My love affair with travel actually started many years before I realised it. For a long time, I had a designated bookmarks folder containing a handful of links to adventure companies. Every now and then, I’d venture into the folder, click a random link, and flick through that company’s list of adventure trips.
I’d pay special attention to the trips that seemed far out of reach. For example, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Trekking to Everest Base Camp, and living in remote Mongolia. Fast forward a couple of years and some of those have become reality. But like all good dreams, they evolve. Now my adventure bookmarks seem just as unattainable as ever. What about yours?
This is a list of trips that I revisit every month or so:
World Expeditions – Climb Ama Dablam
Why? – Don’t ask me exactly why, but Ama Dablam is my dream climb. It’s a 6,000m+ mountain in the Himalaya, dwarfed by the surrounding 8,000m+ peaks. Nonetheless, it’s a climber’s mountain. It has snow, ice and rock, plus it’s just a gorgeous peak with a certain je ne sais quoi.
Why Not Now? – I need more experience in Alpine conditions and need to work on my rock climbing and mountaineering skills. I would certainly need to (and would love to) join a 10-12 day technical mountaineering course (TMC) before even thinking about Ama Dablam. I’d like to also attempt Aconcagua beforehand for experience (which I may get the chance to do this summer).
Abercrombie & Kent – Conquering the Final Degree
Why? – Apart from being the most frigid environment on the planet, I imagine the landscape of the South Pole would look and feel extraterrestrial. But more than just seeing it, I’d love to be part of an expedition that travels through it. It’s not a rational dream by any measure, but I’m sure I’m not the only one lured by inhospitable environments.
Why Not Now? – I imagine this trip would require sponsorship of some sort. Travelling to Antarctica is costly enough without the added expense of expedition gear, evacuation insurance, and whatever else one needs for safety. Notwithstanding sponsorship, I’d have to build my expedition skiing skills. It’s one thing to ski down a groomed hill and another to tow a heavy sledge uphill in -40°C temps and 100km/h+ winds.
Kudu Expeditions – Paris-Dakar Challenge
Why? - Because I’m not insane enough to do the real Paris-Dakar Rally, but I love Africa, love deserts, love the idea of motorcycle adventuring (recently got my license, not that a license would help when I’m stuck in a sand dune) and I love the real Paris-Dakar. Instead of the real rally, Kudu operates an adventure expedition along the same route. It was called off in 2010 due to security concerns, but I’m sure it will be back.
When? – I’d have to learn everything from motorcycle maintenance, to riding in sand dunes, to effectively using GPS in remote areas. Of all the trips I mention here, this is the one I’m least qualified for, so I’d want to be very well prepared. If you’re not sure why I’m anxious, watch Charley Boorman: Race To Dakar.
Et Vous (And You)?
I’d love to hear what your dream adventures are too. Maybe we can make them a reality together, or maybe I’ll change my list as a result. One of the benefits of Globetrooper is the exposure we all get to other people’s dream adventures. I would never have imagined circumnavigating India by rail (12,000 kms) or trekking across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia (1,600 kms) without Globetrooper.