Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Interview Tuesday: Kevin Shannon

This week I've been fortunate enough to Interview Kevin Shannon, an adventurer looking to complete a zero emissions circumnavigation of the Earth for charity. The charity Kevin has chosen to support is Combat Stress; please please please sponsor this incredible journey by clicking on the link below and giving as much or as little as you can - justgiving.com/becauseitisthere

Kevin Shannon's first camp site

1) What made you want to journey around the entire world?

It all began as a simple gap year between University and work. I had started to think of there are so many great places to visit that for me it seemed logical to travel around the globe. I've always been one to buck trends and i have a slight dislike of 'backpacking' as it just seems like an excuse to prop up a bar in Thailand for a few months. So i was trying to think of a way travelling that was 'different' and i came up with the idea of cycling around the world, camping as i go, eating wherever i could and having a good old fashioned adventure along the way.

2) How long did it take to plan such an adventure and how did you go about it?

It took approximately 2 years to plan the expedition but this was mainly due to having to work full time whilst planning and training for the exped. I spent my time building my website (twice), planning routes, firing off emails to various potential sponsors, researching and, most importantly, reading as much as i could about similar journeys and where possible contacting the people involved for advise and information.

3) How did you come to your decision to make it a zero-emission adventure?

The zero emissions aspect was a natural progression i suppose. What started as 'simply' cycling across the majority of the land masses and possibly sailing across the oceans turned into pedalling every inch of the journey over land and definitely sailing across oceans. But that isn't that end. As i've been pedalling i've been devising ways to travel emissions free for different sections of the journey such as Sea kayaking through South East Asia and rollerblading a part of the route in a year or so. I have plenty of ideas - i just have to find ways implementing them.

4) How is the journey going? Where have you got to so far?

The journey is going well except for a few issues such as being hit by a car and attacked my wild dogs. I've become accustomed to the lifestyle so finding places to sleep roll out my sleeping bag each night, finding food and water, etc are all second nature. Having cycled across Europe i'm currently in Serbia awaiting visas for Iran and Central Asia. As soon as i get the visas needed i'll be heading back to Istanbul - which is the last point i reached and also where my equipment is - and continue on my way.

Kevin Shannon entering Istanbul

5) What will be the hardest section of the round-the-world trip?

I'm not sure. I think crossing the Pacific will be a tough one. Although I've sailed a fair amount i haven't made any major ocean crossings before and i'm not too sure how i'll adjust to being cooped up on a boat for such a long time.

6) Why have you chosen to support the charity Combat Stress? How much money are you hoping to raise?

I knew from the outset that i wanted to raise awareness and funds for a military charity as alot of my family are ex military but i didn't decided on the specific charity for a little while. Then when out camping with a friend who's ex-military, the conversation turned to the treatment he was receiving from Combat Stress. I read a little more about the charity and decided that that was the charity i would be supporting. I have set myself the rather high target of £1 Million. 

7) What was your inspiration to take on such a large challenge and leave the comforts of home?

My inspiration comes from being outside alot of a boy. I was always fishing, riding my bike or off running around some woodland somewhere. I love being outside, and so, after studying a degree for fours years which meant i had to spend most of my hours being inactive sat at a computer i realised i needed a change.
Leaving home wasn't too bad. It was a natural conclusion to the 2 years of planning i had already done. After a few months on the road i still haven't been homesick - but then i haven't been pushed out of my comfort zone too much yet.

8) What are you going to do when you finish?

Good question. I have a fair few ideas of other expeditions i'd like to do but the finish is a little while off yet, so we'll have to wait and see...

One of many photos on Kevin Shannon's website; so many amazing experiences

Thanks to Kevin for such an awesome Interview; sounds like an incredible adventure and quite a challenge. Check out Kevin Shannon's site at http://www.becauseitisthere.co.uk/ and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Kev_Shannon.

If you'd like to be interviewed please get in contact! Enjoy!

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