Explorers Connect

Adventure Shared



Explorers Connect is now in its 9th year. During this time, my sole aim has been to help people to have more adventures; this is because I believe that adventure has the power to change our lives for the better. These posts are shared to inspire more people to get outside and get exploring.

If you have a story you want to share, please get in touch at inspire@explorersconnect.com.

- Belinda Kirk


Paddleboarding Adventure with Marcus Samperi

Embark on a nine-day expedition with a stranger, using a completely untested method of travel? Yes, please!

At a film screening last year, Marcus Samperi had a chance encounter with another Explorers Connect member. Within hours he had agreed to accompany her on a 165-mile paddleboarding adventure from Bristol to London - despite having only ever spent 20 minutes on a SUP!

In this blog, Marcus tells us the motivation behind PaddleCrawl, as the trip was later named. He discusses the psychology of embarking on expeditions, and explains how the nine-day mission changed he and his team's views of the UK forever. 

To read more about the journey, click here.


Step by Step: Mindfulness in Nature

Explorers Connect is full of people who have found that going on adventures can be life-changing. Seriously, we've lost count of the number of members who have told us that their experiences on our trips have made them feel happier and more alive. 

The recent growth of mindful practice, now widely recognised as an effective method of aiding mild depression and low mood, is a gift to us all. But, we ask, how does adventure specifically fit into this context? 

To find this out, we've created a walking trip to the Peak District with a mindfulness coach. We'll learn how to gain more from getting outside than ever before. 

In this blog, our founder, Belinda Kirk, explores the idea of the outdoors as a form of meditation. To find out more, click here.


Adventure inspiration: Canoeing the Yukon River with Ian Finch

Last year, Explorers Connect member Ian Finch paddled 2,000 miles by canoe through the wilds of North America, covering the entire length of the Yukon River. 

Ian and his team of four documented the cultural and spiritual significance of the Yukon to First Nation people, and examined the effects of dwindling numbers of salmon on ancestral ways of life.

Actively involved in our community, Ian took part in our Expedition Leader course in preparation for his trip and found a film-maker, Caroline Coles, using the Find A Teammate forum. 

This epic canoe journey through Canada and Alaska was named The Pull of The North, and was included on The Guardian's list of the top adventures of 2016. To read more about the adventure and see photographs of trip, click here.



Rod's Story: Fitting adventure into your life without giving up your job

In the increasing intensity of modern business, many people are becoming disillusioned with corporate life and are seeking a more meaningful ways to live. However, not everybody wants to give up their job; many people, myself included, want adventure that can fit into an evening, weekend or week.

Explorers Connect opened this door for me. I have taken part in wonderful adventures that I would never have thought of. It has helped me to overcome the idea that I might be claustrophobic and that going underground was not for me; to get me to take my short SUP career into the waves; and to learn new skills.

Since joining last year, I am constantly surprised by what I've been able to achieve through Explorers Connect. To read Rod's full story click here

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Astrid's story: Getting outdoors helped change my view on life

Okay, so I changed my life. Sounds big and tricky and scary. It wasn’t really.

Well, okay, it was scary because I was suddenly on my own and didn’t have a job, but actually doing these things wasn’t half as bad as I had feared for years because I had my family and friends around me to assure me I was doing the right thing (and yes, my Mum was epic!)

I had less money but more time, a great trade-off. I got out of my negative hole and found my positivity again.

And I fully believe this positivity stems from getting outside and active again, not being constrained by a life that wasn’t right for me. My life will never be the same again.  To read Astrid's full story click here.

Adelaide's story: Discovering the Outdoors

By surrounding myself with this inspirational community who are continuously pushing their limits and enjoying life’s journey, I have been motivated to push myself further, be better, achieve higher goals and it has brought out the best in me.

If you had told me when I was 17 or 18 that I would be wild camping in a field in a bivvy bag, I would have laughed and thought you mad. Now this is one of the things that I live for each week.

The trips and experiences that I’ve done with Explorers Connect and the many that have come out of this wonderful community have stretched me that little bit further and all have become the highlights of my life. To read Adelaide's full story click here.


Sandy's story: Starting My Own Expedition Company

"A mixture of a lack of confidence in my own abilities and not knowing what the next step was, but knowing that one had to be taken was the motivation behind signing up to the Explorers Connect Expedition Leadership Course. The course enabled me to realise I was capable - something that I genuinely struggled with prior. I’ve met a ton of like-minded people and spent the last 10 months building my expedition company 7 Explorers. 

If there was any message I could pass on to anyone considering signing up, it would simply be to get it done. Not only will you share the passions and dreams of a great group of like-minded people but you’ll learn to realise that no matter where you are starting from, anything really is possible with a bit of passion and self-belief"  To read Sandy's full story click here.


Mike's story : Being Part of a Positive Community

Life before EC was very different, I’d had a few emotional knock backs, as I’m sure most of us do through modern society - collapse of a long-term relationship and an unfulfilling job. I seemed to be wondering aimlessly around in a baron desert without a compass! I was feeling very detached, very alone and my self-confidence was at an all time low. So after spending too much time in self-persecution mode I decided I needed to make a change – It was time to re-establish myself!

I have to say that being part of EC has been pivotal in my personal development and wellbeing. I now live life with much more purpose and conviction, which has become self-fulfilling prophecy of motivation, regardless of the outcome! That’s right, it doesn’t matter if you try and fail but it does matter if you don’t try because you’ll never know and more importantly never GROW. This journey has given me the self-belief and confidence to change my career path! I had been an engineer for 30 years and I’m now pursuing my dreams as a life coach. 

To read Mike's full story click here.

Jacki's story: Finding Like-Minded Team Mates for Expeditions 

Finding suitable fellow travellers has become very important to me when organising my expeditions to recreate the journeys of the first female explorers. I need people who will make a difference, who will function out of their comfort zone and will enjoy unexpected cultural encounters.

I have used Explorers Connect many times to successfully find team mates. It seems to attract men and women, of all ages from across the world who are looking for alternatives to ticking a destination off a list. They want to travel with a purpose, a challenge and are willing to go that extra mile to find it.

To read Jacki's full story click here.