How 7 Modern Explorers Find Adventure During the Pandemic

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What do modern explorers and adventurers do to occupy themselves during the pandemic? We checked in with seven to find out.

what modern day explorers and adventures do during their pandemic

Many of us are struggling with the pandemic. We miss the freedom to go where we want to go and see who we want to see. We understand it’s necessary, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. That’s why we asked modern explorers and adventurers who often spend much of their time travelling what they’re doing now that it’s not possible in the same way as before.

The overall theme is definitely local adventures but each modern explorer has their own take on it. Read on for some serious inspiration that will show you how to find adventure in your own back yard. 

Renata Chlumska – Professional Adventure Athlete

Future astronaut, professional adventurer & speaker Renata Chlumska

Renata Chlumska is the first Swedish and Czech woman to summit Mount Everest and to complete the Seven Summits. She’s also the only person in the world to circumnavigate the lower 48 states of the US. Her next adventure is far out – space!

Check out her functional clothing with style at the Renata.Store.

How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

To travel, experience new cultures and discover uncharted territories are the highlights of my life. Fortunately, I am also good at seeing the adventures that lie around the corner so that’s what I’ve been doing this last year. And what’s in my backyard is often an exotic destination to someone else.

Related Reading:  Hiking, Trekking & Mountaineering: What’s The Difference?

Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson – Human Powered Explorer

human powered explorer Grant 'Axe' Rawlinson

Grant ‘Axe’ Rawlinson is a human powered explorer and team decision making coach. His life purpose is to make exploratory human powered journeys that contribute to a better future for our planet.

Based in Singapore he is married to Stephanie with twin explorer daughters Kate and Rachel and founded and runs his team decision making coaching business

How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

My purpose in life is to make exploratory human powered journeys around our planet.
Being confined to Singapore for over one year now has meant a complete mindset shift for me.
Whilst I am planning some larger expeditions, I spend the majority of my ‘headspace’ being present, acting and thinking locally.

I purchased a set of kayaks and have found new inspiration in taking new friends on weekly kayaking trips around the waters of Singapore.

Introducing people to local adventures and the wonderful local spots they would never normally get to see has been a really fulfilling outcome of COVID.
Related Reading: The Best Hiking Backpacks

Brady Fraser – Backpacker and Wilderness Adventurer

wilderness modern explorer Brady Fraser

Brady Fraser is a backpacker and wilderness adventurer. He has hiked the John Muir Trail, Wind River High Route, and several sections of the PCT and Pacific Northwest Trail. He writes about his adventures at his website, Two Trailbirds.

How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

How I’ve shifted my adventures during COVID: Go Remote

This summer I hiked the 97-mile Wind River High Route, which got me way off the beaten path and into some super remote areas. It’s ideal for COVID, because it’s in a sparsely populated area of western Wyoming, nearly 100% off-trail, and I live relatively close to the area. It involves some pretty rugged and remote terrain and required navigation skills, but it’s as rewarding (if not more so) than more popular hikes. I also considered it an amazing opportunity to learn things that I was never forced to before, like off-trail navigation, route-finding skills, and self-reliance. It allowed me to achieve the kind of solitude that really can’t be found any other way.

I’m used to doing more popular hikes like the John Muir Trail, but in the time of COVID, a remote wilderness experience like this was perfect. I met 15 or so hikers in the entire 7 days, and it didn’t require traveling and staying in any of the ultra-crowded National Parks.

I had to drive to get there, but I brought everything I needed with me (including food), so all I had to get out of the car for was to pump gas. It involved a little bit more forward-thinking, but I’ve seen it as a blessing in its own way, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to push my

Related Reading:  The Best Hiking and Camping Hammocks to Enhance Your Time Outdoors

Laurel Robbins – Transformational Hiker & Traveller

modern explorer and adventurer Laurel Robbins is committed to getting more people outdoors more often.

In addition to being the founder of this site, Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel, Laurel is passionate about getting more people outdoors, more often. She’s convinced that hiking (or the activity of your choice in nature) can have a profound impact on your life as it has hers. Sign up for her free Hiking to Happiness Series to see how. 

How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

While I usually do at least one long-distance hike each year staying at mountain huts, I didn’t feel comfortable doing that during the pandemic due to the close proximity – even with safety precautions. I debated doing a backpacking trip but as I was still experiencing some ongoing health issues (likely due to COVID, but unconfirmed)  I decided to do a cycling trip instead.

I’ve done cycling trips in the past but not recently and decided to do one along the northern coastline of Germany. It was a great way to see a part of the country I’ve lived in for over ten years but had never visited and the new activity was a welcome respite from the mundaneness. 

I highly recommend trying a new activity that you can do close to home as a way to alleviate boredom and regain your zest for life.

Related Reading: Best Hiking Leggings for Women.

Iain Miller – Rock climber, Guidebook author and Hillwalker

Modern explorer Iain Miller on a rock climbing adventure with his son

Iain Miller from Unique Ascent is a rock climber, guidebook author and hill walker living,
working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.

How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

During the last year of restricted movement and complete lockdowns, I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to turn my 7-year-old son into my outdoor apprentice. During this period, a huge amount of free time was made available to allow my son and I to explore together. When government restrictions have allowed, we have rock climbed on remote sea cliffs, sea kayaked out to uninhabited islands, climbed several sea stacks, paddled through an underworld of sea tunnels, climbed the 10 highest mountains in Donegal and swan with seals.

Under normal circumstances, I would be doing all these same activities either on my own or with clients, but this last year I have been delivering adventure by proxy by showing my son my world. The logistics, considerations, concerns and planning that goes into playing out with a
child so young is an outstanding adventure on its own. What the pandemic has allowed me to do is pass on my love of the great outdoors and the unexplored to my youngest son, who has told his mum he wants to leave school and go full time.

Related Reading: 64 Best Adventure Books Ever Written.

Matty Dyas – Ultra-marathon runner and Adventure Tour Leader

Matty Dyas is an English ultra-marathon runner and international adventure tour leader. During Covid, as he can’t go on adventures or travel, he thought why not do the next best thing and talk about it. He has now started a podcast Travel Bubble, each week he talks to travel professionals and globetrotters about the three countries that they would include in their Travel Bubble.

How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

I’m an ultra-marathon runner and an international adventure tour leader. All the races are cancelled and I can’t travel overseas. So, I looked at what I could do in my own country, England. We are blessed with some spectacular National Trails of varying distances but, to me, the most
iconic and the one with the most history is the Hadrian’s Wall Path.  Built 2000 years ago, it spans the width of the country from coast to coast. I packed up my running shoes, booked accommodation at the halfway point, and set out.

I did 70km each day and finished the 140km route exhausted but extremely happy. It was an adventure with memories that last a lifetime but it was cheap and took very little organising.

Check if your country has any national trails, you don’t have to run it but just get out into nature, take a tent if you have to and go and find the free adventure that is out there waiting for you.

Related Reading: The Coolest Airbnb Treehouses to Stay in (U.S.).

Alastair Humphreys – Adventurer, Author & Keynote Speaker

Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer, author and keynote speaker. Find out more and check out his books and podcasts at Alastair Humphreys


How Are You Finding Adventure During the Pandemic?

In terms of getting my adventure fix, lockdown has forced me to practice what I preach about Microadventures. I often write and speak about the wild places and beauty that lie all around us, wherever we live. But I also really love jumping on the sleeper train to mountains hundreds of miles from my home…

In recent weeks I have been running every street fanning out from my front door, including, to my astonishment, a street 400 metres from my home that I had never noticed before!

I have been climbing the same tree time and time again. It is different, beautiful and restorative every time.

I have been making journeys round my home at ever-increasing radii, every time going to places I have never been before, and therefore being an explorer. Turns out I was right all along: there is newness and curiosity and wildness everywhere. The more we look, the more we see.


Feeling inspired from these modern day explorers and adventurers? Let me what new adventures you’re going to start embarking upon.

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