While the world is on hold and we take a break between chapters… Based On A True Story founder, Niel Fox, takes a look back at how it all began…
Growing up, I was destined to be a pretty normal kid in working-class Yorkshire. That changed when at 17, before starting art college, I had the opportunity to visit relatives in Tasmania.
I returned to England a year later, a very different person with an insatiable appetite for adventure.
I forged ahead with a career in graphic design developing, in parallel, an addiction to outdoor adventure. At 22 I quit a senior role in a good job and flew to Australia armed with a suitcase full of music (hundreds of tapes in those days) to set off and drive around the continent. That two year adventure culminated hitchhiking across Asia to get home.
In the early 90’s I founded a brand building business that was successful on two accounts; it made money, which bought me freedom. So through the 90’s (much credit to a patient and understanding partner) I managed to travel two years on, two years off.
I flew to New York and hitched across the US into Central and South America. Then island hopped across the South Pacific, travelled overland to New Zealand, drove a 4×4 around Australia again, then to the Himalayas and across Asia to Thailand, from where I sailed back to the UK.
When I returned, I set myself a target to not spend a weekend in the city; I felt that life at least owed me two full days of freedom. A 6-month challenge extended through two whole years eventually becoming the necessary catalyst to radically change my life.
With a map of the world I circled parts I’d always wanted to travel and a plan took shape; to travel by natural power from the north of England to Antarctica. I sold up everything. I wanted to inspire others to challenge convention as well as raise funds for orphaned children.
Virtually 3 years later, I reached the ice after nearly 40,000kms on the bike, sailing on 11 yachts, having climbed many of the major mountains en route, wild-camping the whole way. So easy to summarise in a sentence. In truth it was a hell of a long way, but didn’t look that far on a small world map! Looking back, every single day was truly incredible. An experience so full of thrilling escapades that one day I simply must write a book.
So, it was on this journey, out of the blue, at the right place and the right time, in Venezuela, I bumped into a chap who needed some help with some exceptionally wealthy travellers. And so I stepped off my bike to enter a very very different world…
To be continued…
More stories from around the world
All elements are woven together with wondrous creativity, as each chapter of our magical journeys is told.
Expect elaborate theatrical events, wild escapades and eccentric characters…