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Ideas for Grand Adventures for £1000

Here are a few suggestions for ideas of adventures you could have for £1000:

  • ‘I would go south    hitch-hiking into Africa.’    Steve Dew-Jones, hitch-hiked to Malaysia.
  • ‘I would probably just leave the front door with my camping kit in a bag, and I’md just walk. I’md probably want to walk to the Channel, and then perhaps once I got there I might try and to find a port and see if someone would give me a lift, and then just keep on walking. And I figure after a while there wouldn’t be footpaths necessarily any more, perhaps there wouldn’t be good maps, but iIt’d just be really interesting to walk without a destination, away from home day after day. It wouldn’t be very expensive so that £1000 might last a very long time.’    Hannah Engelkamp,    walked a lap of Wales with a donkey.
  • ‘I’md jump on a skateboard and go around India.’    Jamie McDonald,    ran across Canada dressed as a Superhero.
  • ‘I’md go climbing illegally in China    it’s the permits that cost so much.   Or I’md go somewhere you don’t really need permits, like Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan.’    Paul Ramsden, mountaineer.
  • ‘I’md cycle to Istanbul. If I made sure my bike was fairly worthless, I could leave it there and then just fly home for £70 quid at the end.’    Tom Allen, cyclist.
  • ‘I’md love to sea kayak around Mallorca or the Balearic Islands    a special place to me with a kinder climate than northern Europe. Though I also like the idea of sea kayaking from Finland to Sweden through the archipelago.’    Karen Darke, disabled adventurer.
  • ‘I would sail out to Balls Pyramid West Face and climb it: it’s 680 meters metres high, but 500 kilometres off the east coast of Australia.’    James Castrission, Australian adventurer.
  • ‘I’md like to walk to the midnight sun. Set out from home and walk north up to the Arctic Circle. That would be fun.’    Sean Conway, swam the length of Britain.
  • ‘Hitchhike to Singapore from my house. With the right kit it wouldn’t cost too much, I’md see a massive amount, and I could get all of the way there without having to get a ferry.’  –  Barry Hayes, Rowed 4,000 km across the Pacific Ocean.
  • ‘Buy a horse in Mongolia and ride it great distances while free camping’  –  Jamie Bowlby-Whiting, Hitch-hiked tens of thousands of miles, rafted the Danube, and walked across Iceland.
  • ‘Cross Iceland with the packraft!!’  –  Anthony Goddard, Road-tripped all over the USA.
  • ‘Cycle across Africa, coast to coast.’  –  Matt Prior, Various places in various vehicles for various reasons! (Mostly for fun)
  • ‘get all my best mates to the pub to plan another adventure’  –  Martin Hartley, 28 expeditions globally; four full expeditions to the Geographic North Pole.
  • ‘get lost in Patagonia with my fishing rod’  –  Andy Ward, Walked from London to Istanbul. Managed five North and South Pole Expeditions.
  • ‘Give it to charity    I don’t need loads of cash for my kind of adventure, I can set off on foot from my own doorstep and head off into the wilds for free…!’  –  Phoebe Smith, wild camping aficionado.
  • ‘Go ride the Great Divide’  –  Iain Denley, Cycled Europe and South America.
  • ‘Hire a canoe, find a river, put the family in the boat and paddle like crazy until the money runs out.’  –  Kirstie Pelling, Over 20,000 km of family cycling on several continents.
  • ‘Hitch-hike around Somalia’  –  Austin Vince, Multiple circumnavigations of the globe by dirt-bike.
  • ‘Hmm…! maybe try to get from John O’Groats to Singapore using only trains.’  –  Graham Hughes, Successfully completed the first journey to every country in the world without flying.
  • ‘I’md buy a nice bicycle and set off around Europe with a bottle of wine’  –  Levison Wood, Walked the length of the Nile and Himalayas. Expeditions on five continents.
  • ‘Jump on my bike and see where I end up.’  –  Nic Conner, Cycled from London to Tokyo with only £1000.
  • ‘Ride my bike across America’  –  Scott Parazynski, MD, 5x Space Shuttle Astronaut, 7x spacewalker, Everest climber.
  • ‘Travel from where we are currently living in New Zealand, home to the UK by bike and container ship!’  –  Adam Jones, Susan Welford, Mountain bike tour of Iceland.
  • ‘Walk around Bhutan’  –  Ed Gillespie, Around the world without flying.
  • ‘I think almost all my trips have cost about £1000. It was £1000 to cycle across America, £1000 through Southeast Asia, £1000 for the Empty Quarter, £1000 for Iran, roughly. It’s a great figure for having in a trip. So, if I was to have £1000 all inclusive, I’md really like to try a new method of non-motorized human power transport. I think it would be cool to do something a little bit different. I’md really like to try a trip on an animal, not a camel because they seem rubbish, maybe a horse. And, I think somewhere wide open spaces. Mountains would be good for that, but somewhere reasonably cheap to get to. So, I’md probably go somewhere like Mexico into the Sierra Madre Mountains with all the bandits and try to ride a horse, maybe from one coast of Mexico to the other, something like that, and just try to minimise the cost to get out there and give as much money for hay as possible.’ – Leon McCarron
  • ‘I think I might fly to Alaska and go backpacking. £1000 would get me there and then have enough money to rent a car and then go backpacking in Denali.’ – Brendan Leonard
  • ‘I would ride my bike through Central America to Uruguay. This sounds pretty presumptuous of me, but I’md like to meet the president of Uruguay. He’s my hero. I don’t have typical heroes; growing up I never read Scott Shackleton or any of these guys. But he is the president of this small South American country, but he lives very simply on a farm, and he drives this old beaten up VW beetle, doesn’t want to have anything to do with the presidential palace that he’s supposed to be living in, and the limousines that are provided him, and he was the only leader in a recent world conference to stand up and talk about sustainability, and how countries and governments should be trying to really meet sustainability targets on carbon emission reduction, etc. So, it would be cool to ride a bike down to Uruguay, travel through the Darien gap, and yeah, just see if I can meet this guy and shake his hand.’ – Jason Lewis
  • ‘I’md have to take my family on an adventure. Okay, here’s one that is so easy for people to do because it’s close to home. It’s not the cheapest country in the world, but I’md go back and explore in more detail the west coast of Norway. So Trondheim up to Bodø, the Lofoten isles and to Narvik. All the way you’re ferry-hopping. During the summer months it’s one of the best places I’mve ever been to. If I could go back and share with my daughter and my wife that part of the world, that would be £1000 very, very well spent.’ – Mark Beaumont
  • ‘If you gave me £1000 to have an adventure I would spend the entire amount on BMC worldwide travel insurance for one year. I’md actually have to supplement it by six of my own pounds as the quote came to £1,006 for the …œtrek… option which allows me up to 5,000 metres. I would then attempt to circumnavigate the world without money, a wallet, or even a phone. No bills, no blog, no filming. Just one man, two hands, and half a brain. Imagine the freedom of just having the clothes you stand up in, a tiny light pack containing a light sleeping bag, basha, your passport, a tupperware container for carrying scraps of food, and an old Coke bottle filled with water. Now there’s an adventure! Could it be done? Could you stay within the law? Could you manage it without feeling like you were scrounging off people? Could you contribute to each place more than you took? How would you eat? Who would you meet? What would you learn about life? No rules, no limits, just the target of enjoying every day of the toughest challenge of your life…!’ – Ed Stafford
  • ‘I think it would be in a canoe. I’mm a big fan of slow adventures. I like cycling, I don’t like speed racing. I like walking; I don’t like bungee jumping. So I think it would be some really beautiful self-supported canoe journey, maybe with a couple of others, where you’re just following the water and the seasons. Camping at the side of the river for several weeks or months. Or perhaps I’md paddle around the coast of a beautiful island somewhere, or even Ireland. So yes, something canoe-y.’ – Kerry O’Neill
  • ‘Journey the length of the Careterra Austral, the road between northern Patagonia and its southern tip. It’s an ancient, somewhat historically romantic road. It’s unsealed, pretty rough around the edges, and leads you through some of the most spectacular, unadulterated nature, and finishes in Torres del Paine, the true gem of Chilean Patagonia.’ – Jamie Fulbrook
  • ‘I’mve never taken a long sea voyage. If you were to give me £1000, I’md like to build some sort of craft to travel the old Viking sea-routes linking the Orkneys, the Shetlands, Faroe, Scandinavia and Iceland, to Greenland if I could. I’mve no idea if £1000 would even cover the cost of timber, but that’s what I’md like to do. Hopefully it would at least buy me enough rum to stay warm.’ – Nick Hunt
  • ‘If you get four buddies that’s actually £4000. If you save up for two years, that’s £8000. You buy a vehicle for a grand or £1500. And you certainly now have a budget that you can run away and have a three month adventure driving around, driving as far as Mongolia or something like that.’ – Paul Archer
  • ‘You could fly to Egypt, break into the pyramid complex in the middle of the night and climb up the Great Pyramid. You’d have enough money to pay the fine if you got caught, too!’ – Graham Hughes
  • ‘Here’s something I’mve been thinking about for all of two weeks, and I’mm about to go and do it. I’md fly to Oslo and get a kayak sponsored so I don’t have to pay for it, and then I’md spend about six weeks going around the Swedish coastline, all the way from the Norway/Sweden border to the Finland/Sweden border.’ – Dave Cornthwaite
  • ‘As I’mve got a massive passion for travelling by motorbikes, I’md go to Northern India, the Himalayas, and rent an old Royal Enfield from Delhi and maybe spend a month on amazing loop you can do up to Leh and across to Srinigar. You are driving along the roof of the world, 5000m high. You’ve got a cliff at one side and if you get it wrong, you’re off the edge. It’s got to be one of my favourite places in the world. The Enfield is a great bike. They’re classic. They look awesome. They’re so easy to ride. and everyone knows how to fix an Enfield out there. You don’t have to worry.’ – Archie Leeming
  • ‘If I had £1000 again, yeah, I would probably do the trip again. It was brilliant.’ – Nic Conner (who cycled to Tokyo for £1000)
  • ‘Either I’md walk into an airport and buy a random cheap flight, whatever they have. So you go, you don’t know where you’re going at all, and you see on the board that Iceland is leaving in two hours, and you can get it cheap, because it’s last-minute. So either a totally spontaneous adventure like that, or I think I would either hitchhike around the States, or probably cycle out Alaska and Canada, and do the Rockies. For $1000, I could do the Rockies for months.’ – Shirine Taylor
  • ‘If I were given £1000 for an adventure I would like to take someone who has never experienced this lifestyle out there into the world. To show them that they can travel great distances by their own power, and to give them the insight into how wonderful and safe the world is.’ – Joff Summerfield
  • ‘This year I spent three months living in a yurt on a little island in Canada and basically fell in love with yurts. So I would use the money on a flight to Ulan Bator and then hopefully the rest of it would get me out into the steppes to meet families and spend six months or a year with them, getting to know their lifestyle and their rhythms.’ – Candace Rardon
  • ‘Again on a C90, I’md like to go down to South America. I would definitely do a trip on a C90 again. Even though I’mve gone around Europe on bigger motorbikes, it’s not really the same experience as going slowly and doing something, I don’t know, that so stupid.’ – Liam Miller
  • ‘I would possibly just open the door, passport in hand, and start walking. I’mve ‘plans’ to go on a long(ish) walk some day. Or, I would pick up my mountain bike and a small rucksack and spend my time in the UK walking the best paths and riding the best trails, camping in between and taking the train as and when I needed or wanted. I’mve ‘plans’ to do that too. Neither would cost much money, so I would just keep doing it until the money ran out, or I got bored, or found something else I’md rather do. Basically, I’md just get on with what I’mm going to do anyway – I suppose that sounds rather boring. Here’s another idea that has been brewing a few years – I could hitchhike my way back to the Congo, then buy two dugout canoes in a small town in the southeast of the country, rig them together with a small platform for a makeshift tent (Huckleberry Finn style) and fix a little outboard motor (to aid getting through any rapids). I’md then hire a local who knows the rivers, and make our way to Kinshasa (where all rivers in the Congo flow through) over the course of a couple of months. That would give plenty of time to read and write and learn some of the local language. I’md either need to bring lots of books with me and a notepad and pen, or I’md need a small solar panel to charge my kindle and laptop. The only stresses would be dealing with corrupt officials, not getting malaria, and not getting snapped up by a croc. You’ve got me started now…! I might even find a quiet, cheap spot to live a few months and set about writing a series of fictional short stories. Not the sort of adventure you had in mind, but it would be for me. Isn’t adventure just doing something outside your comfort zone?’ – Helen Lloyd
  • ‘I’md be interested in doing a short solo journey. In an unfamiliar medium. So I think I would probably buy a second-hand sea kayak and paddle through the Channel Islands of the west coast of the States. Just off the coast of Santa Barbara, an archipelago that is home to some of the most diverse ecosystems outside of the Galapagos Islands.’ – Dom Gill
  • ‘What I would do is hire a set of cross country skates and head out to the Australian alps, this spring. I’md spend two weeks back country skiing with a pack, a tent, supplies and just head out amongst the spring snows. I’md just spend time under a spring sun and in the mountains. I’md love that.’ – Paula Constant
  • ‘I’md love to walk into a poor township like Guguletu and then I would give one of the kids an opportunity to change their lives on an adventure. I know it is a cop out, but it will be an adventure for me to give somebody else an opportunity to do something. That would be a big adventure for me. The adventure would be going to Guguletu, spending time with the people and finding the right kid that I believe has got the right attitude and the determination to complete something and we’d go do a journey with that £1000. If they got on a bicycle and cycled around South Africa, imagine them meeting all the people of our country…!’ – Riaan Manser
  • ‘I would do a tandem ride with my wife. I don’t know how far the £1,000 would get us. She’s not super expensive, but she’s super expensive compared to me and you, because I’mve promised Christine we’ll spend a couple of nights a week in a hotel with a hot shower! So if we only had £1000 we’d ride as far as we could in America, but I don’t think we’d get all the way across.’ – Rob Lilwall
  • ‘You give me £1,000 I’mm getting on a plane to Mexico to see friends, I’mm going nuts in a bar, I’mm waking face down in the sand on a beach trying to work out where my clothes are. Because tomorrow I’mm going back into the Arctic Circle, Siberia, and I don’t want to remember that right now.  I don’t want to think about a trip anywhere. But if you are going to force my hand I’mm going back to South America, because I left half myself there and I need it back.  Another response might be anywhere below 30° degrees latitude.’ – Karl Bushby
  • ‘I would go sea kayaking (but I can’t do that on my own!) [Karen is in a wheelchair]. Sea kayaking is cheap because you can sleep on beaches and live on lentils and porridge, and I love living with the rhythm of the tide and sleeping to the sound of waves. As for where I’md go…! I’md love to sea kayak around Mallorca or the Balearic Islands    a special place to me with a kinder climate than northern Europe. Though I also like the idea of sea kayaking from Finland to Sweden through the archipelago. I’md also love to just get on my bike from my home in Scotland and ride all the way across Europe. Inverness to Istanbul maybe! I reckon that would be do-able for £1000, but I’md need a friend to come along too as towing my wheelchair and all my camping gear, whilst do-able, is a struggle as soon as you hit any big hills…! and I generally prefer adventures with friends more than on my own.’ – Karen Darke
  • ‘I really loved Southeast Asia. I’md fly there then cycle around Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. I’md recommend it to anybody because your money goes a long way there as well.’ – Imran Mughal
  • ‘Something in the Congo or some kind of pacifist motivated project in Somalia. I’mve got increasingly political in my old age. I don’t want ‘experiences’ or ‘adventures’. I want to stop people hating each other.’ – Austin Vince
  • ‘I could get a flight from the UK to Moscow very cheaply. I would jump on a train from Moscow and get a fair way across the country. All I’md have with me, I think, is a big pack, a packraft or a really cool new boat coming out from AIRE called the Bakraft, which is their portable boat, which handles really difficult whitewater. And then my aim would be to get back to Moscow using my feet and this boat. The countryside is so diverse. The terrain that you would cross would just be so amazing, and the people that you would come across are equally as amazing. And I’mm pretty certain I could get back to Moscow for well under £1000, well under.’ – Mark Kalch
  • ‘I would spend it on this adventure right now. I’mm running across America and it is marvellous!’ – Rosie Swale Pope
  • ‘There’s almost nothing I couldn’t do with a £1000. It’s enough to get me a plane ticket, and 3G dongle, anywhere in the world. Though working at the other end is probably cheating a bit, so what I’md do is get a plane ticket to Panama or the Caribbean. There I’md look for a yacht going through the Panama canal and up the coast of Mexico to California. I’md try get on as paid (or unpaid!) crew and enjoy the 5000 mile trip up to the States. One of my best mates got married and moved to LA earlier this year so once I reached Cali, with whatever change I had from the plane tickets, I’md make my way to there and show up and surprise her. All this should have me away for a solid two months at least, and when I was ready to come home I’md do the opposite. I’md head to San Fran and look for a yacht going through the Panama canal, across the Atlantic to the Med. From there it’s only a Ryanair flight home.’ – Harry Guinness
  • ‘There’s a place in the Bahamas called Dean’s Blue Hole. It’s the deepest blue hole in the world. I think it’s 660 feet deep or something like that. What I would probably do is go explore that. A dive down into Dean’s Blue Hole would be really interesting. It’s been visited a few times by divers, but very little is yet known about it. So I’md go there.’ – Scott Parazynski, Astronaut
  • ‘I’mve always wanted to get myself a kayak and go down a large river. I remember reading your book, Al, and you described how you were in canoes and you went down the Yukon. And that just sounded like a wonderful, wonderful way to explore, and that’s an adventure that I would like to undertake at some point. I think that could be very interesting.’ – Henrik Frederiksen
  • ‘Something small and sweet and close to home. It’s amazing how many adventures there are to be had close to home. My best friend and climbing partner, Mark Moorehead, and I, had a saying which has become one of my favourite mottos for life, “Let your imagination guide you!…’ – Jon Muir
  • ‘A pub crawl. No, actually do you know what I realise I would do? Go and rent a cabin in the woods or in the mountain somewhere and just lock myself away for a week with nothing. Don’t do anything, particularly, just be cut off for a bit in a nice place.’ – Martin Hartley
  • ‘I hope this isn’t sort of twisting the idea that much, but in the last four years or so, I’mve been collecting footage from lots of trips and adventures of my own; in Alaska and Iceland and all around Europe and America – and I haven’t done anything with this footage. So the adventure for me would be to make something; a film perhaps, with that footage that I’mve shot. I’mve shot hours of material, and I really want to do something with it. So I’md actually stay in London, use the money to live on, and create something from all of the adventures that I’mve done. Actually one of the things I’mve found from travelling, is that it often costs more to stay at home, than to be away exploring the world.’ – Temujin Doran
  • ‘Well, for $2000 it’s hard to get far from Australia and do anything significant, so I would probably walk out my backdoor here in the Vic Alps with my dog Tigon and walk as far as I could through the Great Dividing Range. There is a network of trails here that begin in Victoria and end in Cape York. In the right season (winter) I would probably head inland to Australia’s interior. Australia, ironically, is a place that I haven’t explored in the same way as Eurasia.’ – Tim Cope
  • ‘I remember being very impressed years ago by a guy called Mike Cawthorne. I’mve never met him. I hope he reads this because I think it’s important for people to realise that they’ve sowed little seeds that go on and inspire people. He wrote a book called Hell of a Journey. He climbed all of Scotland’s 1000-metre peaks in the middle of winter. It sounded incredibly hard. I remember him going a long period, I think it was 10 or 11 days without seeing another human being and that’s on mainland Britain. One of the things I feel sad about is that I might have perpetrated this idea that you need to go somewhere really exotic and faraway to have a meaningful experience or a challenging adventure. That is not the case at all. Mike’s Scottish epic is such a tough journey that I’mm not sure I’mve got the winter climbing skills and experience to actually undertake it, but it would cost very little. One day, if I’mm man enough, that might be a trip that I would have a go at. No huge PR campaign or London launch party, I’md just go and try to link up all these hills in Scotland in winter. It would be an extraordinary journey.’ – Ben Saunders
  • ‘£1000 is a lot. With a few exceptions, you could probably fly just about anywhere in the world and stay in hostels for at least a week if not longer. My current adventure (well, this week…!) is in Hong Kong and South Korea    so I’md take the funds and stay in Kowloon, where I’mve been many times, and go on long walks through the area to some of my favorite stomping grounds. Then I’md fly to Seoul, where I’mm writing from now, and see friends in Gangnam.’ – Chris Guillebeau
  • ‘I’md love to go to Greenland, to somewhere like the Blue River on the southern tip and bring my pack raft and a fishing rod, and just float down the river and camp on the ice, and then explore some of the fjords, probably catch a few fish. That would be a dream £1000 adventure.’ – Andy Ward
  • ‘I’mm split between the opposite ends of the world as I look at my map. It’s been a bit of a tradeoff between Alaska, Siberia, Africa, but I think what I’mm actually going to plan for is some islands in the South Pacific. I’md love to fly out there and go and learn from some of the locals about building the traditional boats and then do some trips around the islands camping on the beaches in one of the traditional dug outs with the locals and so on. So, I’md go to the South Pacific.’ – Sarah Outen
  • ‘I think I’md try to get old people involved somehow, I don’t know how. Maybe another walk, I think I’mll probably have a hard time not focusing some larger adventure around walking. To sort of have that conversation over the decades would be something I’md be interested in exploring and I might not even need a thousand dollars to do that.’ – Andrew Forsthoefel
  • ‘I just came back from a nine day, self supported, mountain bike, packrafting, and desert tower climbing mission with four other friends through the Navajo indian reservation in south eastern Utah, close to Monument Valley. No single activity was cutting edge, but collectively the trip was mind blowing! I think I spent about $300 total.’ – Kyle Dempster
  • ‘I’md go climbing illegally in China    it’s the permits that cost so much.  Or I’md go somewhere you don’t really need permits, like Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan.’ – Paul Ramsden

What would you like to do? Pop your suggestion in the comments section below. Perhaps that will be your first step towards committing to make it happen…

My new book, Grand Adventures, answers many questions such as this. It’s designed to help you dream big, plan quick, then go explore. There are also 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


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  1. Walk the first part (Le Puy to somewhere) of the Chemin de St Jacques. On 11-6-1989 I took a cutting from the paper about the Camino through Spain. It was the first time I’d heard of it and that’s as far as I got. I hit 70 this year and think I should make some sort of effort. I’m not sure I want to do the whole thing but it’ll be a start.

    I still have the cutting. 🙂



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