Wellington, New Zealand
His wife, mango lassies, colonial architecture, wild weather, duct tape, singing
Would love to:
Play guitar, speak Chinese, have abs (without eating responsibly), go mountain biking with Richard Taylor, beatbox before an All Black's test match
A few snaps from the old days
A few sites I like
Hank the Shark - great children's book
GreatWallDVD - Nathan's Gray's really long walk
Kevin Biggar - crazy kiwi adventurer
Adventure Sport NZ - champion adventure/ multisport athletes Richard and Elina Ussher
Tour Sudan - with local legend Midhat Mahir
I always wanted to be an adventurer. As a young lad, I would scale the bush-clad hills around Wellington harbour, puffing and slipping up the steep slopes, immitating Sir Ed's ascent of Mount Everest as best I could in shorts and sneakers. I was like many kiwi kids, out exploring the hood by bike, scooter and foot or floating down the river on tire tubes. They were my happiest childhood memories.
My desire for adventure didn't falter, and as a green 23-year old with little money and even less experience, I set off on a solo bike trek across Canada in the middle of its bitter winter. The sense of achievement powering myself over more than 8,000km on a sheepskin-padded saddle, the people I met, places I saw, character traits I discovered and feeling of freedom made me hungry for more.
With Les Jickling, who'd joined me on the last leg of my bike trek, I concocted all sorts of adventures including searching for Viking treasure, lost in the hills in Iceland for 1,000 years.
It was a few years later in 2005 when Les and I became the first people to paddle from the source of the Blue Nile to the Mediterranean Sea. Five months and 5,000km on the river through some extraordinary parts of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt was an adventure than exceeded even my wildest childhood dreams. We overcame wild animals attacks, tropical disease, deadly rapids, extreme weather, war zones and terrorists while experiencing majestic scenery, colourful cultures and jaw-dropping ancient wonders. Because there were so many stories to tell from the adventure, I have written a manuscript which I am hoping to have published.
I don't believe adventures have to be traversing the river or scaling the peak, but can be found in almost everything one does. What makes it an adventure are the people you meet, the culture, the experiences that push you and allow you to reflect upon on your own life and enrich it. I hope I will be adventuring for the rest of my life.
Last year, I married the woman of my dreams and we are currently on a whole new adventure, discovering China. We're not sure where it will lead, but there is no doubt that we'll have all sorts of interesting experiences along the way.