What makes an inspiring human? Someone who sacrifices their life for others? Someone who commits an act of indescribable bravery? Someone who creates a cure for a life threatening illness?
Or is it as big as that?
To us, inspiring humans are those who have the courage to step outside of their comfort zone and do something that perhaps others wouldn’t have the bravery to do. Book a one way ticket to the other side of the world. Travel solo for the first time. Take a chance on love and never look back.
Inspiring humans is about unearthing the everyday people who inspire us to continue treading the globe. We’re not talking about polar explorers or Amazon adventurers. Instead, we’re talking about people like you and I, who have had their lives changed and shaped by travel experiences, and have an incredible story to tell.
A story like Saul’s, who left behind his home on the Falkland Islands for the adventure of a lifetime…
Tell me a little about yourself. Name, age, where you are from…
I’m Saul, lover of burgers, exploring, photography, football and the great outdoors. I’m 25 and from the Falkland Islands, a remote British archipelago off the coast of Patagonia.
What was it like growing up in the Falkland Islands, in such a remote, quiet place with such a small population?
Growing up in the Falklands in many ways is a privilege, surrounded by pristine beaches, and penguins, though nothing like I’d imagine growing up anywhere else. Crime is never an issue, and the hills were our playground. Being a kid in the 90’s, probably has many similarities to kids in America or England – our favourite bands were Nirvana, RHCP, Foo Fighters, and we’d all become die-hard fans of Premier League football clubs, but the nearest mall would be 400 miles away over the South Atlantic ocean, in neighbouring South America, and we didn’t have mobile phones until 2005. So it had its differences. It’s the kind of place where you’d have to make your own fun. A good night out for the adolescent would be a bonfire on an empty beach with a case of beer and some mates, and a weekend away would involve a trip to a remote farm, again involving mates, beer, BBQs and probably fishing. Most of us learn to drive a car and a motorbike before we even hit 15, and when you finish school the only way to get to college and university is a trip 8000 miles north to the UK. As geographically cut off from the rest of the world as it is, it was still bloody fun.
Had you done much travelling growing up? Where did the travel bug come from?
Honestly, it sounds mad, but I’d say I was born with the travel bug. Even as a kid I’d explore the hills around our town until the sun went down.
When I was younger I loved watching those coming-of-age films like Stand By Me and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and I developed this desire to explore America when I was pretty young.
As a kid, we went on holidays to either Chile because half my family live there, or to the UK. I left home at 15 to go to Peter Symonds College in Winchester, UK, and you could say that was where I learnt that exploring new places was something I loved. Half terms would always be an opportunity to get a cheap ticket to Germany, and when I was 17, myself and a couple of mates decided to get some cheap tickets from London to Calais and walk to Paris. That adventure later became a story I love to tell.
Why did you decide to leave the Falkland Islands to go travelling?
Although I love where I was brought up, I’ve always had the desire to explore new places, so it was inevitable that I’d eventually up sticks and leave for some time. Since flights out are so expensive, the only way to truly make the most of a getaway is to do it for a long time.
"My favourite moment of all was sitting on top of Glacier Point, in Yosemite National Park, looking across at the sun setting on Half Dome, sipping on an ice cold beer with my pals from home and my brother."
How did you organise and fund your trip?
After I finished university in Bournemouth UK, I headed home to earn some money, at the back of my mind knowing I was saving for an epic adventure. I made the most of my skills in design and worked as a freelance designer, in a construction design office and the marketing department of the local tourist board to save some money. After two years the urge got the better of my daily life and I booked a flight to California, leaving the following week. For some reason it was the same price to fly through South America and make a day stop in New York. So I stopped in the Big Apple, grabbed a slice of pizza and a cupcake on Bleecker Street, and continued to California. I used WorkAway to find a volunteer job in San Diego and from there I explored the great state of California. After the 90 days of my USA visa was up, I spontaneously got a flight to Eastern Europe, and spent the summer backpacking around there.
What did your friends and family think?
My friends at home always said, “yeah we’ll see you a three weeks”, assuming there’s no way my money would last that long given my elaborate plans, and my parents had the standard mum and dad apprehension. But at the end of the day, they knew it’s what I’d always wanted to do.
Where have you travels taken you so far?
Since I left home back in March, I’ve been to Santiago Chile, New York (for a slice of pizza), San Diego, LA, Las Vegas, Tijuana, Yosemite, London, Prague, Zagreb, Hvar, Split, Bosnia, Montenegro, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Budapest, Bratislava, Krakow, and probably somewhere else I just can’t remember. I went on another trip through America in 2014, but that time I did run out of money and had to come home. We rented a jeep, bought some road maps and travelled to Dallas, Austin, Nashville, Memphis, Great Smokey Mountains, Arkansas and Oklahoma, discovering a new found love for the country and western life.
"My brother always tells me, 'if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got'. So if the daily grind or the rat race isn’t doing it for you, do something else. You won’t regret it."
Tell us the best story from your travels so far
It’s been so good from the get go. From wild nights in Vegas, cruising around Beverly Hills, getting escorted away from Leonardo DiCaprio’s house, exploring the Croatian islands, swimming in the waterfalls in Bosnia, getting messy in Hollywood, sippin’ on a brewsky in Krakow, roaring through the Nevada desert in a muscle car listening to country, to getting wild in Budapest. It’s been incredible. But my favourite moment of all was sitting on top of Glacier Point, in Yosemite National Park, looking across at the sun setting on Half Dome, sipping on an ice cold beer with my pals from home and my brother.
Where’s next on the list?
Next up, I’m flying to Canada to start a year in Banff, up in the Rockies. The adventure has been mind blowing so far, but now I kind of want to stay in one place for a bit. It’s time I got a job, bought a truck, and just live the mountain life for a while. So anyone from Banff reading this, I’m actively seeking a job and a place to live…
Why do you think it is so important to travel when you’re young?
I try to tell people this all the time – some listen, and some don’t. But it’s the best thing you’ll ever do. So many people give me bullshit excuses, but you just have to take a risk and do it before you really do have reasons not to. Creating a global network of friends brings so much to your life. It gives you stories, places to visit, lifelong friends and even business opportunities. It’s a great way to really find out what you want in life. Since I’ve been away, I’ve realised making a living out of doing what you love is essential, so in 2017 I’m starting an adventure travel company in the Falkland Islands, for those who want to take their adventure where no one else has, and of course to get amongst the majestic penguins who call the Islands home.
How do you think travel has improved you as a person?
Getting out of the daily grind was always going take my life to a different level. It’s something I had to do and inevitably was always going to do. Being from such a small place, you don’t get that buzz from seeing new places and faces every day and meeting new people. There just hasn’t been a dull moment since I left home. Even in the down time, it’s a better life. How has it improved me as a person? Well I’ve made friends for life, I’m always going to have a good story to tell, and because of the people I’ve met and things we’ve done, I’ve always got ideas racing through my mind about how to reach my goals. I’ve got a lot less money than earlier in the year, but I’m without a doubt richer than before I left.
What one piece of advice would you give to people reading this article?
It’s something my brother always tells me, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. So if the daily grind or the rat race isn’t doing it for you, do something else. You won’t regret it.
Do you have a travel story to tell, that’s changed or shaped the course of your life? We want to hear it! Leave us a taste of your tale in the comments below, and we’ll be in touch to discover more.