I recently began following Tim Moss on his website The Next Challenge which aims to help people to be more adventurous in their everyday lives. I find Tim’s approach inspiring because it focuses on the fact that you can have adventures wherever you are and inexpensively. What comes across strongly is Tim’s energy to consistently get out there and do exciting things and inspire and help others to do the same. I heard about Tim through one of his recent challenges to run the length of all the tube stations in London. I also enjoyed his blogs on wild swimming and doing mini-adventures on the cheap, but hang about here for the moment. I wanted to know more about the man himself so I asked if he would mind being interviewed for the Ride-Earth blog and here are the results:
1. Tim, you have done a lot of amazing things already in your life. What are the main ways that adventures add value to your life?
I think my priorities in this life are to learn and experience. “Adventure” is a great way of doing both of those things - whether it’s through seeing the world and learning from different cultures, or pushing yourself, experiencing new things and learning about yourself.
2. How do you train for your adventures. Running up steps equivalent to Mount Everest seems like a novel way to train for a triathlon. Would you say that doing adventures and challenges can replace regular, more boring, ways of training (like the gym).
To be honest, I have only really trained for one of my adventures and that was learning to swim front crawl properly to get to the Isle of Wight. I ran 45-miles last month as part of my attempt to run the length of all the Tube lines in London. I didn’t do any training for it other than the runs themselves. I lack the drive to become particularly good at anything so have never really trained hard. But I enjoy most forms of exercise (and some forms of suffering!) so try to squeeze as much activity into my days as possible.
3. What kind of person are you? How would you describe your personality?
Wow, that is a broad question! I would say I was a thinker (which explains why I’ve re-written most of these questions several times), inquisitive, not naturally confident or outgoing, but always positive. How is that?
4. Would you say you are a attracted to doing risky things? Do you do risky things for the sake of doing them or for the buzz? or other reasons?
I would say I am very much not attracted to risky things! My mountaineering trips have an element of risk in them but generally I have no desire to undertake risky endeavours for their own sake.
5. What motivates you to run your own business venture?
I am motivated by being able to implement the values that are important to me rather than those which are dictated by someone else, all too often driven by money. I lack the interest in detail and find it very difficult to justify taking other people’s money however, so lack the motivation to channel my interests into an efficient business.
6. What’s your policy on sustainable travel and what is your environmental policy for your trips, adventures and expeditions with regards to transport and footprint?
I don’t have a strict policy for these things. I hate waste in every form (energy, food, water, money, time) so that influences my decisions. It’s very easy to say from your computer that you will minimise your footprint but it’s a lot harder to put into practice when you’re cold, hungry and exhausted at the end of the day. I hope I’ve behaved reasonably but I know I could do better.
7. There seems to be a lot of people trying to make a living out of being an adventurer. Do you think it is an elitist group? or do you think that it’s a way of life that emerges from being a westerner with the resources and time to do such things? Do you think that there is a breed of adventurer these days that perhaps reflects a desire to become prepared for potential future environmental problems?
I certainly don’t promulgate elitism in adventure and most of the people I know don’t either so I hope it doesn’t come across that way. I am very lucky to be able to do the things I do and that is a privilege it’s easy to forget. But for all of my blogging and Tweeting on the subject, I couldn’t go through life simply as “an adventurer” because it’s simply not important enough to me. I enjoy it and I think good can come from it but on its own I would not consider it a worthwhile use of my life. As for adventurers preparing for future environmental problems, I like the idea! I picture a generation of post-apocalyptic Bear Grylls impersonators eating raw fish and sleeping in camel carcasses.
8. Do you see the taking your home /office / work with you and living anywhere lifestyle as a potential way of living for increasing numbers of people in the future?
Yes. So many of the constraints of “normal” employment seem a great shame so it would be nice if some more flexibility grew into it. With ever improving technology I’m sure this will happen more.
9. Do you see value in simplifying and minimalising in one’s life? There seems to be a trend in these things and blogs popping up about them.
I think there’s some value in it and it’s quite feasible that I’ve written as such on my own blog. But I think more important than just simplifying would be prioritising. If that means cutting out some of the chaff from the wheat then great. But if, in fact, you like complicated then go ahead and run with it. I don’t think it matters what people decide, I’d just encourage them to give it some thought.
10. What’s your favourite kind of trip? - boat, bike, running, cold-places, wilderness-places, group-expeditions? What has been your most satisfying trip to date?
Wilderness is key for me. Few things can replicate the feeling of isolation, whether you’re on a bike, in the sea or out running. Some of my fondest memories come from my very first expedition, to the Kyrgyz Tien-Shan mountains in 2003. Lying under the stars that first night after months of stress and planning and feeling like I was a real old school adventure was something quite special.
Tim is organising an expedition to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott reaching the South Pole. You can vote for Tim and help him get the support for his trip here:- http://www.greatbritons.ba.com/shortlists?user_id=42178
View more of Tim’s photos on Flickr