And Why It’s Awesome…
I’m a fan of Tom Allen’s work, he’s an adventurer and film maker and writer (among other things) and he comes across as a refreshingly honest and straightforward guy. He’s one of many “pro” adventurers with books and films and blogs that are way better then mine (you can find it all here).
But one of his latest projects really blew my mind. It’s called the Janapar Grant, and it’s awesome!
Here’s the deal…a young person from the UK will be given a full bike touring kit for free, and get mentorship from Tom as well as an all star cast of other cycle tourists such as Alastair Humpreys, Emily Chappell, and Leon McCarron. Then, with all this gear and support, said young person will basically ride off alone into the sunset. How awesome is that?
No charity cause, no blogging, no book deals, no sponsors, no support crew and no travel mates…
Part of what struck me is the emphasis on solo adventure as a perfectly good justifiable thing to do, in and of it’s self. It’s not about a book deal, it’s not about inspiring other people, it’s not about raising money for some cause, it’s not about becoming famous. Maybe it is for some people but who ever receives this grant is going to be putting those things aside.
“This year, the Janapar Grant will provide equipment and mentorship for one young person to set forth into the world on a rite-of-passage journey by bicycle.”
This is exactly the kind of thing the adventuring community needs. I wish I’d had this when I was going on my first adventures, and I bet you or someone you know would really benefit from this kind of support as well.
The deadline is April 15th, so if you’re a young person (18-25) from the UK you should definitely check it out! As for the rest of us, I think this is one of those brilliant ideas that could use a lot of hype. Tell your friends, imagine where you would go, check out the website here or help out by kicking them some funds here.
Who knows, maybe this ideal will really kick off and several years from now young people from around the world can get the support and mentorship they need to be riding off into the sunset. Some folks will gripe about that it’s only young people, or only people from the UK, but we got to start someplace and this is already here so let’s spread the word!