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Getting Out There and Getting Into Schools

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When I was rowing the Atlantic I spoke to schools around the world via satellite phone. One school decided to replicate life on the boat by building a rowing boat in the classroom and installing a rowing machine.

Another school, Millfield Primary near Lincoln, invited me into their school when I got home. It was a fun but exhausting day as I was bombarded with thousands of questions about life on the ocean.
I was extremely impressed with the standard of the questions and especially with the young journalists there who interviewed me for this film. They are at least twenty years ahead of me with their IT and interviewing skills!

A few days after the visit I received loads of letters from pupils. Here is an example:

Dear Alastair,
Hi I’mm called Isobel. I loved it when you came in to our school and shared your�adventures with everyone from Millfield Primary.
Your adventures inspired me to do something like you when I grow up! My�dream adventure would be to climb a huge, rocky mountain and boost up my�confidence to another level.
You must have been very brave to take on the adventures of a lifetime, you also�must have been really determined to achieve your goal. Everyone has learned�something from your amazing, adventurous trip to Millfield. I have learned that�I should just go for my goal as a mountain climber and let nothing hold me back!
Thank you for having the time to read my letter (I really enjoyed your trip!) I�can’t believe all the adventures you have done!
Yours sincerely,

Adventures and expeditions are all good fun. But getting into schools and telling young people about the world out there, sowing a seed of curiosity and ambition and making them realise there are so many options and opportunities makes the expeditions far more meaningful and worthwhile to me.

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  1. That was neat 🙂 I was skeptical of your highly speaking of the kids till I watched the video.

  2. You were in Heighington, no way! I teach about 4 miles away, and would have been so keen to have had you talk in my school as well. Oh well…

    Thanks for the MdS donation… a truly incredible experience and celebration of human spirit. Amazing!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Alastair.

    I think there are many other less well-known adventurers out there who would also like to share their story with kids

    Have you got any advice on the best way of contacting schools? How did you manage the logistics while you were biking around the world?

    Any tips greatly appreciated!

    • That’s a good idea Amaya – I will add it to my To Do List.

      • I don’t think there is any real secret to starting speaking in schools.
        Here’s what I did:

        – contact a few local schools and offer to pop in and give a talk. Primary schools are usually the most amenable.
        – do a few of these, for free, and make them good!
        – get references from those schools.
        – use these references to contact a few more schools and offer to speak for a small fee.
        – as your references and experience increase, so too will your fee! Do not be shy about charging for your story. (But don’t forget to do some talks for free as and when you feel it is worth doing. Give something back).

        I hope this will be helpful too:


  4. Thankyou for coming into our school, we really enjoyed listening to your adventures. We are really thrilled that you have put us on your blog. We hope you do well in and look forward to following your next great adventures.

  5. Laura Lee Posted

    Please could you tell me where I can purchase ‘the boy who biked the world: riding the Americas’ part 2? I have searched everywhere and cannot get a copy! My son is desperate to read this!!!! Many thanks.



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