One of the most prominent names to arise from the beach teams of Peli past, is the world-record breaking explorer, George Bullard. An extraordinary human, George’s feats include a kayak from Greenland to Scotland and the longest unsupported Arctic journey ever. His latest project, IGO Adventures, is a series of 4 day 4 stage challenges that provide ‘adventure ecstasy’ to those who only have a week to spare. With the next challenge currently taking place in the icy wilderness of Norway, we caught up with George beforehand to find out more…
I worked on the beach team for the summer of 2010. My experience was unforgettable (for good reasons…I think). I will never forget being caught red handed by ‘the boss’ after a minor food fight ended abruptly when an industrial sized pot of mustard was emptied on my head. Our punishment was to pick up the pine needles in the restaurant for the next month…luckily I love gardening!!! I will also remember the team work and morale-boosting things we used to do to keep up the spirits.
…ON HIS FIRST ADVENTURE
I was misbehaving in the car when I was small (4 or 5 years old) and my mother threw me out and told me to walk home – I guess that was my first experience of unplanned adventure…I only just made it home!!! It began in earnest when I was on a team that swam across the English Channel back in 2004.
It’s hard to pick one person, but the true pioneers of exploration who left home with very little assurance that they would ever see their family and friends again – these are the guys who I have most respect for and are a constant reminder as to just how fortunate we are.
I feel extremely fortunate to have realised so soon in life that this one isn’t a dress rehearsal. I don’t like the idea of wishing that I had done something or taken that opportunity. It is pretty simple, I love living (not existing.)
I don’t like the idea of wishing that I had done something or taken that opportunity. It is pretty simple, I love living (not existing.)
…ON GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS
In my short time on the planet, I have been fortunate enough to do some pretty remarkable things. At 19 years old I broke the world record for the longest unsupported polar journey in history – we walked 1,374 miles fully unsupported! More recently I have just kayaked across the North Atlantic Ocean from Greenland to Scotland (this is the first time that it has ever been done on a kayak!). Since swimming the channel, I have done more than 15 expeditions around the world in some truly incredible locations.
…ON HAIRY MOMENTS
There have been many many….many challenging moments on expeditions around the world and in some truly incredible locations, whether that is not cleaning myself for 113 days up in the Arctic, or living (and sleeping and cooking and going to the loo) inside a tiny kayak – often each trip has its own unique challenges that you wouldn’t necessarily face anywhere else in the world. Either way, it is all fun and games…eh?
I have had some coaching about this because this is super important. I imagine (emphasis on ‘imagine’) that living in these expeditions with one other person is a bit like an intense marriage. One of my team mates and I lived for over 4 months within 6 inches of each other in a tent – we didn’t argue once! I found that as long as you know that you are both there for the same reason (to complete the expedition) then there should be no need for argument.
…ON FUTURE FEATS
There are plenty of trips in the pipeline right now which is exciting. The main focus is IGO Adventures, but going forward there will be many more expeditions to come!
…ON IGO ADVENTURES
My business partner Bobby Melville founded IGO after having rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. On seeing his friends and family at the end, he had this indescribable sense of achievement, fulfilment, satisfaction and happiness and this is what we try to replicate for participants in IGO’S 1 week long expeditions in some of the worlds most spectacular wildernesses. Bobby and I work very closely together to ensure that we have a good balance of wilderness, challenge, diversity and camaraderie on every expedition that we organise.
Fat biking on N60° challenge. Image courtesy of IGO Adventures.
…ON TAKING PART
Anybody can apply to join us on an expedition. We just need to make sure that you are healthy and have developed a training program for the UK, so if you want to get in shape then you can.
Camping on the N60° challenge. Image courtesy of IGO Adventures.
Fitness and wellbeing are certainly becoming more and more prevalent in peoples lives (the number of avocados that I have seen on social media would be enough make guacamole for an entire army). Either that or it is a result of scientific progression and knowledge that we are far more aware of what we should and shouldn’t do.
If you would like to go on an expedition with George, find out more here.