Inspiring Television: Our top choices that will fuel your Wanderlust

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Most of us, if not all, have the urge to head out into the unknown and discover new parts of the world. To travel and wonder is something that is inherently human. However, for the majority of us, it simply isn’t possible to spend our entire week researching new destinations and plotting expedition routes. Sometimes all you need to fuel that fire is to plop on the sofa, curl up with your other half, and pop on the television. If you’re going to zone out in the glow of the tube, you should catch one (if not all) of these great – and unexpected – shows to help you find your next adventure.

Original Top Gear / The Grand Tour with Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond

The original fast-paced motoring show that tests whether cars, both boring and extraordinary, live up to their manufacturers’ claims, is an unexpected yet ground breaking source or travel inspiration. The popular long-running show journeys to varied and exotic locations around the world, where the lads take part in challenges to see what their chosen vehicles are capable of doing.

Here at Everwrist, we are huge fans of the expedition episodes known as specials, which often feature arduous road trips in old cars set against magnificent backdrops, the plains of Africa, the mountains of Bolivia or the dust filled landscape of Afghanistan.

Our favourite episodes: The Africa or Bolivia Special

What we love: The laddish humour, the old cars, the destinations as well as the journey and the fact you could do this yourself for not very much money.

Long Way Round with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

On a lark, mates Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman decide to ride their motorbikes from London eastward all the way through Europe, Russia, Mongolia, Canada and finally the USA. They hire a production crew and a camera man to follow them, resulting in one of the most engrossing and inspiring travelogues put on film.

The pair end up in some funny, dangerous and peculiar situations, including being hosted by a mafia boss in Eastern Europe, sleeping in dangerous truck stops at the side of busy roads, staying in deserted, rather strange hotels, and having to eating goat testicles whilst living with nomad families in Mongolia.

Our favourite episodes: Mongolia, Russia & Eastern Europe

What we love: The friendship between Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor, the freedom offered by a two wheeled vehicle, the journey, the music choice and the remoteness of the locations.

Again this is something you can do yourself, and doesn’t require too much money.

By Any Means with Charley Boorman

By Any Means, also known as Ireland to Sydney by Any Means, is a series following Long Way Round and Long Way Down co-presenter Charley Boorman.

The documentary follows Charley as he travels using varied methods of transportation most often native to his location at the time. Charley’s enthusiasm for adventure and culture make this programme a joy to watch and allows you to immerse yourself in each destination he visits.

Our favourite episodes: The Whole Series

What we love: The friendship between Charley and his team mates, the journey, the title music, the remoteness of the locations and the nature in which Charley travels.

Lost Land of the Tiger, Lost Land of the Volcano and Lost Land of the Jaguar with Steve Backshall, Gordon Buchanan and George McGavin

This documentary series follows a team of wildlife filmmakers and Zoologists as they travel to far reaches of the globe in search of rare and exotic creatures, often barely seen or captured on film.

The team of scientists, conservationists and film-makers search through vast uncharted regions of wilderness in order to survey its flora and fauna, using their findings to persuade the international community of its importance.

Not so much a nature documentary but a documentary about a nature documentary. The programme clearly demonstrates the reality and dangers of such expeditions and is a source of great inspiration for those who are keen to follow the academic, field research based career path.

Our favourite episodes: Lost Land of the Tiger/Jaguar, complete series

What we love: The behind the scenes footage of the crew, the adventure, the amazing arial videography and the remote, untouched locations.

Planet Earth with David Attenborough

David Attenborough has proven himself time and time again to be a master natural history documentarian. His style and reassuring voice can make the most mundane of subjects sound extraordinary. For most of us he has been a consistent feature in BBC wildlife documentaries through out our entire lives, not only inspiring us to embrace and learn about our natural world but to live full meaningful lives too, at 90 odd Attenborough shows no signs of slowing down and remains as humble as ever.

The dazzling, state-of-the-art high-definition imagery are the highlights of the breathtaking Planet Earth documentary series, its footage features some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders — from the Jungles to the deserts to the polar ice caps.

Our favourite episodes: The complete series

What we love: The stunning scenery, the behind the scenes footage of the crew, the filming techniques, the subject matter and Sir David Attenborough himself.

Ray Mears’ Bushcraft with Ray Mears

Survival expert, documentarian and author Ray Mears explores the world of bushcraft and learns techniques from some of the world’s last remaining hunter gatherers. Ray explores life through the eyes of the native inhabitants of each location, including Africa, South America and North America. The series goes on to explore how globalisation and the modern world is impacting the lives of nomadic peoples and hunter gatherers alike in some of the most rugged locations.

Episode one is shot in the UK, highlighting some of the most varied and beautiful landscapes found here at home. Ray shows how hunter-gatherers used the resources around them to feed and clothe themselves, celebrating the rich and diverse culture of Stone Age Britain.

Our favourite episode: Aboriginal Britain

What we love: The stunning location, the footage of his expedition preparation and crew, the subject matter, Rays wealth of knowledge and the moment Ray teaches the Yekuana people how to make fire by friction.

Walking the Nile and Walking the Himalayas with Levison Wood

Following in the footsteps of victorian explorers, former Paratrooper, author and photographer Levison Wood recounts the beauty and danger he found walking the Silk Road route of Afghanistan, the Line of Control between Pakistan and India, the disputed territories of Kashmir and the earth-quake ravaged lands of Nepal. Over the course of six months, Levison and his guides trek 1,700 gruelling miles across the roof of the world.

Packed with action and emotion, both series tell the story of the intrepid explorer’s trip through some of the world’s most remote locations.

Our favourite episodes: Complete Series

What we love: The personal hand held camera approach to creating the documentary, the immersive landscapes and the distinct cultures. The reality of such a trip.

The Legacy of Lawrence of Arabia with Rory Stewart

Political figure, author and adventurer Rory Stewart examines the writings of Lawrence of Arabia, and learns that the warrior hero himself later questioned the very nature of his intervention in the Middle East. This documentary not only follows the story of T.E Lawrence but the people of what is now modern day Afghanistan and in part the life of Rory Stewart himself.

In this documentary Rory not only delves into history but the complex and almost elusive yet fascinating culture of Afghanistan and the people of the Middle East.

We might as well come clean: we have something bordering on an obsession with Rory Stewart. He comes from Crieff, in Perthshire, and he went to Eton followed by Oxford, undertook officers training with the Black Watch after which he joined the Foreign Office, helped establish The Turquoise Mountain Foundation and eventually wound up as deputy governor of an Iraqi province during the Second Gulf War. He is known for having walked across Afghanistan – and also writing a book about his journey called The Places in Between – and for having been tutor to Prince William and Harry. He is currently the Conservative MP for Penrith.

Our favourite episodes: The complete series

What we love: The footage of Afghanistan, the culture and the geopolitical narrative.

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Rupert Jones-Warner: The Expedition

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Rupert’s route

THIS 70-DAY EXPEDITION WILL BE AN IMMENSE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL CHALLENGE UNLIKE ANYTHING RUPERT HAS EVER FACED BEFORE. IT WILL BE A COMBINATION OF CALCUALTED RISKS, EXERTION AND ENDEAVOUR THAT SHOULD ULTIMATELY RESULT IN RUPERT BEING THE FIRST BRITON AND YOUNGEST INDIVIDUAL TO EVER COMPLETE A DOUBLE SUMMIT OF MOUNT EVEREST FROM TWO SIDES, CONSECUTIVELY. 

Words by Rupert Jones-Warner

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1. BASE CAMP

Base Camp is reached by flying from Kathmandu, Nepal to Lukla. From Lukla, I will trek for approximately 10 days through the Solu Khumbu valley to Everest Base Camp, travelling through villages and staying in local tea houses. This is the route that the successful 1953 team which included Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took when they set out on their expedition.

Base Camp sits on the Khumbu Glacier at an altitude of 17,500 ft.

2. KHUMBU ICEFALL

The Khumbu Icefall is an incredibly dangerous river of ice which is a half mile of constantly shifting glacier, punctuated by deep crevasses and overhanging immensities of ice that can be be as large as 10-story buildings. The constant changing terrain and moving blocks of the icefall, along with the crevasses, make it one of the most dangerous parts of the climb. Much of this part will involve traversing ladders suspended across potentially fatal crevasses. Climbers typically leave base camp at 3am so that they can climb through the icefall before sunrise, when the sun hits the icefall it begins to melt the ice increasing the danger of falling ice. 

3. WESTERN CWM

Once I have safely crossed the Khumbu Icefall, I will travel through the Western Cwm where Camp 2 is situated. The Glacier in the Western Cwm is formed from the snow and ice that over time flows from the Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse faces and compacts in the valley. The climb from Camp 1 and Camp 2 is a relatively straight forward climb, with two factors making it difficult – altitude and heat, with temperatures reaching up to 35C.

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4. LHOTSE FACE

After Camp 2, I will tackle the Lhotse Face. Any climber bound for Camp 3, must climb this 3,700ft wall of glacial blue ice. This mountain face rises at 40 and 50 degree angles with the occasional 80 degree bulge. Camp 3 is located at 24,500ft, halfway up the Lhotse Face. Camp 3 is the least comfortable of the camps on Everest because it sits on this very steep slope of ice. Climbers are confined to their tents for the majority of their time at Camp 3 because it is too dangerous to get out of the tent and move around without being roped up. If a climber were to slip and fall while walking around at Camp 3, they could start to slide down the Lhotse Face, which would be a 2,000ft drop down to the Western Cwm.

5. GENEVA SPUR

After Camp 3, I will cross the Yellow Band and Geneva Spur rock faces. Climbing these involves steep ascents up sheer rock faces covered in ice. I will now be at an altitude of approximately 25,000ft with far less oxygen and wearing metal crampons that slide on the rock, making it a formidable and dangerous journey to Camp 4.

AND REPEAT 

I won’t just have to do all of this once. In order to be fully prepared and acclimatised prior to the final ascent to the summit, I will need to repeat each of these stages a number of times.

6. SOUTH SUMMIT

The climb from Camp 4 will take me up towards the south Summit. This is where Everest is cruelly deceptive and I will see what appears to be the summit I have been striving to reach. Unfortunately, it will just be the South Summit ahead of me with a further hours climbing beyond that befire I reach Everest’s true summit.

7. HILLARY STEP

After reaching the South Summit, I will finally look towards the summit of Everest across the Cornice Traverse and Hillary Step. This portion of the climb is extremely exposed with a drop of over 6,000ft down to Camp 2 on one side, and a drop of several thousand feet into Tibet on the other side.  The Hillary Step is a rock pitch that is 20-30ft tall. For a rock climber at sea level the Hillary Step would be relatively easy to climb but at 28,740ft, wearing a back pack weighing 20kg, a puffy down suit, and a pair of crampons on your feet climbing the Hillary Step is yet another daunting challenge.

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8. SUMMIT!

Having climbed the Hillary Step, the final part of the ascent awaits. I will climb up to the summit of Mount Everest to look out across the world. However, I will not have long to enjoy the view as most people only spend a few minutes at the actual summit because of the lack of oxygen.

9. DESCENT TO BASE CAMP

Having made my first summit, I will then descend using the same route that I took on the climb up. The descent is often considered the most dangerous part of the climb and is where 80% of the accidents happen due to exhaustion and depleting oxygen levels.

10. LIFT OFF! 

Once arriving back at the Nepalese Base Camp, I will have to quickly pack my kit and prepare for the second ascent. The aim is to spend as little time at BC as possible as the main goal now is to get to the Tibetan side of the mountain as soon as possible. This time will be for packing my kit, eating as much as possible and jumping straight on to the helicopter that will take me to the Tibetan border.

SUMMIT 2 – VIA THE NORTH EAST RIDGE

11. BASE CAMP TO ADVANCED BASE CAMP

Having now arrived at the Tibetan Base Camp, the aim now is to get up the mountain as soon as possible to be in with a chance of a second summit. It is about 12 miles of rugged hiking on boulders, ice and snow. The route follows the Rongbuk Glacier until it merges with the Eastern Rongbuk Glacier.

12. ADVANCED BASE CAMP TO THE NORTH COL

The North Col camp is a 2,200 ft climb from ABC. The climb from Advanced Base Camp to the North Col steadily gains altitude with one steep section of 60 degrees that feels vertical. I will clip on in to the fixed lines and use my ascenders. There are a few deep crevasses I will have to cross using ladders.

13. NORTH COL TO CAMP 3

This part of the climb is extremely windy and the tents are on small ledges since there is limited level areas. At Camp 3, the wind is usually blocked by the north face of Everest, so sleeping is easier. Climbers usually take 3-6 hours to reach Camp 3.

Camp 3 is the equivalent to the South Col in altitude and exposure to the weather.

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14. CAMP 3 IN TO THE DEATH ZONE 

Leaving Camp 3, I will follow the fixed rope through a snow filled gully; part of the Yellow Band. From here, I will take a small ramp and reach the North East ridge proper.

The North East ridge is a few hundred feet above Camp 4.

15. CAMP 4 TO THE SECOND STEP

Here I will have to climb Mushroom Rock. Mushroom Rock is a feature on the ridge that spotters and climbers can use to measure progress on the summit night. Oxygen is swapped here. The route can be full of loose rock adding to the difficulty with crampons.

The Second Step is the crux of the climb with the Chinese Ladder. I will first climb about 10ft of rock slab then climb the near vertical 30ft ladder. This section is very exposed with a 10,000ft vertical drop.

16. SECOND STEP TO SUMMIT

It is a steep snow slope, often windy and extremely cold where climbers feel very exposed. Towards the top of the pyramid, climbers are extremely exposed again as they navigate around a large outcropping and experience three small rock steps on a ramp before the final ridge climb to the summit.

The summit is the final 500ft horizontal distance along the ridge to the summit. It is narrow with 10,000ft drop-offs on both sides leading directly to the summit.

SECOND SUMMIT!

SUMMIT!

17. HOME TIME

This descent is going to be grueling as I will be running my energy and oxygen levels will be depleting. The key now is getting back down to Base Camp as quickly and safely as possible. It will take a few days to descend all the way back down to Base Camp and then, hopefully, I will have broken a few records!

 

Please make sure you take a moment to look at his site and Facebook page below.

View Ruperts website here

Follow Rupert on Instagram or Facebook

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The Everwrist Alpine a review by Amanda Jayne

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Everwrist-Alpine-Review
As a ’90s baby, I’ve grown up with technology – computer games, mobile phones, and, in my early teens, owning my own laptop. As a result, I haven’t felt such a reliance on having a clock in my room or a watch on my wrist. I’ve been attached to very few watches in my time, the first one I ever loved being a thick-strapped Fossil number which was a hand me down from my brother. It made me very much feel like Lara Croft which delighted young me, as she was one of my childhood heroes!
At the opposite end of the spectrum, my brother is an ’80s baby. He is much more traditional in his ways, and has been collecting watches his entire life. He began Everwrist in 2011, and I very much enjoyed one of the first prototypes he produced. It was a white rubbery number with an interchangeable watch face, and I still have it to this day. The idea appealed to me because customisation is such an important thing to me. I love making things my own as much as possible. Everwrist launched its website and first official product in 2015 – a sleek, shiny new design that encapsulates everything the brand stands for: versatile, timeless, beautiful, practical, and the idea that a watch that’s with you will have countless memories and stories to share. The Alpine is suited to every gender and carries on, in a different way to its predecessor, the idea of customisation. It is available to buy in a multitude of different styles all with the same great features that lead to it being such a fantastic everyday functional piece, including water resistance of 50 metres; a crystal glass face; stainless steel case; and a date function. I have the Black Case & Dial version, as you can see, but if all-black is too Goth for you then fear not – the Alpine is also available with various coloured rubber straps; Milanese straps; a brown leather strap; and even a steel case with a white dial.

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I admit that this is a watch I’ve grown quite fond of. My brother knows me well enough to know an all-black watch is probably the only way I’d really wear a watch on a day-to-day basis, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Its sleek, not-too-big size fits perfectly under the cuffs of long sleeved tops without being bulky, and the face isn’t so small that it feels too ‘dainty’ on my wrist – an issue I have with a lot of women’s watches. I also like that it isn’t shiny, decorated with crystals or jewels, and nor does it don a pastel-coloured pearlescent face, yet another reason I tend to avoid ladies watches and gravitate more towards unisex pieces like this one. The Alpine is the epitome of effortless chic. It has a very timeless, casual feel to it, which appeals to me because of how drawn back my personal style has become in comparison to what it once was. Gone are the days of coloured skinny jeans and neon jewellery! I dress in a mostly monochrome wardrobe with very little pattern, and having this piece on my wrist adds something minimalist and stylish to my outfits.

I can also quite happily report that these watches are very robust for something so lightweight. I wear this to work every day, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve bashed it, scraped it, and generally been hashy with it  – as I am in life with most things. As a result, not once has it been scratched, dented or stopped working, ahaha! The only real wear you can see in it is on the strap of the watch where the loops are to keep the strap tail down, and this is something that’s not noticeable when it’s being worn. I’m very impressed with its sturdiness, because I might not climb mountains but I do generally break or damage valuable things with my overall clumsiness, so I’m the next best thing after Bear Grylls to test out the toughness of this watch!
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The Alpine is an extremely versatile piece. The fact that it’s so understated makes it very smart and chic, and allows you to wear it from the office to the bar without it looking out of place on your wrist, and because it’s such a timeless looking design in a range of classic colour combinations, you can find one to suit your taste, whatever that may be!
The Alpine by Everwrist starts from £35.99, and is available to purchase on the Everwrist website here. Keep up to date with the Everwrist company via their Instagram and Facebook, where you’ll hear about new launches, offers, and competitions, as well as loads of other cool features!
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The NATO Strap

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Everwrist NATO Strap

A history of the NATO strap

Many of you who have began to explore the world of watches will be wondering what exactly a NATO strap is. Browsing the internet you will find one of these essential add-ons adorning the collection of many great watch manufacturers, both large and small. The NATO is possibly one of our favorite wristwatch accessories. Simply put, it is an extremely durable synthetic nylon watchband. These are popular with both military watch enthusiasts and urban style gurus alike. Often known as the “NATO” strap or “G1O”, due to their origins on the wrists of British soldiers and divers, the straps are the most durable, colourful, rugged and simple we have to offer. These straps are longer than your rubber, or leather variety meaning that they can be worn externally, over clothing whilst surfing or climbing. Along with the other attributes above, this makes them perfect for both casual and formal wear, and can even spur on the birth of a collection.

Everwrist NATO watch strap

Everwrist NATO Strap Illustration

Interestingly, the term “NATO” did not originate due to the nylon accessory being developed for or by NATO soldiers at all. In fact the name came into being as a shortened version of the NATO Stocking Number or NSN. The most common term used to describe the “NATO” was actually the “G10”. In 1973, the NATO strap made its debut and was released by the British MoD (Ministry of Defence) under a new defence standardization policy. For military personnel and soldiers to get their hands on one, they would have to fill out a form known as the G10. They would then be required to collect the strap from their equipment depot of the same designation.

Everwrist NATO Strap

Though the MoD’s name for the strap was extremely generic, its practical specifications were distinct and extremely specific. The standard issue straps were nylon, produced in an earthy shale colour known as “Admiralty Grey”, with a 20mm width and chrome buckles. A key feature of the strap was the second, shorter piece of nylon. The strap being used by military personnel, needed to be functional, fail-safe and almost entirely indestructible. The extra nylon had a keeper at its end through which the main length of the strap passed after it had been fitted behind the watchcase. This created a toggle-like action that would limit the distance the case could move along the band. As long as the strap was passed through the loop properly and sat snug on the wrist, the case would stay exactly where it was needed at all times. The benefit of the extra loop and the NATO strap being passed behind the watch was that in the event of a spring bar break, the watch would still remain secured to the users wrist.

Everwrist NATO Strap

Like the iconic Land Rover Defender, the NATO strap has gone under extremely limited modification since it was originally commissioned. The extreme simplicity and outright practicality of the NATO strap has made it a sought after essential for watch enthusiasts, adventurers and servicemen alike.

Everwrist NATO Strap

Not long after the original strap was issued by the MoD, the British military began wearing straps honouring their regimental colours. Over the last 5 years, NATO straps have been on the rise as a popular must have watch and fashion accessory. While it may eventually fade out as just another trend, they don’t appear to be going away in the short term. NATO straps now come in a huge range of colours and sizes; a good one is a trustworthy essential with a rich history and an extreme measure of practicality.

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Everest on Everwrist. An interview with Rupert Jones-Warner

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An introduction to modern-day adventurer Rupert Jones-Warner

Rupert Jones-Warner is one of those throwback British adventurers, cast from the same mold as George Mallory or Ranulph Fiennes. He’s tough, refined and well-spoken and has a mix of derring-do and panache that we really admire here at Everwrist.

March 2017, Rupert, 25, will attempt to set a new record by becoming the first and the youngest Briton to summit Mount Everest twice. In order to break this record, Rupert will climb both the Nepalese and Tibetan sides of the Earth’s tallest mountain. Rupert is taking on this challenge to not only fulfill a lifelong dream but to also support a charity he shares a deep connection with. Aiming to raise £50,000, the money will help aid Chestnut Tree House, a children’s hospice in Sussex.

We recently had a chance to catch up with Rupert, who was gracious enough to answer some questions about his trip and kind enough to take one of our watches on his expedition.

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1. Describe yourself in the most straight-forward way

I would say I am someone who follows my interests and someone that is not afraid to try and fail.

2. What is the hardest thing you have ever done in your life?

Definitely some of the stuff I have done with the military in the last few years. I have also been pushing myself extremely hard while training in Snowdonia recently with heavy backpacks and long distances. Even sometimes going through the night. But that’s just training!

3. What are you working on right now?

At the moment I am working towards my Mount Everest expedition. I am planning on attempting to climb the mountain from 2 routes consecutively. The 70 day expedition will start from the Nepalese side of the mountain. After my first summit attempt I will descend, fly by helicopter around to the North (Tibetan) side of the mountain and make my second summit attempt. If I am successful, I will become the first Briton to do this and the youngest ever.

4. We know that you are attempting to become the first Brit to summit Everest twice in one go, how are you preparing for this?

Last year, while prepping for Everest, I went to the Himalayas and trained. When I was in the UK, I trained on the South Downs in Sussex and in the gym. This year I have been focusing on endurance by training in the hills in Wales. It is particularly good and where George Mallory and Sandy Irvine trained for their expedition in 1924.

5. Name one thing you can’t live without.

Running and an iPod! I have to run everyday and get out of the house. I always run with music as it allows me to completely switch off.

6. Who or what influences you?

I really admire people that go and do their own thing, whether they are successful or not! I am a massive daydreamer with a very short attention span. This means my attention ends up going on huge things like Everest. Unless these things don’t completely captivate my imagination, then I lose interest very quickly!

7. We can see from your Instagram feed that you are an avid reader. What are you reading right now?

I am reading ‘The Maverick Mountaineer’. It is the life of Australian climber George Finch who accompanied George Mallory on the famous 1924 expedition. He was one of the best climbers of his day as well as an inventor and scientist. I have only just started it though and looking forward to getting stuck in!

8. Name one thing no one knows about you.

I am actually a massive wimp, very shy and terrified of heights! I have to really concentrate to try and hide my fear.

Everest_Rupert-Jones Warner

9. If you could go back and tell your younger self something, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to try everything. Be more confident and don’t be afraid to fail.

10. How do you want to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as someone who stuck to their moral compass.  Someone who wasn’t afraid to go after what they wanted and wouldn’t give up.

 

We would like to thank Rupert for the time he has taken to answer these questions and for taking part in this interview.

Please make sure you take a moment to look at his site and Facebook page below.

View Ruperts website here

Follow Rupert on Instagram or Facebook

 

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