Dave Cornthwaite is probably the most adventurous adventurer we’ve had on the show so far, in terms of sheer diversity of physical challenges. His Expedition 1000 series involves 25 expeditions of at least 1,000 miles each, and so far has involved skateboarding, swimming, sailing, tandeming, kayaking, stand up paddling, and Eliptigoing. And the Aquaskipper – see link below to find out what that is.

After abandoning a career as a graphic artist to pursue a life of adventure, Dave now holds five world records, has written three books (so far, with more to come), works regularly as a motivational speaker, and has coined the motto Say Yes More, which absolutely sums up his philosophy of life.

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Show Notes

2:20 Say Yes More and swimming the Missouri River

5:20 Does Dave ever say no?

6:20 Can adventuring be financially sustainable? Why adventurers are happier and spend less

8:50 Expedition 1000 – what next? Who knows?!

9:45 Keeping it simple – and cheap

10:50 What are the essential ingredients of adventure? And the kindness of strangers

13:30 The joy of being a non-commuter

15:40 Dave’s favourite adventures so far – SUPing the Mississippi and bikecaring fom Memphis to Miami – nearly dying just 4 hours into the latter

19:00 Dave’s toughest adventure so far – swimming the Lower Missouri

24:45 Facing fears

26:20 Would Dave row an ocean?

28:00 Dave’s girlfriend, Emily Penn – does absence (adventure) make the heart grow fonder?

29:30 Fascination with human mindset. Changing the world starts by changing ourselves, and that will spread as we engage in that conversation.

32:00 The immediate future

32:45 50 ways to make £50 – inspiring people to have faith in their ability to make money

33:50 Running the numbers – 1,000 women in 100 days?!

36:10 Dave’s advice for people who want to live life more adventurously (includes invitation to have a beer with Dave)

Say Yes More

“It’s all about trying to get people to do more good stuff. Back in my early twenties I used to say no a lot, and therefore didn’t experience many good things. I wasn’t developing myself much. I missed out on some great opportunities.” (Dave Cornthwaite)

Dave Cornthwaite: the man who likes to say yes
Dave Cornthwaite: the man who likes to say yes

You’ll have gathered from my chat with Dave that he now is a man who likes to say yes, game for anything, up for a challenge – much like the people whose obituaries I recalled when I was writing my fantasy obituary.

As Dave points out in our podcast, this doesn’t mean saying yes to everything (Jim Carrey in Yes Man shows how that pans out…) but, as I interpret it anyway, it means saying yes as a default, rather than the safer option of saying no.

I’m sure we can all think of occasions when we said no to something – a social invitation, a business proposition, an adventure, a date – because we were afraid or uncertain of the outcome, and didn’t want to risk failing, or looking like an idiot, or embarrassing ourselves, or losing credibility, or being hurt.

Maybe that invitation to a party that was just a bit too far away, or we were a bit too tired, or we weren’t sure if we would know anybody there. But maybe we would have met the love of our life, or a new best friend, or a new business partner.

Or a business venture, proposed by a friend, before we felt ready to go out on our own. Maybe the business would have succeeded, and set us up for life.

Or an adventure that sounded uncomfortable or strenuous, and focused on those negative aspects rather than on the amazing scenery, or the comradeship, or the sense of achievement, or even if it all went hilariously wrong, what a great story it might make in the pub afterwards.

Or the date, but we were taken by surprise, didn’t trust the person, couldn’t quite believe it was true, felt we would be punching above our weight. But it could have been for real.

Of course, our self-preserving self says to us, it MIGHT have gone right, but it could also turn out to fulfil our worst fears, in which case we did the right thing by not taking the risk. Well, good for you. You played it safe. You avoided hurt and embarrassment or wasting your time. I hope that makes you happy.

But why not try it just once? Just one teensy weensy little thing that takes you outside your comfort zone? You never know, you might enjoy it. And it DOES make a much better story in the pub than playing it safe ever will!

[If you’re reading this after 11th Oct 2013, here’s a link to a blog post on Extending Your Comfort Zone.]

Adventure should be 80 percent “I think this is manageable”, but it’s good to have that last 20 percent where you’re right outside your comfort zone.” (Bear Grylls)


Main website, including 50 Ways to Make £50

Full bio Expedition 1000

Video for #iamyou – Do what you love and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it.

Dave’s philosophy of adventure

That Aquaskipper video

Dave’s books


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