Tag Archives: explorer

How to Choose an Expedition Partner

I am very fussy when it comes to choosing an expedition partner because it is one of the most (if not the most) important choices to make, and one which is so easy to overlook.

I’ve got it wrong before and I apply a very strict criteria to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I’ve boiled it down to 5 pieces of hard-earned advice, so you don’t make the same mistake.

1. I believe that the most important rule is to pick the partner based on character rather than skill. My first ever expedition to the Kep Islands was almost a failure, and towards the end we had daily arguments, silences and tears. Although we had every skill ticked – medic, leader, photographer etc., we were very different people. You will have to spend virtually every moment together, and if you’re lucky you’ll have a tent between you.

2. To find out if someone is a good fit, go away with them for a weekend. And choose to go in challenging conditions. If you can survive the rain, mud and cold together, then you are probably a good match.

3. You will both need to be comfortable with silence and being alone. You will be exhausted and have no will to talk and if you cannot feel comfortable with this, your downtime will cause more stress than it relieves.

4. They need to have a sense of humour in the same area as yours. Not being able to see the funny side means things are taken too seriously, and a falling outs can occur easily.

5. You both need to be able to say anything to the other, especially something which has bothered you. You WILL get to each other and this anger needs to be expressed, otherwise it will fester and become distorted.

Nobody fit this criteria in the planning stage of my current hitchhiking adventure around the world, so I just left to do it solo. It was only recently, after 18 months, that I found a suitable partner.

I hope you enjoyed this weekly article, please add your thoughts to the comments!

What to Do When You’re Feeling Lost

If you’re reading these words, then chances are you’re unfulfilled with whatever direction you have taken in life.

Maybe it’s time for a change, but how do you work out where to go?

You feel lost.

You’re most likely in your 20s.

You might have a job and what is considered a good life… so why aren’t you happy?

My name is Tom Day and I am an Adventurer (I make money from going on adventures). When I graduated with a degree in Fine Art back in 2015, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I didn’t want to be an artist anymore and I was back at home living with mum!

People always ask you, as you’re growing up, ‘what are you going to do when you’re older?’ Well, now I needed an answer.

I took a job in a warehouse for lack of better choice. Over my 3 months there, I’d never felt so empty.

I realised I needed to find my passion and I believe that the best way to achieve that is to travel. So, I saved what I could and quit my job.

There is so much complexity to a human being and the road allows you to explore that, no matter how dark, disturbing, supressed, weird or wonderful.

You don’t need to go to the other side of the world and rough it in a tent with no money, you don’t even need to go to another country; just a town in a different part of the country for a weekend will begin to help you. But, of course, going to a place where people’s values and ideas are the polar opposite to yours is infinitely beneficial.

It is an intimidating idea, and I advise beginning with a partner or group to ease you in. I could never have set out alone on my first trip.

Soon, you’ll be ready to take your own road. It isn’t for everyone, but the discoveries you will make about yourself will be deeper and come more frequently.

Alone, you can be whomever you want to for a time. That dark side, creative side, business side and so on can come out. You can say or do anything to the people you come across (within the limits of local laws) and never have to see people again if you don’t want to.

I won’t lie to you, the good times are often followed by bad ones, and in those moments you are your true self. After, you will ask yourself, why did I do that? Say that? Think that? That’s how a police officer behaves. That’s what a lawyer might’ve said.

Not only these moments, but every new experience will reveal another layer of your character. Before too long, you’ll know what makes you happy and what you want to do in life.

You probably won’t have a single job title boiled down, but you’ll at least know what area it is in, and once you know that, you’ll know which path to take. Just surround yourself with people who share your passion and opportunities will open up that you never knew were there. ‘Adventurer’ is a job title I would never have found at the jobfare.

So, to sum up, you’re most likely feeling lost because you aren’t fulfilled. It is a lesser-known, basic human need and I believe that lacking this is the cause of a lot of mental illness and addiction, both of which I’ve had dealings with before finding my passion.

In the last 16 months of hitchhiking around the world, I have explored myself more than most people do in their whole lives. I feel calm, peaceful and happy all the time and I know exactly what I am doing with my life. I hope this article inspires the first step on your road to fulfillment!