Show/Hide Navigation
 

What was your earliest or childhood ambition?

A short little interview I gave for Steppes Travel…

Q: What was your earliest or childhood ambition?
My chief ambition in life was to play for Leeds United. This was never going to happen. Nonetheless I remember clearly the first time I went to watch a player younger than me in the team and I had to acknowledge that it was time for new ambitions! Adventure and travel filled the hole…

Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
That has varied a lot over time. At first it was to challenge myself, to prove something about myself to myself and to the world. Later it moved on to curiosity and a love of new and wild places, exploring what lay over the horizon. More recently adventure has become a medium for doing creative stuff – writing books, taking photos, and making films.

Q: Who has inspired you to do what you do?
A combination of great adventurers (Fiennes, Messner, Scott etc) and great travel writers (Fermor, Lee, Newby etc)

Q: If your 20-year old self could see you know, what would he think?
He would be absolutely chuffed to bits. And rather surprised.

Q: If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would change?
I would try to be happier on my early adventures. I was so hard on myself. I’d tell myself to relax a little, slow down, have more fun.

Q: In what place are you happiest?
In the saddle of a bicycle, zooming down a mountain bike trail on a summer’s evening, with the pub coming into sight down in the valley.

Q: Do you consider your carbon footprint?
Only in as much as that I intermittently chastise myself for not paying enough attention to this. I know that I should / must take more steps to help preserve the wild places I love, but I am ashamed to say I’m pretty bad in this regard.

Q: The one essential you travel with?
A camera, a diary, a reading book.

Q: Your best piece of travel advice?
Begin before you’re ready. Don’t over plan.

Q: What advice would you give to young people wishing to follow in your footsteps?
See question above! Plus I would add, if you want to make a living from travel writing etc, then it is crucial to remember that authentic, exciting, personal journeys will always trump ostentatious endeavours designed merely to impress others.

Read Comments

You might also like

How I Edit my Books I have written before about how to write a book. (tl;dr: sit down and write a lot.) But what about the next phases? Editing and getting published… Write lots and lots and lots. Don’t do anything else until I have […]...
Inspiring Women in Adventure If you’re looking for some female adventurers to inspire you, scroll through the names recommended in the comments section here. Loads of ladies doing cool stuff! (Also: a request. I’d love a list of excellent adventure books written by women […]...
Some thoughts on Christmas Presents Christmas is coming, and for most of us in the lucky part of the world that means presents. With our planet suffocating beneath plastic waste, we need to think more carefully about giving. I fall into the category of “hard […]...
 

Comments

  1. Nice thoughts. I wish I can say some day that I am making a living from travel writing and speaking. Your are an inspiration. Thanks

    Reply

 
 

Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

 
 
 
© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton