Alastair Humphreys’ annual “celebration of adventure in all its guises” arrived for its fifth year, and has come a long way since its debut upstairs in a pub in 2010. This time, 950 people packed themselves into one of UCL’s lecture halls to hear short, five-minute talks from an array of adventurers.
But this is about as far from snooze-inducing university lectures as you could imagine – each speaker had to create a slideshow of 20 photographs that move on after 20 seconds, making for fast, informative, information-packed talks that flew by and left you wanting more – one speaker, polar explorer Ben Saunders, even had to say, “I haven’t got time for the bit where we nearly died.”
There was Hannah Engelkamp’s amusing story of travelling round Wales with her stubborn donkey Chico, who one day spent three hours refusing to cross a small, wooden bridge, geography teacher Fearghal O’Nuallian who tried to find a deeper meaning for deciding to walk 1,000km from Istanbul but could only come up with the fact he was “glad to get out of the house” and Saunders’ record-breaking tale of trekking to the South Pole and back – on foot – last year.
Everyone left the inspirational evening no doubt privately planning their own adventures, big or small, with quotes such as the following bouncing around their heads:
“The ones doing the hardest things are the ones having most fun.”
“Going from somewhere to somewhere is the point.”
“Go out and do some wild swimming this summer.”
“Create memories in the bank to withdraw later.”
And, most crucially, “If there’s something you want to do, you should do it.”
Future events can be found at Alistair’s website, alastairhumphreys.com. You can also sign up for his newsletter so you don’t miss out next time.
Picture Credits: Danfung Dennis