Catching trade winds

Posted on October 11, 2011


This morning I ran Emirates Golf Course listening to an interview with Thom Gilligan from Marathon Tours, a huge US-based travel company catering for runners and adventurers from all four corners.  It was fascinating and thought-provoking, not because he broke any new ground but because the discussion pointed out the absolute obvious.

Fact: the beach holiday scene is so 90’s!  Who does that now? Young and old, regardless of experience, people the world over want more out of their precious holiday time and increasingly, this ‘more’ comes in the form of great adventures that challenge you to raise the bar and reach new heights, mentally, physically and spiritually. I’ve no doubt that the recession has played a role in this.  When times are tough, pennies are pinched and our comfy lifestyles sit precariously on a tightrope between complacency and vulnerability, we question how we spend our time, whether we’re living our dreams and where our priorities truly lie.

This, needless to say, has created a huge market for the likes of Marathon Tours amongst the many other such companies.

I’ve recently found myself, having returned only last week from running Action Asia Nepal, a crazy stage race in the Langtang region of Nepal, reminiscing over the many great people I met.  Some came alone and others signed up with friends. Some were new to ultras, others were seasoned competitors.  Some aimed to just cross the finish line, others were chasing the podium.

Regardless, each and everyone signed up because they wanted to maximise the way they spend their precious time off and their hard-earned cash.  And despite the troubles just getting to the race start, the rains and the leeches, the long days on our feet and the not so luxurious hotels to greet us at the end of each day, I defy any single runner who didn’t leave Nepal feeling on top of the world, feeling like they had raised their own bar and wondering what next?

That, to me is what adventures are all about and I look forward to sharing future plans and crazy ideas with all those I met.  In fact, I’ve no doubt we’ll end up doing some together … somewhere … sometime … afterall,

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

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