Show/Hide Navigation

Can We Help you Plan your Expedition?

Shackleton at the RGS

When I was planning to cycle round the world there was so much that I did not know. I was really thankful when a veteran long-distance cyclist agreed to meet me in a pub one evening and answer my questions.

Last year I thought that it could be helpful, now that I have done a few trips, to arrange an evening in a pub when I could try to help other people who are planning their own expedition. Over 100 people turned up. And what was really great about the evening was that so many people came who had already done big expeditions of their own and were able to share their own experience.

So I have decided to repeat the event. It will be on April 7th from 6.30pm to 9pm at the Royal Geographical Society in London ( Entry will be £5 to cover venue costs. This includes a free drink. Nobody is making any money out of the evening: it’s just a chance for people to meet each other and be encouraged that they are not alone in their mad scheming. That it is being held at the birthplace of many a great expedition is a real bonus. I’m very grateful to the RGS for letting us use their facilities for the evening.

The evening is deliberately unstructured: there is nothing on offer except a bar and a big room full of people who have done, or are planning, interesting stuff. That’s it. Come along, have a drink or two, and talk to people. Ask questions, answer questions, be inspired.

So if you think I can help you with anything you may be planning or if you want to meet people in a similar stage of planning/dreaming then do come along. I will do my best to answer them or, more likely, point you towards someone who can.

Also if you have done an expedition, ultramarathon, big journey or anything similar yourself then perhaps you would like to come along as well to share your own knowledge with people? It would be fantastic to gather together a few seasoned expeditioners as well as a few people getting ready to head off for the first time. I would really appreciate that.

If you are coming along please sign up on the form here.

And please do share this event with anyone you know who may be interested: post it on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Hopefully I’ll see a few people (it’s first-come-first-served to a max of 150 in the venue) at 6.30pm on April 7th. But I’ll bring a book to read just in case nobody turns up!

This video sums up the evening well:

(Thanks Paolo for sharing it)

Read Comments

You might also like

Fear “Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst […]...
A 63-year-old Woman’s take on Fear and Adventure I wrote about Fear and what stops us living adventurously in yesterday’s email newsletter (what do you mean you don’t subscribe?! You should.) This morning I received this fabulous email from a 63-year old lady called Lynda. She has given […]...
The World Cup and Cycling round the World Here is the story of how the World Cup began for me when I was cycling round the world. The World Cup, at last, was only hours away. France, the World Champions, were playing Senegal, the African lions, in the […]...


  1. Last time was great, met some great like-minded people. Hope to meet a few more so count me in please Al.

    Please note new email address and updated web

  2. would be great to come along, but not possible this time.

    i know this might be a bit out of left field, but im looking for a video camera for next long trip – in a place with so many travellers, there might be something for sale?

    if you hear anything, i’d really appreciate being contacted.

    thanks guys, have a good evening.

  3. Thanks so much for organising this – just the meet-up I need. I’m in! 🙂


  4. Great news, I’m in!

  5. Sounds amazing Al but sadly i’m taking Ice Cores and looking at sediment in Iceland at the time! Hopefully next time. Enjoy all!

  6. Karl Holtby Posted

    Sounds great, wish I was near London!
    Any plans for doing anything similar in Yorkshire?

    There is also something else I am dying to know; how being an explorer or going on regular expeditions effects relationships? I wonder how many adventurous souls are married, and how their partners feel about the their other halves disappearing for months at a time?

  7. Another one who can’t make it I’m afraid… but I’m sure no books will be needed 🙂

  8. Clare whiteside Posted

    Hi Alister
    I’m going to be planning a huge challange but can’t make it to London until much later in the year.
    Will you still be doing these? Fingers crossed.
    Thanks again
    crazy people change the world!

  9. Hey, sounds like a fun event, will be good to hopefully meet some people to help me with my cycling the world attempt next year! Really wanna know more about South America as this is the place I have no experience or information for, I’ll be there with a beer in hand !

  10. Gavin Davies Posted

    Leave the book at home Al. If this goes off like the last pub meet did I’m pretty sure you won’t need it! Awesome. See you there.

  11. Hi Al

    I will be in London that week so will come along if that’s OK – be great to meet in person – very happy to try to help anyone I can but also looking for inspiration for an adventure of my own and think this could be the place!

    Will tweet and FB and see if I can round up some more people for it.


  12. Hope to make it and will advertise as well.

  13. Great idea, hope to you see all there

  14. Last year was great fun and helped us a lot on our tour later on in the year. So I will be there for sure.

  15. Ooh, sounds like fun – count us both in. Coming home from Argentina the week before, so looks like we’ve timed our flight just right!

  16. Sounds a great event to meet some some like-minded people – we’ll be there.
    Timing is great for us as only a month before we head off to South America!

  17. Did a solo LEJOG last year and wondering what to do next (few ideas in mind!) – will certainly be in attendance.

    Have also just worked on getting my journey’s blog self-published so happy to offer advice to anybody thinking of doing the same. Hey, I may actually be useful to someone…!

  18. Hi all
    If you’re interested in meeting up with other explorers and adventurers and can’t make the 7th in London try We have regular events in Bristol and Cardiff and soon to be Guildford, London and Kendal. Join up online and you’ll get our monthly newsletter telling you when the evenings are. A number of new expeditions have come out of the networking, team members found, business links made, jobs found…..etc
    Looking forward to meeting you all on the 7th. Thanks Al

  19. Are you going to post some of the questions and answers on your site for those of us who can make it because of that pesky Atlantic Ocean?

  20. Just booked our mega bus to London

    Rob and myself will be coming

    Looking forward to it

  21. Excellent! I already booked a ticket to London.
    See you there!

  22. Al,

    Looking forward to meeting you.


  23. What a great idea! Pity that I live totally elsewhere, but the idea is very inspiring and it might good idea to arrange similar events in different countries.

  24. Anthony Jelliman Posted

    Hi Al

    I did reply to this a little while ago but haven’t heard anything, Just want to make sure im on the list before i book the train tickets.

    Thanks. Really looking forward to it.

  25. Steve Dowling Posted

    This sounds great, but alas we won’t be able to make it as we’ll be doing our first mini-adventure during that time. Although by the scale of many expeditions it’s small, our cycle to Amsterdam is our first and a chance to try out doing something a little different from the usual sort of holiday.

    I’m sure we could have picked up a bunch of useful tips about what we need to take, perhaps more importantly what we don’t need to take and be inspired by others, but c’est la vie.

    Hope you all have a great night 🙂

  26. In case you’re not sure if this event is for you have a look at this. On the sign-up form I ask: What can you help others with?
    Here are some of the answers so far…

    Advice, Knowledge, Training, Logistics, Safety, Clothing and Equipment
    Cycle touring. Expedition design / philosophy.
    Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan… so I can always help people within the area of climbing, such as applying for grants, publicity, marketing etc… also I run a small business (Beast Products) manufacturing mostly caving and outdoor equipment at the minute so I can always produce random bespoke items or sponsor/support people!
    Cycling, folding kayaks
    I can advise on methods for successfully promoting and documenting an adventure online.
    Friendly enthusiasm and general scheming.
    “Last winter I walked from Rome to Cambridge along the Via Francigena, a mediaval pilgrims and merchants path.
    advice on filming expeditions
    Building websites and social networking, cyle touring – bikes, kit, past trips
    I ran an Ultra last year…
    Ran marathons, triathlons etc. and currently training for an Ironman”
    Kit and fund raising
    Bicycle touring, Mountaineering, general expedition know how and tips.
    Stepping off and just doing it
    some ideas about marketing and promotion
    solo women can do big things too.
    Botswana and Western Zambia. Will help if I can.
    Collaborating. Spreading the word about adventures (I’m a writer, and illustrator with several years in the advertising trade).
    Cycling, website design and build, event planning and “stuff”
    round the world trip with my partner and 8 month old baby
    I’ve completed a 2 year cycle expedition through Europe, Asia and North America
    Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
    Advice on embarking on a first long cycling trip.
    Picking a bicycle, route ideas, where to go and how to keep your blog updated while touring.
    I lived and worked in Tanzania, I also kayaked up Lake Malawi.
    Travelling with photographic gear.
    Questions about cycle touring in general, but especially information on South America. We’ve spent the last 15 months in the Andes cycling lots of quiet routes, and have also climbed plenty of mountains in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia so if anyone is heading to the Andes we should be able to help with information on these.
    Nutrition advice for expeditions. I’m very soon-to-be a qualified nutritionist and also have good experience in expedition planning so I hope to give advice on nutritional considerations for pre-exped training as well as on-the-road/hill/mountain/glacier/sea ice when supplies are limited.
    Mechanical knowledge
    I am a photographer so may be able help in that dept.
    Experience from riding across 30 countries / 15000 miles without giving up the day job
    Basic, light weight travel is my area of expertise.
    skiddooing in the arctic winter
    trekking in tropical jungles
    short films.
    Mountain trekking in Ecuador and Peru;
    Running Kenyan marathons, climbing Kilimanjaro and walking safaris in the Masai Mara.
    If anyone thinks they are in the dark with around the world cycle planning, don’t worry you cant be anymore in the dark than me….
    I manage a central London Bike shop
    Getting from A to B in the developing world.
    Things I wish I’d known before I went travelling / travel advice
    Trip planning
    Overlanding, vehicle based travel all around the world.
    Sat Comms
    Remote mountain expeditions
    Central Asia
    John o Groats – Lands End 1000 miles
    All things desert. Planning, running, trekking, vehicles, navigation etc.
    Mont Blanc/Kilimanjaro/Aconcagua/Everest North Face”
    25 years ago drove a van to kenya for almost a year, 30 years ago drove a van to india and back for almost a year.
    have lied, bribed and -not sure how to put this- “edited” documents in the past
    sailed across the Atlantic so any “boat” related questions.

    and finally…

    I am an expedition virgin so all I have to offer is unbridled enthusiasm and free hugs!

    So if you want to come along on April 7, sign up here:

  27. Sounds like a great event and wish I could attend. If anyone is looking for information on how to plan for an adventure kitesurfing trip then I can definately help. I have a talk about a world record solo journey by kite and will be delivering this around Europe. Any help or ideas on how to promote the talks would be greatly appreciated.
    Im in France at the moment snow kiting but can hook up over skype.

  28. Will Hodson Posted

    Hey Al,

    This could be just the kind of thing to help kick me into action with my dream to cycle round the world. Can offer limited advice on how to plan a (fancy dress) cycle ride from London to Monaco and have distant memories of a Coast to Coast ride across England, so could be listening a lot more than talking….probably a good thing.

    Saw it was first come, first served on the night. What time do you recommend turning up to avoid disappointment?


  29. Hamish Posted

    I wish there was such an event in Australia! (Melbourne specifically.) This looks like so much fun.

  30. Andy Miles Posted

    Hi Al,

    Looks like it’s shaping up for a good evening so hopefully room for one more

  31. Phillip Posted

    I just wish i could come along tonight. This is exactly the kind of
    meeting I need! I haven’t been able to find anything like this in France!

    I am trying to decide between either biking down to cape town from Paris/london
    or flying across to NY and buying a bike (so much cheaper for a decent bike) and going across the USA before flying my self and bike to Australasia to continue biking up into Asia and eventually back to paris.

    If anybody knows an experienced tourer that would be willing to answer some questions either by email or a quick skype call please let me know.

    For anybody be interested touring together I am planning on leaving any time between August and November. I am a 22 year old New Zealander who lives and works in France. And will be touring on a very low buget with alot of camping!

    my email is phill.j.english(at) and my skype is phillip7400

    Again, I just wish i could be there to night :'(


  32. James Peach Posted

    Al, When is the next one of these!!?



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