How would you like to row, row, row your boat across the Atlantic Ocean for 5 months? This week’s podcast is with Colin and Julie Angus. They are the first in my "green collar career" series. I will be sharing with you professionals who have found the fair trade between work, provision and the planet. In 2006, Canadian’s Colin & Julie Angus won the Adventurer of the Year award from the National Geographic Society for completing the first human powered circumnavigation of the planet. Julie is the first woman to row 10,000 km unsupported across the Atlantic from mainland to mainland. Colin also has completed the first descent of the world’s sixth longest river, the Yenisey. They are "Green Adventurers". No taking a private jet and buying carbon credits for this couple! Colin says, "I didn’t get into this as a career. It started as a passion and I kept finding more adventures". Now over 10 years later, they make a living traveling the world and writing and speaking about their experiences.
Colin and Julie bumped into each other at a bus stop. They were both going to the same 10k race. This unusual meeting has led to their lifetime partnership both as adventurers and in marriage. Colin started his adventures after graduation. He bought a sail boat with a friend and sailed across the Pacific Ocean. He went on to do a number of other trips including sailing the entire Amazon River. "I have a burning desire to challenge myself and see so many different landscapes". Julie went to school and graduated with her Masters in molecular biology. She had a deep interest in science. "Having a career in science and a career in exploration is parallel – they both require curiosity."
Their decision to circumnavigate the world took many months of planning. This trip was driven by their desire to promote a more sustainable lifestyle. When they started planning this journey, it was long before the green movement had really become popularized. They traveled 43,000 km with no planes, no trains and no automobiles. They literally started moving west by boat, bicycle, foot, ski and canoe and landed back 720 days later in Vancouver. Amongst many parts of the journey, they rowed their 25 foot rowboat for 5 months through hurricanes, tropical storms and were within 5 feet of getting run over by a large freighter. Can you imagine spending 5 months on a 25 foot rowboat with your closest friend? And yes, they still got married after all of this! Julie spoke of the impact of spending months on the ocean. "The Ocean left the biggest impact with me. I observed that this is a beautiful, magical world around me, attracting a whole array of ecosystem. One of the thoughts that constantly impacted her was how interconnected we are. "It was quite an eye opening experience".
1. Be curious & courageous. "I think sometimes people stumble upon the things that drive them in their lives and what they are passionate about by following the trends".
2. Plan thoroughly. "Have a great plan and use many different modes that can adapt and deal with changing circumstances".
3. Think Big, Think Small. "You can do so much by breaking any task down into small tasks".
What I love about their story is that you can do anything, and I do mean anything, with a big goal, great planning, proper tools, a support system and the right mindset. "I think it is important to be able to accept calculated risk. Sometimes we get used to the comfortable but need to shake things up a bit and realize that there might be something that is better and take the risk and steps to make that a reality!" They are now planning their next "rowed trip" which will take them from Scotland to Syria to explore both of their respective cultures!
Is your career boring? Tired of the GO Train lifestyle? Looking to add adventure to your life and career? Book an initial consultation. As Colin said, "It all boils down to doing something that you enjoy. Be where you want to be".
Along the road with you!