I was lucky enough to be brought up on adventures – a small village in the Brecon Beacons, a dad in a Mountain Rescue team and family camping trips throughout childhood were the perfect starting point. As I grew, I became a staff member for the same organisation we had camped with as a child – Forest School Camps – volunteering on various UK based mini expeditions such as kayaking the river Wye, sailing the Norfolk broads and walking the mountains of Wales and Northwest Scotland. When my girlfriend Kate suggested a long distance drive I jumped at it – what better way of combining my life long desires of owning a Land Rover and exploring Africa the way they do in Wilbur Smith’s books.
More recently I have had the opportunity to partake in a diving expedition, a solo expedition to Mount Kenya and the Ethiopian highlands and follow my dad by joining a Mountain Rescue team. Slowly but surely I am twisting my career as a doctor to allow me to continue down this line.
I love action sports. I am a keen skier, climber, sea kayaker, spear fisher and mountain biker as well as spending as much time as I can walking, camping and mountaineering in the UK. This is going to be a slight change however – warmer and potentially quite a bit drier – but it will be a great challenge and a memory to share.
Between now and our planned departure in October 2015 I will hopefully have spent a year working in an Emergency Department gaining valuable skills and experience and saving towards the cost of the expedition. Just as well, as I was the one who went out and found our 5th team member – our 1995 Defender 110.
When my girlfriend Kate suggested the idea of a long distance drive I jumped on it and tied it straight into my life long desires to own a Land Rover and explore Africa the way they do in Wilbur Smith’s books.
Having somewhat adventurous parents I’ve done quite a lot of travelling, indeed my parents were the instigators for one of my passions, scuba diving, having encouraged me and my sister to start diving when I was 15.
With the travel bug well and truly instilled during my childhood, I have continued to try and travel as much as possible. Although I try to grab every opportunity for adventure, I have never travelled in Africa before and the idea of driving across Africa appealed to me as the ultimate adventure
Having worked is administration and logistics for most of my professional life, it is these skills that I bring to this expedition. Although most of the planning and organisation will (hopefully) be completed before we set off, when on the road my role will be to keep a everyone organised and on track.
Mel is currently in Costa Rica working as an expedition medic and team leader for Raleigh International. Mel is an excitable and bubbly personality, always up for an adventure. Mel has been lucky to work at hospitals in Tanzania and India, and has been an medic on an adventure marathon in Namibia.
Mel brings endless enthusiasm, medical , navigation, africa experience to the table. She will write her own Biography on return.
My life’s introduction to adventure extended little further than splashing in puddles, or whimpering at the top of wind battered abseil towers until the age of 12 when I joined the army cadets. I soon became hooked, addicted to challenge and the excitement of expeditions.
These loves quickly escalated, and before long I was kayaking, rafting, climbing, sailing, walking, skiing and sinking my teeth into just about any activity I could! I jumped at every opportunity, a trait that has followed me through life, the first mention of exploring Africa and I was in.
Having worked on expeditions before I bring a fair amount of experience to the table, but I also bring a passion for inspiring others, educating, showing young people that things are achievable with hard work, dedication and ambition. The research interests me greatly but the education project really stokes a passion that burns deeply, an insatiable desire to broaden the horizons of a generation where ambition comes in levels and a ‘BIG SKY’ probably draws thoughts of the latest movie and sports package.
A love of photography and an appreciation of social media will hopefully allow me, the youngest of the group to engage with all different ages. I am currently studying for a BSc in Paramedic Science and will have finished earlier in 2015, ready to work until departure day.