Adventurers, explorers and communities that inspire adventurous living
Life can seem like a constant battle against the clock, and many of us are getting lost between making time for ourselves, our work and our families. It's no wonder people are escaping the 9-5 in search of greater purpose and work-life balance.
During the Pandemic we saw a huge rise in people retraining, creating businesses out of side hustles, and finding ways to live with greater autonomy, freedom and flexibility. But not everyone has had the means or inclination to do anything other than survive these last few years. Stepping outside that perfectly packaged 9-5 structure can be daunting and challenging, and getting on the entrepreneurial, productivity bandwagon is equally intimidating.
While the 9-5 lifestyle is perfectly comfortable for some, it's not for everyone, and sometimes a little inspiration is all it takes to get us living more authentic and fulfilling lives.
INSPIRED BY ADVENTURE
So how can you slowly unwind and create more room for flexibility, freedom and growth at a pace and in an environment that suits you? You feel a need for change - a need to redesign your life for the better, but who can help you facilitate that in small, meaningful ways?
Who can guide, inspire, and encourage you into a world that feels more open, allowing you to connect, explore and thrive? Adventurers!
Through adventurers (and adventuring), I've learned that forging my own path and not ticking all the boxes - although difficult - is brave and something to be celebrated.
Yes, we fall, we fail, we struggle, and we react to the expectations of those around us. We can feel flawed. But society's one size fits all plan is not for everyone. We all have different rhythms and are led by different values, and it's important for us to honour that.
In 2015 I swapped my 9-5 life and job status for greater freedom and flexibility. I'm now living on a bus in New Zealand and training as a life coach, so I'm still very much on that journey. Sometimes (especially when things go wrong), I can see people living their secure, conventional lives, and my inner voice yells, 'you're doing it all wrong!' I'm proud of many of my choices, but there are times I doubt myself.
When that happens, I turn to the adventure community for support, encouragement and inspiration. Many adventurers have created accessible spaces and communities that help others tap into their potential, follow their passions, connect and live adventurously. And when we live a little more adventurously, exciting things start to happen, and unexpected doors open.
Below is a list of my favourite communities and adventurers who have inspired me to change my life.
Founded by adventurer Dave Cornthwaite, The Yes Tribe is a global community with regional tribes dedicated to creating events and spaces that bring people together to learn, encourage, share stories and find adventure in everyday life.
In 2018 I was diagnosed with Chronic Migraine. I was on the hunt for positive and inspiring ways to lift me out of a very rapid physical and mental decline, and that's when I came across The Yes Tribe.
I attended local tribe days (which basically involved hanging out with good people outdoors and chatting by the fire), story-telling events and festivals. Not only did I meet like-minded people, but I made new friends.
Being part of The Tribe encouraged me to take up new hobbies, such as cycling, bushcraft, foraging and hiking. I'm now working on a portfolio of careers (not just one), including expedition leading, bushcraft and survival skills, photography, writing and life coaching. I never considered adventure as being so accessible or life-changing!
Join the Yes Tribe on Facebook, where you can search for events and details of regional and global tribes near you. The Yes Tribe creates countless opportunities to meet outdoors and make real connections (for free, I hasten to add).
The Yes Tribe team, Dave and Emma Cornthwaite have created a community-driven haven in central Lincolnshire, offering glamping, camping, alpacas, and fireside events. Welcome to The Big Sky Hideaway.
A double-decker bus, famously known as The Yes Bus, is the Tribe's former countryside base camp in West Sussex. It has now relocated to Big Sky, and profits from the bus help the Yes Tribe to continue to host free events bringing people together around the UK.
Expect workshops, skill sessions, co-working days, retreats, outdoorsy weekends and summer camps.
Love Her Wild connects women locally (in the UK) and organises expeditions all over the world. The community is an excellent source of inspiration for female adventurers. Here are some examples of Love Her Wild expeditions you can get involved in:
Wild Lakes of Snowdonia
Plastic Island Sailing Expedition in Scotland
Hebridean Backpacking Adventure
Whale Shark Expedition in Mafia Island
Desert Elephants of Namibia
Love Her Wild Weekend North
Love Her Wild Weekend South
Explorers Connect is a Bristol-based not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to helping people live more adventurously. They offer micro-expeditions, treks, courses, talks and have an industry jobs board. They're a great option if you have some spare cash and want to take adventuring to the next level. You can book adventure courses or test your survival skills on tailor-made expeditions.
YES MAN, Dave Cornthwaite is the founder of The Yes Tribe and is an all-round ultimate adventurer, motivational speaker and community leader. Dave aims to raise 1 Million pounds for good causes through a series of epic expeditions, collectively known as Expedition 1000.
Dave’s mission is to undertake 25 journeys using different forms of non-motorised transport. Each adventure is a minimum of 1000 miles long, meaning when completed, Dave will have travelled further than the earth's circumference.
During the 2020 lock-down, Dave shared stories about his 1000 mile adventures from his lock-down base at The Yes Bus. Each video is available to view on Dave's Facebook page, under 'videos'. It makes for very entertaining and inspirational viewing!
Blogger, speaker, conservationist and adventurer, Bex Band has been recognised as one of the UK’s ‘top 30 inspirational entrepreneurs’ and has been awarded Legacy Maker on the San Miguel alternative rich list. Bex is also the founder of the UK's largest women's adventure community, Love Her Wild.
Her adventures include hiking 1000km the length of Israel, kayaking the width of the UK against plastic pollution and kick-scooting the length of the USA. Legend!
For all sorts of adventure advice and inspiration, head to her website and keep your eyes peeled for her forthcoming novel: Three Stripes South: The 1000km trek that inspired the Love Her Wild women's adventure movement.
If I ever need advice or inspiration about travel planning, conservation and sustainability, or ANYTHING adventure related, Bex is my go-to person.
Alastair Humphreys is an English adventurer, author and motivational speaker. Over four years, Alastair cycled 46,000 miles around the world and in 2012 was declared National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. He is responsible for the rise of the idea of The Micro-adventure – short, local, accessible adventures. His newsletter contains little nuggets of wisdom and ideas that will get you outside and living adventurously in no time.
Anna McNuff is just a ray of bloody sunshine!
A self-proclaimed 'mischief-maker', adventurer, motivational speaker, influencer and best-selling author rolled into one. She was named by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the 50 most influential travellers of our time and The Guardian as one of the top modern female adventurers. Anna is also UK Ambassador for Girl Guiding and the co-founder of Adventure Queens, another fast-growing women’s adventure community.
For her latest challenge, Anna ran 2,352 miles barefoot across Britain. That's the equivalent of 90 marathons!
Explorer, Expedition Leader and Survival Guide, Chaz Powell, has walked the length of Africa's wildest rivers, raising awareness for local wildlife conservation.
I first heard Chaz talk about his long-term project, 'The Wildest Journey,' at a Yes Tribe event. I've never heard anyone speak so candidly and calmly about survival. He's a delight to listen to, and his jaw-dropping tales of survival and escape will leave you hungry for more. If high-octane adventures and wild journeys are your thing, give Chaz a follow on Instagram and read more at The Wildest Journey.
Chaz runs training expeditions in the UK to equip people with essential survival skills, knowledge and confidence to embark on their own adventures. Skills covered include navigation, wild camping, shelter building, fire-making, cooking, environmental and cultural awareness, river crossings and escape!
He is currently based in his new, sustainable off-grid home, Wild Bear Croft & Eco Cabins, in the remote Scottish Highlands.
Jen is an expedition leader and Yes Tribe Ambassador who, in 2019, took on 365 days of adventure challenges. Her adventures have inspired me to hop on a return coach to Paris for £16 and take on my own 'Adventure' challenge!
Follow Jen's adventures on Instagram @jen_george_adventures
Adventure, mountaineering and cycling enthusiast Tim Moss is someone I came across when searching for mini-adventure inspiration.
Tim champions accessible, everyday adventuring, and one of his stand-out challenges is his £100 Adventure; a week-long hitch-hike on a £100 budget.
A note from me...
My adventures have temporarily brought me to New Zealand, where my husband and I have bought a bus that we're converting into a tiny home. I'm currently retraining as a life coach and transformation guide and working on this website intermittently.
With an expedition to Africa and India on hold and life effectively thrown into the air due to COVID, I'm playing catch up and replacing a lot of the old with some new.
Watch this space!
In the meantime, you can me follow on Facebook and Instagram: @ola.adventures and If you'd like advice on any of the countries I've visited or need help planning your adventures, please drop me a message. I'd be delighted to help x