Personal Development Through Adventure

This website is here to assist in you in your own journey of personal development. I am leaving the UK in early 2014 to begin my adventures in South East Asia; where I'll be travelling overland, living out of a backpack, and challenging myself to make a genuine contribution to humanity.

The idea behind everything written here is to help us both on our journey to fulfilling the potential for greatness we have as human beings. This includes the discovery of ourselves, self improvement, our interpretation of the world around us and my own journey; where you can learn of the hardships and triumphs encountered as I travel around the world, doing my best to make a difference. 

As well as free personal development resources, you will find a selection of travel related articles too. These range from things like packing suggestions, to dealing with culture shock.

I'm not selling anything, or offering quick or easy solutions to the problems of this world. What I am doing, is being the difference I want to see. I'm starting with the man in the mirror, to quote Jacko.

Choose travel. Choose life.

A while ago, I spent time staying near Tiran Island, at the bottom of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. 

It is a land of contrast - beautiful verdant coastal areas clash with arid inland deserts and mountains.

Steeped in culture and history, there are a wealth of experiences to be had for the savvy traveller. It is a magical land.

My only regret was not spending more time in this beautiful place. I've never felt so welcome, anywhere. 

Different cultures have always fascinated me, especially ones so far from European standards of normality. Spending time in Egypt woke the adventurer in me. I sailed the Red Sea, explored vast coral reefs, and even spent some time in the mountainous desert with a Bedouin tribe.

To prevent over exposure to the harsh desert sun, the tribesmen would wear these headscarves.

Here's me blending in.

The gentleman who sold me this scarf told me I looked like a local. Something about my eyes?

I hope to return to the Middle East someday. There is an absolute treasure trove of culture and experience out there.

Where does personal development fit into all this?

Personal development is a subject as diverse as the people who adhere to it. Broadly speaking, it is a conscious decision to improve yourself physically or mentally, with the ultimate goal of enhancing your quality of life. This is different to self-help, as personal development can extend to other people, too.

In life, there is an almost universal opinion that travel is a fantastic way of learning about yourself as much as other people and cultures. I strongly believe that this opportunity will allow for accelerated personal growth, and I want to use that growth to help others achieve their potential.

Self discovery - you aren't one of those new age weirdos, are you?

No! You don't need to be a nutcase to find value in the practical application of self discovery. Self discovery is often thought of as a journey, although it can either be physical or psychological one - or both! This is the process where we can learn more about ourselves and our true potential - in order to move forward in our lives and live, learn, laugh and love the way we were meant to.

When I was much younger, I remember vividly remember asking an elderly gentleman what he was most scared of. This was his answer:

"My biggest worry is death, my boy. I'm not scared of dying. I'm scared that I'll be laying there in my hospital bed, and the man I could have been walks through that door."

Those words struck a chord with me. When the game is finally up, do you want to be able to look back and say you made the most of the time you were given?

Hell yeah you do. Inconvenience is temporary - regret is forever.

Self discovery is a challenging concept to confront on a personal level - I'll be interested to find out after a few months on the road if I am the person I thought I was. Exploring my limits and striving to push myself beyond them (I don't really want to eat fried cockroaches in Asia) is going to be my overruling policy, to assist my own personal development. Mmmm,  fried cockroaches - I might like them, and then what? Travel pushes boundaries and comfort zones, and forces us to take responsibility for ourselves.

Purpose - is there more to life than just living?

Can you imagine just existing?

Without the sensation of challenge or the thrill of the unknown?

Without friendship, or love?

Having a purpose or at least, striving towards one provides us with motivation. It gives us the ability to set and work towards realistic goals; to be aware when something needs to change, such as a job you dislike or a bad relationship, and gives us the power to make those changes.

Without purpose, we are just leaves, drifting on the breeze. We're all going to fall from the metaphorical tree at some point, so we can either choose where we end up, or admit defeat and surrender control of our lives to chance.

Travel provides a unique opportunity for the discovery of purpose and the best ways to work towards a positive and meaningful existence.  Purpose is a large stepping stone in the garden of personal development.

My personal belief is that we all have a duty of care to each other and a responsibility to contribute to the collective knowledge of the human race. There is nothing more noble than helping those that, for whatever reason, cannot help themselves. We owe it to ourselves and each other to be the best we can be. 

Interpretation & open mindedness - given, or earned?

I have made my fair share of mistakes, just the same as everyone else. Up until a few years ago, I had never challenged myself to take a different viewpoint to my own. I got by just fine with my own opinions and whilst I was able to acknowledge differing viewpoints, I was not able to appreciate and evaluate them subjectively. I had never even considered the idea of personal development, and comparing who I am now to who I was then just leaves me lost for words.

It was only after pushing a boundary I had never knew I had that I realized the narrow view I'd taken on the world, and how much of everything I had missed by limiting myself with biased opinions. Keeping an open mind is key to building lasting relationships with people different to ourselves. That, and it's much easier to start conversations these days!

A very important thing to remember is not all of us make our circumstances. Not all of us have the luxury of choice. But we do have the choice to alter our perception. We can view the world through the glasses we're socially conditioned to wear, or we can choose to cast aside our reservations and doubts, look through the misconceptions and observe the world for what it is: A place full of endless potential and possibilities.

What and Where?

Above is a simplified version of the route I'll be taking through South East Asia. My flight leaves the UK on the 22nd of January, and stops briefly  in Dubai before heading onward to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Once I leave Bangkok, I'll work my way up to Chang Mai and Chang Rai, before trekking overland through Laos and into Vietnam. I'll be journeying on foot and sleeping outdoors as much as possible - with the exception of the Vietnam coastal stretch, where I hope to barter myself a motorcycle to complete the route.

The route highlighted in red is approximately just over two thousand miles.

Once I cross the border into Cambodia, I'll be heading more or less straight to Ankor Wat - somewhere I've always wanted to see, and possibly the destination I'm looking forward to the most.

After arriving back in Bangkok, I'll trek down the peninsula towards Koh Samui and onward to Singapore, where I'll catch a flight to Melbourne. The route isn't set in stone and will remain flexible.

Join me on the single biggest adventure I have ever undertaken as I travel around the world; helping others where I can and challenging myself to question my established views where I can’t. I am going on a journey of personal development  to see the best and worst of humanity, and to grow and mature as a proud member of the human race. 

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Where am I?

Bangkok, Thailand

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