Lots of boys want to be explorers. I was no different but the only problem I can see is that you grow up. Married life, children, mortgages and work commitments do tend to get in the way of romantic visions of trekking through the rainforest, traversing the icy tundra or walking through a barren desert.
What is called for is something altogether more practical and Alastair Humphreys' 'micro adventure' where you might finish work and perhaps cycle to the coast, sleep under the stars and return in time for work the next day, seems as adventurous.
I will say from outset I am a bit of a Alastair Humphreys fan. For those of you out there who haven't heard of him he is an adventurer, travel writer, motivational speaker, film maker and all round good egg. His book, Moods of Future Joys in which he retells his experiences of cycling around the world was read cover to cover in less than 24 hours.
I have seen advertised on his website that he made a film of one of his adventures called 'Into The Empty Quarter.' This is where he and friend Leon McCarron follow in the footsteps of one of Britain's many great explorers Wilfred Thesiger.
Thesiger an old Etonian had a very eventful life and during WWII served in the SOE and SAS. His book Arabian Sands 1959 recounts his travels in the Empty Quarter of Arabia between 1945 and 1950.
Humphreys and McCarron's film can be downloaded at the moment for £5.99. It is a really well shot and at times painfully honest film that charts their almost last minute journey across the desert. I really enjoyed it and although I have no plans to book my flights and do the same, it certainly gave a taste of what Thesiger experienced.
Alastair Humphreys was kind enough to answer a few questions in my rather unpolished interview of sorts as he very sensibly owns a Brompton. You can click on the link below for that. I have also provided a link to Into The Empty Quarter website where you can download or order a DVD copy of their film.
Into The Empty Quarter site
Alastair Humphreys Interview