Land Rover Rebuild
My latest project to start is a rebuild of a 1989 Land Rover 110. The initial plan is to ensure it is mechanically sound as an off-road / adventure vehicle, and to custom-build a few add-ons to make it a good base to work from during weekends away. Although funds for the project are limited, the goal is to make it as light as possible before converting it to electric.
When not actually on an adventure, there's a very good chance I am dreaming about or planning the next. During the coming twelve months I will be on expedition in Sweden, and racing 1000-miles on foot along one of the world's most famous sled dog race routes. I look towards those coming adventures and I reflect back upon past successes, contemplating what I should do in future years. More paddling adventures, more Arctic adventures, a journey with Leon McCarron and potentially something in Antarctica are all on the cards.
Writing & Publishing
Writing is a passion I have previously been successful enough to make a living from, and I hope to return to those good times once again. A definite stall to progress occurred due to my doctoral research taking most of my time. Now free from the PhD I am turning my attentions to finishing various drafts on adventure and endurance books, and hope to write a series of short works and some children's books.
I support various causes that I believe are important. If I can help promote a cause, or get hands-on and actually do something useful, that is certainly important to me. If we all strive to help others at least a little bit, the world will become a better place in no time at all. When living in Serbia I volunteered during the refugee crisis to help ensure those fleeing wars were clothed, fed and watered - a project that helped thousands of people every week. I also initiated a project to get heating out to the remote camps during the winter.
In addition to my work in Belgrade, I helped to raise funds and drove supplies to the Calais 'jungle'. I have promoted clean water for Africa and other parts of the world through the Warka Water project. I also promote the importance of keeping our waterways clean and healthy, in conjunction with Active360 and Watertrek, and support causes such as the campaign to prevent hydroelectric dams decimating pristine wilderness areas of the Balkans; Save the Blue Heart of Europe. More recently I have been involved in working with youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds and young offenders, and have teamed-up as support for the Kinsmen Regiment: ex-servicemen undertaking endurance challenges to raise money for homeless veterans.
With many of these, I see myself as a tiny speck of oil that helped a cog on a wheel that made wondrous things happen during a time of great difficulty. It was the smallest part to play, but with so many doing the same and more, it all came together and it all worked. There are these and so many more causes that I believe are important, particularly whatever can be done to help limit illness, poverty, homelessness and environmental damage. Really, I believe there is already suffering enough in this world with the effects of ill-health and loss, and so any initiatives to limit anybody's suffering and help them to become happier and healthier should be embraced. I hope that through my views and actions others might be inspired to do likewise, to the smallest or greatest extent they are comfortable to. In my view, making the world better can be as simple as learning tolerance and support of those who are different and whose struggles we do not understand, or it can be as involved as actively working with organisations around the world to support a cause, or anything in between, including making donations.