The First Mile
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

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, find out:

  • 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.

 

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

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

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, find out:

  • 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:

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! 

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

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.

This episode find out:

  • 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

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, find out about:

  • 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:

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! 

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 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, find out:

  • 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

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, find out:

  • 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.

 

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

The First Mile Trailer

The First Mile Trailer

October 1, 2020

This is an introductory episode to The First Mile: a travel podcast from Ash Bhardwaj and Pip Stewart.

Every episode is either a travel narrative dispatch from one of our adventures, or an interview with a great traveller.

In season 1, we interview author Monisha Rajesh about how she won her first book commission, and speak to explorer Levison Wood about how he plans expeditions. We also interview film-maker Reza Pakravan, and author Leon McCarron. Pip and Ash also interview each other.

Our dispatches are from Nepal and New Zealand, exploring how indigenous cultures can thrive in a modern world, and looking at the ethics of eco-tourism and photography.

We hope you enjoy The First Mile. Please let us know what you think of it in the comments, and give us a rating, too.

Now, let's go on an adventure!

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