I can always remember that from a young age I was intrigued by stories of adventurers trekking around the globe and undertaking challenges others wouldn’t even dream of, even under the hardest of circumstances. There is nothing like a story of someone who embraced the spirit of adventure; stories that have inspired me to set my own heart on a world challenge.
With the knowledge of those that have gone before me and the stories of the great adventurers I remember from my childhood, I knew I wanted to undertake something big.
My answer came not long after when I was watching TV one evening and the story of then 19-year-old Australian Ryan Campbell came on ’60 Minutes’ who had just completed a solo world flight. I was inspired. As I watched the segment my heart became set on this challenge (much to my mother’s dismay!). I can now proudly say that Ryan is a mentor to me, and someone who is guiding my own journey.
“How hard can it be?” My initial thoughts had been that all I would need to do is plan a route, ask a few pilots some questions and ask a few sponsors for money (who could refuse?), jump in the plane and go.
I won’t say famous last words, but I soon discovered that it wasn’t that easy when I had a chat with Ryan. I had found Ryan’s contact via his manager from his own flight, David Lyall, who owns and runs media/PR/management agency Sports Communication Australia who look after a multitude of clients, including Australian Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall and now, me.
The more people I spoke with, the bigger the picture grew, the more pieces of the puzzle emerged. It would have been easy to become overwhelmed by everything that lay in front of me and hit the eject button. However I was fortunate that with every challenge that emerged so did the structural support around me, be it individuals or companies that are helping me pull off this challenge.
Since making my decision, one of the things I often get asked is why I want to undertake such an extreme adventure? why fly around the world in a single engined aircraft alone? My answer: To share an ideology that is very close to my heart; that high goals can be achieved through adversity, while still undertaking the dream of flying.
There are so many aspects I need to consider, but I know that if I put my head down and believe in myself then anything is possible. As NASA state: “Excellence is achieved by those who believed,” a statement I intend to prove true.