I was about to write about how Richard Branson, as highlighted by his current attempt to break the trans-Atlantic sailing record, is a great adventurer. After all, he’s done some crazy stuff and National Geographic Adventure Magazine has given him their lifetime achievement award. But I thought about all the caveats I would have to make about his adventures all being publicity stunts and his opposition to net neutrality proving that he is fueled more by greed than entrepreneurial spirit.
I decided to skip the caveats, and point out a pure adventurer: Mark Beaumont. Earlier this year, Beaumont broke the world record for cycling around the world, moving the mark from 276 days to 194 days. And he did it without the massive funding that Branson brings to his attempts. Sure he had some sponsors and he has since done and ad campaign for Orange (including the clip above), but he didn’t have a team of people – he rode the world solo. Also, if you watch the show BBC put together – largely using clips he shot himself from the road – he seems like a genuinely cool and simple guy.
Beaumont has provided some inspiration to me of late, and I’ve started taking longer bike rides for my weekend jaunts rather than taking the train or bus. And that’s what being a great adventurer is all about, doing what you love with such abandon that others can’t help but follow in your footsteps – not just breaking records for the sake of fame. To get that inspiration, check out some of his pictures, and these BBC videos.