Other People's Adventures

Into The Empty Quarter [Film Review]

Last week I was honoured to be present for the world premiere of Into The Empty Quarter at the Royal Geographical Society.

Al Humphreys’ and Leon McCarron’s film about their unsupported trek across the Omani desert is one I approached with trepidation. Even though they were friends of mine, how interesting could it be to watch them dragging a cart across a desert for 52 minutes? 

Books & Reading Other People's Adventures Product Launches

Walking Home From Mongolia by Rob Lilwall [Book Review]


Rob Lilwall’s second book, Walking Home From Mongolia, is a strange yet compelling beast.

It is, on the face of it, a linear account of an extremely long and admittedly monotonous walk across the full breadth of mainland China. Rob positions the story deliberately as a sequel to his Cycling Home From Siberia* book of some years ago. As with Siberia, the journey will begin somewhere dauntingly remote; rules few in number but clear in scope are set; and in declaring a final destination of Rob’s home in Hong Kong the foundations are laid for a simple, gruelling adventure. 

Other People's Adventures

Unusual Sources of Travel Money: 50 Ways To Make £50

Dave plays with a child

Dave Cornthwaite seems to have got it made.

He’s gone from being a not-very-good graphic designer (his words, not mine) with a mortgage, a Playstation and a permanently furrowed brow to a bloke who will say “yes” to pretty much anything — swimming 1,000 miles down the Mississippi with no training; pedalling an elliptical bicycle round Europe; kayaking the length of the Murray River in Australia; making the longest skateboard journey on record at the time; and staying awake for 72 hours straight, which is surely the most impressive feat of them all. 

Other People's Adventures

The Road: London to Bangkok in under 4 minutes [VIDEO]

Travel films are ten a penny.

So are timelapses.

So are beard videos.

But it’s not often you find someone with the foresight to plan all three together. Rarer still that they’d already enlisted a professional filmmaker to visualise the result in advance and do all the painstaking legwork of stitching the material together.

The result, I’m sure you’ll agree, is priceless.

Films Other People's Adventures

The Cycle Traveller Who’s Going Nowhere (Plus, Upcoming Screening Events)

You know what I love most about this fantastic little film? (Do watch it.)

It’s the fact that what our protagonist has unwittingly done is exactly the same as embarking upon a really long bike trip.

The only difference is that he never leaves his home city.

(But then if life on the road is less about leaving home and more about feeling at home anywhere — is there really any difference at all?)

* * *

Speaking of films, we’re about to kick off a new round of Janapar events in the UK (and a few elsewhere too). If you’re in or near any of the following, please drop by and say hello:

Bristol, Thursday October 31st
We’ll be holding two consecutive screenings at Roll for the Soul cycle cafe this coming Thursday; one at 6pm and one at 7:45pm. There are a handful of tickets left for each — click here to reserve yours. I’ll be doing a Q&A and book signing after each one. (The leading lady will be making a rare appearance too.)

Lyon, France, Saturday 9th November
It’s fantastic to have been recognised by adventurers and filmmakers outside of the UK. One of France’s premier adventure film festivals, Quais du Départ, will be screening Janapar, and I’ll be there for a Q&A afterwards. More information here.

Toronto, Canada, Sunday 10th November
The city playing host to a large Armenian diasporan community, it’s really nice to have been programmed as part of the Armenian-themed annual Pomegranate Film Festival in Toronto. There’ll be a live Q&A after the screening via Skype. Information and tickets here.

Graz, Austria, Thursday 14th November
Austria’s biggest mountain and adventure film festival will be screening Janapar at 18:14 precisely. They’ve also seen fit to shortlist the film for a prize, which is quite nice of them. Very sadly I won’t be able to make this one myself. More information here.

Kendal, Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th November
Kendal Mountain Festival, the UK’s biggest celebration of adventure film, have also shortlisted us for a prize this year and will be holding several screenings over the 4 days. I’ll be at RGS Explore that weekend, talking all things bike-tripping & filmmaking.

Oldham, Greater Manchester, Monday 18th November
This fundraising event is hosted by Saddleworth Discovery Walks as part of their Evening Of Adventure series. I’ll be there to present the film and holding a Q&A and book signing afterwards. Click here for tickets.

Wirksworth, Derbyshire, Sunday 1st December
I’ll be coming up to the Peak District for Wirksworth Adventure Film Festival at the Northern Lights Cinema. There are two screenings lined up and I’ll be doing a Q&A and book signing after the evening showing. Further info will become available here.

Chichester, West Sussex, Friday 6th December
As part of the Chichester International Film Festival 2013 there will be a screening and Q&A on the evening of Friday 6th December. There’s a second screening on Wednesday 4th, without the Q&A part. Tickets will be available at the cinema’s website.

London, Wednesday 18th December
Last but certainly not least, the final date this year will be on The Strand in London, where the popular Tales Of Adventure series will be hosting a double-bill screening and Q&A with myself and Leon McCarron. Information will be made available on the TOA website nearer the time.

If you’re unable to make any of these events but would still like to see the film, it’s always available to download at

And if you’d like to help throw a screening in your local area this December or January, read how you can do so here.