Monday 11 March 2013

Adventure Ahoy! Julie & Colin Angus and the OAT show are coming!


credit: Sean Williams
The motto of the Girl, Crafted blog is Make Stuff –Do Stuff – Eat Stuff – Love Stuff, and so naturally, the upcoming Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show is going to be a great place to scope out things to do. The 2013 OAT show is happening on March 16 & 17, spanning the large space available at the Ernst & Young Centre (formerly called the CE Centre at 4899 Uplands Drive).

The organizers of the OAT show say there’s a steady increase in the number of people looking for adventuresome activities and travel. Lying on a beach endlessly may appeal to the couch potato who wants to become a baked potato, but the rest of us—at least 63% of us, they say—are looking to do something more exciting with our leisure time.

Whether you’re into hardcore adventure time like skydiving and dogsledding, or you’re interested in something a little more tame, like canoeing or cycling, the show will have information on it all.

And, not only are there going to be tons of cool exhibitors showing off what they offer for adventurous souls, there will also be some top-drawer speakers, like Julie and Colin Angus. Julie and Colin are a Canadian adventurer couple, bestselling authors, and the first couple to circumnavigate the globe on human-powered transportation alone. I asked them a few questions ahead of the OAT show, where you can see them share their story live.


credit: Martina Cross
Who are you and what's your story?
We’re just regular Canadians that have been lucky enough to develop a lifestyle where we explore the world and embark on adventures for a living. Basically, we come up with different adventure concepts such as circling the world entirely by human power or researching the origins of the most influential fruit, the olive, and then create books, videos and presentations so we can share our adventures with the world.

What adventure are you currently working on or wrapping up?

We’re currently wrapping up an expedition we conducted in partnership with National Geographic researching the origins of the olive tree. We spent five months voyaging the Mediteranean looking into all aspects of the olive – it’s huge influence on the development of the western world, health benefits and history. We also were partnered with the Plant Genetics Institute of Perugia, Italy gathering genetics from ancient olive trees around the Mediterranean looking to shine some light on the mystery of whether early Phoenicians were responsible for spreading the cultivated tree from its origins of what is now Syria. This summer Colin will be attempting to break the human powered speed record from Whitehorse to Dawson City.

Were you both adventurers from the start, or did one of you bring the other one into the lifestyle?

credit: Martina Cross
Colin started out as a nerdy kid with a dream to go adventuring at a young age. His first adventure began shortly after graduating from high-school, buying a beat up old sailboat and spending five years offshore sailing. Julie became an adventurer much later, after spending many years in university and working in the corporate world. She was inspired to do something out of her comfort zone after reading about an English guy who planned on rowing across the Atlantic.

Julie: on GIRL, CRAFTED we talk a lot about crafting oneself; have your adventures made you who you are? How has that journey gone?

Undoubtedly, adventure has partially crafted who I am, but it’s hard to say exactly how much. My early life experiences –upbringing, peer groups, etc – helped form the determination and confidence required to embark on the adventures in the first place. Experiences such as spending five months rowing across an ocean definitely reinforced these attributes, and changes your perspective on yourself and the world in general.

What advice would you two give to someone who has a dream outside the norm?

Believe in yourself, and don’t let criticism erode your confidence. Always, when you do something outside the norm there will be people questioning your ability to pull it off. Only you know what you are capable of.

What's each of your favourite moments so far on your travels?

credit: Martina Cross
Julie: It was our interaction with a turtle so friendly, that ironically the situation became dangerous. After stroking his flippers and taking pictures of him, we realized that our boat was in danger as waves slammed the hull down on its giant shell. It got to the point where Colin and I had to row as hard as we could to escape the turtle. He gave chase, but we were able to outrun the turtle.

Colin: For me it was the opportunity to experience a hurricane intimately from a small rowboat. Of course it didn’t seem like such a great experience at the time, but I do enjoy revisiting that moment through hind-sight goggles.

Colin: on any of your adventures (I'm thinking of the Atlantic in particular), did you ever consider giving up? How did you keep going?

Absolutely, the great thing about the Atlantic was we didn’t really have the opportunity to give up without instigating an international deep sea rescue effort. That’s always a great motivator to keep going. I find the most important thing to do when I feel like giving up is to really focus on little baby steps forward. Just think about what you have to do for the next hour without overwhelming yourself about what’s ahead.

Anything else to say to an audience of Do-It-Yourself'ers?
When you have a good idea, go ahead with it. It’s too easy to let those great ideas sit in a closet forever.

credit: Julie Angus
We’ll chat more with Colin and Julie at the Adventure &Travel show next weekend, and I hope to see you readers there!

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