could have a little more support in a certain way or area. So I think there's the potential for organisations to like, act and support those women is huge.Alastair Humphreys And what sort of organisations have been interested in what you're doing.Hetty Key So my main aim is for this data to actually drive real change. I'm not researching for the sake of kind of academia and science, although that is really important to me something I want to work on. I really want this to be accessible data, I want anyone to be able to download a copy of the results haven't read and be able to understand it. And there's a huge amount that you could take from that as a brand or organisation. Or if you're just interested, then then you'll learn a lot to it. It's it's definitely keeping it accessible. So what I'm trying to do in terms of who I'm working with, it's it's working with activity riders, brands and organisations that are looking to really act in those areas. This isn't about kind of massaging marketing statistics and, you know, patting ourselves on the back. It's about actually helping more women get into sport, supporting those in it, and really kind of crafting the way forward in a way that's really positiveAlastair Humphreys for society as a whole. Trying to get trying to get more women doing more adventurous things. interests me, I think it's pretty unanimous that everyone would like to be adventurously. I feel like you haven't done any research this at all, but it's just a kind of got really everyone wants them one eventually. But equally I know, from lots of anecdotal experience that something stops people living as adventurous as they like to invite various different people. So and it's often a lack of time or lack of money. I think there areHetty Key three big ones in the first woman and adventure survey, the three barriers that were highlighted this presentation for women with time, work and money. And that was some time ago, and I've been really interesting to look at that again. But I think that's something that we all feel an agreement, it can be, you know, there's three quite basic barriers can be quite limiting. Yeah.Alastair Humphreys And yeah, time work, I think work actually is kind of the same as time in a way. similar sort of constraintHetty Key in kicks, it can vary for women.Talk time can have a number of facts on that. So whether that's on the, say, the family based side, whether,you know, whetherit's on the family side, it's a if a woman is mainly responsible for looking at the children, or actually its career as well, I think it's really important that it's not, it's not just one thing. And actually, I've realised I've gone a little tangent here, but the most important thing, if I could have one message for this, it would be that there are many opinions we're not going to find and the one thing you know, what do women What are they one thing, great, let's do it, and we're sorted. This is an ongoing conversation, and we need to open that dialogue and talk and continue. Because it's going to change, it's going to adapt, it's going to be more than one opinion. We just need to listen moreAlastair Humphreys Kitty's and from you're listening, and from your, your research, I've been interested in this side of what stops being because there's the there's the time money work, yeah, which I I put them as practical areas. And in my world, as what micro ventures have been deliberately trying to deal with those things. I'm really interested in the internal barriers, the mental barriers that will stop this doing x, y, and Zed, you and I talked earlier about the imposter syndrome. But what what have you noticed about the the internal barriers, store women getting into a friendship? IHetty Key think it's, it's quite varied and quite complex. But I think something that can be said can besometimes there is a trend for women to wait to feel like they aren't good enough. Instead of instead of going and doing and maybe taking that leap, I'll just learn it is that imposter syndrome of you know, not wanting to look at a place not wanting to look like you don't know what you're doing. And I think we can all relate to that. I'm not, you know, when I say this and talk about the research I've done, I'm not disputing men, let's look. So I don't want to say this is only one thing, but I, I know you can, the majority of us can relate to that feeling of, you know, going and trying something new, whether that's also like, even going and exploring a new area where you just think I've got no idea. You don't want to feel that kind of complete, beginner, a bit lost a bit kind of thumb weaselled. That's actually quite intimidating. And, and I think the fear of feeling like that can can stop the initial impetus to go and do.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, I completely agree with that. What else any others that you can think of,I think this is a certainly a universal thing, that fear of looking like an idiot, the fear that you don't belong, IHetty Key think, I think as well fitting in, and, and unlike knowledge. So within the mental well being sadly, there was actually an interesting number of women who spoke about wanting more knowledge, wanting more information. So maybe there is the impetus to go into, but actually there needs to be the support for that as well. And that can come in so many different forms, whether that's, you know, actual literal knowledge, like how to get into a sport, or where to go or what clubs join, or actually, physically when it comes to equipment, having the clothing and equipment for, for the difference. It's such as as a huge amount of belonging that comes from being able to kind of get the things you need to do this book. And that was something specifically voiced by a number of women, especially, who are in the plus size range, they felt there was a lack of clue and equipment for them to go and do and try. And that's sometimes what's holding them back from getting out there. I know it's a catch 22 because you shouldn't need you shouldn't have to have a you know, Ialways haveeverything right in the beginning when you're starting up. But sometimes that can help get you in some knowing you've got I've got a pair of hiking boots, I'm gonna go do it. I'm ready. It's part of the preparation. Yeah,Alastair Humphreys yeah, I understand that.Okay, couple more questions.If you hadan extra hour a dayto devote to this, what would you do? The research, oh, women in the venture world, one hour a day,Hetty Key everyone, enough. And if I had one hourAlastair Humphreys that I every single day, every single day,Unknown Speaker I wasHetty Key I was not no one to do. Because there's so many things, I'd want to talk to people, I would want to get out there and actually show people and blame and I'd love to be able to just help people help people have get that impetus to go live and encourage.Alastair Humphreys How,Unknown Speaker how then do weAlastair Humphreys actually do? How do you do this? How would you practically go from having this a nice spreadsheet to actually getting more women up in the hills?Hetty Key I think a lot of it is about a relatable role model. So you need to you need to know someone or see someone will be influenced in a way and look at women who could be someone, someone I feel that would be you, and you can see yourself in. Actually, they might not be doing exactly what you that you want to do. And they might, they might be doing it at a higher level, but some aspect of their personality or their drive or what they're saying resonates. And if I could find an hour going back to this, if I put more out there that resonated not just from me, but from other women, that would be not beingAlastair Humphreys lazy. Okay, so putting content out into the world. Women like me doing x, y and Zed. And is that something then that? Is that? Is this a job for Brandon, this and their choice of influences?Unknown Speaker I think IHetty Key think all of us can, I think anyone who has a passion of the outdoors, you know, we're all we're all on social media, we will you know, if we're not on social media, you talk to your friends about what you do. I think it's justUnknown Speaker everyone needsHetty Key to encourage whether it's friends, family, social media audience, or from branding point of view that that bias that customers will make that efforts and I think would suddenly be this huge wave andAlastair Humphreys we all need to grab a woman we know. go canoeing, go biking, take try and actively.take someoneHetty Key Yeah, like Good, good. Like, it doesn't have to be epic. Go show someone what you love, if you love a particular walk because of a view or if you love a field ofphotography, or you have a client that you think is like easy to really get like, Don't doesn't have to be that's kind of like, do something really epic. Pick, pick something that's like, achievable. Really cool. I'm going to show them and enjoy showing up people what you love doing. And then like, maybe it's too I think that's really infectious. And I mean, it was like, not just not at all there's so much there's so many different sports out there, whether it's you know, climbing, mountain biking, road biking, running government, like different varieties of those within all of them. It's okay not to like some of them as well. Like, I was definitely guilty of you know, when you try something and you're like, I must like it because it felt Josie f1 upset. doesn't all have to be for you. So, you know, if someone's if you want to try something, go and do it. But don't just stop there. If that's not the one and try something. Yeah.Alastair Humphreys Okay, if I gave you a million pounds to go get more women into adventure? What would you do with it? AndHetty Key I would, it would go into research, I think thethe amount of accessible information and research surrounding the outdoors and mental well being I know, I'm looking at women at the minute, but I'd be really interested. And I'm hoping to look at the kind of whole adventure community rather than just specifically women. If you gave me a million pounds, I will do some really extensive research into mental well being and devise an entire theme about how we can better support everyone, not just women.Unknown Speaker Got it in your pocket? Yeah. Yes.Alastair Humphreys Okay. And then the final question is, if anyone is listening to this, who's interested in either the women in their friendship project are doing or is a woman wanting to do more adventure work? Where should they go find out.Hetty Key So if you want to learn more about my resets, and just head over to women in adventure calm, you can download a free, publicly available copy of the results of the survey. And you can also find out more about what I'm looking at now. And and if you're into climbing, you can also check women have festival that's happening, probably not in this weather, but next weekend. And so thatAlastair Humphreys will have happened by the time this comesHetty Key out. And itis an annual event. And onceAlastair Humphreys we find out about that women start festival. So if you're interested starting climbing, learning, climbing, daring to call yourself a climber, that's a good place for that. Definitely.Hetty Key Okay.Alastair Humphreys Thank you very much for talking to me. It's very interesting to talk some adventure well with the brain.★ Support this podcast ★
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.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Sarah's website: careers coaching for those who don't know where to begin. Sarah's Instagram: @about.the.adventure Busy London routine meant Sarah had lost her zest for life. She did not like who she was and the negative way she was complaining about everything. Sarah began using small escapes from London as a way to escape the city life she no longer enjoyed. For a while it felt acceptable to use adventurous weeekend escapes as a counter to the job she no longer liked. Admitting to herself that she had been drifting through her twenties felt very daunting. Whilst she knew what she did NOT want to do, Sarah did not know for a while what she DID want to do. Sarah wanted to pay off her debts, to be financially stable before leaving her job and making the change. But in the end an evening of adventure talks plus a ticking off from her boss sparked her into resigning. In her coaching work Sarah sees a lot of people who are heavily swayed by the amount of time and effort they have put into something, even if they don't like it. (The only important part of the runway is that in front of you). "I've come this far so I might as well keep going with it." Sometimes it feels easier to keep going with the devil you know rather than risking the uncertainty and newness and pressure of change. Coaching has been helpful for guiding Sarah that it is OK to change, it's OK to be upset by it sometimes, and it's not always easy. Coaching gives a new way of thinking and a fresh perspective through open, non-judgemental questions. Don't just ask yourself what the barriers are, but also break them down and think about what stories you are telling yourself about them. It would be good to give more attention and voicepieces to the unsung heroes of society who are helping to solve various problems. University felt like a wasted experience for Sarah (and me). TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/qR4Tiji2QpKAn_tR8-UO6QAlastair HumphreysHow did you go from being ayoung womanworking hard in London, to living a little cottage in the middle of nowhere, spending your days running in the hills?Sarah ListerWell, it started reallywanting to get out a little bit more. So I was in London and became very dissatisfied and not really thinking very, very critical. And I noticed that I didn't have not realisedyou know, something, my office paradise. And looking in the mirror I didn't like who I was. And the way that I'm talking, I'm saying negative complaining about my job and complain about everything really, even though I had quite nice job in my class, I wouldn't really keep making it or enjoying it. And it does come through just a little tiny mini adventure in a living. And I was asked to see what was around me, and then say that that I hadn't known before. And that made me startto work, roll and see more. And it's just like going outside of London.so I'm coming here on Monday 10 on the safer dog on a Friday, go home, packing my bags ready for the next morning, coming up at five and six o'clock in the morning whenever it started. And get on the train, set them on the street. So I did get back on a Sunday evening. And then go back to work Monday. I thought I've got it. I've got it down about a week. Yeah, I thought if I can say this. And I say my family hated me. And then great.quite a long time. And this is allabout three years in when I first on the event in London at the meeting here. AndAlastair Humphreyswhat what to say long.Sarah ListerIt was hard. It was hard scared of admitting that I didn't know what I wanted to say. I didn't actually want to say that my career path was notAlastair Humphreyswhat I wanted to do.Sarah ListerSo I would get a favour and say, Actually, I agree.It feels like at the same time.But it isn't actually what I want to say what I want to do the rest of my life when I say it, yeah, it's taking having to admit that to myself, that I've got a Thanks, Mike. And I didn't feel proud of it. So actually send me off insane, because to me, seems really scary and daunting. And I didn't know where I would go from there.Alastair HumphreysOkay, that's going to ask us Itdidn't want to be there yet, though.Sarah ListerExactly. And the most obvious thing was the going to pipe eating some kind of adventure storeys and pipe goals that we may copy and say, and I'm trying toAlastair Humphreysget money, like to do that.Sarah ListerAnd However, by inaction,I like taking people out on the floor and hiding.And I enjoy meeting people and taking up space.But I didn't want to be making it my living. And I want God to have my own a lot. I really like that. You have? Yes.Alastair HumphreysQuite they will do whatthey would be scared about fixing to go. We'relive, youknow,Sarah ListerI had a face out of my head. And I had a I had actually set a date in my calendar, when I'm with a quit my job. And the reason that I can it was because financial reasons. I didn't want to leave one of them job in debt. I wanted to fail. I did, I accepted my senior debt that we do hear that I have the credit.So I wanted to feel safe. And all that,however, and I can do the night of events, events.And that really got me thinking about all of the things that I'm saying my head, why shouldn't be yet why should maintain. And also on the day that I actually have been removed. And my so I've gone to are going to be the most friends make coffee about my morning. And my boss at the time said, Sarah, you really should be at your desk at 9am you know why you in the kitchen today? And it just got the heart racing. And it was not uncommon, saying you know, it's always kind of baffling. And she was absolutely right. I should have been in my bed at 9am and no indication caffeine making coffee. But I live up to my desk.Alastair HumphreysSo I they wanted to be there.Sarah ListerI didn't want to have to be sitting at my desk. I didn't want someone telling me that I should be doing that. Even though she was right. And I literally wrote nine husband that day. Right out when hopefully large capital. My mom said, my mom, she basically said yes, we can speaking about this, you want it you just do it?And yes, butAlastair HumphreysI had to work motivation. And that was it.Sarah ListerAnd there was no there was no grand plan. I had some ideas about what I might do a tonne of money.All of my time on calendar that makes meAlastair Humphreyspossible. Itseems like a very nice, happy,Sarah Listersimple butAlastair Humphreysfulfilling lifecoaching work now. Amongst the generally speaking people youwork with? What is it that stopping them taking the action? They want to say 30, generalities General,General stuff about the storeys that I've really interested in.Sarah ListerYeah, definitely, I think something I see tonight is that when people are connected quite a lot of time to a job or put in. I think they sort of, I think it's taught that they want to continue to forward and put soAlastair Humphreysmuch into it.Sarah ListerSo it's always a kind of, I think they feel a sense of something percent of failure is based off. Especially if they haven't quite made a success in their mind what they thought they would do, then it's that kind of like, well, I need to keep going until I'm happy with it. And the years just go by, and yes, some good things might happen. But generally, they I thinkthings aren't going the way that they imagined it to be whether it's the global Centre forAlastair HumphreysratherSarah Listersay, yeah, I think it kind of taking that kind of attitude as well are coming off. It's too late now paying debt for anything to make sense of it.Alastair HumphreysI think very few economic theories, but one of them. So my life learning about somefancy that. Was that? I buddy? Yeah.Teacher?Sarah ListerYeah, I think it's, I mean, it's the same to me now I thought, well, I've been five years and still get the quit now, when I'm to possibly get into a higher role or concerns with another organisation or whatever. It was that idea or, well, I just wasted the last five or six years, but what do I have the show for it. And I have nothing, got nothing to say, apart from a kind of average, and paid lifestyle. It wasn't terrible. But I just been inspired by it. I think that that kind of attitude of welcoming, so long that it would be silly to let it go away. Also, I do you know, that they've really encouraging State University. And I think they were quite happy that I had quite a nice job in London, you know, I had a nice place to live. I didn't want to face them. I really am not doing what I'm doing. I don't really understand why University, it was like saying all of those years and all that energy to put in?Alastair HumphreysLike, I don't have any of it.Sarah ListerLike I wouldn't have any of it. It is so hard to say that to people who have the currency and the money. And thinking to meeting today with the Yeah, I got the job and oh, hotel today at work and all those things. And yes, I think it was, to me it was that. But I thinkAlastair Humphreysthe other people who buy Coke, I think it's also because theySarah Listerdon't know what they want to do. And it was the same to me. It was like, Well, if we don't do this, and what am I going to do? And that question is scary as well. Because, you know, there's so many other questions. And sometimes it's just easier to keep going what you know, and what you're already doing. If you're saying even thoughAlastair Humphreysthat's the devil, you know, yeah.And that doesn't work out, then you become a serial quicker.That's another kid like yourself, you can do it.Sarah ListerYeah, exactly. And then and then like, there's always more training on Okay, it feels like a big cluster. And, and it is I mean, even leaving London to me a lot of pressure, because it is tying up things in jobs. It was kind of invented at Staples, centre, all the stuff that you collect along the way. So it's like a really big breakup, you know, you see, everything changes, absolutely everything. It seems not, it's not something that happened to the My heart really nothing really happened to oneand be able to explore f3 very open toAlastair Humphreyswhat will happen for you for making, making that same stuff like that scepticism closes the life that I could still live,Sarah ListerI should liveAlastair Humphreysa useful thing.And then another good quote, is the best time to plant the tree 20 years ago, the second best time is now I think those two things together really helpful if I had to just try forgetting to costSarah Listerthem. Yeah. And like, I mean, to me, the support that I have concerning different people say them special cases, my friends, my parents here, they're basically saying to me, you know, when, after college said r1 happening around the world, I did that for a year. And then I come back and I said what's the progress my life and life will be great. And they say, Oh, you went to meeting and you know, they've been through all of this with me. And I'm constantly changing my mind. And the support from them is the amazing. And, and yes, more of my family really. And I think particularly the coaches that they because they kind of guided me and said it was unpaid, became and it's okay to be worried and upset about it sometime, you know. So it's part of the journey and none of it is in life, there's nothing along the way that is, you know, you have to say we will fix changing things, asking questions and finding new answers and exploring it.Alastair HumphreysTell me Then tell me about coaches, coaches, not just forme, orfor me, not with?Sarah ListerYeah, exactly. And I thinkI'm saying that. Youknow, I'm saying that I'masking questions in their own head about anything, is there anything to take your life that we might be very vague in life? Or it might just be like a little niggle? And that keeping people here thinking in their head for the chemical questions, or the questions keep coming up. But they're not actually getting to any amateurs about theircareer or whether living or anything, you think it's something thatAlastair Humphreysyou should invest your time and money?allocation of someone?Sarah ListerYeah, I think it's a really useful tool. And and once you have started exploring the questions that came up, then you can, you know, keep that as a tool for life. So not saying write down the questions and feedback and say more neighbour neighbour again, that you start to open up, and you start to discover new ways of thinking. And with fresh perspectives, different questions, the questions might be quite different, how you lessen yourself. And they're very open questions go there without judgement, without someone telling us about business? or strange, or, you know, any kind of negative like that. Yeah, he's got a good coach, then they'll be very open and disguise the keyboard asking more questions. That's the whole Daniel bed. Yeah.Alastair HumphreysWell, that seems a good time, then. They made for me, rather than getting coaching a complete cheaper option of going free month long bike ridewith a microphone, and I got aSarah Listerquestions inwhich the confidence of someone who has the same big barriers that are in your heart. And I thinkAlastair Humphreysthe third thing is the barriers that you've got, which we talked about a bit, the things that are stopping us. So of course, lots lot of people in the sameUnknown Speakersituation. Yeah.Sarah ListerYeah.Alastair HumphreysWell, we as a coach that, would you just ask that question to that?Sarah ListerYeah, I would actuallyAlastair Humphreyslike, and?Sarah ListerWell, I would, I would ask this. What what are the barriers? Like, can we actually identify them? So it sounds like you've been asking me, what are the barriers to, you know, have this idea about the lifestyle? I wanted to have? What, what couldn't so long, you know, what was the barriers? And I think it's a lot to do in the storeys that we tell ourselves. And so I think, identifying the barriers, and the storeys that we have, and asking, What if I didn't have that storey? You know, what if I didn't have that storey about my money that I'm paying myself, you know, oh, I have to quit my job. When I've got myself out of debt. It was like I was beating myself, you know, the previous sentence and my dog. And actually, the way that things work, how I'm earning almost the same as it wasAlastair Humphreysin London,Sarah Listerand then, and then paid off my debt now. So, yeah, I think it's not just asking what the big barriers are breaking them down. So you might say, Oh, well, I have failed something. And so you can start asking for what does that actually mean? What does it look like? How does it feel? Where does that come from? And what storey you're telling yourself around that? You know, what do you how do you how do you teach other people about it? You know, how do you tell? But you know, I've been talking about my death for such a long time. And I still have that storey You know, I'm still telling people about what I'm doing. And what if, what if you detach yourself from that storey? And then you can create something completely new. Thank you.Alastair HumphreysNext, up, yeah.Sarah ListerWhat storey would you put on the front page of a newspaper? Oh. And I actually think I volume pages because I think they are they can be very negative. And the it I think my head and sound a little bit. AndI would put some sayingsome of the things about recently of how I would like to meet people and talk to people who have kind of been given a rise in finding that example of tech, Sheffield, and speak to the people who are doing things kind of behind the scenes, maybe was a doctor, nurse is working a charity or company even less obvious than that, to find out what they're doing, and what impact they're having, either in our national or global scale, and finding out what problems they are helping to solve. And finding out what it is like for them. And, and why they do it. That's what I was, yeah, there's like,some paper that I read. Oh, that's up to them. Thatif you could like to change one thing in your life, what would it be?Okay, the hell a lot of things.Alastair HumphreysSo the reason Ilike this question is,because it is quite nice to get to that often imagine things go when they removed the that reality. And then once you've come up, as I'm priming here, but once you then come up with that, I can change this. And you can often think, Oh, well, actually, I could change that.Sarah ListerYeah, without the magic. ButAlastair Humphreyshe did my question.Sarah ListerNow. I love it. Magic. AndI'm just thinking is on thing that I see my head, the things that I have been telling lies that I'm trying to change.But I give you a perspective. And I really want to make more effort with the people who are close to me in life, not in difficult. But my family and my friends, my close friends, please. I tend to get wrapped up in the same place where I'm in. And I don't very often feed my family, not not live life. And I would like to say that isn'tworking.And say thatUnknown Speakerif you could live life what would beSarah ListerI would not100% used to making being there. And I knew I didn't want to go I knew it. I knew that I didn't. I mean, maybe later in life, I need something to let me miss out. And it's not just because it's easy that I just found it to be very slow. And quite tracking in terms of financial privacy. And I for that my back. So you know, I just come back from travelling around the world. My eyes are wide open. And I thinkAlastair Humphreysthat what I wanted to do, which was to work and travelSarah Listerand see what I see what I've really been doing that year. And yes, they scrapped that they full year university. I just feel one college. Kid anywhere. Oh, you're just fighting off on my own. Trying to escape it. So yeah. Always going.Alastair HumphreysYeah, I was gonna I just think, I think the common time ISarah Listerwait wasted. Yeah. I've been reading some good books. Yeah.Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I think a lot of people say, Oh, well, you know, there's my best years and stuff. But I wasn't drinking at the time. And I wasn't into that kind of culture tools. Like, I kind of isolate myself by not being part of that. I been slated money fall on there. And, you know, sort of biking I went off. And I mean, I think I made the best of it. But it just dropped on. So long. I took it so seriously. And verint myself in the and I'm not saying could have been different experiences, right? Yeah, I just didn't, I didn't make it, either.Next question.Can you share an example of trying to find a balance between contentment and self improvement? Okay, I've got to get one thing. So when I did decide that I was like, picked up mentally, and become a coach, which was, again, yourself treatment itself exposed being coached. And I just felt like rather than treating my whole outlook on life, bye, bye. started really interested in even though I'm still in my job at the time. And I went full pelt, into trying to start my business as a coach and make it effective, I could leave my job. And during that time, I found it really hard to have time just for myself, I was working in putting myself into something pushing myself harder. So my health is really downhill. Because if I wasn't at work, I was trying to going out on adventures and trying to improve my navigation, learning or, you know, walking, whatever. And, or trying to create an event, I was always plugging away at something, or the microwave meal from the go, and that my health was like a downhill, it was really frustrated, because I wanted to feel more balanced and happy. But I wasn't getting enough sleep. And I wasn't I didn't have a social life outside of work. So I found that really hard. Because I just push myself harder and harder and harder until I basically just burnt out. So and I wasn't I wasn't even showing up. That was the case, either. So. So now, and kind of a close thing just a second ago that I need to make more time with my family and friends, because now I do have a better balance in my health and my relationship. But that doesn't really extend to the people who remember me, forgive me through a hard time. So I really want to get back to that. That's that. NowAlastair HumphreysI think pretty much anyone who's taking you taketaking self employment seriously goes down that manic overload.I think it's thewhat you're passionate about what you're doing. You just want to go for it. Yeah. Often it's I think it's the nature of the person who has the audacity and the hubris things I can make it go with self employed,Sarah Listeryes.Alastair HumphreysCombined with a bit of a crazy cocktail, I think. Yeah, so the call you say that resonates with me. And many people I know you've gone self employed. But equally, I think you don't go kind of crazy. If it doesn't work and self employed sounds like you just sit around you come straight to work we get they wouldn't see that?Sarah ListerYes, exactly. Yeah. And I, you know, I have been through that phase. In fact, very quickly, after quitting my job, I saw Oh, I've got my quit smoking conversation now, fashion design with what comes up little bit. People just, you know, hire me. And, and in the coaching world, you are kind of sold the idea that you take the lead, and you know, you follow certain formulas, and then you go out into the world and people will come to you know, I want to and a few services to help me. And I'm not saying that never work. And but it didn't work for me. I never wanted it to work that way, either. So yeah, there's there was definitely a gap where I kind of thought, What am I doing, I don't even know how to manage myself. And in terms of like my payments, and taxes and all that stuff. And it seems really scary, that none of it is is very appropriate for and the way that things work, how, remember how I can think that. I'm not saying to just jump into something and not have any idea how things work out. I think also, it's really important to not be rigid to how you think you think things should go and break out perceptions are going to be nice for self employment and to be quite open. And then do it. That's the most important thing to me to some that some days. If I feel like oh, yeah, I'm ready. This is leftovers, fill up my week loads of stuff. And then I think well, I still want to be able to go out for a run or women going to be I want to go meet some interesting people. So I try and fit that in. I remind myself that's okay. And that is why I decided to go those employed because I don't want to work and 40 hours a week and or anywhere near that. I don't work anywhere near that.Alastair HumphreysBut yeah, you make me think good.Sarah ListerYeah, exactly. Yes.Yeah. It sounds like something's working pretty well.Alastair HumphreysYou have a lovely water cooler. Yeah, thank you very much for taking me to jump in the water. In the wind in the rain. Mesquita though right there soaking wet and quite cold. actually wasn't really up for it. But as I said to myself, never regret take this trip and I thank you for answering my question. With a lot of eloquence and insight. And thanks for pizza. Oh, you're very welcome. Thank you. Thank you.★ Support this podcast ★
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. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Louise is on Twitter. Neither climbing or caving is scary - if you're scared you're probably doing it wrong. High consequence actions versus the low risk of those high consequences. The notion of consequences versus likelihood of happening are different things and useful in business 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. None of the worries she had beforehand came to pass. Humans are cautious creatures and we tend to focus a lot on the worries beforehand. Yet we don't realise what all the benefits might be until we have committed. Spin-off benefits and enhanced self-confidence. Living an authentic life is one less thing to worry about "Sometimes I think 'oh, I'd quite like to do it one day', then just say 'oh, sod it, and do it!'" TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/AIc7-qqzRgiT6zgYLoOhcQAlastair Humphreys we met via Twitter originally and on there you say you're a climber and a caver. which is more scary.Louise McMahon I don't think either is scary.If you getting scared you're probably doing it wrong or doing taking too many risks. Or not managing the risks well enough as like caving. If you get it wrong, it can be really dangerous.Alastair Humphreys But you're not doing it for the adrenaline.Louise McMahon no. I do the climbing because I enjoy it. So I like being out in the hills and the caving is exploration often find new cave and new new thingsAlastair Humphreys Have you gone somewhere No one's ever been before?Louise McMahon not no one's ever been before. But never in the last several hundred years. We do a lot in 17th century mines.Alastair Humphreys Wow. That's a Amazing, isn't it? Well within an hour of massive city. how did you get into caving?Louise McMahon I was a climber before that. And then so driving around the Peak District to these kind of moody people with harnesses with the equipment that looks a bit like climbing and I thought I'll give it a go. And so I found my newest book, to me is a technical psychological group and consultant. I went along and loved it just and just carried on doing it. And so I've been doing it unit now.Alastair Humphreys decliners in cave is like each other.Louise McMahon Hmm, interesting. I do both. There are the climbers in our club. And they don't tend to mix too well, because climbers like to get up quite early and got climbing and cables don't care what time of the day is and will drink until four in the morning because it's going to be dark anyway. So I'm a headphone, you know, having my in?Alastair Humphreys what's the what's the difference in mindset between someone who is a good cave and somebody who's a good climate.Louise McMahon I think good cavers are happy to suffer but also a doing it for a different reason. Often, we're doing it to extra, whereas a lot of climbers are just doing it because they like climbing and and that's fine.Alastair Humphreys So it's okay. So it's more of abit more of a mission to Yeah, baby and purpose perhaps Yeah,Louise McMahon yeah. You know, I am, before I started taping, I build things, I'll do things and now in a power drill, and, you know, all of these things, so we do a lot more work and making things even if it's just us late on it, or something. Okay,Alastair Humphreys so you brushed off my question about it being scary. And I strongly disagree that because just the thought now of being squished under cave, bending my head on one side to fit my ear through a gap gives me the shutters and climbing. I love it. But it terrifies me. So is this example? Is it a case of perceived risk versus actual danger?Louise McMahon Is that part of it? I think so. I think caving there's been very few people being killed as more and more people killed climbing and there are caving. And the problem with caving is if you do have an accident is because are more likely to be fatal then then climbing unfortunately was one in a day or so few months ago. But it's we we do everything we can to make it safe. So all the caves are valid bolted on resin bolts that can take like 40 kilometres. And you know, the you've got two cows tales to click the wire and you've got the sender and the backup, and you're doing things like that, to offenders through yourself centres to be. So it's very rarely dangerous. And especially with modern weather forecasting and things like that you don't get flooded in as much unless you really ignore the weather forecast. And kind of asking for it at that point.Alastair Humphreys So it's a case of you're doing something very dangerous, but going about it in a way thatLouise McMahon makes it not dangerous. So I think we're doing something that could happen hi consequence, but the risk of that happening is very low. And when it goes we also have very good rescue services. Quite a few of the people that came with our MK rescue.Alastair Humphreys But you don't do it for the thrill of the consequence. I think because I think some climbers are Yeah, certainly that certainly the good climbing books, there's there's quite a degree ofnot not suicidal tendencies, but improperly just, I'm really going to push push the edge here, I think,Louise McMahon possibly a little bit on it's not it's not the reason we're going out there, we're not going out there to do something dangerous. And partly because the consequences are so high. If you do get it wrong, that we tend to be quite safe. You know it in your eyesight, hundred friends I was climbing with a few weeks ago, a few months ago who fell and broke his leg and mountain rescue were there within about 20 minutes. in a cave, you're depending where you are. It could be eight hours. So don't get me wrong. Yes.Alastair Humphreys So the reason that I started doing these interviews is, is not actually because I'm trying to find out about climbing and adventure stuff I've spent most of my adult life kind of interested in the world. what really interests me now is how these people's adventurous things transfer to, to real life. And so what what does caving or climbing that that notion of perceived risk versus actual danger? What do you what do you think that would transfer into people in real life? wanting to do something that seems scary? And therefore commit to doing things? teach you everything?Louise McMahon Yeah, I think it teaches you how to kind of look at risk and and things like that. So I keep in business, I use the same methods really I look at what the consequence of doing a thing is versus the chance of doing it rather than just looking at something and saying, Oh, that's fine. Risk is okay. Well, it's like what he probably knows is high consequence. If it goes wrong with marketing and business, well, how can we mitigate all of those risks? How can we? What can we do that? And what's the chances of it even happening in the first place?Alastair Humphreys That's an interesting thing, looking at the difference between consequences and risks? That is interesting. And can you give me an example of something that from your, from your work life you?Louise McMahon Okay, so it so I, I work for a bank, and I write software. And so if we decide to implement a new feature, we might spend three months building that feature, and that might be a lot of money and development time and people and things like that? And if no one was to use that feature, it wasn't wouldn't be profitable, obviously. Or, you know, we would make any money off of it. So there is the, the there's the risk of doing that. And the consequence of is with those attacks, hundreds of thousands of pounds. And but in the you know, the reality is that we've done all the research to say, yes, users want this feature. Yes, it's profitable, we think I don't pay X amount for it. And so we know you're about to do it. And it's quite simple cost benefit analysis.Alastair Humphreys I love your ice cold caving, approach to life. And I met a while ago, one of the guys who did the Tai Chi rescuea speaking event. And me being me, I wasUnknown Speaker trying to Oh,Alastair Humphreys you're so amazing. This is brilliant, what an emotional thing. And he I couldn't get anything out of it was that we did what we had to do risks and consequences, which is why I'd be terrible cave rescue and, and one of the, you know, move away from caving. Now, one of the things that I got really interested in, in recent years is that people want to do this in their life, they want to be there in their life. They, they like the idea of so and so in their life, but they're in this different position. And I think that's often the reason people read adventure books, or come to adventure talks is living vicariously. So you you want to be there. We're actually here. Yeah. And that's so that's a really interesting aspect of I think trying to day yourself to live a bit more adventurous Lee. So we first the first I new viewers, when you got in touch me on Twitter and your Twitter bio says, and Louise McMahon, climber caver photographer that's a little bit boring, because I hang around with those who people are trans woman, she slashed her. And that got me really interested in terms of you want your hair in life, but you want to be there. So can you tell me a little bit about the the process of feeling frustrated and wanting to be in a different position?What does that mean? Does that apply in your situation?Louise McMahon Okay, I can kind of see the gap. So yes, I'm trans I transitions three years ago now. And yeah, that was supposed to survive it. There is a similar sort of thing. And it took me a while to work out that that was a thing for me. And then Isort of jumped at it with two feet and said worked it out.Alastair Humphreys I did yeah. Yeah. Not a cave as approach.Louise McMahon No, no, I am. It was a thing that once you realise often with people that it's okay, yeah, this is the thing I need to do. And once I did that, a lot of the mental health issues and things like that, that I had just kind of disappeared, which was quite nice. Once you committed to to action. Yeah, yeah.Alastair Humphreys So how long did it take you to? To? To figure out that there was this thing in your life? That wasn't? Right, that you wanted to change? Was that was that aLouise McMahon is that they're all your life? I think so yeah. It's probably not something. It's not something I've worked at realised until I was about 18. But probably when I look back at it's been there since at least most but it definitely has been there my whole life. But something that sort of manifested itself around like 1213, around p, which is the same thing for most times people start saying, Okay, what do you start changing that age, and you start to realise that this is something isn't right. First, and then Yeah, so? Yeah, yeah. And let's say about 18, I kind of worked it out, probably with the help of other people I knew, I sort of had over friends that had certainly done sort of had found a similar thing, strangely. And also, around that time, you start to see various people in the media that were trans, who started to see a lot more from Caitlyn Jenner, and various people know that this is a very useful role model. Yeah. You know, and you kind of okay, that may be that me. And maybe that's what a problem I have. And when you start thinking of it all, yeah,Alastair Humphreys I think that's one of the difficult things that loads of us face isn't that of, of having this kind of sense of life should be. This doesn't feel like how life should be I think loads of us feel that in our in our own different worlds, and then to identifying that really hard, but important first step, isn't it? And then the next thing you do have, what was there any specific action you did? Or moment or event that tipped you into thinking, right, I'm going to commit toLouise McMahon making a big change? Yeah, I suppose I is, there's the coming out process. With all about that I sort of, I couldn't find it really hard, I still find it kind of hard in no way to tell people, which is why I just tend to be open about it. And it's easier.Alastair Humphreys It's so much easier way to like, yeah,Louise McMahon then hide, I'm sayingAlastair Humphreys it's taken me decades to realise that.Louise McMahon And then just kind of I wrote a letter from from my mom, because I just couldn't tell her. And that was kind of that was probably that, that there's no going back from this point. And after that, I just kind of decided to start doing that. But I wasn't I didn't have a job at the time. So rather than having rather than sort of, I thought, well, I may as well, while I'm looking for jobs use the right name and the right pronouns and things on my CV. So I did and that kind of just forced me to, to transition properly. And buying a property is not the right word. But you know, fully because it was, it was easier in a way to then to rather than hiding,Alastair Humphreys it's really interesting. Is that how we build things up and ahead, we worry about this. And we worry about this and worry about this.And webelieve so many of the barriers are outside our own head. Have you found that? So the stuff you were worried about before?How many of those worriesactually came to fruition now?So what did your mom say when she read your letter?Louise McMahon she? She was fine. I mean, we all have one cried and everything but it was you know, it wasn't a problem. It is his son funny. So the first thing I do bring you closer together? I think so yeah. Yeah. The first people I told was a bunch of friends that I used to play games with online. And I, we were all in a channel together. And there was some other people in that I didn't realise it was other people in that channel, I took me out, right, this whole message to post them and I posted it. And the first person to reply to someone I didn't know, completely freaked out, deleted it, and then sort of went to a final city. He told me that was okay, and so they made another channel for just our friends. And I posted it, and then they all just kind of wentokay, cool. Are you freaking out?Okay, and that that kind of made me like, Okay, this is okay. Yeah,Alastair Humphreys I find that the parallels of this is so fascinating with people who I get emails all the time from people who are wanting to quit their job to start a business or they're wanting to change, sell their house, they can go cycle to China and things and they were in they were in the world. And a lot of it is this notion that society expects one thing they expect one direction. People like me are supposed to do this. Yeah, in my life. And we worry what people think, or I didn't know anyone else like this. I'm a weirdo, no one else will do this sort of thing.Louise McMahon Then commitment comes in is that.Alastair Humphreys So what what advice would you offer to someone who in whatever sphere is themselves is wanting to try to be a bit bold and live a bit more adventurous in their own way, but isn't doing it because blah, blah, blah,Louise McMahon I supposeis to move. If you're someone that sat there going all but this might go wrong, or this might go wrong on this might go wrong. At the end of the day, just just try it. Just do it. You'll you'll make it work, whatever that is. And if there's problems along the way, then you'll find ways to fix them. Yeah. I think that's that's kind of what I did threats, then.Alastair Humphreys Were you thinking about? This might here with this might go wrong? This might be bad, this might go wrong? Or you thinking? This will be good, this will be great. This would be a way of my shoulders. Were you feet thinking of the positives? Or do they the worries?Louise McMahon The worry is?Alastair Humphreys Probably not to listen? Yeah,Louise McMahon I think that is kind of human nature. To an extent. We are kind of cautious creatures. But yeah, I think Yeah, I was thinking about the worries but in reality that they've paled in comparison to the benefits, but you don't often see that the other benefits until you don't realise what the other benefits are until after and look back and go. Okay, now I'm a lot happier now. Now. I've been I am doing the things I wanted to do now. And things are okay. So you've been that you've noticed, spin off benefits that you hadn't anticipated? Yeah, yeah. Such as well, yeah. So I was really depressed at the time. And that's kind of gone away. But also, I've just got the point of now I just kind of go Oh, well. I did that. To do that. Yeah, go I started caving, and just kind of because I think I wanted to try doing. And so I did. AndAlastair Humphreys kind of easy to just do this. Do you think then it's helping you build a habit ofLouise McMahon boldness going out? Yes. To an extent, probably overwanting to do things and not not worry aboutnot worrying about consequences, right way to put it but like, not worrying about the what might go wrong. What Yeah, justjust try it.Alastair Humphreys Yeah, I'm try my natural tendencies to be quite pessimistic and nervous in life. But I've spent about 20 years now trying to train myself to be more optimistic and to be more bold and try new things. And it's hard. But the good thing is because I've been doing at 20 years of this, I've built up this habit of, and through experience of seeing that wasn't as bad as I thought it was, oh, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was, Oh, I'm more capable than I thought I was. And it's it becomes you get some good momentum. Yeah. takes time, doesn't it? So do you feel now that you're, you're living a more authentic life? I think so. Yeah.Louise McMahon Yeah. And that fails me not as some pretending to be something I'm not. It's good. You know, it is one less thing to spend your life worrying about, and why spend your life worrying about those things when you can get rid of them.Alastair Humphreys I think it's brilliant, really brilliant. And one of the things I'm doing on this trip cycling aroundtrying to solve the meaning of life.And I've done that through a series of questions and playing cancer, one of the few thatdo me a favour of answering a few sotake card off the top. Andif ignore it if you don't want to answer it inLouise McMahon the need to earn money or do what you want to do to earn money.Alastair Humphreys So is my terrorisingso do you need to earn money? Or do you want to earn more? Okay, interesting if you approach this so today's topic now this money is it something that for you, you obviously need a bit and but you feel it's something you need or something you want.Louise McMahon I need money to do the things that I want to do. But I don't mean I need money. I need to be some funds to do things but I don't go chasing money just for the sake of money. And it's a tool to allow me to buy things but my biggest problem is of money as time. Okay, a full time jobs is is good because you own a decent way because you often but you don't have the time to do things. 20 something days holiday a year is not that much. A big trip. So big exhibition. What would you do if I gave you a year? free time? That's a really good question. I if I had a year's free time, I would probably I'd probably spend a lot more time exploring the UK. And there's so many more. Today, even the UK I've not hardly done any of Scotland. I've done that North Wales have walked into mountaineering, and I probably finish my mountain leader. Keep me need to do that. Now, I think that's a factual thing. And so many people that did not finish this thing. And but yes, I probably do that. Okay, cool. If you had an extra every day all to yourself, how would you spend it?Alastair Humphreys So that's actually slightly different to having a year of one hour a day?Louise McMahon That's a good question. I won't say something. I can't read a book or I've learned to do another scale. I probably use it to sleep. Because I don't get no seems. No i if i if i but if I purposely spent an hour doing something else today, it would probably be reading more for building things more. I don't spend enough time actually working on projects, perpetually starting projects and not finishing them. So okay. Yes, I would probably try and do that more.Alastair Humphreys I spent years because I'm also desperately searching more time in life. And I always find sleep such a waste that I'm wasting. So for years, I thought sleep was for wimps. But one thing I've done that's been really good was accepting that sleep is not for with no sleep this for champions. And now just making myself say this is a non negotiable chunk of time. And it's a good investment.Louise McMahon Yeah, definitely. I think I definitely notice if I don't get good sleep. Get ready to go into the entire competition. Yes, yeah. Yep.Sounds so me making the most out of life.making the most out of life. What do you mean?Alastair Humphreys I think I think one thing that really worries me a lot is the prospect of getting old. And looking back and regretting having done a bit of a half assed job on it.Louise McMahon So how do youAlastair Humphreys in terms of just trying to live a life that feels, but I think it's more than being fun and exciting. It's with some sort of purpose to it as well. Yeah. Does that does that sort of thing? cross your mind? Yeah. It's something that I often perpetually get worried about in the middle of the night.Louise McMahon When he should be sleeping, I should sleeping is like,you know, I don't want to be it in a retirement home going. I wish I'd done that. And that's often an excuse. I used to do things really to try things. Because otherwise, I don't want that that point. And all wishes will not we should not affect them not not, not want to regret not doing things.Alastair Humphreys So does that consciously projectLouise McMahon to action? Sometimes? I think so if I look at something quite I quite like to do that one day, I'll probably do self study. I'll just do it, then. You know, if you have funds to do things, it's quite easy to try Chinese.Yes, no, no. Yeah, of course notes here.Alastair Humphreys I suppose that's the con. You're saying you've got job you earn sufficient money, but you don't have enough time. The flip side of that is being aware thatLouise McMahon Yeah, I earn enough money, therefore, might as well use it feels important. Okay, do a couple more.Alastair Humphreys This is a conscious of time because you, unlike most people have to be to actually have a proper job. You have to go toLouise McMahon work, and not until 10 o'clock. It's not really a proper job if you don't have to start.But what does living adventurously mean to you, as that definition changed with time? What does it mean to you as a child? Okay. So as a child, it was riding around on my bike, I grew up in little village in New Hampshire. And so I was able to ride around on bank and see my friends and do all those things. As an adult, is trying to do more stuff that I enjoy, really, I, I don't see the stuff I do as adventures or expeditions or anything like that. I mean, some of them get called exhibitions, because that's what we call some caving stuff. But I just see it as fun collection time. They're just things I enjoy doing. And I'm trying to fill my life with things I enjoy doing anything, and massive the things I don't enjoy doing,Alastair Humphreys which is basically the same as riding around the village and inviting seen friends. Is that, is it not? It hasn't particularlyLouise McMahon it's not many can you think? Yeah, the things have changed? Yeah, the actual content, the reasons you're doing them.Alastair Humphreys That's interesting, because I think thatI spent years and years and years thinking adventure has to be this, this and this. So I must keep doing this, this and this. But after 20 years of doing this, this and this. So it's changing. Yeah. And it's taken me a long time to I can still try and be bold and curious. But in different ways. Yeah. Yeah. Right. We'll do one more question. And I'll send you off to work. Someone's got to keep this, this economy running while I'm riding my bike.Louise McMahon I'll think of you my morning meeting. Why do you not act when you know what to do?Alastair Humphreys Okay, that's a big one to end with not act.Unknown Speaker So things thatAlastair Humphreys the times when you know what to do? Yeah, this is what I want to do my life better if theLouise McMahon YG not get on and do thatAlastair Humphreys voice? Does that not features an issue for you gettingLouise McMahon down to time, probably for me probably time on under the risk as well. If something's missing in whatever way that might mean. But no, or at least me pretending I don't have enough time. Which is probably often also at the end. I'm sure I do. I'm sure I could do more. The bike really focused on certain things. ButAlastair Humphreys yeah, that's a very good phrase, pretending you don't have enough time is often just the excuse for you because we're scared of x,Louise McMahon y, and Zed, isn't it? I think so. Yeah.Alastair Humphreys Yeah. You acknowledge that, that sometimes you do that?Louise McMahon Yeah, I definitely do. procrastinate. Yeah, I think another thing we all do when we're recognising that it's also quite important. Yeah,Alastair Humphreys it certainly is. Louise, thank you so much for talking to me. So honestly, and eloquently.I've really enjoyed it.But I do think next time you have eggs, you should eat the green bits. Very good.Thank you very much. Thank you.★ Support this podcast ★
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.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Tomo is on Twitter. Friends of the Peak District on Twitter. A video of our curry in a cave. The Army was a way to get lots of climbing, walking and paddling expeditions in far-flung places. Developmental role of challenging expeditions in the outdoors. When you've been in put in situations where risk are involved (military / expeditions), you become better placed to deal with risk in normal life. One thing that military life gives you is restlessness, and an appetite for uncertainty. A small thing that 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. Leaving a decision for too long you just stew in it. Don't stand on the edge of the diving board with your toes over the edge for hours. The importance of looking after yourself so that you can radiate that in your engagements with family and friends. Therefore self-improvement need not be deemed selfish. Goodbye Things - Fumio Sasaki How to Connect with Nature - Tristan Gooley ★ Support this podcast ★
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...PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Vertebrate Books - website and Twitter Vertebrate Books also have a podcast - Inspiring Adventure "If a book is the sort of thing we'd use ourselves, we'd publish it." Books we chat about: Tilman books Nan Shepherd Gwen Moffat Waymaking Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales Joe Brown Don Whillans Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage We didn't know the first thing about publishing when we began. I just employ people who are brighter than me and then stuff happens. On Sunday night I am excited to go back to work on Monday morning, whereas my wife dreads it. Just because you have done a good book in one niche doesn't mean you can leap into a different one. Whenever we go out of our niche we haven't done very well. The calm after the calm. (Phrase about book writing and launching) When we are putting together we think, "is Hannah [regular customer] going to read this?" Women and men, in general, write about their adventurous experiences in different ways Waymaking: The book would have failed (regardless of sales) if it didn't change the participation of women in adventure. We get 10x more submissions from men and women. Men are risk-takers - leads to epic stories and also they don't mind writing a book and getting a rejection. An adventure is just having an experience and how you feel afterwards. I got more from climbing with people who were better than me than trying to be the best myself Done is better than perfect TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/ot2psvHsSraJCsG6Jd-dKg★ Support this podcast ★
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...PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys The Thinking Project helps exceptional purpose-driven women create time and space so they can consciously create lives they love & businesses where everyone thrives. On Twitter Nancy Kline’s book Time to Think We need to reclaim time to think in our life if we are to do meaningful things with our life. Don't just fill the time with nothing: it needs to be a bit more conscious and structured than that. Ruminative thinking - we just go over and over the same thoughts time and again (often negative) Our brains try to keep us safe by just thinking the same stuff over and over Thinking with someone else rather than ourselves helps keep it focussed rather than distracted. Having someone listen to us makes it easier. Usually we come up with lists of all the things we don't want First big question: "what do you really want?" We jump to assumptions that stop us doing what we want to do, largely without evidence, largely unexamined. At root there are a couple of major assumptions that stop us: a sense of worthiness, belonging and being enough. We all have a need for safety, connection and autonomy, but they manifest in different ways for each of us. Thinking is like a seed - it needs the right conditions to thrive Consciously choose what it is that you want and do not want in life. We need to warm up to thinking well and more deeply. Ask "so what?" to your answers lots of times. Being a better listener starts with talking less, and choosing to become a better listener. Stop interrupting. Get really interested in other people. Get interested in other people. Not necessarily in the subject they are interested in, but in the fact that they are interested in that. To ask better questions, think about what is the purpose of your question? The best questions are ones that you do not know the answer to. Ask either very broad or very specific questions. For example, "what do you want to think about?" Her decision-making has changed. It used to be about challenge and proving what a well-lived life entailed. Often we lead the life that we think we Should live, rather than the life of our choice. Change your motivations from being fear-based to doing things that you love. When making a big change some people leap into the unknown, others establish some breathing space and time and security to cushion the leap. You don't have to make enormous changes and drastic switches - it can be small steps that are transformative and life-changing. The experiences when we are vulnerable are often those that transform our lives The relationship between vulnerability and trust Meditate, drink lots of water, and remove social media from the phone - all simple but not easy and beneficial things. TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/hCd1SaUjRMWVUAQC38i12A★ Support this podcast ★
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.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Ian Rotherham's blog Ecotourism should not only be "take only photographs, leave only footprints", but we also need to try to help people in a benign way. Adventure literature is often about "defeating nature" rather than pausing for a while or caring for the landscape. We need more respect and awareness when dealing with the vulnerable resource of the natural world. How best to minimise your damage and maximise your positive impact Rewilding, in all its guises, (including rewilding the mind) can save the NHS millions, as well as all the other benefits. Sheffield Trees Action Group The communities that are able to protest about their environment are usually the most affluent ones. Trees give you a sense of place and seasonality. They are therapeutic and spiritually uplifting. The new urban wild and bringing wild to the people Cultural severance in urban landscapes - a broken connection between cities and wildness Feral - George Monbiot Shadow woods - Ian Rotherham You can change the world, even incrementally and a bit at a time. Rewilding your garden is a good start. Globally and in Britain, in terms of nature conservation, biodiversity and sustainability we are indeed in a very bad way – essentially the ecosystem is broken and we need to mend it The problems are not as simple as carbon = climate change = plant lots of trees! Such naïve thinking is actually dangerously misconceived Rewilding offers a radical new approach to resolving many of the issues in ways which are, paraphrased from Lawton (2010), bigger, bolder, better, more joined …..However, this idea needs to connect with a far wider community especially in urban areas Additionally, approaches have to be paid for and not just with ‘ecosystem services which are community goods’ – but with MONEY ….. (This is a fact not popular with politicians for example!) I suggest that farmers & farming have to be part of the SOLUTION and are not, as often portrayed, the problem TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/4mbmzPCyRr2gYKfRXYdvbQ★ Support this podcast ★
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.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys "One thing at a time, as beautiful as possible". Fine products manufactured in the UK and Japan: Mamnick Mamnick on Instagram I'm a fashion designer, but I also make the cups of tea and post my own clothes. Do one thing at a time, as beautiful as possible. If it was all about money I'd have a proper job. I wanted to make a living doing something that I enjoy. When cycling you do more chatting than in other sports, and some of the conversations you have can be fantastic. I managed to make a living from my brand after about six months. A lot of the challenge of turning dream into reality is about confidence Story-telling is really important, but the narrative around this brand just wrote itself and was natural. You don't want anything to feel phony. You don't want to have to blag it. Yomping - your own marching pace - less about training and more about riding your bike, being in the moment, and living at your own pace I've made life hard for myself at times by being so outspoken Real things, real places, real people resonate more with real people. My brand has basically become an extension of my own life I can ride so much in the Peaks without going on the same road twice, so I don't feel much desire to load up my bike and cycle round the world. A friend of mine cycled round the world and told me that the Peak District has the best roads. TRANSCRIPTBelow is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:https://otter.ai/s/8KjD2nB9Q3y8K5xZUsuWrA★ Support this podcast ★
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?"Ben invited me onto his charming, quirky, stylish canal boat-cum-raft (built from locally-salvaged and donated materials), cooked me lunch, and told me his story. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastSHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Piano Raft - A floating centre of excellence. @pianoraft on Instagram. Website here. Focus on "allow" not "how" - let stuff happen rather than worrying too much. Nick Weston, who lived in a treehouse. Ben Parry, artist. I didn't want to be a numpty, to be irresponsible or unsafe. They were my concerns.  Having an anchor or a framework to the project is helpful, even when allowing possibility and serendipity into your life. A 'purposeless mission' allows all the good stuff to happen once you have started. THIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.★ Support this podcast ★
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.Imran didn't tell his family he was going to cycle round the world, only that "I'll be gone for a few months, then I'll be back..."!The similarities and the differences between Imran's story of cycling around the world and my own fascinated me.Going round the world, says Imran, is an education. It halts time. You learn more on a journey like that than you will in the rest of your life. A bicycle helped take Imran away from his problems, away from the challenges in the local area such as drugs and hanging around with a bad crowd. Nowadays Imran feels that all he needs in life is God, family and a bicycle...PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Watch Imran's videos on YouTube. Imran thinks Yorkshire is the best place in the world to live, better even than California. The solitude and peace of the mosque five times a day The unification of cultures We have so much on our doorstep that you don't necessarily need to go on a massive global journey to experience great places. You hear of people who have been to the other side of the world but have not experienced Cornwall or the North Coast 500 or the Lakes. Britain is one of the best cultures of the world: The variety, the amalgamation of cultures and all the foods in Britain. Redundancy committed him to action The decline in health of his father was a wake-up call to Imran that good health is not a given, nor does it last for ever. Going out to explore the world was not encouraged within the Pakistani community so this was an additional layer of 'barrier' that Imran faced Imran didn't tell his Mum he was going to cycle round the world, just "I'll be gone for a few months, then I'll be back..."! "I had the intention to cycle round the world, but I didn't believe that I would do it." Going round the world is an education. It halts time. You learn more in it than you will in the rest of your life. When he got home everyone's attitude had changed and they were very proud of what he had done. Praying is like 'hitting the reset button' A bicycle helped take Imran away from his problems, away from the bad stuff in the area such as drugs and hanging around with a bad crowd. God, family and a bicycle... ★ Support this podcast ★
Tim Frenneaux is a former martial arts instructor, nine to fiver and audio visual artist, turned ethical entrepreneur, microadventurer, climate activist and punk philosopher. His redemption started when the brief and fragile nature of existence became painfully real as he hit the big 40 in the same month that his Dad died. Unhappy conjunctures like that are a great way of forcing you to focus on what you want from “your one wild and precious life” (to quote the dear departed Mary Oliver)Tim 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.Now he’s on a mission to encourage and enable folk to make the most of their fleeting presence on planet earth by spending more time outdoors. In doing so he hopes that great teacher, Mother Earth, will help them to reach their own understanding of the immense value of nature.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Gather Outdoors website Starting a business was an excuse to get outdoors more and meet interesting people He feels guilty that his work doesn't feel like hard work and a struggle Compartmentalising work and not-work is an important thing Trying to rewild myself by reading lots of books The first step in changing direction is realising that things are not quite right. The imposter syndrome is how everyone feels and shouldn't be a burden and a barrier What you don't know you can learn by doing The modern day life experience cocoons us from the natural world The importance of reading on paper versus a screen We all have time; we just need to make time.  Turn off the screens and embrace boredom Barefoot running has made a big beneficial change to his life Starting a business saw his income plummet, but also taught Tim and his family what is enough. It taught him about balance. Recognise when you are slipping into a fur-lined rut, and then clamour to get out. ★ Support this podcast ★
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. She works with urban groups who are "hard to reach", trying to help them get out into nature more. The biggest barriers aren't the actual dangers but people's fears about them. We are now as a society a generation removed from the free-range childhood we hear about nostalgically. That means that not only are kids not experiencing wild places, their parents never did either. This makes it hard to change habits and build connections with nature.PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Getting more out of life by getting outside more Get Out More Working with groups who are "hard to reach" Biggest barriers aren't the actual dangers but people's fears about them.  Seeking out the pockets of wildness - and they are always there We are part of nature and we are drawn to it, if we can find the key Green spaces are a neutral space for people to come together and connect together I started this because I wanted to get out more, but the success of it means that I now get out less... Don't underestimate where people are to begin with - how little people might know at first. Forest Schools - outdoor play in a learning environment We over-inflate how difficult things need to be sometimes When I'm being a good parent I am giving my kids the freedom I had as a child. That means facilitating but keeping hands off. We are now as a society a generation removed from that free-range childhood. Contentment is more important than self-improvement. Favourite purchase: Underwater MP3 player Nature and communities can grow healthier together ★ Support this podcast ★
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.I arrived at Boff's house after a long day in the saddle. His family welcomed me and plied me with cups of tea and a veggie burger in the sort of living room I would love to have one day: filled with quirky art and design, masses of music, and a happy level of lived-in clutter. We had a fascinating, wide-ranging chat about success, creative ambition, and the child-like joy of running in the hills. As I left their home, Boff's wife gave me directions to her favourite river swimming spot. In short, the perfect podcasting afternoon!PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE LIVING ADVENTUROUSLY PODCAST(It’s completely free, zero hassle to do (click here), but really helpful for me trying to get a new podcast off the ground. If you’re feeling extra kind, please leave a review on the app – that really helps.)Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn (“Alexa, please play the Living Adventurously podcast”) or on your favourite podcast platform such as Overcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Breaker, Soundcloud, Castbox, Castro.www.alastairhumphreys.com/podcastTHIS PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY KOMOOTYour very own outdoor experiences are waiting for you. Go explore more with komoot. Use the voucher code ADVENTUROUS to claim your free region maps bundle.The personalised planning and navigation tools ensure you plan the adventure that’s perfect for you. Komoot is Europe’s number 1 outdoor app, with route planning and navigation functionality, and strong community-driven inspirational features in the form of recommended Highlights and inspirational route Collections. It is used by nearly 10 million adventurers worldwide. Komoot is becoming the app of choice for cyclists and hikers the world over, with rapid community growth in the UK, the US and other parts of Europe. You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.SHOW NOTES If you enjoy listening to this episode over a cup of coffee and think it might be worth the price, you can buy me a coffee here: www. ko-fi.com/al_humphreys Keep up to date with future episodes (and my other adventures, projects and books) with my free monthly newsletter: alastairhumphreys.com/more/subscribe Say hello on Twitter and Instagram: @al_humphreys Boff's website and Twitter I was in a pop group for 15 years before I had a hit song, but you can't measure success by that. The success of being in a band was just being together for that long and remaining friends. Success these days is taking my son to school then going for a run and having an hour of my own time to disappear, to be offline and spend time in nature. If you lower your expectations you can be continually happy (but don't be pessimistic) The creative ambition is very personal and you can judge success by yourself Life is like doing a run where you get lost several times, you fall over, and a series of weird dead ends and double backs. It's about the run not the finish. We are 'supposed' to put away childish things - stop running for the bus - but actually fell running is just really good fun. Early ambition: "Maybe we can go further with this [the band] than just playing youth clubs in Leeds." I'm not a risk-taker in fell runs. But with life and music and art I don't want to get stuck so I take creative risks to keep me on my toes. Try something that other people aren't doing Boff has an underlying confidence in what he does The band wasn't driven by ambition, but the creative impulse drove him on.  The creative impulse can be hard work because you can't switch it off. Some of my artistic heroes (eg the Beatles) were people who changed a lot. Why would you want to be in a band that does the same set every time? I'm out of my depth, let's do it. Leaving the city to live in a small town (where I could go running) was one of the most adventurous things I've done in my life. Run Wild is about trying to nudge people into doing something. Social media is doing a great job of encouraging people to get into new, physical down-to-earth things ★ Support this podcast ★
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Comments (11)

Zach Martinez

this podcast has me wanting more each time I listen. I love what you are doing and love how raw it is. I dont want this to ever end

Dec 7th
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Richard Tiller

Really engaged in this podcast. Any recommendations for environmentally friendly cycling kit. Typically high tech materials not that friendly? thx

Sep 2nd
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Richard Davy

Great podcast!

Aug 7th
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Amy Freeman

Really enjoy this podcast, I feel so energized and ready for adventure after listening!

Jul 28th
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Tim Erkiert

wow this is the podcast I've been looking for. a great following up from his excellent book. normal interesting people instead of the the same rambling celebrities.

May 11th
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Col Macaulay

Excellent podcast, very inspiring to get out and about!!

May 8th
Reply

Mickey Pius

Ep "What is it that I want?" aka The raft ep was a real challenge to listen to. I mean, that guy, he is not a talker :-) But hey, I still did it!

Feb 3rd
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Peter Martin

Awesome show... I hope this series has inspired loads of ideas for many more, nice work!!

Jan 16th
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Seán Underwood

Great show, inspiring stuff. Looking forward to more!

Jan 15th
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Samantha Marshall

I loved the positivity in this episode & the sense of perspective it gave me. Particular highlights were the story about the service user getting such a huge sense of accomplishment from crossing a stream & the response from the public when they are out & about. The sense of reward she gets from her role came through so strongly, what a wonderful place.

Jan 13th
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David outram

Recommended by my daughter who is also a massive fan of exploring every corner of the world including those just around the corner! I'm looking forward to hearing all of Alastairs adventures and the wonderful people he has met.

Dec 30th
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