Get people out of their bubbles, to challenge themselves and find out what they are capable of, anywhere on the planet. I truly believe that these experiences are enormously liberating and life-changing - they certainly are for me! If it is for a totally fresh direction in life or just a one-off experience or holiday, true adventure is the best way to achieve it.
Georgie was a very successful business woman in the city working her way up - then she realised it wasn't what she wanted in life. She was looking for new experiences and more travel. So she quit and started her own adventure which led her to where she is today.
I would like to get people out on our expeditions, to challenge themselves and find out what they are capable of. Wherever and whenever you experience a new challenge or culture, you gain a confidence and new perspective that is invaluable.
I am the MD of a small and passionate UK tour operator, providing exceptional individually-tailored once-in-a-lifetime experiences in Patagonia: horse riding, fly fishing, whale watching, sea kayaking, walking (from small treks to extreme expeditions) and ski mountaineering.
Day to day life involves lots of variation: time with clients and doing Patagonia research, ongoing client and supplier relationship management, marketing strategy, web site design and maintenance, and lots of travel.
I was an ex-equities headhunter and I worked for four years at a boutique executive search firm in the City, right by Bank tube station. I was a junior consultant in my latter days and also a researcher covering equity research (and until 2006 also equity sales and sales trading).
As a result I was no stranger to careful research, the building, management and maintenance of relationships, or certain logistics, but I missed the opportunity for travel, exploration, cultural exchange and new experiences.
Despite adoring my team and the exposure I got with the job, I was very wary about making the step up to be a senior consultant, and just couldn't see that it was my calling in life. I quit in July 2007.
Realizing after my 2007 bonus that I could either buy a very very small house with an interest-only mortgage or take a round-the-world flight to wherever I wanted and a very very very long holiday...
Riding, http://www.fishinginpatagonia.com/wilderness/hiking-horse-riding.aspx.html">Fishing and http://www.natureinpatagonia.com/">Nature In Patagonia were born from a coincidental love story with a land, its landscapes and its people... i.e. by accident.
My post-City cool down period which spread over four continents and eight months led me to Patagonia to fulfill the life long dream of doing a South American ski season.
During my subsequent time there (I stayed on in the Spring) I was struck by the lack of true inter-cultural specialist intermediaries to channel information and independent opinions to the English speaking market, and henceforth the idea for Riding In Patagonia Limited was born...
Setting up the business has involved cultural barrier breakdown, the formation of deep and genuine relationships and friendships, and a lot of challenge and fun along the way.
Learning Spanish has been (or continues to be) rewarding, belittling, frustrating at times and of course hugely useful. Dealing in LatAm can be tricky at times although the occasional shark is balanced out by true gems who have changed my life forever.
Spending a lot of time so far away is has its downside and obviously financial sacrifices have had to be made, but I live a happier and healthier life than ever before and can manage my time according to the season and current workload (and the snow forecast!) as I please.
Best moments are always when clients (and this year my parents!) see for the first time what I have tried to convey from afar, often involving tears of joy! Managing the logistics and communications for an Everest Expedition in 2012, and finally starting my salary from my own company - rewarding for moral to say the least!
Worst moments are definitely when struggling with Spanish and the Argentinean economy! And the explosion of the Volcano Puyehue-Cordón just 50 miles away from our airport hub in 2011...
Nothing ventured nothing gained...
Lots have people have great ideas but it is those that have the drive and are prepared to stretch themselves (with the courage to take risks) that stand out. The Nike slogan sure stands out...
It is not about the idea it is about the conviction to make it happen. Courage of your convictions is key and be prepared to sacrifice all and more of your time to succeed. Be honest with yourself about what you want and what it will take to achieve it.
Damian Benegas from http://patagonianbrothers.com/2012/">Benegas Brothers Expeditions for endless encouragement and support.