Explore! is the annual expedition and fieldwork planning seminar held over a weekend every November at the Royal Geographical Society in London. It brings together experts from a wide range of fields to share projects past and present, network, spark ideas, inspire and inform. There are panels that specialise in travel across deserts or the polar regions, sessions that are dedicated to travel by cycle or by vehicle, lectures on medical health, risk assessment and nutrition, as well as workshops on elements such as writing, filming and field research.
My first Explore! was more than a decade ago and every time I am invited back to speak or sit on a panel, I come away invigorated to start work on a new project. It is also pretty much the only occasion that brings together many of us expedition-types, so it is a much-valued opportunity to catch up with friends old and new.
This year, as well as sitting on the Polar Panel with Ben Saunders (awesome to hear from him about his recent epic across Antarctica), we were also both asked to be a 'dragon' on an expedition-dragon's den alongside Emily Penn, Neil Laughton, James Borrell, Dave Cornthwaite and Andrew Harper. Lots of fun and, I hope, a useful session for those that presented. See! We're not so scary!!