Climbing Europe’s highest and most active volcano

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From a distance, Mt Etna – Europe’s highest and most active volcano – seemed mysterious. She sat surprisingly quietly in the background as people wandered the streets of Sicily’s port city Catania, just the occasional wisps of steam floated above her.

Up closer, her smoking was more pronounced and the landscape changed from lush greenery to scraggly brush and the cold hardness of black, frozen lava flows. Tree stumps had been left blackened and void of life. Mt Etna (3329m tall) is one hell of a beast. Continue reading

This is what I have learnt about time

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Everyone has busy lives and responsibilities and commitments – that’s just the way life is.

But being busy is often used as an excuse as to why goals and dreams can’t be started or achieved – you know the one: ‘I can’t start such and such because I’ve got A, B and C to do and they take up too much time. Ahhhh there’s not enough hours in the day!’

The thing is, I have learnt that this is a fallacy. Sure there are only so many hours in the day and you reasonably have to sleep, eat and work but everyone has the same amount of time, so what’s the catch that some people seem to have more success at being successful with their goals and dreams?

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Interview with extreme runner Laura Maisey

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Meet Laura Maisey!

Laura is a Brit who originally wasn’t big on exercise but then fell in love with running – particularly running that involved long distances. She has just returned home to London after running 1,249 miles all the way from Rome along the Via Francigena pilgrim’s route to raise funds and awareness for brain cancer. 

 Here, Laura talks inspiration, advice and what she would have with her on a desert island.

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No two volcanoes are the same

393It was only about 11:30am and it was stinking hot. The yellow sun pierced through the clear blue sky and scorched both me and the earth as beads of sweat started to gather on my brow.

For what looked like a relatively easy 390m high volcano to climb, Gran Cratere on the Aeolian Island Vulcano was deceptive. I found it hard going striding uphill in the glaring sun – I blame the heat and lack of fitness finesse for this. Continue reading

A new approach to #40by40

Back when I first started dreaming about this idea to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40, I

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Mt Ngauruhoe in the background – on the list for next year

spent an age on Google getting whipped up in the excitement of rugged volcanic landscapes, bubbling lava, snow-capped cones, and wilderness and vistas as far as the eye could see.

 

I put together a grand list of 40 volcanoes – they were dotted on practically every corner of the globe; some on islands in the middle of the ocean, others in remote and often exotic locations, requiring days of trekking to reach. Many were active, with lava lakes or hissing vents. And more than several were majestic in their height, taking on the craggy peaks in the French Alps, and promising winter mountaineering experiences.

It was a dizzying list. Just looking at it made me giddy, bursting with adrenalin and excitement. Continue reading

Interview with adventurer Dave Cornthwaite

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Meet Dave Cornthwaite!

 Dave is a British adventurer, author, film maker, inspirer and all-round epically great guy. He quit his job as a graphic designer in 2005 to embrace a more adventurous life. Since then he has completed 11 non-motorised journeys, including skateboarding across Australia and swimming the Lower Missouri. He has written three books, broken nine world records and founded The YesTribe and the Say Yes More movement. Dave has just started his 12th non-motorised journey #ScootJapan, which will see him scoot a 1000-mile loop of Honshu and Shikoku.

 Here I interview the legend.

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Up close and personal with an active volcano

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That moment I got up close and saw my first active erupting volcano will stick with me.

I was in the Aeolian Islands, just north of Sicily, gorging myself on quite possibly the world’s best pizza, when suddenly everyone in the restaurant went wild, turning and pointing behind us. Paula, beside me, ferociously grabbed my arm and demanded me to “look, look, look”. Continue reading

The motivation behind the #40by40 volcano quest

When I first embarked on my quest last year to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40, I was img_0842driven by the desire to challenge myself, push myself outside my comfort zone and find my full potential. Ultimately, I was in search of a new me, to find out who I really was and what I was capable of.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the year and a half since I started this journey of self discovery has been a bit of a rollercoaster. The mental challenge to start and continue has been immense, and it’s been a shock and something of a revelation as to how my mind works and how much I doubt myself and my abilities. And that is incredibly depressing, which really just adds further fuel to the self-doubt fire, becoming a vicious cycle of self-doubt heaped on self-doubt. Continue reading