Tim Roberts

Carpathian Mountains With – Tim Roberts

 

Photo credit: Alex Frood

Tim and I first met in January 2016 after I had advertised for an adventure companion to accompany me during my Journey To The North expedition. It was a challenge set with a budget of just £100, with an aim to then reach the northern most point of mainland Europe to capture, film, view and admire the magnificence of the Northern Lights. Since then Tim has been an integral part of all of my personal expeditions, joining myself and Alex Frood on our journey to walk the length of the worlds steepest island and being part of the rescue team that helped me during my extreme survival situation that unfolded deep within the Zambezi gorges.

Tim is an extremely interesting character who has a wealth of personal travel and expedition experience, a close friend who has supported and inspired me ever since we first met. We caught up recently to hike in the Carpathian mountains where I took the opportunity to interview fellow explorer – Tim Roberts.

Tell us a little about your life and some of the adventures you have previously been involved in?

I’m very fortunate to have my own successful business providing home care for older people. This has allowed me the freedom to follow my passion for travel and exploration. It also reminds me on a daily basis that life is short and we have to get out there and seize the moment before it’s too late.  I love hiking and the wilderness and try as often as possible to combine the two. I’ve hiked on 3 continents and visited upwards of sixty countries in the process. I guess the ‘stand-out’ adventure has to be the Mongolia Charity Rally that I undertook in 2013. It was a year in the planning and took 3 months to complete. Driving from London all the way to Mongolia via the Caucuses and across the Caspian Sea was truly amazing. I was with my partner Melissa in a little red Royal Mail van that served as our bed each night when it was too dangerous to camp. Unfortunately, Melissa fell seriously ill in Kazakhstan and had to get to hospital in the U.K. The rest of the journey was spent alone which was a big challenge.

What inspired you to get out and start living a more adventurous lifestyle?

On my death bed I want to be able to look back with a sense of satisfaction that I’ve not wasted my life and have managed to grasp it with both hands. I’ve always devoured travel & adventure books and have been amazed at what people can achieve when the odds are against them. Whenever I’m faced with a challenging situation I think back to the heroic feats others have accomplished and it spurs me on to ever more extreme adventures. I also find it’s an excellent way to keep fit without having to visit a gym!

You currently live on a boat, what spurred your decision to make this life change?

Having spent years in the Corporate world with all the pressure that brings, I yearned for a simpler life. My boat is moored in a fabulously tranquil marina surrounded by glorious countryside and canals. Having been on hundreds of camping expeditions I’m used to living in small spaces and it also forced me to undertake a ‘life laundry’ which I found incredibly therapeutic! For anyone considering doing the same, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I only wish I’d done it years ago.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced during an expedition?

 That’s an easy one to answer, you! Specifically when you triggered your distress beacon in Zambia. That was an incredibly stressful couple of days trying to coordinate the search and rescue on the ground whilst knowing that with each passing hour your chances of survival were diminishing rapidly. The remoteness of the area, the extreme heat, the wild animals and the punishing terrain made it a challenge that will live with me forever. Thank goodness for adrenaline, I don’t know how I would have coped without it!

If you could join any expedition past or present, which one would it be?

Such a difficult question to answer! I have a real passion for deserts and jungles and it would probably be in one of these locations. Ed Stafford’s journey through the Amazon is a contender but I also would have loved to join an amazing woman called Rosie Swale-Pope who ran around the world, solo and in her 70’s towing a steel tube on wheels behind her to carry supplies and to sleep in. The story of her momentous journey is not that widely known, but I recommend everyone to read her book – ‘Just a little run around the World’. Talk about inspiring!

What would be your ultimate wildest journey?

I’d really love to hike across every continent with the exception of Antarctica! The thought of seeing the world at such a slow pace appeals to me. Having nothing to worry about, apart from where the next meal is coming from is a very liberating experience. I love meeting new people and enjoy immersing myself in different cultures. What better way to do this than on foot? 

What’s your advice for someone looking to plan their own adventure, but may be lacking the confidence to do so?

Life’s too short, make it count! You have to filter out the naysayers, which is likely to be most of your family and friends and focus solely on your objective and the steps you need to get there. One of my favourite sayings is ‘How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time!’. Get that pen and pad out and identify everything you need to have in place to achieve your goal and put a realistic completion date by each step. Before you know it, you’ll be having the adventure of your life! If confidence is a real issue then building that up becomes one of your first objectives.