I was looking forward to seeing Sir Ranulph Fiennes live at the Adventure Travel Show event in London. But as he got on the stage, suddenly I felt so sad I had tears in my eyes. I never realized that this guy, who holds so many world records, struggles with the same issues as we all do.
On the 18th and 19th of January, I attended this show in London. The event included workshops, exhibitions, talks, and also a film festival. It was a place where travelers, bloggers, magazines, and tour operators from the adventure travel industry were present.
Arriving at the event
Adventure travel is a fresh and new industry for me. Unfortunately, in Romania, adventure tourism is still young, and I couldn’t find any similar event here. Only online you can find the few existing Romanian tour operators on this niche. I was so excited to take part in this exhibition, to improve my skills, and to meet likeminded people.
I found out about the Adventure Travel Show in November last year. At that moment, there were still early bird tickets available, so I didn’t think twice. The blogging workshops seemed very interesting to me. The Wanderlust Travel Magazine was providing short classes for travel enthusiasts and bloggers. For me, it was just perfect. A bit of content writing, a photography class, and video workshop were the ideal cocktail for this start of the year.
I arrived in London on a Friday afternoon, and after a long and tiring 2 hours journey from the Luton airport to the city center, I finally checked in to my hotel. It was a classic British hotel, small and clean room, but expensive, with lousy food at breakfast. I wasn’t even curious to test dinner. Third time in London, same story.????
Lucky for me, I found this Italian restaurant right across the street to be the perfect place to get decent dinner and wine. It was indeed a life-saver. It was called Farina & More, and if you are in the area, it’s an excellent choice. The personnel was also friendly, and the whole atmosphere was warm and welcoming, like only Italians know how to do it.
The opportunity to go to this exhibition in London proved to be perfect to try the solo travel concept that seems to be more and more attractive to me.
The Wanderlust Travel Magazine workshops
The workshops were around 2 hours long each. I think the information was well balanced, and they kept the audience engaged, which is not always an easy task. There were bloggers, writers, and journalists in the room. It was exciting to see so many viewpoints about travel writing.
Lyn Hughes, the CEO of the magazine, was also there, throughout the two days. She presented the content writing workshops, together with Johnatan Lorie. I personally found the writing workshops the most interesting of all, because it gave us thought-provoking tips and tricks on how to get published and how to write engaging travel articles. I liked that it was all very personal and friendly. For me, it was an excellent opportunity to interact with all these people and learn from their practice. For you, it will be a more enjoyable experience here on the blog from now on. ????
Adventure Travel Show Seminars – Sir Ranulph Fiennes
As I was saying at the beginning of this post, when I saw Sir Ranulph Fiennes live on stage, I felt so sad! This man, now 75 years old, seemed so fragile. His hands and voice were trembling while talking and changing slides showing pictures with the most remote areas of planet Earth. Eventually, getting old means going through the same process for every human. Still, there was one thing that set him apart, even at his age. He had spent his life with meaning, even though that meant sitting at the same table with death daily. While he was explaining how they planned the expeditions, I was thinking about the audience sitting in that room. How many of us were living our lives with purpose? And I am not thinking of paying bills or debts at banks.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to lead an expedition around the world, on the vertical axis of the globe. Their challenge was to do it without using any air transportation and while staying as close as possible to the Greenwich meridian. He led a team of three dozen people, and this happened in 1979. At that time, there were no satellites above the South or the North Pole, so GPS tracking was impossible. This was pretty amazing.
I loved to find so many tour operators working in this niche. Form polar expeditions, to climbing Kilimanjaro, from surf camps in Tenerife, to walking tours in Portugal, cruises in Patagonia or cycling tours in South Africa, you could find them all in one place. I went there looking for some inspiration, and frankly, I got more than I imagined. ????
If only I had enough vacation days to do them all! If they had one thing in common, it was that all these offers were addressing the traveler who is looking for an experience rather than a simple holiday. This type of traveler would enjoy more discovering the less known parts of a country, the authenticity of the cultures, and is brave enough to face the toughness of wild regions.
So if you were looking for a challenging, active holiday, that would maybe test your limits but surely give you stories to tell back home, you were definitely in the right place.
One idea stayed with me after the Adventure Travel Show. When asked how he had chosen his team for the expeditions, Sir Ranulph Fiennes answered that the essential element in an interview was the motivation of the individual. I often ask myself the same while traveling, climbing a mountain, or setting a goal. Why do I want to do this, what drives me towards that destination?
Amazingly, I realized that when it comes to the mountains, I never have in mind reaching the summit as the motivational factor of my trip. Of course, reaching the top is enjoyable, but the core of my motivation is something else. It is the process of getting there. Sometimes it may happen that I can’t reach a goal, but I discover something else about the place or about myself in that context. Because your traveling is never exclusively in the outer world. If you pay attention, there are a lot of new and exciting things you discover and learn about yourself in the process. So let the checklist at home and enjoy your journey.
Feel free to share with me your own motivation for going on an adventure holiday. Why do you do it?