We managed to catch up with Alastair, which is a bit of an achievement because he gets around, to ask him some of the questions Rohantime readers sent in via Facebook and Twitter. Alastair, master of the micro adventure and one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year for 2012, recently completed rowing the Atlantic, see video below. Alastair also shares with us his hopes for future trips.
We hope your enjoy the interview. A Big Thank you to Alastair.
On your website you describe yourself as adventurer, blogger, author, motivational speaker, film maker and photographer. What’s on your passport?
I guess if I had to pick just one it would be “Adventurer” – that’s where the passion comes from.
Some young people want to be doctors, nurses, layers, farmers and yes engine drivers. When did you decide what you wanted to do?
Not until I was mid-way through university. No proper career appealed to me, so I decided to just do what I loved.
What advice would you give to any body interested in following in your footsteps.
Just do it! Have a big idea, then Begin! Don’t expect to get rich quick, be willing to serve your apprenticeship, and remember to always do it for the right reasons…
You have seen the effect of climate change on your travels are you an optimists or pessimists with regard to our collective efforts to reverse or slow it down..
Unfortunately I am a pessimist regarding the environment, overpopulation and the impact of an urbanised, sedentary lifestyle.
You have written a number of great books about your trips. I assume you like writing do you see yourself being a full time travel writer?
The writing came before the adventure. I wanted to be a travel writer before I wanted to do out-of-the-ordinary expeditions. I would love to earn enough money from writing to make that my primary activity.
Do you think the advent of ‘professional adventurers’ with their back up systems takes away from the spirit of personal endeavour?
I’m not sure it’s a new thing. Livingstone and his contemporaries had vast numbers of people helping them. Personally, yes, I prefer to do things the simple and difficult way. But, as a wise man once said, any idiot can be uncomfortable…
What’s your favourite breakfast?
Posh muesli, croissants, coffee and a newspaper.
We have read the book seen the blog when’s the movie?
Continuing with my predilection for doing things by myself, I have spent the last couple of years teaching myself how to use a video camera and edit the footage. I would really love to make a TV documentary, but haven’t managed to get my foot in the door yet.
Your next challenge?
A four-month, 1800-mile unsupported return journey to the South Pole with two friends, Ben Saunders and Martin Hartley.
Bike Boat or Automobile?
Hmmm…. I’m pretty sick of bikes and rowing boats! But I don’t like cars either. Can I choose a camel instead?! That’s a journey that still burns on my To-Do list…
Your tents on fire what one piece of kit would you save?
Memory cards and diary.
You must have a lot of outdoor gear, are you a hoarder or do you pass on what you don’t need to someone who can use it?
I’m a hoarder, but not intentionally – I just don’t get organised enough to sort stuff out.
Tell us about your chosen charity?
I do all my trips for Hope and Homes for Children and recently became a patron. It’s a great charity that gets the right balance between compassion, pragmatism, ambition and efficiency.
What would be your ultimate adventure – the one big one?
I’ve been trying to pull off this South Pole trip for four years now, so that’s pretty massive to me at the moment.
‘I heard a rumour that he had such a good time on Atlantic row,that he is considering other oceans. Is that true’?
If anyone ever sees me anywhere near a boat again, they have my permission to shoot me…