The ‘Power of Human Endeavor’ what a wonderfully intoxicating and evocative spell this creates! It has driven curious, brave and open-minded people to search the undiscovered world from conquering the four corners to ultimately, stepping on the moon. Needless to say, many of my heroes growing-up were some of the greats – Shackleton, Amundsen, Chichester, Mallory and Armstrong. I was fascinated by their journeys of discovery and have been lucky enough to have dipped my toe into some of them over the last thirty years and have seen first-hand what the benefits of stepping into the unknown can be.
What does it really mean though? My read on it is that it is about being your best, wanting to discover, to improve, to explore, to walk tall. All are true sentiments and powerful war cries, but they are not always easy to harness. I think that it is fair to say that we all know that these are important aspects of us developing and yet sometimes they are almost too tough to start. In my experience having been a soldier, a professional sailor, a keen adventurer and running my own business is that everything is possible and all you must do is ‘believe’ and get involved. Just start. Never forget that humans are meant to excel and when one understands how capable we are and how brilliantly adaptive the human spirit is, one realizes that anything is achievable. Throw in a bit of determination and persistence and all our goals suddenly become accessible.
To me, the beauty of human endeavor is that it takes one out of our comfort zone and breaks the monotony of what the norm is. You confront risk and challenge yourself. In the process, one learns more about oneself and what you’re capable of and, about the world around you. I live by the adage that you only have one life and it is imperative that you really pack it in. Live it hard, give it your best shot, be accountable, have great fun and try and do things that make you happy and fuel your soul.
Expeditions and travel, on the whole, are an incredible backdrop to show the individual and teams what their true potential is, more often than not, igniting something in them which will have a dramatic effect on their outlook in life, whether personally or professionally. Trips/expeditions demand that you be your best and allow one an incredible platform to recalibrate and strive for excellence. Their overall success really comes down to a handful of obvious building blocks including teamwork, diligent preparation, overall motivation and clear communication, which when put together with care, insight and balance, will make the difference between success and failure. These far-flung regions are so beautiful in their remoteness and austerity and to be able to see them is unique. One always returns having learnt superb lessons about oneself and life in general.
Through Joro Experiences, we aim to help create these extraordinary experiences, and we exist to help people find different ways of discovering the world, but what we really believe is that, every journey should have a unique sense of adventure. Yes, we can take you to the end of the earth to search for polar bears, but we can also map out a treasure hunt for your children across the Greek Isles or, dream up a honeymoon that revolves around more than just a beach. Everybody has something that moves them – and our task is to create an adventure that makes each one of our clients feel truly alive. It is great fun and a real privilege to be able to facilitate, plan and deliver these exceptional trips and expeditions.
We are also very committed to raising awareness around social and environmental issues and try to set an example as to being accountable and responsible. On that, we’re excited about an important research expedition we’re doing later this year to kite-ski across 2000 miles of Antarctica from coast to coast, via the ‘Pole of Inaccessibility’ and the ‘South Pole’ and we have some great brands involved including HP, Stanford University and the European Space Agency. We are incorporating some super sustainable initiatives, including doing some vital scientific research on the state of the Antarctician ice shelf and its importance in the equilibrium of climate change. We will also be looking at new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on our understanding of human biology to advance healthcare.
What a stimulating time to be alive and there is so much to go and get stuck into, so shake off any doubt you may have, ignite your deepest dreams/aspirations and go and see the wonder of this magnificent world first-hand.
Justin Packshaw has built a life around travel. Born in the Mediterranean, he served in the British Army, has represented Britain in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht race, crossed Mongolia on horseback, summited Everest, jet-skied the coast of Nigeria and led several expeditions to both the North and South Poles (to name just a few conquered feats).
Justin is a strong campaigner for environmental conservation and, combined with his passion for adventure, brings a knowledge of how to use travel as a force for good to the Joro team. He is a dedicated philanthropist and his last two expeditions to the North & South Poles have raised over £1.3m for The Prince’s Trust.