From teaching on a remote island in the Bahamas in his 20s to ice climbing in Kyrgyzstan in ‘retirement’, Bucket List guide Dave has sometimes taken “the road less travelled” (to quote Robert Frost). A life of adventure has led Dave to take Bucketlisters everywhere from trekking in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco to the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. But what makes him so drawn to this lifestyle? Find out in his guide bio…
Tell us about yourself
I have had a long career in education, but my leisure interests have always lain with ‘the outdoors’ – from climbing mountains in the UK as a youngster to Alpine ascents around Chamonix and various other climbing areas as an adult. I have lived in Devon for over 30 years and have always enjoyed climbing, surfing and the wonderful natural environment.
What drives you to pursue a life full of adventure travel?
It has genuinely been a natural progression, from organising my own adventures with friends to using those skills with The Bucket List Company. One thing is for sure – the outdoors and group travel never fail to inspire me.
What is your favourite trip to lead and why?
No question about it – the Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal. I could go on and on about it all day. The people, the culture and the environment are magnificent.
What is one special moment from one of the Bucket List trips you’ve led that always sticks with you?
I do not consider myself a particularly spiritual person, however, standing quietly in an ancient Buddhist monastery in Nepal, I don’t think that I was alone in being overwhelmed by the sense of devotion with which the local people had built and loved the building over many centuries.
If you could lead a Bucket List trip anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Patagonia, without a doubt. Something about Patagonia’s famous mix of world-class rock climbing and hiking – two of my biggest passions – really draws me to the region. I would love to see the iconic Fitzroy range in person and to hike through the dramatic landscapes of the Patagonian peninsula.
What do you think is so unique about The Bucket List Company’s trips?
This sounds glib – but the bonding that takes place between very different people on a trip never fails to impress me and reinforce my faith in the benefit of travelling and overcoming personal challenges as part of a supportive group.
Do you have any top tips for Bucketlisters preparing for a trek?
I have one piece of advice: do what you can to undertake some training before arriving at the airport – it really does pay off. You will enjoy yourself so much more if you’ve put in some time to train – taking away any avoidable physical struggle and allowing you to make the most of every second of your trip.
What would you say to people who want to go on a trip but aren’t sure if they’re the right fit for trekking?
If you have the will to achieve (plus a little bit of training), you will be fine! It’s the mindset that counts. We and the local guides do all we can to ensure that everyone is safe and meets success.
How has adventure travel changed your life?
I think that I have always had a tendency to be outward-looking – adventure travel is just a wonderful aspect of that. It’s always a great privilege to meet other people from around the world who feel the same.