Hi, my name is Jon and I'm an (part time / escaping project manager) adventurer who is planning a big overland expedition to Central Asia in 2013. Follow my adventures as I plan & prepare for the trip.
I'm looking for adventurous people to join or assist me on the expedition.
I can help others plan for overseas and overland expeditions / adventures
Hi, my name is Jon and I'm a part time project manager / adventurer. For my escape I’m planning an overland vehicle expedition to Central Asia during 2013.
My situation is slightly different to a lot of other escapees. I’m only planning to escape on a temporary basis. I still enjoy my job and the lifestyle that it affords. It provides me with short term, deadline focused dates for projects, and then plenty of free time to consider other activities. I love the freedom that it gives me to travel and explore.
I’ve been developing my escape since June 2011. In April 2013 I depart on a unique overland 4x4 trip from London to Malaysia and back, through Central Asia. Travelling via Russia, the Silk Road to China and south, via Laos, to Malaysia. The return journey will be via India, Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey and finally Europe to London.
I’ve developed and expanded a range of relevant skills over the last 18 months. And I am more than happy to share these with other Esc members.
I am balancing a working career as a freelance Project Manager in Rail Franchise procurement, while planning and preparing for an 8 month overland vehicle expedition from London to China and back, through Central Asia.
Currently I’m working part time in rail, which involves planning and preparing bid teams for the next round of rail tenders. I work with clients to implement business improvement activities and refine the bidding process.
The rest of my time is spent planning and preparing for the expedition, which departs in April 2013. This involves route planning, budgeting, vehicle preparation, visa applications, teammate selection and various social media activities to share, and raise the profile of the trip.
I have been working fulltime as a freelance Project Manager in the rail industry. My role involves managing bid teams of 50-60 people, to work together and produce high-class tenders for UK rail franchise procurement.
It is intense work with major deadline pressure and I tend to have significant breaks after each contract. I’ve decided to use these periods to pursue a more balanced lifestyle that allows me to participate in a greater range of adventure activities.
I’ve been working as a freelancer consultant in London for the last 14 years. As with living in most big cities the daily grind eventually wears you down. I discovered the best way for me to recharge was to embark on a significant overseas adventure. I would always arrive back in London prepared to tackle whatever challenges my consulting role might bring.
What this taught me was that more frequent adventure experiences enabled me to maintain my commitment and motivation to my career, while developing my adventurous lifestyle.
For years I’ve loved travelling more than working. In the back of my mind I’m always dreaming of exploring the world. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the challenge of my work.
A defining moment was while on a bus in Patagonia, Argentina, in December 2010. I realised that my passion for travel and exploring the world meant I needed to modify my approach to my work / lifestyle balance when I returned to London. At this stage I didn’t quite know how this would happen, I just knew I had to do something.
In November 2011 I attended a Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Explore weekend in London. After speaking to several experts in all aspects of expedition planning I was able to further develop and refine my adventure plans for 2013.
Of particular value were the overland expedition professionals who gave me the confidence that my trip was achievable and I was able to commit to my 2013 expedition.
Whenever possible I spent many hours researching the trip, speaking to others and refining my own thoughts. In brief, though, I went through the following steps during 2011:
After researching a variety of funding options I chose a self funding model in order to retain a level of autonomy and not be beholden to any particular funding organisation and their requirements / expectations.
The preparation time has allowed me to acquire, through my own means, sufficient funding for the entire trip.
Already there have been many ups and downs along the journey.
Over the last 18 months I’ve spoken with a growing number of people from the adventure community around the world. The best advice I’ve received so far is:
There is a wealth of great resources and information available these days. The following have been a fantastic help to me, and great place to start for anybody interested in a more adventurous life.