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What could you do with £1000?


A thousand pounds.
In all it’s glory, a thousand quid.

A grand don’t come for free. For much of the world it’s an impossibly vast sum. For some of the world it’s mere loose change. I imagine that most people who read my blog are, approximately, at a similar financial level to me: £1000 sounds like a lot of money, but it’s achievable for me. For example, I can afford to put aside £20 each week and, in one year, that will turn into £1000.

This is the premise behind Grand Adventures. Save £20 a week for a year (here’s how to do it without really noticing). Use that year to put in place all the plans necessary to get a great adventure up and running.

And then begin.

It sounds so simple.

But what stops more people making their dream adventure happen?

I have come to learn that what stops people is not a lack of practical skills, fitness or equipment. It’s not as concrete as that.

What stops people are the mental barriers in their head: it’s too hard, too scary, too uncertain, too expensive…

Over the year I have been trying to address these barriers through interviewing inspiring people who have felt the same way but somehow managed to overcome their doubts and commit to action.

Today I want to tackle the concern about money. If you have been reading the interviews this year, you will know that £1000 is more than enough to do something great.
When you get to your deathbed, would you like to have spent £1000 cycling to Japan, climbing in the Himalayas or walking across India?
Or would you like to spend £1000 on the stuff below? Which category are you in?
I’ve deliberately not chosen really frivolous stuff, but the sort of things that moderately sensible people (my uni friends, basically) might choose to spend £1000 on…

Please add suggestions of your own in the comments below, or pop this on Twitter:

“Would you rather have an adventure like XXX or buy XXX for £1000? #GrandAdventures”

I’ll send the best suggestions a copy of my film.

Now, say this out loud:

“I do solemnly declare that I would rather spend £1000 on a life-changing, life-enhancing adventure with memories to last a lifetime rather than buy something like this…”

This sofa for £2000:

rather than this one for £1000 (which still sounds crazy for a seat.):

This TV for £11,000 (yes, £11k. Though the cycling does look fun.)

or this one for £150 (and the show looks even better!)

This bike for £1900

or this one for £900

(An aside: unless you are racing bikes, I presume you are riding them for fun or for fitness. If you are riding to get fit, then the cheaper the bike is, the fitter you will get. So why do you really need a newer, shinier, lighter more expensive bike?)

This suit for £1200 (he looks like a wimp, anyway, with that silly little moustache)

or this one for £200

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 11.04.17

etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc…

Go do cool stuff instead!

Make your adventure happen. Save money. Dream big. Have the Adventure of a lifetime for just £1000 (or $1000 or €1000).


My new book, Grand Adventures, is out now.
It’s designed to help you dream big, plan quick, then go explore.
The book contains interviews and expertise from around 100 adventurers, plus masses of great photos to get you excited.

I would be extremely grateful if you bought a copy here today!

I would also be really thankful if you could share this link on social media with all your friends – It honestly would help me far more than you realise.

Thank you so much!

Grand Adventures Cover


How to Save £1000 Without Really Noticing

  • Start a new bank account. This is the only hassle of the whole plan. And it’s not much of a hassle at all. I set up a new account with Smile in under 15 minutes.
  • Set up a Standing Order from your main bank account to the new account. Each week transfer £20 to the new account. (If you can’t afford £20 a week even after cutting out your daily cup of coffee and a couple of beers here and there then choose a figure you can afford. Just don’t use this as an excuse to do nothing at all.) The important thing is to choose an amount that you can spare without much stress or worry.
  • Persuade a friend to do the same.
  • The hardest part is over. This is such a painless way to raise £1000 of money for your adventure in just one year. Now it is time for the second phase of the scheme:
  • Tell everyone that in one year’s time you are going to cycle to Sweden or run to Romania or hitch-hike to Hanoi.
  • We now have one year to sort out every aspect of the adventure (commitment, equipment, fitness, time off work).
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  1. Peter Reilly Posted

    Orange Wednesdays with a student card…Now your talking my language 🙂

  2. Great piece! The beautiful thing is, this is only the beginning. I wonder what will happen when people begin to realize what kind of adventures and experiences they can have for LESS than £1000; the options are mind blowingly limitless. Again, great piece. Keep these coming.

  3. Wow. Alastair, dude, you’ve got it so spot on. People say money is nothing, it means nothing. I used to say this. Heck I still do. But it’s not. It’s only what we choose to do with it. It’s only the barriers, the limited thinking in our heads that leads us to believe it’s nothing. You’re right. Why buy a fucking sofa, when for half, half that goddamn sofa, you can have the adventure of a lifetime. The craziest, most amazing, fun because it’s challenging adventures that rock your soul. dudeee. I so want to do this. All of it. but my insecurities, my depression doesn’t want me to. fuck it, im sitting here at 2:00 avoiding going to sleep merely because I don’t want to wake up in the morning. I’m fucked up in the head. jeezus

  4. Its an idea that would change my life…Simple things like this can make huge difference..

  5. People buy way too much stuff they don,t need.

    Rather be out and about them sat blank faced in front of a massive TV that could have paid for at least a few mountain camping over night sessions.

    Good to see your site back up

  6. The flights are booked for January 2015 , Sydney to Kathmandu. A little matter of riding on the bile the 2500km of the zig zag road to Calcutta they fly home. Simple as that. Thanks Al for your books and blog.




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