The First Mile
Ep10: Rhiane Fatinikun on Getting Started in the Outdoors, and the Importance of Diversity.

Ep10: Rhiane Fatinikun on Getting Started in the Outdoors, and the Importance of Diversity.

December 23, 2020

Rhiane Fatinikun on Getting Started in the Outdoors, and the Importance of Diversity.

In the final episode of Season 1, we meet Rhiane Fatinikun, the founder of Black Girls Hike.

Rhiane founded Black Girls Hike in 2019, to provide a safe space for Black women to explore the outdoors. It is now a thriving community, with groups based in the North West, the Midlands and London.

In this episode, Rhiane tells us about how she went from having no hiking experience or equipment (and being unable to read a map) to leading a national hiking movement. She also shares her hints and tips on how to create communities and take that first step towards trying something new.  

This episode, discover:

  • Why Rhiane’s first London meet up didn’t go entirely to plan.
  • How she built and expanded a community.
  • How to take that first step towards trying something new.
  • How to overcome self doubt.
  • The power of social media to connect people in real life.
  • Why it’s important to take up and created spaces for people to feel like they belong.
  • About racism in the UK and the outdoors community.
  • Why we need to share both negative and positive experiences.
  • How she went from being a beginner hiker to leading a group up Snowdon. 
  • Why you should trust that you will come into your own season.
  • How to deal with negativity.
  • Why to plan to have no plan when you travel.

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We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart.

 

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Ep9: Leon McCarron on Slow Travel and Misunderstood Places.

Ep9: Leon McCarron on Slow Travel and Misunderstood Places.

December 16, 2020

Leon McCarron on Slow Travel and Misunderstood Places.

In this episode, Ash meets Leon McCarron: writer, broadcaster, and North Face explorer.

Leon has walked a 1000-mile loop of the Holy Land, crossed China from north to south, and travelled on foot in Kosovo, Armenia and on the Yemeni island of Socotra. He has also cycled 14,000 miles across three continents, walked through the Empty Quarter desert, and ridden across Patagonia on horseback. Leon’s work seeks out stories of humanity and nuance in parts of the world that are often demonised or misunderstood by Western media. 

In this episode, discover:

  • About Leon’s 1,000 mile walk through the Middle East (including why Leon and Pip found themselves walking along a smugglers route in Jordan!).
  • Why Leon’s travels turned from journeys focused on landscapes to those focused on people and what he’s learned as a result.
  • How to tell powerful stories - the power and use of journaling, and why less is more.
  • How Leon created his career path.
  • How Leon enjoys telling stories by travelling on foot.
  • Why reading works by local authors not only aids understanding but also excitement about visiting a country.
  • Leon’s experience witnessing the Arbaʽeen Pilgrimage that takes place in Iraq.
  • How and why Leon has helped establish new walking trails in central China and northern Iraq.
  • Why people’s careers are not always what they appear.
  • Why you might want to avoid googling popular travel destinations.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart.

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Ep8: Dispatch from New Zealand: Maori Hakas, Sacred Rivers, and Jet-boat Evacuations.

Ep8: Dispatch from New Zealand: Maori Hakas, Sacred Rivers, and Jet-boat Evacuations.

December 9, 2020

Dispatch from New Zealand: Maori Hakas, Sacred Rivers, and Jet-boat Evacuations.

In this action-packed Dispatch episode, we join Ash in Aotearoa New Zealand's North Island. Ash tackles rapids, learns about Maori culture (including traditional navigational techniques) - and makes it back to the UK just before lockdown hit.

Ash meets the captain of an ocean-going waka, who left the New Zealand Army to navigate oceans with just the stars, the weather, and the taste of the water. Then he canoes down the Whanganui River in the company of a man who teaches Maori heritage and history through a river journey.

In this episode, discover:

  • How the Maori people navigated to Aotearoa New Zealand from near the equator.
  • The history wrapped up in Maori myth and legend.
  • How the value of nature is communicated through metaphor.
  • The historical importance and modern legacy of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • What the haka means.
  • What European colonisation meant for indigenous peoples.
  • Why the Whanganui River has the same legal status as a person.
  • The geological representation of Maori familial connections.

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

Ep7: Pip Stewart on Creating a Lifestyle Career, and Making Social Media Work for You.

Ep7: Pip Stewart on Creating a Lifestyle Career, and Making Social Media Work for You.

December 2, 2020

Pip Stewart on Creating a Lifestyle Career, and Making Social Media Work for You.

Ever wondered how to become a so-called “influencer”? The secret is storytelling.

In this episode, Ash interviews his friend and co-host, Pip Stewart.

Pip has cycled halfway around the world, embarked on a world-first kayak journey through the Amazon and survived a flesh-eating parasite. She talks about how she accidentally fell into a career in travel journalism, how one massive adventure changed her life, and why she sees social media as the route to editorial independence.

In this episode, discover:

  • Why you need to embrace being shit.
  • If it’s important to get a journalism degree. 
  • Why hustle is key.
  • Why social media is so powerful (and how to avoid its dark side).
  • How Pip got a job as Red Bull’s Adventure Editor.
  • How to get noticed in a crowded media world.
  • How to create a lifestyle career that works for you.
  • Why you should take online relationships offline.
  • How to deal with your ego.
  • How to become an influencer.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart.

*Please consider leaving a review if you enjoyed this episode. Thank you! 

Ep6: Ash Bhardwaj on Adventure With Purpose and Becoming a Travel Journalist.

Ep6: Ash Bhardwaj on Adventure With Purpose and Becoming a Travel Journalist.

November 25, 2020

Ash Bhardwaj on Adventure With Purpose and Becoming a Travel Journalist.

How can you travel the world and get paid for it? Ash Bhardwaj is a travel writer and storyteller - and also co-host of The First Mile. He’s reported from around the world for global broadcasters such as the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4, has a monthly travel column in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and has made films for Channel 4, Discovery and the BBC.

In this special episode, Pip interviews her co-host about launching and sustaining career in adventure travel. If you want to travel with purpose, or make a living out of travel, this is the episode for you.

In this episode, discover:

  • How Ash got into travel journalism.
  • Why Ash was a terrible cowboy.
  • How a trip to India to take his Dad’s ashes back shaped his curiosity for travel journalism and travel with purpose.
  • Ash’s steps to achieving in any industry - skills, network and portfolio.
  • How to network.
  • Why you should say yes to opportunities.
  • Why you should just keep turning up.
  • Why travelling with purpose enhances your travel experiences.
  • The importance of managing your mental health.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @PipStewart.

 

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Ep5: Reza Pakravan on Funding Your Journeys, and Switching From a Corporate Career to a Life of Adventure.

Ep5: Reza Pakravan on Funding Your Journeys, and Switching From a Corporate Career to a Life of Adventure.

November 18, 2020

Reza Pakravan on Funding Your Journeys, and Switching From a Corporate Career to a Life of Adventure.

Have you ever wondered how to completely change your life? Reza Pakravan did just that, packing in his corporate life in London for a life of adventure.

Reza has cycled the length of the planet, made (and presented) TV shows highlighting important global issues for some of the world’s top broadcasters, written a few books, and bagged world records along the way. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

In this episode, Reza not only shares his incredible travel stories, but also why he started a brand new career at the age of 37, how he found the confidence to redefine himself - and how you can do the same.

Reza is just about to release his brand new Amazon Prime series World's Most Dangerous Borders, and in this episode, he reveals how he planned, prepared, produced, and funded the series.

In this episode, discover:

  • How Reza Pakravan transitioned from the corporate world to the adventure world.
  • How to build confidence in adventure and travel by starting small.
  • Why you’re never too old to reshape your career.
  • How to learn a brand new skill at the age of 37.
  • What it REALLY takes to cycle the world and get a TV show commissioned.
  • The steps to producing a TV show.
  • Why climate change is the most pressing issue facing our planet. Reza shares his experiences from the Amazon and the Sahel, where temperatures are rising fast.
  • Why Reza spent four days in prison in Darfur.
  • How to get brands to sponsor your trips.
  • How to make a relationship work while on the road - and how being a new parent changes your tolerance to risk and adventure.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @ashbhardwaj and @pipstewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @Stewart_Pip.

 

*Please consider leaving a review if you enjoyed this episode. Thank you! 

Ep4: Second Dispatch from Nepal: The Gurkhas and the British Army

Ep4: Second Dispatch from Nepal: The Gurkhas and the British Army

November 11, 2020

Dispatch from Nepal: The Gurkhas and the British Army

The relationship between the British Army and Nepal’s Gurkhas has been a long standing one, and in our second immersive Dispatch episode, Ash Bhardwaj travels to Nepal to join a photographic journey led by two ex-Gurkha officers.

From digging into the intensity of the Gurkha selection process, to understanding the history and bond between Britain and Nepal, this episode discusses how travel can intersect with history and teach us more about our own society, as well as the country we’re visiting.

This episode that will capture your imagination and transport you to the highest mountains of the world, alongside two people who've made it their life's work to understand the country and its people.

In this episode, discover:

  • The history of the Gurkhas.
  • How Nepalis become Gurkha soldiers.
  • The pull for becoming a Gurkha - and the social implications becoming one.
  • The Gurkha welfare pensioners.
  • What it’s like being a British Officer in the Gurkhas.
  • The ethics of cultural tourism, and choosing companies to travel with.

Links mentioned in this episode:

 

JOIN US ON SOCIAL:

We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @ashbhardwaj and @pipstewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @Stewart_Pip.

 

*Please consider leaving a review if you enjoyed this episode. Thank you! 

Ep3: First Dispatch from Nepal: Trekking, Sustainable Travel, and the Ethics of Photography.

Ep3: First Dispatch from Nepal: Trekking, Sustainable Travel, and the Ethics of Photography.

November 4, 2020

Dispatch from Nepal: Trekking, Sustainable Travel, and the Ethics of Photography.

An episode that's perfect for armchair travellers, as we join Ash Bhardwaj on a photographic trip to Nepal for our first narrative travel dispatch episode.

Join Ash as he treks high into the Annapurna mountain range, encounters tea houses, and shares some of the amazing stories and people he came across. This episode delves into the ethics of tourism and how we can all travel a little better.

In this episode, discover:

  • Just what makes the Annapurna region of Nepal so special.
  • The diversity of Nepal’s landscape and the flora and fauna.
  • Teahouse culture.
  • Deforestation and eco tourism.
  • The drivers of tourism to Nepal.
  • Traditional dancing and music.
  • The ethics and pitfalls of travel photography.

Links mentioned in this episode:

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We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @ashbhardwaj and @pipstewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @Stewart_Pip.

 

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Ep2: Explorer Levison Wood on Planning Expeditions and Making a Career in Travel.

Ep2: Explorer Levison Wood on Planning Expeditions and Making a Career in Travel.

November 4, 2020

Levison Wood on Planning Expeditions and Making a Career in Travel.

Levison Wood is an explorer, author and photographer, yet his journey to success has not been straightforward. In this interview episode, he shares what he’s learnt along the way - tips you can hopefully use on your own life path.

In this conversation, find out how Lev went from sleeping on park benches to becoming a bestselling travel writer, why breaking his leg before Special Forces selection changed his life - for the better - and what Walking the Nile was really like.

In this episode, discover:

  • Lev’s philosophy on travel, and how he got started in adventure-travel.
  • Why hard graft is important, how to get published and why up-skilling is so important.
  • How to set up an adventure-travel company - and why making mistakes is important.
  • How to fund expeditions, and why Lev would often sleep on a bench in Clapham Common.
  • Why failure may shape your life - for the better.
  • Why goal setting, planning and studying your role models is so powerful.
  • How to land a TV gig.
  • How to overcome self-doubt and failure.
  • How to balance commercial success and your own values.
  • The realities of walking across Africa.
  • How to start your first book.

Links mentioned in this episode:

JOIN US ON SOCIAL:

We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @ashbhardwaj and @pipstewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @Stewart_Pip.

 

*Please consider leaving a review if you enjoyed this episode. Thank you! 

Ep1: Travel-author Monisha Rajesh on Getting Published, Travelling with Kids & Why Diversity Matters.

Ep1: Travel-author Monisha Rajesh on Getting Published, Travelling with Kids & Why Diversity Matters.

November 4, 2020

Monisha Rajesh on Getting Published, Travelling with Kids, and Why Diversity Matters.

Is being a travel writer all it’s cracked up to be? In this interview episode, award-winning author Monisha Rajesh shares tales of her train journeys across the world and the details of how she made (and funds) her career. She also highlights some of the pitfalls along the way.

This episode is packed with tips on everything from "travelling with kids", to "how to break into journalism". Monisha also explains just why we need more diverse voices in travel writing.

In this episode, discover:

  • How Monisha became a travel journalist and wrote a book, despite having never considered it as a career.
  • How to make ends meet with writing and how Monisha travelled for 4 months on less than £1,500.
  • Why you should strategise in order to succeed.
  • The future of travel writing in the age of social media.
  • Why we need greater diversity in travel writing and how we create change.
  • How to travel with kids.

Links/people mentioned in this episode:

JOIN US ON SOCIAL:

We’d love to hear what you think of this week’s The First Mile and if you’ve got any suggestions of topics or people you’d like to hear interviewed. Drop us a line on Instagram @ashbhardwaj and @pipstewart or Twitter @AshBhardwaj and @Stewart_Pip.

 

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