Belinda Kirk, Founder
Belinda has walked across Nicaragua, searched for camels in China's Desert of Death, discovered ancient rock paintings in Lesotho, pioneered inclusive expeditions for people with disabilities, lead dozens of youth development expeditions around the world and gained a Guinness World Record for rowing unsupported around Britain. An expert expedition leader, Belinda has managed remote trips for, amongst others Ray Mears, Chris Ryan & Bear Grylls.
Today she is the leading voice promoting the psychological benefits of adventure and our need for an #AdventureRevolution. Belinda launched Explorers Connect in 2009. It's now a community of 28,000+ open to everyone from total beginners to experienced explorers to link with adventures, team-mates and adventure industry jobs.
Becky Goodall, Comms Chief
Becky has always sought out adventure in all its forms, and joins EC with varied experience, from the worlds of corporate marketing (for the BBC, Google, and Coca-Cola amongst others) and rocket-fuelled start-ups (including a luxury surf-coaching resort in Costa Rica and an environmentally-focused publishing company in Bristol).
Becky loves both the mountains and the coast. On her return from two years in Costa Rica (see above), she set up a London surf club providing monthly trips to the coast for city-dwellers. She also spent nine months in Patagonia, her time split between a conservation project and mountain summits in the remote Andes. Having recently had a baby, Becky quickly set up 'Baby Strollers' - a platform for new parents to join weekly walks in and around Bristol. Just for fun, Becky will spend her spare time pootling up local hills or hotfooting it to the coast.
Rowan Blewett, Adventure Coordinator
Rowan will be starting 2019 with the new adventure of city life. Having just moved to Bristol from Cornwall, she's excited to have so many more hills and national parks within a stone's throw to continue exploring with her dog, Maisie. Having spent much of her time at Uni in the Brecon Beacons, she plans to explore much more of beautiful Wales.
Coming from a charity background, Rowan is proud to have completed a 24hr hike in aid of Mind this year, when it was handy to have the beautiful Cornish coastline on her doorstep as the perfect training ground. As the saying goes, it 'aint training if it 'aint raining'! Having raised over £1200, Rowan is looking for something new to get her teeth into for 2019, so watch this space.
THE ADVENTURE TEAM
Alongside the team that runs the business, the Adventure Team are volunteers who help host our adventures. They are not guides or instructors; they simply like being in the outdoors and helping others to get outside too. We are actively looking for new members of the Adventure Team - if you are interested, please email: email@example.com
A landscape gardener by trade, I spend most of my time exploring the UK and the rest of world, notching up experiences as I go. It's not unusual for me to be packing up for a weekend away for a spot of pack-rafting, trekking, stand-up paddleboarding or exploring different areas of the country. An active adventure seeker and intrepid traveler by nature, I have already successfully trekked to Everest Base Camp and explored the relatively untouched Myanmar.
I grew up in Scotland but never really appreciated the fun that could be had outdoors until I moved away from it. I love the buzz and bustle of London but that's best when it's balanced with a healthy dose of fresh air and open spaces. I'm glad to be involved in mini-adventures with Explorers Connect: it's so easy to turn a weekend or evening into something fun without any big fuss in organising. My favourite things are bikes, mountains and campfires so I'm hoping to get involved in adventures that combine any of those.
I am a Visual Effects artist, working on films in a darkened basement. Being a graduate in Zoology, I'm still not quite sure how I ended up living in London and working behind a computer for my day job! However, I balance my time spent indoors by getting outside as much as possible. I love to have a midweek mini-adventure whenever possible and to get out on the water on my stand-up paddleboard. I am currently training to cross the Channel by SUP and am always on the looking for an adventure - big or small!
Twelve years ago I left a career in the city to retrain as an osteopath and pilates teacher. Being in the outdoors has always been an important part of my life and my favourite way to escape from it all is by long distance trekking. A few trips I have really loved include the Tour de Mont Blanc, the Haute Route and Annapurna Basecamp. Recently, I have had some bike adventures including cycling around Kilimanjaro. I am also happy just to escape for nights wildcamping. I have been involved with EC for the last few years and love the ethos of making adventure both large and small so accessible, and am looking forward to an adventurous 2017.
I'm a civil servant by trade, and only recently got into the outdoors having hated doing D of E at school - we got blisters, we got lost, we nearly set our tent on fire, that sort of thing.... These days, thanks to groups like EC, I know either how to avoid getting into those situations, or what to do if it still goes a bit wrong, and try to cram in as much hiking, camping (preferably wild), travelling to weird and wonderful places, and learning new skills as I can. So it's definitely time to help get fellow EC members out and about as much as possible - look forward to meeting everyone!
I’ve been a member of Explorers Connect for a few years and always enjoyed combining being outdoors and physical activity. I’m a big distance runner and really enjoy helping others either start or improve their running. Recently, I’ve become a UK athletics licensed running coach. I’ve been lucky to have had some good travel experiences, including living in a tent for a month. I like spending time in the mountains or doing anything that’s a little bit adventurous.
I'm a hillwalker, mountain biker, kayaker and climber: but, truth be told, I'm up for most adventures if there's a pie and a pint at the end! My ideal adventure would be either a walk around the moors or mountains with a night wild camping or a kayak trip with a night on a secluded inaccessible beach. That being said, I have a busy job and home life commitments; I'm just as happy squeezing in a 5-9 mini-adventure in the nearby area!
I am happiest when I'm outdoors, breathing in fresh air and stunning views. I love hiking and regularly visit the Brecon Beacons as well as making trips further afield. I love all water sports and last year I dived into long distance open water swimming culminating in completing the Dart10K. This year I have bought a touring bike in search for a new challenge and new adventures. You could say I am jack of all trades and master of none!
I like a bit of everything -- hiking, biking, climbing, running, kayaking, rowing... Jack of all trades, master of none, will give anything a go! By day I'm an utter nerd -- physics teacher turned engineering lecturer, also host The Cosmic Shed podcast. Big goals include long-distance cycle and a few more 4,000m+ peaks! I'll be arranging some stargazing micro-adventures and a few other events.
I have always dabbled with adventure and have tried a lot of different disciplines. I really like walking and camping especially if I can help people in the process. I am not an extreme adventurer and due to work commitments short adventures works best for me. I have been involved with Explorers Connect for about four years and thoroughly enjoy and recommend it! I still have a lot to learn however I cannot wait to help such an amazing group of people. I love fossilling and photography so will be trying to organise fossil hunts, or photography adventures.