Thursday, April 02, 2015

Emirates Literature Festival - Day 2

 Extreme Adventures: Ted Simon, Mark Evans, Julie Lewis & Richard Parks

It’s been exactly 7 years since I summited one of the world’s highest peaks, Mt. Kilimanjaro, 6 years since I ran a Half-Marathon and, probably, 5 years since I even went camping in the desert. My life, which once read like an adventure handbook filled with solo travels and thrilling escapades, was now a regular domestic chronicle featuring bedtime stories and play dates in between endless chores. No complaints there, but lately I’d begun to question whether I’d erred in jettisoning adventure so completely from my life.

Naturally, I was looking forward to the ‘Extreme Adventures’ session, which featured four hardy travellers, including one woman! I was hoping to vicariously enjoy their adventures, and perhaps, even be inspired again.  

The panelists included Mark Evans, who’d led expeditions in the Arctic, and had kayaked around Oman in 55 days, Julie Lewis, who’d led expeditions in 20 countries, including the Arctic and Antartica, Richard Parks, who’d done the Seven Summits and the three Poles in seven months, and finally, Ted Simon.

Ted Simon - 'Jupiter's Travels'
How do I begin to describe Ted Simon? He set off in the 1970s on a 4-year-long motorbike ride across the world. He did it again 40 years later when he was a septuagenarian. In between those years, he’d kept himself busy walking across Eastern Europe, journeying across the British Isles and pioneering organic agriculture in California! And here he was at a Lit Fest in Dubai, well into his 70s, curiosity, wanderlust and energy still intact. Even before he started speaking, I was impressed.

Simon started out by pointing out that since it was a literary festival, we should examine the words related to travel that are dreadfully misused. “What is travel?” he asked, “Can we term what business people or pilots do as travel? For me, travel is setting out into a world you don’t know.”

He continued, “Another word is adventure. Nowadays it has come to mean any kind of exploit. Whereas I feel the only real adventure is when you set out into the unknown.” He added that there had to be a mental element to adventure, something ‘illuminating’.

Each of the panelists was asked about what drove them to set out on their adventures. Parks shared that the insecurity and uncertainty he felt after an injury forced him out of a promising rugby career drove him to test his limits of his endurance. Lewis shared that as a child she received a globe as a present, and by spinning it and pointing to a place, she would transport herself there. That was what set off the wanderlust in her. “Every child should be gifted a globe,” she remarked, with a laugh. 



All of the panelists were unequivocal about the importance of adventure in life. As Lewis said, “It’s paramount to have an adventurous spirit. In today’s world, there are so many constraints, it’s important to set out. With experiences, come deeper self-understanding and with that comes growth.”

Simon added, “It’s really important to travel, otherwise we’re slaves to media information. People who are really wonderful, but you wouldn’t think so reading the newspapers.”

Speaking of the abundance of travel literature, most panelists agreed that books were a catalyst but couldn’t be considered a substitute for adventure. “The more travel literature there is, there’s less of real experience,” said Simon, adding, “You can’t get lost in the world nowadays,” complained Simon. “It’s all digital. One click of a button and you know exactly where you are.”

Lewis felt that the anxiety that people experience in modern times is because of a disconnect with nature. She urged that people disconnect from their smart devices and go outdoors to discover themselves.

For a couple of the panelists, writing about their exploits proved as equally revelatory as the adventure. As Simon shared, “I’m a writer, not a motorcyclist. I write to explain things to myself.” He also pointed out that there was a difference between exploits that are turned into books and exploits that are undertaken with the hope of them being turned into a bestselling novel.

What’s the most crucial item to have on an extreme adventure? Zips, apparently! Both Evans and Parks put this down on their must-have list, while Simon also added elastic bands.

On the importance of proper planning and preparation, there were two opposing views. Parks, the extreme adventure athlete, believed in extreme planning and manic attention to details. “In my sports career, I was constantly insecure. And at that time, I regarded it as a character flaw. But now, I’ve come to appreciate that it’s the insecurity that drives me to plan every little detail.”

Simon felt that too much preparation was unnecessary. “You have deliver yourself to the world and let it look after you,” he said. He also added that since he didn’t have to return to an office or answer to anyone, he was free to become a part of wherever he was.

Evans had a more moderate view. “The degree of planning depends on whether you’re doing a solo trip or guiding an expedition. For instance, when I led an Arctic expedition with 40 people, we had to all be prepared for the extreme conditions,” he said. The extreme conditions he shared about included four months of darkness, nocturnal visits by polar bears and battles with frostbite. He held up a finger with a blackened tip saying, “Oh, that’s a frostbitten finger, by the way.”

All the panelists were unanimous about the single most important trait to have on an adventure, “Humility,” said Simon, while Evans and Lewis nodded. “And zips,” added Parks. Parks also underlined the importance of living in the moment, saying, “You break records not by brute force, but by living in the moment.”


The hour-long session ended way too soon, and it seemed almost unfair to have four hugely interesting people share a stage, when you could listen to each of them for hours. Still, I left the hall feeling invigorated and open to the possibility of adventure. I might not be found atop a mountain anytime soon, but maybe I’ll make my way up a sand dune, with the little cub in tow.

21 comments:

文平 said...

http://www.boutiquephonecase.com/

HiToplay said...

Welcome to Hittoplay a place where you can have endless entertainment Funny Dog Videos Content from all around the world Songs, News, Cooking Recipes, Technology, Religion, Funny Baby Videos on demand or live is just a click away, Funny Pet Videos
Life without entertainment is colorless, Videos Jokes and we offer the best entertainment, Funny Soccer that you could have ever experienced. , Website Funny We believe in providing, Kitten Videos latest and the best quality Video experience, Galaxy Update

Mian Haris Ali said...

n9PlayIt nis the place where you can have endless entertainment, Bollywood Movies and Hollywood Movies in the Video Songs .Content: Songs, News, Cooking Recipes, Technology, Religion from all around the world on demand or live Video Songs is just a click away .Hollywood Movies
Life without entertainment is colorless Entertainment and we offer the best entertainment Technology Related Islam That you could have ever experienced. Cooking recipiesWe believe in providingFunny movies and clips latest and the best quality,video jokes Video experience.Funny cute baby videos

Hữu Tú Trương said...

Nice blog !!!
thanks for sharing
thiet ke noi that chung cu
thi cong noi that chung cu
Kien truc nha vui
Xay dung nha vui
Cong ty nha vui
Nha vui

mehmet kelebek said...

KoCaeLi and around a home removal is done in our international movers services are available.
Butterfly international transportation and storage tesekuler
Başiskele evden eve nakliyat
Çayırova evden eve nakliyat
İzmit evden eve nakliyat
Darica evden eve nakliyat
Derince evden eve nakliyat
İzmit evden eve nakliyat
Mutlukent evden eve nakliyat
Dilovası evden eve nakliyat
Gebze evden eve nakliyat
Körfez evden eve nakliyat
Gölcük evden eve nakliyat
Karamürsel evden eve nakliyat
Kandıra evden eve nakliyat
Kartepe evden eve nakliyat
Depolama
Eşya depolama

ركن الامثل said...



شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
شركة رش مبيدات بالخبر
شركة تسليك مجارى بالقطيف
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالخبر

ركن الامثل said...



شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
شركة تسليك مجارى بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
شركة رش مبيدات بالخبر
شركة تسليك مجارى بالقطيف
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالخبر

ركن الامثل said...


شركة كشف تسربات المياه براس تنورة
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض براس تنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات براس تنورة
شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض
شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
شركة رش مبيدات بشمال الرياض
شركة رش مبيدات بجنوب الرياض
شركة رش مبيدات غرب الرياض
شركة تنظيف منازل بالجبيل

ركن الامثل said...


شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالقطيف
شركة تسليك مجارى بالجبيل
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل
شركة تسليك مجارى بصفوى وسيهات وراس تنورة
شركة الصفرات للتنظيف بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات ببقيق
شركة مكافحة حشرات بسيهات
شركة تنظيف منازل براس تنورة
شركة رش مبيدات براس تنورة
شركة تنظيف منازل بالخبر
شركة تنظيف منازل بالقطيف

ركن الامثل said...


شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالدمام
شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بالدمام
شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالخبر
شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالقطيف
شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بالقطيف
شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالجبيل
شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بالجبيل
شركة المثالية للتنظيف بسيهات وصفوى وبقيق
شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بسيهات وصفوى وبقيق

ركن الامثل said...


شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بسيهات وراس تنورة
شركة تسليك مجارى بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف منازل بالجبيل
شركة رش مبيدات بالجبيل
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف فلل بالجبيل
شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام

ركن الامثل said...


شركة تسليك مجارى بالخبر
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالخبر
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالقطيف
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالقطيف
شركة تنظيف شقق بالجبيل
شركة تنظيف مجالس بالجبيل
شركة تسليك مجارى بالقطيف

Alaamah eg1 said...


شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض










genuine_pills said...

I love to travel also that's why I spend time on things that make money online

gajendra singh said...

packers and movers in gurgaon is the best paking. moving and shifting company. local packers and movers in hyderabad is very helpfull for people when they want to shift locally or out of hyderabad. panchang where you can find daily panchang, and match your kundali for kundali with your girlfriend and wife.

hitaakademi said...

Ankara merkezli sıramatik sistemleri kurulum ve teknik destek hizmetleri
siramatik Türkiye'de hizmet ve faaliyetlerini sürdürmektedir.

hitaakademi said...

Ankara merkezli sıramatik sistemleri kurulum ve teknik destek hizmetleri
siramatik Türkiye'de hizmet ve faaliyetlerini sürdürmektedir.

madad ali said...


Buy gift online
Personalised Gifts
Personalised Wedding Gift
Personalised Birthday Gifts
Wedding Gift Ideas
Personalised Gift Ideas

Panharith said...

KoCaeLi and around a home removal is done in our international movers services are available.




เย็ดสาว

hitaakademi said...

Ankara merkezli sıramatik sistemleri kurulum ve teknik destek hizmetleri
siramatik Türkiye'de hizmet ve faaliyetlerini sürdürmektedir.

khaled ali said...



شركة تنظيف بالرياض