OUR STORY

Our story is of serendipity, the stars aligning and the core belief that we will always go further together rather than alone – echoing the famous African proverb. Below we each share why we are drawn to this, how we met and how AdventureX was born.

WHY - MATT


This has been a dream of mine now for many years, one which takes all of our combined past experiences and forges them together to create something very special and unique. I think the world is at a very interesting inflection point and currently undergoing the fourth industrial revolution which will bring exponential change at rate we have not seen before. We are all working more and more and feel like we’re always “on” 24/7 and due to social media etc, if we’re really honest with ourselves, have never felt more disconnected. What won’t change though are the fundamental basic human needs, beyond basic survival, of; certainty, variety, significance, the desire to be seen and heard, connection, growth, contribution, and freedom.

Adventurous experiences continue to have a huge impact on my life. The learning, impact, and perspective these experiences bring in such a short timescale, whilst still having fun, is unrivalled by anything else I’ve come across.  I was going to update this article about “How Adventure Has Had An Impact on My Life” but I think it’s good that you see this has been part of my life for almost two decades now and a lot of what I wrote back then is still very much valid today. AdventureX has built on the foundation of the Adventure Academy which I started back 2014.

I also strongly believe that you are who you surround yourself with and it’s never a good idea to be the brightest in the room and therefore it’s important to be very deliberate about this. Now imagine you can combine the two (unparalleled experiences with brilliant people) and have an impact on all who are present and beyond with the ripple effect. Many have tried to do this to a world-class level but have failed to reach that bar. We believe we have the solution and are able to deliver on what we say we will, with a track record to prove it. 

Looking at what is going on in the world with mental health, loneliness, burnout, people striving for tribe and community, purpose, clarity, balance, deciding what to do next after a point of transition and also trying to better themselves, seek truth, experience more, have fun and collaborate to push humanity forward – we believe AdventureX serves all of the above and why I dedicate most of my time towards making this a success and ensuring it fulfills its potential.

We thought it would be good to share a video that strikes a chord with each of us and hopefully shows you where we come from and a little more of an insight as to who we are. The only thing the video below misses is exploration of ourselves, which is arguably the most important. 

 

WHY - CHRIS


When I was 33, I went on a genuine adventure after hitting rock bottom. Two friends and I drove an ambulance 10,000 miles to Mongolia. That became the inflection point that eventually led to a better and more fulfilling life. Neither the adventure nor the path afterward were easy. They were, however, worth it.
That adventure gave me perspective. Helping me remember my strength and resilience. Helping me trust a path when I can’t see through the darkness. Helping me see myself. I do this to give others that same opportunity. The opportunity of an inflection point. The opportunity to experience their own strength and resilience. The opportunity to trust themselves. The opportunity to see themselves. That is why I do it.

I can also share this, Matt is most alive when he’s creating these types of experiences. It’s like being near the happiest kid in the sandbox, who is creating this incredible world and invites you in, to enjoy it. It’s the truest expression of him that I’ve seen. He is the person I trust most in this world to create a challenging, yet caring space for us to grow within. 

 

OUR STORY


In Matt’s words:


I was contacted by a company called The Adventurists
in 2014 and asked if I’d like to be a pioneer and trial a new idea for them. This one idea, in particular, caught my attention as it was out in an area of Siberia where I’d not been to before, in Winter, on and around the deepest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Baikal. I was captivated. From my research, it looked like a whole new planet out there and I was keen to go and explore and test myself in that environment. Up until then, I’d always gained so much from all my adventures and so I was keen to do more. The idea was to circumnavigate the lake (which would be mostly frozen) on a wholly unsuitable world war II era motorbike and sidecar and then come back to tell the story and see if it was going to be possible to commercialise for them. Long story short, I was committed but I thought it may be a good idea to see if I could have a chat to others across the globe who may have done similar things and this is where I came across Chris. He had done something similar in the Arctic Circle and was very open to helping out in any way he could.

By Spring 2015, the adventure was over, it was as epic, as expected. I had a chat with Red Bull about it here you’d like to learn more. That same year I was planning to go to my first event in the States. This was the first year I launched the Adventure Academy and I was keen to meet other like-minded people and who did I see on the list of attendees? Mr Chris Plough again! I found this to be really interesting and thought, there’s obviously more to this guy that meets the eye. The fact he’s going to this very same thing, at the same time, is telling me to dig deeper and go and have some beers with him.

From then on we had some long conversations on Skype for a few years about all sorts of things. We got to know each other, spoke about all areas of life, the future, what we were both up to and hoped to achieve and helped each other out where we could. It was after one particular conversation, I asked Chris about what he really wanted to do with his life, what was his dream. (I am big onto what people’s dreams are as I know it fires them up) He mentioned he was all about connecting with people, helping them with their challenges in any way he could, going deep and having that sense of family and community. And how all this could have a ripple effect across the world while having a bit of fun along the way. I was very aligned with everything he said and explained that there could be a way forward in which he could really focus on what he wanted to do and I could do the same and that we could team up to create something very special that ultimately layered a lot of what the world needed and that we could deliver it through a carefully curated adventure. Basically, it was a Venn diagram with each of our circles combined and AdventureX being the shaded bit in the middle.

We played with the idea for a few months and eventually, Chris decided to take the next step and come and see what I did with my adventures in Indonesia and see how this could work with his input. I was really impressed by how open, accepting, non-judgmental, relatable and intelligent Chris was. He had a way with questions, potential ways forward and perspective that made people really think. This, in turn, had a huge impact on each person there, I knew then that this was real and with our combined effort, we could do what we planned to do. Soon after that trip, AdventureX was officially born.  

In Chris’s words:

 

Everything that Matt has shared is true. We initially connected as a result of this odd-ball desire to drive rickety WWII-era motorcycles through areas of this world that they are absolutely unsuited for. We connected more deeply on those first calls. We were somehow old friends having a chat instead of strangers meeting for the first time. There were also multiple times when the connection might not have happened. For instance, I attended the entrepreneur event that Matt mentions, though I was only there for the first day. It was a great reunion with old friends and I spent the evening helping entrepreneurs learn how to genuinely connect. After that, I was out – not because of the people or content or environment – I was out because I had a personal matter in my life that I was still entangled with (one that would take years to step my way out of) and I decided to focus on it. We connected again and more deeply because of Matt’s tenacity. That’s one of his traits I appreciate. When he sees an opportunity that feels right, he goes for it and keeps going until it either clicks or doesn’t. He sees things through to that end.

So we talked more and after each one, I noticed that I had more energy than when we started. These were interactions that stoked us both up, rather than wearing us down. Eventually, the idea of AdventureX came about. It’s something that many others have encouraged me to do, though I always found a way to sidestep because I knew there was a large part that I wasn’t suited for. Those bits that Matt does so incredibly well. (Pssst – don’t tell him I said this, he also does much more incredibly well. In fact, I’m pretty sure he could do almost all of this on his own. Though I’m glad he doesn’t because it’s much more fun for both of us if we do it together.)

So I decided to join him on an adventure in Indonesia to test things out. I paid full price so that I wouldn’t feel obligated one way or the other. At the very least, I’d have a grand time. That was the experience that sealed the deal. I saw Matt in his element. I saw him happier than I have seen most people – even when things weren’t going to plan (actually, especially then). I saw how he cared for people. I got a peek at all the backup plans and backup-to-the-backup and backup-to-the-backup-to-the-backup plans that he creates. I knew that anyone I chose to bring along would be safe to the highest degree humanly possibly. I felt safe. It allowed me to let down my guard. In doing so, I found that I couldn’t help but do what I do best – talk with people. Understand what they’re going through. Allow them to be seen and heard. Help them heal traumas. Help them see the path forward that is uniquely theirs. I loved it. It was free, easy and rewarding.

Then I saw the magic that, for me, makes this not just 1+1=2 or 1+1=3 but 1+1=∞. Due to the challenge of the experience, people understood their own strength. They, in a deep and often unconscious way, knew that they had the power to step forward and take action on the realizations that had come during the trip. They were empowered to step forward on their own — and did. We’re talking the courage to make fundamental shifts in their lives and knowing that they could do it all again when future challenges came.

That was it. I knew that I would do this with him, even if it didn’t make money. Even if it lost money. We would continue for as long as it was the best way to serve others. At each obstacle, we have both chosen, with open-eyes, to continue stepping forward together. Sometimes one of us would help the other forward, sometimes the other would. That’s how the greatest relationships work. It’s one of my deepest, most cherished tenets. The only thing greater than Me, is Us.