Recently, I attended an inspirational talk by Grant Rawlinson (aka Axe) who originated from New Zealand and is currently based in Singapore. He is a professional speaker, adventurer and explorer. He used to be a professional 7 – side rugby player during his younger days (did that for around 25 years) but it ended after an injury. Despite that, he found new challenges — extreme adventures and he has already completed 50 expeditions across 5 continents, including reaching the summit of Mount Everest in 2012. I was really awed by how captivated he is by the concept of human powered exploration. and most definitely, these would not have been made possible without the full support of his wife, Stephanie, and their twin daughters, Kate and Rachel.
In the beginning of the year, he set sail for one of his biggest expedition yet call “Rowing from Home to Home“, in which he planned to travel 12,000 km from Singapore (his current base) to New Zealand (his birthplace) using only human powered effort. This means there are no engines and no sails for this entire expedition, and is only powered using sheer human strength. The whole expedition consists of 3 legs, which are as listed below:
Leg One – a 4,500km (78 days) row together with Charlie Smith from Singapore down through the Indonesian Archipalego to Darwin, Australia (COMPLETED)
You can check out how he prepared for this trip in Singapore via this link. In the videos, you can also see how they managed to conquer each obstacle along the voyage from Singapore to Darwin. Some of the experiences were pleasant but there were equal life threatening parts which could end their expedition prematurely anytime. Through many trials and ordeals, they managed to complete the 1st leg of their expedition.
A screenshot of the ocean rowing boat that he used in this expedition.
Leg Two– A 3,900km (45 days) solo cycle from Darwin across Australia to the East Coast (COMPLETED)
Leg Three – A 3,000km solo row across the Tasman Sea from East coast Australia to Taranaki, New Zealand
He is setting off for his toughest last leg this week at Coffs Harbor on the east coast of Australia. He will be rowing across the Tasman sea and attempts to reach Taranaki in New Zealand. Tasman sea has a reputation for being one of the roughest stretches of waters in the world, but at certain times of the year, a Tasman Sea crossing can be pleasant and fairly placid. The exact date of departure is subject to the optimum sea condition before he attempts this last leg alone.
His passion in what he does is definitely one of the strongest factor to round up a group of sponsors and the formation of a formidable team with diverse expertise for the purpose of this expedition, which is surely impossible for just one individual. What really captivated me about Axe is not just his courage and tenacity to attempt this crazy epic expedition, it is more about how passionate and dedicated he is towards this whole expedition. He wrote a thick proposal of about 200 – 300 pages which encompasses several important aspects of this expedition and all the preparation work which took him almost 2 years to research and before he could finally kick off this expedition from Singapore earlier this year. That includes fund raising, risk management, technical backup, meteorologist update on a daily basis, contingency plans, communications with several government authorities, fitness and dietitian routines and many more. Ultimately, he has the support from his wife, family and friends who are all very proud of him. Nonetheless, this is still a life threatening attempt and all he could do right now is to be mentally prepared for the worst. Lets wish him luck on this 3rd leg attempt and you may follow his progress via this link
Passion is what drives this man towards his dream of extreme adventure even though he might need to take a lot of risk. But he is really living his dream life and love every second of it. So when it comes down to a personal level, many people including myself will start to ask “What is my passion in life”. Many people will stop to think for awhile but most would not be able to give a clear or concise answer.
For myself, I want to reach financial independence early so that I could have all the time in the world to attempt all the things I’m passionate about as listed in my financial independence post. This might involve taking some risk but “The biggest risk a person can take is to do nothing” quoted by Robert Kiyosaki. Your passion might change from time to time but its very important to have at least one thing that you are very passionate about during your lifetime.
Life is short, “Don’t aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference” has always been something that reverberates in my mind. So what about you?
What are you passionate about in life?