Nov 26 2010

An Interview with the Holistic Future Network

This year I’ve been lucky enough to partner up with a few organisations and initiatives whose aims and beliefs echo mine, and in October I sat down with Mr Richie Watson from the Holistic Future Network to chat about exactly what makes me tick.

I’ll be honest in that I’d forgotten that I’d given this interview, but it links in perfectly with the blog I wrote yesterday about finding contentment in this Adventurous madness!


Nov 25 2010

Tipping Point

‘What have you learned by doing what you do?’ came the question from the front. Seb and I had just finished the last talk of our maiden tour to a little crowd of smiling faces. Being in Sydney, before us were friends, family, a lady who attended Seb’s wedding in Las Vegas, and a number of strangers, too. I love the Q&As at the end of any talk, we get to go off-script and get personal. I’ve been to so many talks, shows and lectures that leave me a little cold with the starkness of everything - the same old slides year after year get rusty, everyone sat there listening can tell when a speaker is bored with their own story: after that you can’t hide, yawns are infectious.

Seb and I met just a few months ago and set out to dip our footsies in the water and test the viability of a dual-lecture format. It could have gone horrendously wrong but risks are worth it, we started out with no expectations at all and an eagerness to create something that could evolve over time. Heaven knows, if we do this again next year it could be a brand new show, no crossover with this one - we both love what we do, take life by the scruff of the neck and speak from the heart. It’s easy to talk about what you know, but the demons have still set in now and then. After only ten shows, we were driving down the Pacific Highway wondering whether we were doing the right thing, saying the right thing, sharing a positive message. Is it just stories? Is that effective by itself? Perspective - and candid feedback from a fresh audience - has balanced a stubborn will to improve this thing with a humility about what we have to offer. Frankly, we’ve just been fortunate enough to hit a fork in the road at some stage and choose the right direction. Least trodden path? Maybe, but how do you know until you walk down it? Somewhere in there lies the key to making - and taking - a decision.

For a good while Seb and I have been lone rangers travelling the world doing our own thing, so it was a new challenge to live in each others pockets for almost a month non-stop. We knew this would be a cool trip full of surprises and opportunities but we’ve also become a team on and off stage. Seb drives, I organise his phone calls. He sets up the projector, I do the cameras. He reaches out for food as soon as the phone starts ringing, I gently take it from him.

It’s been a blast, and I think the experiment worked. Our post-show feedback has been brilliant and even though I fly back to London soon and we’ll both continue to focus on our respective journeys, I don’t think it’ll be too long before we hit the road together again.

So, in answer to the question: what have we learned? Seb has shared his thoughts on his own blog, so I’ll speak for myself. I’m homeless, am currently collecting more stories for my future grandchildren than tangible heirlooms, and it wasn’t long ago that I felt more or less…lost. Expedition1000 has given me one heck of a focus, but more importantly than that I’ve found my niche. This world of Adventurers is quite ridiculous. Thousands of people journey for a living, all vying for recognition and respect and self fulfillment in what is quite a brutal world. Questions about supported or unsupported expeditions don’t bother me and I don’t consider myself a true explorer, I just do what I do because I enjoy it - I’m not in competition with anyone, and it feels lovely to be free in all of this.

I’m realistic in my goals. Ever since I jumped on a long skateboard in early 2006 I believed I could make a living out of Adventure, but it took four years to break out of what was admittedly a largely goal-less cycle. Expeditions finish and mild depression sets in, escapism only lasts so long before reality hits, and after a while I began to wrongly associate unhappiness with being at home. I’d become accustomed to creating projects because I felt like I needed something else to yack about and slowly I started to acknowledge that humans depress themselves. I’ve made some tough decisions this year - some which I’d have liked to avoid - but next year I’ll be better. No longer will I plan an expedition without thinking about what comes next, no longer will I need to ponder what I’m supposed to be doing. I have a goal, here we go.

I’ve always questioned why I’m so careful with money but at the same time have chosen a lifestyle that - at present - doesn’t bring much financial reward, and the answer hit me this morning; it’s because I’m not a creditor. I can live without wealth, but debt would make me unhappy. What a thick line between black and red, I shall not cross it! So, to the future. I have learned that if I work hard and give myself direction and all the while don’t forget the people around me, I’ll be a successful and happy chap. If I lie to myself (and to others) and spend more time lazy than active, I’ll fail. Excuses are not reasons. ‘Someday’ means ‘never’.   Stories are not enough, I will travel because I feel the urge to, not because it will give me more slides to present to a crowd of unknowing strangers. Next year I will give more than I take, because for the past few years the genorosity of people have enabled me to sit in this privileged position.

I’ve been a little hollow for a while, but I woke up this morning with genuine excitment, something I haven’t felt consistently for a while. I’m always asked why I started doing all of this, and there are a number of reasons. But the true one was writing. I wanted to write books, and the promise of having something to write about leaves me content. I’ve been lucky enough to have one book published but that was two years ago, and since then even the same publisher has ignored any new suggestions I sent in - what does that say about Book One?!!!! Without admitting it, the rejection hit me hard and I lost confidence in what I was doing, and it affected the way I went about things, badly.

I couldn’t image doing anything else with my life, and the positive messages Seb and I have been sharing have slowly filtered in. With a positive attitude a snowball begins to roll, and the combination of this tour and the promise of Expedition1000 has led to a meeting this afternoon with a publisher most of us will have heard of. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but I know I can walk into a North Sydney office in a couple of hours with some confidence that I have a number of things to offer. Stark, stark contrast to the last two book proposals I sent off. I didn’t believe they’d be accepted, and based on that: I’m quite glad they weren’t.


Nov 17 2010

Oz Tour 2010: A surprise from Seb

‘I’ve got a surprise for you today, buddy’ Seb told me this morning over breakfast, a wide, foolish grin plastered all over his face.

 

I don’t like this. Seb has never ‘had’ a surprise for me before, and I’m riddled with suspicion. He refuses to offer me any clues as we leave Hervey Bay and my sense of personal control is being severely tested. He chuckles all the way to Maryborough and doesn’t look at me once. I dislike him slightly.

 

Last night we addressed a seminar organised by Property Investment Services, bar schools it was the largest audience we’d had so far and it went down a blast. We love doing this, chatting away about what we do and why we do it, and the feedback afterwards was brilliant. ‘You blokes are right on the money,’ said one of the head honchos, praise indeed from someone who works in finance. ‘We have a little competition to see who organises the best event in the country, and after this we’re in the running.’ said another. Seb and I were pleased as punch! I sold a few books as well, and can’t wait for Seb to have his own book on the shelves, it’s an indescribable feeling.

 

During a mingling session afterwards, though, my touring partner was approached by a lady who asked whether a certain ‘activity’ was on Seb’s list. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘but I’m sure Dave would like it.’ And this is why I find myself walking into a clinic the next morning, a clinic with COLONIC IRRIGATION on the sign outside. I won’t go into as much detail as I gave the radio station who happened to pick the perfect moment to call for a live interview, but my last words were ‘I’m turning onto my side, and oooh, it’s a bit cold!’ before I passed the phone back to Seb, who was cackling like an evil witch.

 

Following the colonic I felt like…well, like I’d had a surprise, and an invigorating massage from another lady who had also been at last night’s talk rounded off the rejuvenation. At some point she started going a bit heavy-duty and when a fit of giggles erupted I looked up to see Sebastian karate-chopping my shoulder blades and rubbing my ears. Perfect. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and we jumped back in the Patriot to head southwards to Brisbane. Our first ticketed public talk is tonight at Victoria Point, hosted by Peter Dowling MP who joined me for the first week of last year’s Murray River paddle. Speaking of politics, the Victorian premier is currently on the news telling people that there’s nothing wrong with a sensible hug. I find it amazing that in such an enormous country there is nothing more important going on than a discussion about over-excited embracing. God Bless Australia, I love this place.

 

Our Hundreds and Thousands Speaking Tour finishes on Wednesday 24th November in North Sydney. We’d love to see you there and have a few more tickets left to sell - click here to book and find out more

Addressing the Property Investment Services Conference in Hervey Bay

Addressing the Property Investment Services Conference in Hervey Bay


Nov 17 2010

This is as high as we go (until next time)

I write from Hervey Bay, the northernmost tip of our Australian Hundreds & Thousands Speaking Tour. These are heady heights for me, but alas! No more of the whimsical ‘ah, I recognise that rest stop, skated there back in [insert necessary date] 2007’ moments that have long since driven Seb to distraction. The road clear of Brisbane has been refreshingly new and our schedule has deliciously compacted, feeding our joint eagerness for experience.

 

For the sake of spicing up our tour documentary Seb and I have decided to have a bloke-off, pitting ourselvs head to head in a variety of very serious disciplines. Heading north we came across a Go Karting track and popped in, a chance decision that resulted in a five-lap race between the two of us and Charlie, a ten year-old with a sharp mouth and a predictable nickname – Stig! Sadly, being a non-driver, I was pipped to the post by both Seb and Charlie in the karts, but revenge was on the cards when we brought the skateboards out. A one-lap race (for which I gave Seb a little head-start) ended in him stacking face-first into the grass and then being mauled by a large dog. Quite funny. Thanks so much to Hervey Bay GoKartTrack for their welcome, it made our day!

Charlie challenges Seb and I to a karting showdown

Charlie challenges Seb and I to a karting showdown

 

Later on that day in Hervey Bay we briefly met Gabriel, who had driven down to loan us a FreeCross, a cross-trainer on wheels upon which I’ll travel a thousand miles across Europe next Spring (watch this space for more on the Freecross). Then to dinner with Hazel and Andy. Hazel had been a great help at the beginning of my Murray paddle last year and showed me her new iPod, upon which she’d engraved the words ‘It’s Time’, the same motto embroidered onto my trans-Oz skate shoes.

It's Time - is there a better motto for life?

It's Time - is there a better motto for life?


Nov 13 2010

Hundreds & Thousands Motivation Speaking Testimonials

Seeing you both together, and I would imagine, singularly, you have an energy that makes one feel alive. Now Im not a skateboard across Australia kinda of… girl. I just am someone who is loving my life and my place in the world. But in saying that I so much enjoyed listening to you guys speak, but more importantly I loved the way you made us feel as though we are part of the journey. The way you speak and the way you write is so full of life, laughter and adventure that it helps us less adventurous to feel the sheer buzz you guys get from the simple act of living!
Melissa Carmody, Forster

It was an absolute privilege to meet you guys tonight.  You guys are inspiring, and I loved your talk.
Tony Leff, Brisbane

Thanks for your inspiring talk :) You definitely got us talking about our goals and what we want in life.
Di Weston, Sydney

It’s close to midnight and I can not sleep, why? because after your visit to Grossmann High today I cannot stop thinking about my future and where my life is headed and what I would personally like to accomplish. And to think that I almost did not come and watch you guys! Best decision of my life! Most “motivational” speakers never really motivate anyone. But you guys did the complete opposite! Every single student that was there walked out talking about “their own list.”
Student, Maitland

I just wanted to say a MASSIVE thank you! I am now motivated to create my own bucket list and I hope to accomplish some while I am travelling in Europe. All I can really say is you guys are so awesome, what you do is such a cool thing!
Pupil from Grossman High School, Maitland, NSW

Oustanding guys! You are both living such full and fascinating lives. I was engrossed in every word you had to say and could have listened to you both talk for hours. I walked away from a light hearted, entertaining and funny show completely inspired to change my world. Thank you!
Nat Hunt, Gold Coast, QLD

Dave and Sebastian’s Hundreds and Thousands Presentation at our school was really awesome. I would like to thank you for such an event. Before the presentation I had never heard of Paddleboarding, the Aqua Skipper or the Bike-like thing that looked like a piece of Gym Equipment! Thanks again for the presentation and Good Luck with the Mississipi Paddleboarding!
Student, Maitland

I attended the talk in Brisbane this week and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Dave and Seb. I came away with more motivation to turn my dreams into realities. Thank you both for an inspirational and entertaining evening.
Cecilia Marchisella

 Thanks, you have changed the way i see things. I have been waiting for the time to hear from someone like you to give me the belief that there is more to life. You are a great inspiration to me.
Skye-Tia Arnott

 

I thought your talk was great. For me, what you guys do is beyond just ‘motivation’ to get off my ass, it actually ignites that real passion in me to get out there and be different to the norm. When I left school 3 years go I travelled around Europe on my own to find myself…since coming back I feel I have slipped back into routine, and your talk tonight has me fired up to get back into action! 

Josie Smith, Sydney

 

Being a school that works with disengaged, at risk adolescents, we are always on the look out for motivating and inspiring guest speakers that can act as role models for our students. Passion and creativity are attributes so highly valued and yet so rarely exhibited in tandem. Sebastian Terry and Dave Cornthwaite demonstrate and live these attributes on a daily basis. Sharing their own unique recount of finding their way in life by ‘staying true to yourself and your purpose’ is nothing short of inspirational. Through their own journey of self discovery they are able to deliver a motivational, humorous and highly engaging presentation. Hundreds and thousands speaking tour will motivate children, youth and adults alike and facilitates a flow of new ideas and positive change. It is a diverse and creative presentation that comes highly recommended for any project or event.

Kate Cooper – Leading Teacher Southern Teaching Unit

 

Seb and Dave inspired me so much when they talked about their goals and what they have achieved in their lives so far. They were just so encouraging. I was just blown away by some of the things that they have done and achieved. I walked away believing that I could achieve anything I wanted to. Thank you so much.

Tara Year 9 - Southern Teaching Unit

 

I found Dave and Seb really inspiring and interesting. They were really funny and I was amazed at what they have been able to do. I had never thought of writing a list of things I want to do but I now have a list of 10 things and I can’t wait to start doing them.

Ramadan Year 8 – Southern Teaching Unit

 

I think Seb and Dave are so funny and so brave. They have such awesome adventures and don’t care what people think. They never give up, they help other people and they live their life having fun. I have written a list of 40 things and I’ve already started working out how I’m going to cross them off.

Jacob Year 7 – Southern Teaching Unit

 

I really enjoyed Dave and Seb’s talk. It was very inspirational and it showed me how you can change your life by stepping away from the herd and achieving your goals by being persistent.

Kyle Year 7 – Southern Teaching Unit

 

Seb and Dave taught me:

• To think outside the square

• Step outside the herd – don’t follow everyone else

• Good brings out good

• Participate in life

• Commit to your goals

• Do what you want to do because you want to do it

Thank you so much for teaching me to live my dreams

Khorey Year 8 – Southern Teaching Unit

 

Thanks so much for your awesome talk.

To Seb: It really inspired me to make my own list. It’s not as extreme as your list, like

marrying a stranger and Sky-Diving nude, but hopefully it will fulfil my life.

To Dave: You have really inspired me to think outside the box. I loved the way you push your body to the limit like with the massive skateboarding trip and the Source to Sea expedition. Now you have inspired me to push myself to my limit.

Jordan Year 8 – Southern Teaching Unit

 

Dave and Sebastian were a big hit with our sales team.  Their commitment, enthusiasm and energy for their respective projects/paths is enviable and admirable and leaves you with a yearning to do more in your own life.  Plus! They are gentlemen and have a refreshing air of goodness and childlike optimism about them.  They left us all on a high – Claire Gordon, Marketing Manager, Supagas


Nov 10 2010

Oz Tour 2010: How dolphins make life better

Everything seems to slide into clear perspective when you’re lying on a surfboard and a huge pod of dolphins is playing around and underneath you. In no way do I want the title of this blog to suggest that life isn’t anything but jolly at the moment, but at a time when I feel like a new episode of life is creeping into its formative stage and everything is fairly new and moving at a pace that is sometimes quite unsettling, the peace I felt this afternoon at Yamba on the east coast of Australia reminded me that rest is an essential part of being busy!

After our first three talks last week Seb and I have been making our way up the coast towards Brisbane from Sydney, preparing not only for a two-week series of lectures but also for the future. Whereas my year has been fairly quiet with non Adventure projects and book writing keeping my head low, Seb is flying high at the moment. It’s a privilege to be a fly on the wall watching his journey develop at  rate of knots - and rather than feel intimidated it’s been a much-needed period of contemplation for my next year or two, as well as a source of motivation. It feels wonderful to be doing something I love: travelling, meeting new people and learning, and to know my future is going to be ram-packed full of newness purely because I want it to be, it’s addictive, and to fuel the addiction there’s only one thing for it - keep having ideas and seeing them through. Acting on an idea - like Seb did with 100Things - opens doors, and walking through one door often opens another. These things snowball and we’re in a blizzard right now.

Eyes on the road, Seb

Eyes on the road, Seb

Our talk is very much about the knock-on effects of positive thoughts and actions, and Seb’s 100Things project has turned from a simple idea (and one that we all have in some form or another) to a continent-hopping experience-laden venture in just 16 months. The power  of the word ‘yes’ is infectious, it’s important not to forget that. Hey, we’re lucky to be here and almost everyone we meet suggests we’re benefitting from the L-word, so let’s surface the old ‘you make your own luck’ cliche. Seb and I met six months ago and a couple of hours later we came up with the idea of doing a talk together. Believe it or not we only spent four days in each other’s company before I swooped into Sydney two weeks ago, but in that time I helped Seb break an eggy world record and we paddled across a big lake together. Now, touring up the East Coast in a Jeep that was given to us because Chrysler liked what we were doing and having the opportunity to stand in front of thousands of people to share our passions…well, wow! Beat that.

On our first day out of Sydney Seb and I were lucky enough to be given a 4WD lesson and a tour along Stockton Beach, NSW, by ‘Outback’ Vic Widman, who runs one of the country’s largest 4WD touring companies. Back in 2006 Vic and about 15 4WD vehicles overtook me on the Nullarbor Plain (I was on a skateboard) and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. The man is a breath of fresh air and generous to boot, in a day or so we’ll post a video that shows he’s not too shabby when talking to the camera! Take a look at www.4wd.net.au if you’re considering touring Oz on four heavy-duty wheels.

'Outback Vic' on Stockton Beach

'Outback Vic' on Stockton Beach

Tickets are selling like hotcakes for our open-to-the-public events in Brisbane (17th November) and Sydney (24th November), what an amazing feeling that people are buying tickets just to see us! Seb and I do a little dance everytime a new ticket is sold. We’ve also put out a call for unsigned bands and musicians to send us tracks to use in the films we’re making at the moment, thanks to everyone sending songs through - keep ‘em coming!

We’re still booking talks for the end of November/ early December in Sydney and Melbourne, so if anyone wants us there’s more info on my site at www.davecornthwaite.com and Seb’s at www.100things.com.au