The Adventure Podcast
Episode 149: Vanessa Ruck, The Girl On A Bike
Episode 149 of The Adventure Podcast features motorcycle racer and 4x4 rally driver, Vanessa Ruck. Vanessa was a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, but in 2014 she was hit by a car. It left her with a series of life-changing injuries and long-term chronic pain. In this episode Matt talks to Vanessa about her recovery and the mindset that forged who she is today, and how she eventually became a motorcyclist competing in some of the world's toughest Enduro events. It’s a frank, real and humbling exposé on what it’s like to live with chronic pain and long-term injuries, but it's also an exhilarating insight into what it takes to ride motorcycles in extreme and harsh environments.
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3. Explore 003: Who's paying, the reality of funding01:09:11The third episode of our specialist series, Explore: How To Plan An Expedition, focuses on the reality of funding, and who's paying. Money is one of the least favoured things to talk about when it comes to expedition planning but it's unavoidably essential, as without it, your grand plan is very little more than an idea. In this episode, Matt speaks with Dr Eleanor Drinkwater, Ben Saunders, Tom Allen, and Shane Winser. They go deep into grant applications - how to write them, what to include, and how to review them. They also cover crowdfunding, corporate commercial funding, and even self-funding. They discuss how competitive it can be, how to stand out, and what work remains even when the expedition is over. Dr Eleanor Drinkwater is an entomologist, expedition leader, lecturer and science communicator. Having completed her PhD on invertebrate personality, she is fascinated by both invertebrate behaviour, as well as understanding how humans can work with and cultivate invertebrates in a sustainable and ethical way. She has worked both in the UK and further afield in Peru, Australia, Honduras and French Guiana. She is committed to science communication, and has also co-founded an entomophagy science festival group.Ben Saunders is a pioneering polar athlete and a record-breaking long-distance skier, who has covered more than 6,000km on foot in the Polar Regions. He's broken the record for the longest human-powered polar journey in history, and holds the record for the longest solo Arctic journey by a Briton. He has shared his story with a huge range of people, businesses and organisations, and his focus is now on climate technology investment.Tom Allen has been a full-time traveller, writer and filmmaker for over 15 years. He has undertaken adventurous journeys on 5 continents, runs a long-established adventure cycling website, and now describes himself reluctantly on his social media profiles as a 'self-unemployed creative explorer'. In 2016 he led the RGS-supported Land Rover Bursary expedition to explore and map the first long-distance hiking trail across the Caucasus. The Transcaucasian Trail, as it is now known, has since evolved into a massive international development project which he estimates will take a good decade or so to complete.Shane Winser works for the Royal Geographical Society where she curates the annual Explore symposium and Festival. A zoology graduate, she assisted in the planning and organisation of the RGS's own research programmes to the tropical forests of Sarawak and Brunei, the mountains of the Karakoram, and the drylands of western Australia, Kenya and Oman. She chairs the technical panel for BS 8848: the British Standard for organisers of a wide variety of ventures, including university and academic fieldwork, gap year experiences, adventure holidays, charity challenges and research expeditions.You can find out more about the RGS and use the Explore digital resources by visiting rgs.org/explore, or @rgs_ibg on socials.
164. Episode 164: Kendal Mountain Festival Live 23, The Power of Storytelling - New Perspectives01:00:19Episode 164 of The Adventure Podcast is a special live episode recorded at Kendal Mountain Festival 2023. This is a definite deviation from our standard episode format, and instead of focussing on a single individual, this is the recording of a live panel discussion in front of a crowd. Matt co-hosted this discussion alongside Matt Barr, who runs the Looking Sideways podcast, and is joined by guests Adam Raja, Soraya Abdel-Hadi and Lauren MacCallum. The theme of this roundtable was The Power of Storytelling - New Perspectives, and covers vulnerability in storytelling, how to take climate storytelling out of the echo chamber, and is long-form content dying? This podcast gets a bit full on, and is emotional, deep and perhaps a little controversial. In a good way. There’s some regular fruity language as well, so consider that a warning...Photo credit: Joe Kershaw
163. Episode 163: Bruce Luyendyk, The Eighth Continent44:33Episode 163 of The Adventure Podcast features world-class geologist and polar explorer, Bruce Luyendyk. A marine scientist, Bruce expanded his interests over four decades into the geology of California, New Zealand, and primarily, Antarctica. In this episode, Matt and Bruce talk about his background and early inspirations, various field expeditions, and the global significance of geology. They also go into detail on the exploration efforts of Bruce and his team of geologists, which revealed important discoveries of an 'eight continent', Zealandia.
2. Explore 002: Five P's: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance59:59The second episode of our new specialist series, Explore: How To Plan An Expedition, focuses on The Five P's - Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. In this episode, Matt speaks with Nigel Winser, Felicity Aston, and Stephen Jones about the importance of proper planning. The vast majority of the time, expeditions are won or lost in the planning stage, and often, the moment you step into the field isn't the start of your expedition, it's half way. Matt, Nigel, Felicity and Steve discuss common pitfalls in planning, methods of team selection, and advice and resources out there.Nigel Winser needs little introduction; his career directing interdisciplinary research and learning programmes in Africa, the Middle East and Asia spans decades. He was Deputy Director of the RGS, responsible for developing and managing 11 major field programmes, and Executive Director at Earthwatch leading its ‘citizen science’ programmes to support conservation and sustainable development priorities worldwide.Felicity Aston MBE is a British polar explorer, author, speaker and student research scientist. In 2012 she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. Starting out as a Meteorologist with the British Antarctic Survey, Felicity has since been involved in many ground-breaking expeditions. She is currently undertaking research investigating airborne microplastic deposited on Arctic Ocean sea ice. Steve Jones is an Expeditions Manager for Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions. He also works as a speaker, and advises on safety management and crisis management to projects around the world. Steve is also a contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, and Vice-President for Expeditions and Fieldwork on the RGS Council.You can find out more about the RGS and use the Explore digital resources by visiting rgs.org/explore, or @rgs_ibg on socials.
162. Episode 162: Kimber Cross, How Not Can01:01:42Episode 162 of The Adventure Podcast features alpinist, climber, adaptive athlete, and kindergarten teacher, Kimber Cross. Kimber is an adaptive climber who was born with one hand, and now uses a custom prosthetic ice tool. She is compassionate, resilient, witty, and candid. In this episode, Kimber talks to Matt about her early life; when did she realise she was different, and how did that impact her? They go on to discuss how she got into ice climbing and alpinism, and the importance of belaying anyone and everyone she can.
161. Episode 161: Rupert Grey, Homage To Bangladesh01:01:43Episode 161 of The Adventure Podcast features lawyer and photographer, Rupert Grey. Rupert is, by his own admission, of a world that has now disappeared. His father and grandfather were both colonial governors overseas, and in this episode Matt and Rupert discuss his lineage and how his upbringing and that world impacted him. They travel through a number of Rupert's careers, and explore how his origins and travels shaped him. Rupert also explains how and why he fell in love with Bangladesh, and his work as a lawyer there.
1. Explore 001: Designing A Successful Field Research Project43:45The first episode of our new specialist series, Explore: How To Plan An Expedition, focuses on Designing A Successful Field Research Project. In this episode, Matt speaks with Dr James Borrell and Professor Katie Willis about how to plan a field research project. They go into detail about their own experience getting into the world of field science, as well as explore and explain what makes a good research project. They also touch on the associated ethics and responsibilities.Dr James Borrell is a conservation biologist with research interests ranging from tropical ecology to evolutionary genomics. He’s been involved with expeditions and fieldwork in a diverse range of environments, including Lapland, Botswana, Borneo, Peru, and Madagascar. Katie Willis is Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway, and is a social and development geographer. Katie has conducted research in Latin America, East and South-East Asia, and the UK, and has taught field classes across the globe.You can find out more about the RGS and use the Explore digital resources by visiting rgs.org/explore, or @rgs_ibg on socials.
Explore 000: Introduction05:39Welcome to our new specialist series; Explore: How To Plan An Expedition. This series has been created for the Royal Geographical Society and, at its core, is an introduction to how to plan an expedition and fieldwork project, and how to get involved in these worlds. Our hope is that it will encourage you to undertake your own expeditions - be it big or small in scope, long or short in duration, and personal or altruistic by nature. In this introductory episode, Matt gives an overview on what an 'expedition' is, the RGS' role in adventure and exploration, and what to expect from this series.You can find out more about the RGS and use the Explore digital resources by visiting rgs.org/explore, or @rgs_ibg on socials.
160. Episode 160: Al Humphreys, What Adventure Means01:12:06Episode 160 of The Adventure Podcast features adventurer and writer, Al Humphreys. For those of you who have been around for a while, you'll recognise Al as our first ever guest on the podcast. He was the originator of the 'micro-adventures' movement, and after many years adventuring further afield, now focuses on pursuing journeys a little closer to home. In this episode, Al talks about his Seven Summits (but not as we know it) expedition, his latest challenge involving an Ordnance Survey map, and what freeing up the definition of 'adventure' has meant.