A Mini-Interview with Alastair Humphreys: Fearing Regrets More than Fearing Failures

Ever thought about going on an adventure? Read this and then go.

Interview by Conni Biesalski. Sign up for the free letter via Email or RSS & follow me on Twitter and Google+.

Alastair Humphreys blows my mind.

The day I discovered his blog this summer was the day I decided that my life without a proper adventure would be like chips without ketchup. Impossible! So I’m planning my first little micro-adventure: Walking the entire Berlin wall path (160+ km) in April 2012 (it will be my way of saying goodbye to my beloved temporary home).

This man has done some amazing and unconventional trips, including a bike trip around the world (two years!), a walk across India (the length of the holy river Kaveri), a yacht race across the Atlantic, a walk across Iceland… and man, lots and lots more. His achievements are jaw-dropping to say the least. Even his micro-adventures (such as walking the M25 in England) will leave you intimidated.

Apart from discovering the world Humphrey-Style, he writes brilliant books about his experiences, blogs like a champion and kicks ass with his motivational talks.

Here is a small selection of my favorite blogposts:

The World According to… Me!

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be

Things I Love about Travelling in India

A Year of Microadventure in Review

The Rules of My Expeditions

10 Tips for getting your project off the ground


So despite his impressive and almost intimidating adventure history, I decided to give it a shot and ask him for an interview. And although Alastair is about to row the Atlantic and thus just a tiiiiny bit busy preparing for that, he took a bit of time to answer my questions.

So I hope you still enjoy this short, but nonetheless awesome interview!

Conni: Why do you go on adventures / expeditions, i.e. what do you gain from them?

Alastair: For fun, challenge, escape, simplicity, solitude, curisoity, learning, joy, struggle and freedom.

Read more on his reasons: Why? / Why – 2? / Why – 3? / Why – 4? / Why – 5? / What do you do all day? / Geographical boundaries or human limits? / A new beginning / One wish: the sun and a morning run / Standing out / More fun and games in the Lake District

Conni: How do you overcome your fears when you do something new and walk into the unknown?

Alastair: Over time I have learned that I am capable (we all are capable) of so much more than I imagined I was. I try to make myself fear regrets rather than fear failing. And I think how much I might regret it if I give up and go home.

Conni: What advice can you give others who would like to make their life more adventurous and  unconventional?

Alatair: DO IT! Have an idea and begin! Start small – I took a photo every day, I’m eating in restaurants from loads of different countries, I’ve had microadventures. And that all changes your mindset to get you ready for something big.

Conni: From where or what did/do you draw inspiration for the life you life and the adventures you undertake?

Alastair: From books, originally, from heroes who did great things. I wanted to see if I could do anything similar. And – a secret – I realised that these heroes are not heroes. They are just normal people like all of us. The only difference is that that they committed to doing something and then went and did it.

Conni: And lastly, what were three lessons you learned on your four-year biketrip around the world?


  1. The world is a good place. 99% of people are nice.
  2. We are capable of more than we realise.
  3. The hardest part of any project is having the nerve to begin it and generate momentum.

Thanks again, Al, for the interview and the very best for your rowing adventure and all the others that will follow!

Here is Alastair giving one of his charming and humorous talks at the Do Lectures!

Now go and check out his blog riiiiight here!

Sign up for the free letter via Email or RSS & follow me on Twitter and Google+.

4 Responses to A Mini-Interview with Alastair Humphreys: Fearing Regrets More than Fearing Failures

  1. Thanks for posting this – I really appreciate it.
    Good luck on the Berlin Walk!

  2. Florence says:

    Thanks Conni for this. I like that Al mentions that 99% of people are nice. At first this seems like a rather optimistic statement, however I found this to be proven true on my travels also. I left home expecting to be robbed at least twice, and sexually harassed in just about every other country from my own (this still happens in my country too I might add!). But I was proven the opposite. People were very helpful, friendly and respectful. I didn’t feel this was for monetary gain either, but rather human respect and national pride. My humanitarian heart swelled with hope that the world is far more then the negative news we are bombarded with everyday. Nice people are the 99%!!!

    • Conni says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Florence ;) I share Al’s and your view as well and if we all consumed less news, I’m sure some of the negativity of how we perceive the world and its people would leave our minds. To the 99% :)