new year, new adventure

 

deb and dave in africaHow many New Year’s resolutions have you managed to keep? Within weeks we’ve normally reverted to our old habits and forgotten our new plans. But for Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil a promise to themselves on January 1st led to the race of their lives across Africa and now an exciting new challenge in 2011…

“We had been avid travelers for a few years by the time we made that momentous toast in the early hours of New Years Day 2007. However, we hadn’t been on a significant journey for nearly two years and lately we’d been working too hard, sitting on the couch too much and over indulging in the unhealthy pleasures of life that can make us all so plump and lazy. The year 2006 had been one of those times we were stuck in a rut, but after watching an inspiring interview with Ultra Marathon Runner, Ray Zahab, we decided to change our lives once and for all.

We made a resolution to doing something momentous by this time next year and within two weeks we had signed up for an epic cycling race through Africa. One year later we found ourselves standing at the Pyramids before sunrise, about to start our 12,000 km journey from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa.

It wasn’t just a race through Africa, it was a new path in our lives. This was a trip where we decided to become full time travelers and adventurers. Before leaving for Africa, we made preparations to get ourselves noticed. We hired a publicist, contacted media and made a plan to write a series for a national newspaper in Canada. We were determined to make this new career path and life journey our work.

We set high expectations for ourselves though and our trip through Africa was anything but smooth sailing. We had goals to be the champions of the race and to win the elusive title of joining the EFI club (cycling Every Fabulous Inch of the course). While other people were sightseeing and taking days off to enjoy the scenery or riding the bus, we pushed ourselves to the limits to finish in the best position that we could.

It was the toughest 120 days of our lives, but at the end it was all worth it. We had achieved our goals. My husband Dave received entry into the EFI Club and I became the 2008 women’s champion of the world’s longest cycling race. The blood, sweat and tears (literally all three) paid off and we could see a new life on the horizon.

When we returned home, we had earned the title ‘Adventure Couple’, we had published articles in respected publications and we had made television and radio appearances. We were so excited to take our travels to the next step.

Our initial idea was to pitch a travel show to network television, but we all know how difficult that can be and our efforts failed, much to our dismay. However, with every door that closes, another opens up and our little travel blog that we started to keep friends and family informed during the race, suddenly took off and became popular. So we decided to pursue this new online media and wrote about our years of travels.

It was a year later that we quit our jobs to travel the world and share our experiences with our readers at theplanetd.com. It is here that we prove to all that “Anyone Can do it!” Our motto is that if you set your mind to something, you can live the life you have always dreamed of.

With nearly 50 countries and countless adventures, from reaching Mount Everest Base Camp and the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, to swimming with sharks in Belize to flying stunt planes and skydiving in New Zealand, we are constantly searching for another unique and exciting way to explore the world.

Our next adventure takes us from England to Mongolia where we will be driving a small car across 15 countries. The Mongol Rally is a great charity fundraiser and at the end of our journey our car will be donated to a community in need. Intrepid Travel will be donating our carbon offsets for this epic adventure and we are excited to explore an entirely different part of the world that is new to us and our readers. Countries like Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are just a few of the exotic locales that we’ll be driving through. Facing the elements of deserts and mountains and fears of bandits and corruption. This journey promises to be our most exciting adventure to date!”

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* photo by Deb and Dave in Africa

 

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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