'The George' pub founded in 1723 as a coffee house and gets its name either from the proprieter whose name was George or from Georgia III who is depicted on the pub sign (known for his bouts of madness). It is an ideal venue for share stories of unusual journeys and explorations, set against the backdrop of beer-swilling lawyers and other suited workers. There is a special sense of irony in telling such tales of escape in the heart of one of London's busiest and 'steeped-in-tradition' areas near Aldwych in Holborn.
Tales of Adventure was a really special evening. The room was packed and the energy level was high. I was first up and even though I am usually very nervous about public speaking, the excitement outweighed the nerves and I really enjoyed communicating my journeys in this visual and narrative form.
I spoke of how I was inspired to start travelling by bike, the preparation and how the journey evolved. I focussed on the diverse people whom I met along then way and how their invitations to stay or spend time enriched the journey immensely. I was able to use my photography to connect the narrative of the journey together. My account was a very personal one of my encounters with different cultures and landscapes along the way.
I found the feedback I received in the Q and A very valuable as it gave me an insight into what concerns people have if they wanted to make their own trip. For example: how much did the journey cost, what food did I take, how was it travelling alone and in a group. I am looking forward to weaving these back into further talks and resources.
Leon MacCarron recounted his desert journey with Alastair Humphreys across the Empty Quarter desert following in the footsteps of Wilfred Thesiger. I really love this story because of its historical background and the sheer luck that they were able to get their desert cart fixed to enable them to complete the journey. They have a created a film of their journey which will be released at adventure film festivals in the coming months.