COMPETITION – Commit to your own Adventure1000 and win a free DVD

Note from Rob – Below is a guest post from Al Humphreys.

We love the idea of a joint savings account for a big adventure. In fact – whisper it – Rob’s double decker bus project may have inspired Adventure1000.

We’ve joined forces on a competition that involves making a public commitment to adventure. Read on…

Introducing the competition

OK, here’s the deal.

  1. Read Al’s message below about what Adventure1000 is all about.
  2. If you’re up for it, commit to your own plan in a comment at the bottom.
  3. Al will judge the best 10 entries – deadline is 2 pm (GMT) Friday 17th January 2014.
  4. The winners will receive a copy of Al’s new DVD “Into the Empty Quarter”.
  5. Al will also email all entrants in a year’s time to check in on their adventure.

Over to Al…

Introducing Adventure1000

Two things are responsible for quashing most dreams of adventure: time and money.

If you are short of time you must do one of the following:

If you are short of money you must do one of the following:

  • Earn more (without costing you more time)
  • Spend less
  • Get saving

But saving up enough money to -say- climb Mont Blanc or cycle to Timbuktu, is easier said than done. That’s where a genius little tip from a friend comes in. It is a brilliant motivating tool whether you dream of a solo journey or heading off with a friend

Here, then, is a way to save up enough money to have a genuinely good adventure. It is simple, effective, quite painless and also gives you enough time

Step-by-step it…

1. Start a new bank account.

This is the only hassle of the whole plan. And it’s not much of a hassle at all. I set up a new account with Smile in under 15 minutes.

2. Set up a Standing Order from your main bank account to the new account.

Each week transfer £20 to the new account. (If you can’t afford £20 a week even after cutting out your daily cup of coffee and a couple of beers here and there then choose a figure you can afford. Just don’t use this as an excuse to do nothing at all.) The important thing is to choose an amount that you can spare without much stress or worry.

3. Persuade a friend to do the same.

The hardest part is over. This is such a painless way to raise £1000 of money for your adventure in just one year. Now it is time for the second phase of the scheme:

4. Tell everyone that in one year’s time you are going to cycle to Sweden or run to Romania or hitch-hike to Hanoi.

5. You now have one year to sort out every aspect of the adventure (commitment, equipment, fitness, time off work).

I have set up this process myself now. I have no idea what I will be doing one year from now, but I like the fact that I have taken the first step towards making sure that boring old money will not prevent me doing a great trip next year.

Why don’t you do this yourself?

Today. You might not know yet what adventure you would like to do with your £1000.

But if you do know why don’t you make it public right now? Commit to the plan in the comments section, and I’ll personally email you in a year to check up on your master plan.

I’ll also judge the 10 most exciting, original, interesting £1000 adventures posted below by 2 pm GMT on Friday 17th January (2014) and the team at Escape the City will send you a copy of my new film – “Into the Empty Quarter”

Over to you!


Al – http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 16.04.15

  • Christopher Smith

    In 1936 my grandfather rode his bicycle from London to Spain in order to participate in the Spanish civil war. He was eventually wounded at the battle of Ebro and he cycled back home from Barcelona. His bicycle then remained in the coal shed until he died in 2002.
    After his death his bicycle was destined from the scrap man until I found out and drove to London and took it home, literally at the last minute.
    Between 2008 and 2011, with little mechanical knowledge, I restored my Grandfathers beautiful bicycle,that had been bought for him as a 21st birthday present by his mother and father, and I even managed to trace the shop where it was bought, which was Edwardes in Camberwell, South East London.
    In August 2014 my intentions are to undertake the same journey setting off from Lambeth Walk in London with a final destination of Barcelona, but I also intend to visit the battlefields of Ebro, to find out more about the Spanish civil war, and I am also hoping to lean Spanish along the way, for no other reason than, why not?
    I couldn’t get the amount of time needed to undertake the ride off from work so I gave notice on my job, after all life is too short, and I am already older than my Grandfather was when he undertook the journey.
    But at least I won’t be on my own though as I’ll have my Grandfather with me and I am sure that we will be having plenty of conversations along the way

    • http://www.escapethecity.org Escape the City

      Love it!

      • Litter Picker Man!

        What a great story. What a great adventure. Have a good one.

    • http://www.coffeestainedjournal.com/ Oliver

      Amazingly wonderful story indeed!! “Buen camino” Chris… :)

    • Escape the City

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for your entry. Love this! V pleased to let you know that you’ve won a copy of Al’s DVD. Please email rob@escapethecity.org with your address and we’ll get it in the post to you. Happy adventuring!!

      All the best,


    • Alastair Humphreys

      That is a great story! Have you read “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” by Laurie Lee? {You should!}

  • brownsdon

    Alright – I’ve set up the saving account (£100 per month), and I have no idea what I’ll do with it yet. All I know is that I am an adventurer.

    In three weeks, I’m going to Burma. I’m connecting with social entrepreneurs and responsible tour operators so that I can promote their work through my blog http://www.inspiringadventures.co.uk

    But actually, as far as logistics go for next month’s adventure, I have no idea where I’m sleeping, or what I’m doing day by day. That’s the easy bit, I can make that up on the go.

    My point is that I commit to an adventure somewhere within 12 months, with these savings, and I look forward to telling you what it is.

    • Escape the City

      Hi Ricardo,

      Thanks for your entry. Love this! V pleased to let you know that you’ve won a copy of Al’s DVD. Please email rob@escapethecity.org with your address and we’ll get it in the post to you. Happy adventuring!!

      All the best,


      • brownsdon

        Fantastic! Just in time for my Birthday, and my next adventure!

    • Alastair Humphreys

      Good luck!

      • brownsdon

        So it’s been a year since I won one of your DVDs, and starting the savings. Now my adventure fund is ready and I leave in February!

        It’s not exactly a proper adventure, but I am joining Ben Keene with his Tribe Wanted in Bali for 6 weeks this February. http://tribewantedbali.strikingly.com/

        It is an adventure in business as well as travel. I know it won’t be physically challenging like a lot of other adventures here, but I’m sure it will be rewarding in other ways.

        Thanks for the inspiration, and here’s to the next adventure!

  • Laura

    Not quite as exciting, but I want to start my master’s degree in the autumn. Hoping to save about £500 a month (around half my take home pay with no over time )

  • Danamic

    In August/September 13, I cycled solo from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Lahore, Pakistan via the Pamir and Karakoram Highways. As I put the final final touches onto a book that Im hoping will inspire any future children, I often reflect on my time in what is now my favourite country, Pakistan.

    Muslim hospitality to travelers is something that puts The West to shame. Never once did I have to unpack my tent in the 3 weeks I was there. Mobbed as I was with invitations of tea and floor space to sleep on.

    I plan to do the bits I missed in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Kashmir, Deosai Plains, Skardu and Chitral. Back to the land of 4,000m+ plateaus, 7,000m mountains on the roadside and curry that tastes fabulous to a calorie craving cyclist. To meet people and talk about their country and how the world views them. To see one of the highest mountain faces in the world, the Rupal face of Nanga Parbat.

    All this awaits for me this August and can be done on an amazingly tight budget as Pakistan has the lowest living costs in the world.

    Examples of costs

    Visa for Pakistan: £140
    Return flight from Manchester to Islamabad: £408
    Overweight baggage cost for bicycle: £90
    21 hour bus from Islamabad to Gilgit: £15

    Fixing a buckled wheel after you hit a pedestrian: $1

    Hotel room for the night: $2-$5 (flies optional)
    Average vegetarian curry: $2
    Average meat curry: $5
    2L Soft drink: $1
    Tea: Free with a smile

  • Claudette

    I put £1 a day in a tin which is purely for adventure or holidays, and try to walk to work as much as possible to save the hefty zone 4 tube fares which apart from making you fit means a saving of £7.60 a day for fun which means £1000 is not that hard to save:) So my mission for this year is to travel to as many countries for as cheap as possible. First stop Germany next week flying for £28 return, couchsurfing/camping all the way to meet new people, the plan is to do as many cities and sites for £0 bartering all the way. Then its madly trying to learn as much Russian as I can for a 2 month adventure visiting as much as Russia as possible then China. The plan is to only work for travel :)

    • Escape the City

      Hi Claudette,

      Thanks for your entry. V pleased to let you know that you’ve won a copy of Al’s DVD. Please email rob@escapethecity.org with your address and we’ll get it in the post to you. Happy adventuring!!

      All the best,

  • Lynn

    I dont know what adventure I want to take, I prefer the unexpected and will wait and see what Adventure life throws at me :)

  • Twisting Spokes

    The last two years we have followed our own goal on leaving on the bicycle and live our dream. We have quit our jobs and cancelled all contracts just the last insurance contracts and in 16days we leave on our bicycles going east 25000km 18months, Destination is Kathmandu and very open to all inputs along the way. see more of our journey on http://www.twistingspokes.com. All the Best Susanne and Martin :)

  • Fernando Hidalgo Marchione

    In 1817 an Argentinian army leaded by San Martin (a not so known sudamerican hero at the level of Bolivar) crossed “Los Andes” mountain system from Mendoza, Argentina to Santiago, Chile. This was one of the mayor steps in the fight to free Sudamerica from the Spanish colonisers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_of_the_Andes

    I would like to do the same!
    (The crossing part, I don’t want to free anyone :)

    There is some interesting facts about it. One of them is that the original plan was created in Britain and San Martin heard of it while he was living in London. The army took three weeks to perform the cross but I guess that a small team can cross it a bit faster. San Martin used three crossing paths as a strategy, some of these are really high, near the famous Aconcagua, so I guess there are options to make the adventure very hard or just hard.

    I am an Argentinian living in UK. I suggested to some friends in Argentina and I got positive feedback. Most of them think I’m crazy but the few of them that would love to do it do not have the time neither the money.

    I am freelancer therefore I have the time and the money. I just need partners start saving money with the Adventure1000!

    • Escape the City

      Hi Fernando,

      Thanks for your entry. Love this! V pleased to let you know that you’ve won a copy of Al’s DVD. Please email rob@escapethecity.org with your address and we’ll get it in the post to you. Happy adventuring!!

      All the best,


      • Fernando Hidalgo Marchione

        Mission accomplished!

        6 days walking in amazing landscapes, 60km through the mountains, 4300mts altitude, 16 new friends.

        Not sure about the £1000. I spent around £500 in the expedition itself, £100 doing some
        training the weeks before in other hills/mountains and around £200 in accommodation and equipment. It is tricky because I have the flight to Argentina already paid to go to my sister wedding so I saved the flights and I only had bus tickets.

        I think the main benefit of Adventure1000 for me was the fact of publicly compromising nearly a year in advance to go in an adventure.

        It was a great experience! Even one night I slept under the stars at 3000mts of altitude. Landscapes were amazing. I felt trying to cross a fast river but I stood up fast enough to cross it in one piece. I rode a horse for a bit but I lost control of it in a steep hill so I had to fight my way back with it to the camp, not an easy task!

        Anyway, the whole trip was good fun!

        Here you have some pictures:

    • Alastair Humphreys

      You should do this. It’s a beautiful part of the world.

      • Fernando Hidalgo Marchione

        Thanks for your comment Al!

        I know los Andes a bit but not that specific area. I’ve been north in Salta and south in Bariloche. Beautiful places!

        Have you been around there?