The best way to get inspired and create your own adventures is to realise that those adventurers you look up to are just like you. Most are not millionaires with crazy budgets and backup teams, with 50 years’ experience or cameras worth thousands of pounds. They’re simply ordinary people doing the incredible.
And the Adventure Travel Film Festival (Mill Hill, London, 14-16th August) will show you just that. By watching these independent, never-before-seen adventure films, you’ll get to know the people behind the stories. And if they can do it, so can you!
Here’s a taster of the movies screening at the festival, showing you just how attainable your adventure dreams can be…
Two nostalgic middle-aged guys try to hitchhike from Belgium to Istanbul in seven days, only because they booked a plane that will bring them back home. Thoroughly convinced that all helpful drivers are interesting people, they decide to interview them all. But 24 hours later, with still 3,000km to go, they realize they have only boarded one car and crossed a mere 50km. Is hitchhiking a dead issue, or does it only take a little heart massage? (Official blurb)
These two, without being rude, are nothing remarkable. Just two guys wanting to take an adventure and doing it, come hell or high water. Not all adventure films have to be climbing Everest or rowing the Atlantic — anything that interests you can make a great film!
French engineer Corentin de Chatelperron sails a tiny homemade boat crafted from jute fibre (yes, that’s a kind of organic string) with two chickens in the cabin and an allotment in the bows. He pilots his floating ‘good life’ from France to Indonesia, practising a consciously lo-fi organic back-to-basics credo that will have eco-warriors swooning. Utterly back-to-basics travel. With a little practical knowledge, anyone can do this.
Gender is not an issue either — adventure travel has been traditionally viewed as a male pursuit, but women are carving their own niche. Too much of the ‘adventure’ landscape is cluttered up with ridiculous posturing and feigned hardship. No wonder some amateur filmmakers and adventurers are put off. The women of Nobody’s River who paddled the thousands of miles in this film are the exact antidote to these maladies.
Amber, Becca, Krystal and Sabra cheerfully wheedle their kayaks along the Amur River, across the pristine purity of the Mongolian steppe and the harsh landscape of industrial Russia. They don’t waste time exaggerating their toughness, but instead soak up every second of utterly perfect natural beauty and wallow in the gooey joy that only comes from being with friends in wild places. Proof that great movies don’t have to be a one-man/woman struggle, but a great tale of friendship and beautiful places.
I quit my job at 29 and with just a small motorcycle and a love of travel, I set out to travel the world. 13 years on, I am the curator of the Adventure Travel Film Festival, a professional travel writer and journalist. And if I did it, anyone can do it. All it takes is that one spark of inspiration. So come join us at the Adventure Travel Film Festival, in London from 14-16th August.
Words by: Lois Pryce
This year is a particularly good one for female filmmakers and adventurers. Here are some other films and talks starring inspiring women…
- Into the Sea: an Irish surf champion travels to Iran with two Iranian extreme sportswomen to teach locals how to surf
- Expert talks: from Squash Falconer, Jo Magpie and Anna McNuff on the art of hitchhiking and creating your own adventure
- Adventure writing workshop: festival curator and Random House travel author Lois Pryce is holding a workshop for all budding adventure writers
More info can be found on our calendar.