Outside interest: adventure travelling

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 10 Feb 2016

Andrew Ford-MarsdenPegasus planner and urban designer Andrew Ford-Marsden spends much of his spare time trekking in far off places or taking part in gruelling rallies.

How did you get into adventure travelling?

My taste for adventure travel started at school when I undertook charity treks. I soon progressed to travel in places as far flung as the Himalayas. A highlight a few years ago was taking part in the Mongol Rally which takes you 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer (pictured). More recently I trekked in the French Alps.

What does it involve?

You need an active lifestyle to endure adventure travelling and I go the gym twice a week. But it's more mind over matter and I would say I'm only of average fitness: it's amazing how far you can push yourself if you have the right mindset.

Why do you do it?

Some people say I'm mad, but I started adventure travelling to do something completely different and soon got hooked on the physical and mental extremes and the wonderful places you visit.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

You can sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed, if not defeated: when I did the Mongol Rally I got stranded in Kazakhstan for four days when my car packed up.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

Raising money for charities in such a bizarre way is rewarding. And unlike bungee jumping or sky diving, which is all about the immediate, short-term rush, adventure travelling is about enduring experiences, getting out and seeing weird and wonderful locations. 

Are there any similarities between your day job and adventure travelling?

It may sound tedious but you need to be very methodical and make sure everything goes to plan in both disciplines. In my day job I have to plan ahead, coordinate with other people and make sure I have all the right information. It's just like that with adventure travelling.

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com