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Jordan Wylie (Extreme Adventurer)

On today’s podcast, we are talking with Jordan Wylie. He is a former soldier, author and extreme adventurer.

He has raised over a million pounds for charity and completed numerous expeditions, including the highly publicised Running Dangerously, which saw him run through Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, and Barefoot Warrior which involved climbing Mt Kilimanjaro completely barefoot!

In 2020 he wrote his name into the Guinness Book of Records by Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) for further and longer at sea than anyone ever has before in history

On the podcast, we talk about his trips and expeditions and about why he pursues these extreme adventures.

Jordan’s Instagram

Jordan’s Website

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Transcript of our Conversation

Jordan Wylie

[00:00:00] Jordan Wylie: Hello, and welcome to the modern adventurer podcast coming up, been invited. And I said, well, I’m going to, I’m going to climb it barefoot. And I’m going to give it a bit of a, an identity. I’m going to call it barefoot warrior, make a nice little logo and a website and see how it goes. And it raised nearly 70,000 pound and they walked alongside me and they raised, you know, a, a thousand pound I think, or 2000 pounds, but a significantly, a lot less, but still an amazing amount of money.

And I thought all I did was the same as them, but with no shoes on. And I thought so you don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to have this super profile. You don’t have to be a celebrity or anything like that to raise a lot of money. You’ve just got to think outside the box and do things differently.

My next guest is a former soldier best-selling author and an extreme adventurer from [00:01:00] his expedition running dangerously, which was running a marathon in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia to paddle boarding around the UK. It’s also the host of the channel four series hunted. And today on the podcast, we talk about a number of his trips.

And about why he does these extreme adventures. So I am delighted to introduce Jordan Wiley to the show. Thanks for having me a pleasure to be here at Laster. I know it’s been there quite a few, a few attempts, but I mean, absolutely amazing to have you on what I absolutely love about your story. It’s a sort of transition from the army to what you’re doing now and sort of inspiring so many people.

Let’s sort of go back to the beginning. How did this all sort of start for you? You’re not familiar. I grew up in Blackpool in Lancashire and I guess. You know, if I’m being completely honest, it was joining the military was [00:02:00] really sort of a lack of other opportunities. At that age of sort of 16 years old, you know, I I’m, I’m not too proud to say that I left school with no qualifications.

I, you know, I really didn’t apply myself and that’s something I right. To share those lessons with young people today because I had the opportunity to go to education, but didn’t put the effort in. And what I later learned in life is actually to have the opportunities are privileged in itself on like a lot of children around the world.

But, you know, I, I learned that lesson and I, and I certainly tried to share that lesson, but very proud to say, actually that I went back to education as a soldier in the army and did my. I did a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. So sort of turned it around and, you know, owe a lot to the military for that, that, that opportunity in itself.

Yeah. Yeah. I joined the army at 16 because I didn’t how many qualifications I ended up again with limited options inside the army. So my opportunities were really joined the infantry or joined the Royal Ahmed coal, which you both the two fighting units, if you like, or the fighting arms of the [00:03:00] the British army.

So, yeah. I joined a tank regimen and I spent the next 10 years that really had lots of. Great experiences traveling around the world obviously took part in different operations in places like Iraq and Northern Ireland. And, you know, really, I think got to, got to grow up quickly and got to understand, you know, for me, real education I learned in the army is about me in people and traveling to different places.

That’s where, you know, really gives you solid ground. And I think in life, but also. I learned values. I think the values and standards of the British army probably what sets them apart from, from most organizations in the world. You know, we, we sort of live and breathe our values of, of courage respect for others, integrity, loyalty, discipline, selfless commitment.

And those core values are integral to, you know, to being a soldier and, and still the same values. In fact that I carry and I’ve left the army 10 years ago, but they’re still the same values that I try to uphold and carry everyday now as a civilian, because [00:04:00] for me, I think they’re probably the best decision making tool that I ever ever gained in life.

You know, because you always know if you’re doing right or wrong because you, you, you question and hold yourself accountable to your values, I think. And, and that’s what the military was, was really good at. And I think that’s why. A lot of people struggle when they come out of the forces because you lose that, that sense of belonging, that sense of, of pride, that sense of purpose.

And I think you have to sort of try to cling on and remember those values because that’s also, what’s going to pull you out and keep you going and, and pushing forward. But yeah, 10 years in the army and then left the army. I spent five years in the private security sector, sort of dealing with piracy off the, off the east coast of Africa, of Somalia.

Dealing with the, the, the, the piracy threat between sort of 2009, 2013, 14. And then really from then, it’s been for the last six or seven years, I guess, a life of adventure. Obviously lots of twists and turns along the way way, but I think, [00:05:00] you know, we all have ups and downs in life. I’ve certainly, I speak quite openly about things like mental health, you know, I’ve admired my low points.

I still take medication for depression, anxiety today. But try to stay positive, try to have that. I guess that growth mindset that you know, that, and these days I try to try to find positives even in what would be perceived negatives as well, you know, whether that’s lessons or, you know, things to change for next time.

So, you know, it’s, it’s been an incredible journey so far, we’ve, you know, lots of twists and turns, as I say, Okay, well, let’s, let’s sort of get into it because you, when Somalia, you sort of, you were there for quite a bit of time. And then afterwards you decided to sort of run marathons in all these sort of war torn areas.

What was the sort of purpose behind doing these marathons? Then, you know, the, the, the, the, the project was called running dangerously, and it was, it was really about going back to places that I’ve ever worked in or served in as a soldier. [00:06:00] And. And highlighting the plight of the children in these places, because, you know, as a soldier, I think I was always able to process the, some of the hardships we went through, you know, losing friends, losing colleagues, which is obviously absolutely tragic, but I.

I was always able to understand that because it was part of life as a soldier. You know, you, you, you go to war and unfortunately bad things happen and, and you have to deal with that. But what I always struggled with was, was seen children injured, hurt, maimed, whatever it might be. And that was something that I.

Trouble to process, because I think for me, children are always the innocent victims of a conflict when one breaks out, because there are the victims of circumstance, you know, an adult can, can normally leave the country, leave the region or choose to stand and fight. You know, if they’re in a war, whereas a child is just there and there’s nothing they can really do.

And I, you know, I met, I met lots of children who have lost their families, their loved ones, their friends, their schools had been blown up or whatever it might be, you know, real. Real hard lives that these [00:07:00] children live. And some of them have only, you know, they’d been born in war and conflict zones and that’s all they’ve ever known.

You know, I, I can remember 18 months ago I was in Syria and I met a child and, you know, there was a sort of large blast, a couple of miles away, and I was sort of ex military jumping on the floor, trying to get into cover away from, you know, this noise and the child just carried on playing football. And I.

Bloody hell, what’s this, what’s this kid doing. And then my interpreter who was with me said, Jordan, this is normal for them. They don’t, they’re not scared. This is, this is how they’ve grown up, you know, with bombs and bullets around them. And I just made me think, you know, what a, what a tragic sort of state of affairs that a child doesn’t even flinch when When a bullets being shot or a bombs going off because that’s all they know is normal.

And yeah, the, the running dangerously project was about, was about raising awareness and funds to try and provide opportunities for children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. So I decided to go back to those countries and actually also to show people that these countries aren’t full of bad nasty [00:08:00] people, because.

You know, sometimes you flick on the news these days, you, you, you look at the media online and you Google it Iraq or Afghanistan, Somalia, you see a lot of negative stories by default. You will see bombs, bullets, terrorists, Taliban Al-Qaeda and whatever else. But actually that’s a very small percentage of the people in those countries, you know, less than 1% probably actually.

But. They’re the stories that make the headlines. And I want it to show people that these countries are full of natural beauty. They’re incredible places to go for an adventure. They’re also full of amazing, warm, loving, hospitable people that there’s like me and you, you know, they, they want to do good.

They want to go to work. They want to go home and have their food and love their family. They don’t want war. And so for me, it was important to try and challenge. Certainly the Western perceptions of these countries, because in Afghanistan, it is probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world, you know, in, in, in certainly where I was in, in the Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan, it’s got probably the most beautiful national [00:09:00] park I’ve ever been to.

You know, and we run through it. People we paddleboard in. They’re amazing, you know, and well, people would never go there because it’s it’s Afghanistan and it comes with it. The tarnish of the Western brush that says negative vibes, energy, but incredible countries. All three of them. Yeah. He had Nick butter on recently and he ran a marathon in every country.

He said, when he went into like Syria, he was sort of expecting this war torn area and he came into just such incredible hospit hospitality. And it’s it’s that throughout the whole world, I did a trip a few years ago to, towards Afghanistan on sort of on the border and people who have had on like Ava last couple of weeks, it’s always the same, this incredible beauty and hospitality.

And sometimes the Western media have sort of, as you say, tarnished, The reputations of that country. So no matter what happens the next sort of [00:10:00] 10 years, everyone will associate those countries. We have war. I, you know, I, when I came back from Afghanistan in particular I did a news interview with the BBC and they sort of was running with the narrative that, you know, crazy adventure running through the war zone and this, and they said, you know, you could have been killed, you could have done this, that and the other.

And I said, okay, I said when I was in Afghanistan, I, nobody said anything bad to me. Nobody tried to hurt me. Nobody tried to attack me. But when I was on the tube on the way to your interview this morning, there was somebody with a knife that was threatening people. You know, in limbo. Yeah. And for me, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s contact is everything.

And then I traveled through Afghanistan without any real problems. Of course there’s always security concerns. Of course, we’re always doing risk assessments. And of course there are hotspots, but you know, I, I see more violence on the streets of London. Then I saw on that particular trip of Afghanistan.

Yeah, it was. So it was a story of a guy. He, I can’t remember his name cycled around the world. You know, used to leave his bike [00:11:00] everywhere, where he went running the entire world. And then when he got back to the UK, left it, you know, just outside a shop to go and pick up some food and it was nicked within the first 10 days.

It sounds about right. I see. Yeah, I sort of, I, what I, what I love is this sort of idea of breaking down perceptions of other countries, which yeah. Usually get a sort of, bit of a bad press. And so you raised quite a bit of money for those. Charities by doing that. Yeah, absolutely. You know, for me you know, the charity sector is very interesting because I’ve, I’ve, I’ve raised lots of money for lots of different causes or causes over the years, but.

I really, over the last few years, I’ve really drilled down into a sort of accountability. I want to know where every penny is going, that I’m raising. You know, I don’t like this idea and I just collect money and hand it over to one of these large sort of almost corporate type challenged charities that you don’t really know if your funds are going to help or not.

You just know that you’ve [00:12:00] sent it to someone who should be sending it to the right place. And, and that really booked me after the running dangerously project. You know, I, I was asking lots of questions and. And I really wanted to tell my donors, which, you know, we built a new school of, we provided resources that we funded some teachers and some of the charities got to tell me that they just said it, you know, it goes into the big pot and we distribute it accordingly across several programs.

And I just thought, you know, I understand that, but that’s not good enough for me and the people that I want to be accountable to. So, you know, I, I ended up setting up with some trustees as a very small charity called frontline children. And. That is a charity that’s quite unique in some respect because we, we, we have no salaried staff, we don’t take expenses.

And we know that every penny goes to where it needs to go. We publish our accounts online and any donor really wants to interrogate any program or accounting is very welcome to. So, you know, I, I really take a lot of pride that, that every penny that I collect these days is going exactly where it should be going.

[00:13:00] And that, you know, but at the same time, because we don’t have any salaried staff and we rely completely on volunteers, our growth is very limited. We can only work on very small programs, but we, you know, we’ve just built a school from scratch. And that was incredible. Cause that’s three years of fundraising on the horn of Africa.

So then. Go from, you know, a piece of wasteland that was gifted as gifted to us by the government to then opening a school for up to 250 kids is all come through these adventures and people sponsoring them. And, and for me, that’s really powerful because we’ve done that from nothing. We’ve not, you know, that’s completely volunteers, amazing kind of public people, and we we’ve managed it ourselves and delivered it and handed it over to the government now, which is.

Which is w you know, we’re super proud of that because that, that is really making a difference and having an impact in a certain part of the work. It’s amazing. You, you, as you say, with your adventures, there’s such a sort of. Inspiring element to it because you’ve done some pretty crazy ones over the years, barefoot running the Crow [00:14:00] up Kilimanjaro.

Yeah. Yeah, we’ve done lots of it. It was a really interesting, that was, that was probably my first real lesson in, in, in major fundraising actually, because you know, that that particular story was, you know, probably six, seven years ago now. And. I was two of my friends was asking if I wanted to come on a climbing expedition or hiking, trekking expedition to Kilimanjaro.

And they were raising money for a cancer charity at the time. And, you know, I was saying new to fundraising, but certainly new to manger fundraising on a large scale. And I said, Why don’t we do things differently instead of just going up it like a lot of people do every year, hundreds, thousands, maybe at why don’t we do it barefoot and take our shoes off.

And they obviously both looked at me like I was a bit crazy and a bit weird and, and said, no, and that’s silly idea. When I say, well, do you mind if I do that? You know, it wasn’t my challenge. It wasn’t my project as such. So I was, you know, I didn’t want to sort of in true, but I’d been invited and I said, well, I’m going to.

I’m going to climb it barefoot, and I’m going to give it a bit of a, an identity. I’m going to call it barefoot warrior, make a nice little logo and a website [00:15:00] and see how it goes. And it raised nearly 70,000 pound and they walked alongside me and they raised, you know, a thousand pounds I think, or 2000 pounds, but a significantly, a lot less, but still an amazing amount of money.

And I thought all I did was the same as them, but with no shoes on. And I thought so. You don’t have to be a genius. You don’t have to have this super profile. You don’t have to be a celebrity or anything like that to raise a lot of money. You’ve just got to think outside the box and do things differently.

And that’s where really everything has stemmed from that idea, because. Or the, the, the, the running dangerously or the rowing dangerously or the great British puddle. These are, these are all pretty simple things. When you break them down, you know, if I’m running dangerously, I’m running a marathon, but I’m doing it in another country.

But you know, we, we make it sound sexy. We make it sound appealing. It attracts the media’s attention. And when you’ve got the media’s attention, you then have the access to the masses of people. So I, I try to look at a cycle. And so first you, you build your project identity, you know, it needs a, it needs a catchy name.

It needs a logo, you [00:16:00] know, give it a website, give it a bit of branding. And then what you do is you pitch it to the media and tell them what you’re going to do. Because if you just go to the people, that’s a hard slog, you know, you’re relying on hundreds of spam in Facebook posts all the time or, or Instagram or whatever.

But if you go to the media, They do that job for you. They tell the whole world about it. So, you know, I, I worked out this sort of recipe that, you know, that, that I’ve used and seems to keep working. Of course, you’ve got to find something that often that has not been done before, or that’s been done before.

What you did it with a twist, or maybe it’s a world record or a world first. And obviously they had a bit more appeal to the media because getting the media’s attention is normally the hard bit. So that’s why it’s got to stand out. But yeah, I use the same formula each time. It’s, it’s not a secret and it tends to work, you know, and, and at the same time, if you cannot build your personal brand and profile alongside that, you can then start to attract corporates as well.

Who, who also want exposure from the media. So, you know, again, it’s finding things that [00:17:00] work for everybody, because then you speak to a corporate and you tell them I’m going to be on the BBC sky news or good morning Britain or whatever it might be. And I’m going to wear your t-shirt or your cap.

Everyone’s winning because they’re happy as well. So, you know, there’s a, there’s a lot of as, as you know, as good as anyone when you’re doing these, the adventure is actually the adventure itself is the easy bit. It’s all the stuff that people don’t see. It’s the logistics, it’s the media. It’s, it’s the sponsorship, the donors, the charity stuff.

That’s the stuff that is the real hard slog that, that people don’t see. It’s that it’s that iceberg effect. You know, they just see that, that the flag at the end where you’re celebrating or something, they don’t see that the slug of, of, of getting it done and get bringing it together. Yeah, it’s usually the sort of adventures are the easy part.

This sort of. Slug of, as, as you say, asking people, if you haven’t got the media element is just, I personally find it just the hardest part of it. As you say, with the adventure, you’ve planned it, you know, it, you are fit enough for it. So you’re like, okay, do it. I think it’s about relationships as well. [00:18:00] You know, I try to.

I spend a lot of time on, on maintaining and, and cultivate in relationships with, with brands, with partners and, and try and over deliver. So then trying to provide them more value than, than, than they’ve been promised. You know, I think I, I try to never promise that I’m going to give you a documentary or a book or.

You know, a sky news interview, but I go on my way to try and make that happen, you know, and I think they really appreciate that and they respect that. And, and, and then you, you sort of over-delivering on your, on your promises, which is what everyone wants in, in, in commercial world or business. They, they, they want more than they paid for.

And, you know, and, and not really being able to do that relies on the strength of networks, you know, being able to reach out to a media organization or a brand and say, this is what I’m doing. Can you help? And. And they will help because you’ve been spending a lot of time helping them in the past. And I think where a lot of people get it wrong in these circumstances is they, they only go to people when they want something.

And that’s a terrible human habit, which a lot of people have. They, they go and [00:19:00] ask somebody because, you know, they might not have spoke to that person for a year or two years or never at all, but they’ve reached out because they want something from them as opposed to staying in touch with them, seeing how they can help them.

You know, somebody said to me many years ago that. The the, the real currency of networking is generosity. And it’s something I try to live by. I try to help as many people as possible to encourage to support. So sometimes people might want a little video or a quote, and there’s no harm in doing it if they’re doing it for a good cause that why not?

You know, I asked people, I’ve asked several people recently, can you. Can you provide a quote for a new book or a website? Some people say no, some people don’t reply it. I just think, well, why not? It’s for a good cause you’re trying to do good in the world. Why, why not help somebody? And I don’t know why, why not book for me?

If I can help somebody, I will always help somebody if you’re trying to do something good. And I think. I think the world is it’s very reciprocal. If you try and do good, good things tend to happen and you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to get because it happens naturally. No, I, I completely agree with you on that.

It, [00:20:00] relationships are a huge part. And actually what I’m finding, especially by doing this podcast is by just speaking to everyone, you learn so much and you’re using your platform in order to get the sort of word out about other people. You know, I started the podcast because I thought it’d be really interesting to speak to people like yourself who I wouldn’t otherwise, you know, during a lockdown, whatever have had the chance of bumping into.

And it’s this sort of thing of just making, trying to give, use your platform for the good of. You know, inspiring other people massively. I think it’s huge. I think, and I would even go as far as to say that that to me personally, where I am at this stage of my life is that’s how I would measure success.

Is it success to me today is, is very different than 10 years ago. Success to me today is, is how much of a positive impact can I have on. The next generations lives and the more people I can positive, [00:21:00] positively impact the more successful I am, but that’s how I measure my own success today. If I can inspire, if I can motivate and courage, educate younger people, then for me, you know, I’m winning and then winning and we’re all winning.

So I absolutely couldn’t agree more. So you’ve had quite a interesting puddle boarding experience recently. This was paddle boarding around the, the UK or the breast of Charles. Yeah. Yeah, it was a, it was a, I guess, a world first attempt to paddleboard around mainland great Britain. I set off on the 26th of July, 2020 and was unfortunately brought to a halt on the 24th, 23rd of December, 2020 after five months at sea.

Unfortunately the Scottish government and the first minister decided that I would be in breach of COVID regulations to continue my puddle, which is, which is crying, which is another story than a debate for another day, because I was living on a support boat in the [00:22:00] middle of the ocean. But you know, I’m, I’m, I, I genuinely, I’m not, I’m not bitter about that at all, because.

We achieved our objective, which was to build a school and raise as much awareness as much funds and inspire as many people as possible. So, you know, it is what it is, you know, there’s nothing I could have done about that. And actually when I, when we received that message to continue would have been doing the wrong thing and wouldn’t have been leading by example, we’ve been asked by official authorities to stop.

So. That was what we did. You know, a lot of people said, you should have continued, you should have argued it. But I think he would have left a bit, a sour taste in our mouth. We were asked to stop by the authorities. So we did, as we were told, and, and sometimes you got to do what the right thing to do is, and not necessarily what you want in life.

I think you learn as you, as you get older. So, but yeah, what, what an incredible experience and an amazing team of people working with me throughout that. We paddled the 2,377 kilometers over 149 days, seven hours and 33 minutes, which was longer than anyone’s puddle water before on the [00:23:00] open ocean. So we’re incredibly proud of that.

You know, that, that adventure, that expedition, and as I say, most importantly, we raised an incredible amount of money. And for me it was brand new. I’d never paddled on the ocean before I set off. So. You know, I wanted to show people that you can, you can do anything you want, as long as you leave it, you prepare to work at it and never give up most importantly, because, you know, there were lots of days when I wanted to give up and go home.

You know, there’s nothing pleasant about, you know, drop him off the west coast of Scotland at three in the morning in Sub-Zero temperatures, falling in the water, you know in the pitch black and you can’t even see your board. You know, you’re only getting back on it cause you’re attached to it. It’s it was an amazing adventure and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

So what was the sort of root of that? Was that when did you start from? So we started in, in Essex, in on Wallasey island. We came out that the Thames estuary there and when south to Ken, along from cancer lungs and from [00:24:00] London, we went up towards north Devin and then we crossed the lung, the island in the Bristol channel.

Leaving the island to Milford Haven, south Wales from south Wales. I paddled the, probably one of the most difficult puddles, which was the cross, the Irish seat across the Irish sea to island on my puddle board. And then I paddled up the Irish coast into Northern Ireland and then puddle back across to the middle of Kintyre in Scotland on the west coast of Scotland, past the inner outer Hebrides.

Took a ride at Cape wrath in November, December. And then yeah, had it taught general groves and got to 23 kilometers short of general groves. And we pulled up after five months and would have been the first bloke to do a puddle from London to jello groves, but it was, it wasn’t to be, and, you know, we, we could have, we could have probably.

Carried on another 23 kilometers, but it would have all been about the record then, and I didn’t want it to be about records. I wanted it to be about the purpose and the cause. And so it was important to, to go home. And also it was the day before [00:25:00] Christmas. So stop in at that point, after we got asked, instead of carried on one more day also allowed the whole team and the crew to go home, to spend Christmas with their families, you know, so.

I mean, it was about, you know, doing the right thing and doing good things in the world, not, not about, you know, trophy certificates or egos or anything like that. Yeah. Was quite something to be 20, 23 kilometers short, which would have been what a day. And they were very, very noble of you to be like you where we stopped now.

It’s like sort of getting to 20 meters before Everest and being late. I’m not feeling it. That’s good. But know, we we’ve, we’ve been asked them, we will be tracked by the government. So, you know, we, as I say, we did the right thing, but also a friend of mine, Brendan prince he’s currently out paddling around great Britain.

He’s trying to set the world record and break my. My record of, of longest ocean sort journey. So an incredible guy doing it for an amazing cause as well. So I wanted [00:26:00] to give him a shout out because he is he’s about six weeks into his puddle is, is just going up. Sure. The west coast of Wales Pembrokeshire now we sell from talkie.

So I really hope that Brendan does what I wasn’t able to do. I’m, I’m, you know, nobody’s supporting him more than I am. I’m a super fan and I hope that he gets around because he’s doing it for the right reasons. And I’m hoping, I’m sure he will be a great success. Oh, amazing. Yeah, it’s as you say, K.

November December up in Scotland in the sea, must’ve been pretty cold. It was very cold. It was, it was, you know, I can remember we had a, a good filmmaker, great filmmaker with us, Alfie marsh and. I can remember it would, it would sort of come into my cabin and shape me in my sleeping bag. And, you know, my, my bed was like frozen.

My sleeping bag was frozen and it was a horrible shake and said, it’s time or at the RV point in the water. And it’d be, it’d be like three, four in the morning and you couldn’t [00:27:00] see a thing. You were shivering. And then you had to put on a cold, damp, wet suit, and there’s nothing worse, but you know, that, that was where I think.

And we talked about core values before, and one of the military core values or the Army’s is discipline. And I think discipline is often a value and a character trait that is overlooked, especially in adventure, because discipline is so important when it comes to achieving your goals. Because discipline for me is about.

Still getting up and turning up and giving it your all, even when you don’t want it, when you’ve had enough and it’s having that discipline and that routine to keep going and pushing forward. And I think discipline is a really important trait and it’s something that if it wasn’t for discipline ID, I wrapped on it a long time ago, you know as we got into Scotland, there was many times when I wanted to quit and go home, but you know, it was, it was discipline and remembering why we started that for sure.

Yeah. I think your, why has to be really important? No the biggest, I think he’s everything. I think that’s the difference between, you know, [00:28:00] for me, it’s, it’s it’s people say, oh, why, why D why do you do the marathons in the war zones? Or why did you roll across dangerous stretch of ocean? Or, you know, why paddle around the UK?

But actually, if someone said to me, I could raise a quarter of a million dollars by running a 5k part will not be much happier doing that because that’s a lot easier. I get to go home at the end of it and see my family, my daughter, but actually. You need to do pretty epic things. If you’re gonna raise pretty epic amounts of money.

Unfortunately, that’s, that’s, that’s the bill that I don’t know, you know, if, if you want to be a serious foot razor on it, you know, you have to have a powerful why and a strong story to go with it. And the, you know, there’s a lot of very incredible, inspiring people out there and they’re pushing the boundaries all the time, you know?

A good friend of mine NIMS die, you know, with his, his, his mountain area. Then these 14, 8,000 meter peak records. That is, it’s just insane. You know, the level of endurance that the bar just keeps getting higher and higher from these incredible [00:29:00] athletes, adventurers inspiring people. And so, so, you know, the more, the more barriers that are pushed the further and harder, we’ve all got to work, you know, and I suppose what I loved about your story is to sort of.

Connection, which has sort of led you to where you are today with your charity work with your presenting. Because I remember reading about how you got the job at hunted. For channel four, which was just this sort of course, which you had done in the army, which no one really wanted to do, but that somehow led to you getting this job.

I served in that in a, in a cavalry regimen in its time regimen. But when we went on operations, there would be opportunities to go and do certain courses. I went and specialized in some intelligence courses in, in tactical question prisoner handling and dealing, you know, providing briefings to troops on the ground, using processing intelligence and things [00:30:00] like that.

And you have 10 years later, I got a phone call from a producer saying that we we’ve seen that you’ve completed this course. Would you be interested, we’re looking for someone with ex military intelligence experience. Would you be interested to, to do an interview with a screen Tufts? And I was like, yeah, yeah, of course.

I worked with it. And that was that really. And, you know, it’s a great opportunity. I’m not a big fan of of reality TV to be completely honest. I don’t watch a lot of TV. But what I do like about that particular program and it gives, it helps with the charity stuff. You know, people people support, people are big fans of the show they love the show is, is, is.

It’s great entertainment. It’s great fun, but it also allows me to use my profile to do some good in the world. So I think that’s why I enjoy it so much because it’s nothing more frustrating when you go and speak to a, a business or a school or a college. And you want to talk about one of these amazing adventures that you’ve just finished [00:31:00] and all they want to know is what was it like when you caught this person off of love island or big brother or no?

Well, what children love these days? Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s tough as well, because I, I was in assembly the other day with a school wheelchair and I asked the kids, you know, some of the kids asked him, what do you want to be when you’re older? And it’s, it’s scary. They want to be, they want to be YouTube as they want to be Instagram models.

They want to be influencers, you know, it’s. I’m scared for the next generation. You know, the, the internet does a lot of good, but also it’s changing the way people think. And it’s, it’s concerning for me. You know, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, people wanting to be astronauts. They want it to be scientists.

They want it to be inventors. Now they want to be famous, which is not good. I don’t think that’s scary. I th I think yeah, definitely sort of moving towards that. I’m trying to sort of think of what I wanted to be. I think I wanted to be a football player. Yeah. I sort of feel [00:32:00] like my time has passed now.

I’m sort of the same age of James Milanai. He’s probably getting to the end. So I’m a bit like okay. If you’re going to influence, influence good things, positive things, inspire, educate, inform. I think, you know, don’t sell your soul for, you know, a capital or a new food product. That’s just come out. I think I just, I just think there’s a.

It’s probably one of my biggest gripes in life at the moment. I think, I think that people, well, do you have a profile or have a large following of any sort, they should have a responsibility and be accountable to, to deliver good things to the world because do you know it’s, it’s scary because you, you can go on one of these reality shows and you can, you can have more influence than a mainstream politician.

You know, people who have come out of things like love island have more followers than the prime minister. And that means more people are probably listening to them and being influenced by what they say. And I just think if you, if you are an influencer, you know, I [00:33:00] challenge you, I question you to it. So to be accountable, to the message you’re pushing out there to young people, I think it’s important.

Well, Jordan thank you so much. I, there’s a part of the show where we are the same five questions to each guest each week with the first being on your trips and expeditions, what’s the one thing. Or gadget that you always take with you. Oh, good question. One thing that I always say with me, and this is not a plug I’m not paid is a water to go bottle.

The, you know, the, the filtration bottles. So I always carry a water to go bottle in my day. Sack. Again, you know, water is an integral part of staying alive. So if you can find, especially when you’re in some of the far-fetched places of the world in, in jungles and rivers and things incredible piece of kit and, you know, I, I take that everywhere.

It might in my day suck. Nice. What about your favorite adventure or travel book? I think Lev [00:34:00] would Levinson would, does a lot of great, he’s a great travel writer. Do some, some brilliant stuff. You know, some of his walks through the Himalayas, the Arabian peninsula really good captivate in books.

I enjoyed when I was paddling around great Britain. I enjoyed reading Fiona Quinn’s book about her London to John O’Groats shop. And that was good. Cause I, I would use it for reference points. I would check where, what she was thinking and experience when I was at that part of. Of of the country. So that was it.

That was a good read for me. But yeah, no, a lot, lots of incredible books out there. Ash dykes, another great adventurer. He has a great book, a great, a great book out. I’m trying to think of the name of it. Mission possible. I think it was. Yeah. Yeah. Good guy. Good friend of mine. Very inspiring.

Why are adventures important to you? I think for me, the, the adventure itself. It’s it’s it’s dare I say, it’s not that important. It’s the reason why we’re doing the adventure. What’s important, you know, it’s, it’s what [00:35:00] we can learn from it, what we can share from it. That’s what’s important. I also think that people should understand that you don’t need to go to the other side of the world or do something crazy to have an amazing adventure.

Adventure is a mindset. Adventure is about changing the way you think it’s about changing your approach to everyday life. You know, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t have to travel far. You can have an adventure anywhere. Some of the best adventures in lockdown were in my back garden with my daughter.

You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a spirit that you have within you, I think. What about your favorite quaint? Ooh, God, I have so many quotes, but I’m like a walking encyclopedia of quotes. What? I I’ll give you a quote, but I wouldn’t like to say it was my favorite because I got so many, but I think one of the quotes I like at the moment is.

Is all I’m going to give you one now? I think I would say tough times don’t last but tough people do. [00:36:00] I also, like when I give someone a quote yesterday, I’m trying to think of what it was. The toughest roads often lead to lead to the most beautiful destinations a lot. I like that one. But there’s so many, I love the money in the arena.

You know, Theodore Roosevelt’s. Man in the arena quote passage I’ve had that, I had that on the back of my paddle board and I had it on my, my boat for my row. It was something that, you know, I, I really liked the concept of that. You know, if you’re not in the arena, getting your, your book kicked, you know, at the time, then.

The people who are having opinions on you don’t really have the right to, or the privilege to. So, you know, I, I remember when I set up on the, on the paddle board, people were telling me I wouldn’t get to London. You would never cross the IRC. You wouldn’t make it up to Scotland. Nobody’s been round Cape RAF in the winter.

It’s impossible. You don’t have the experience, the knowledge, the skills. So you know, it always makes me smile that money in the arena, quote, because everyone has an opinion from, you know, what I call the cheap seats, which is social [00:37:00] media. Everyone’s got an opinion on everything other than critics.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I remember my first trip to America and I had never been, so I was getting people’s opinion and a lot of people were giving me opinions of like, Ooh, Pennsylvania is a really dangerous place. You and they were sort of giving me these sort of scare stories about once upon a time this happened.

And actually one, they had actually never been to that part of the world that any heard about it once in a blue moon. And secondly, when I went there, It was absolutely nothing like people had sort of made out there was just full of really welcoming and friendly people. And from then on, I suddenly realized that most people don’t really have a clue what they’re saying that the best of times, and people love to give their opinion.

And of course there are opinions, which, you know, you should always take, take into account, but I just remember thinking, well, you know, everyone gave me [00:38:00] these horrific scare stories of America. And the reality was is that they will, some of the most hospitable people I’ve ever experienced in my travels.

Yeah. And the same, I think the same everywhere in the world in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia. Yeah. I, he, I, I saw more compassion, love support than I’ve ever seen. You know, and these are from people who a lot of people perceived it to be negative types of people, which is it’s incredible. I think. You know, when I worked in intelligence, we were constantly evaluating information and the source of that information.

And I use that same sort of process with feedback and people’s opinions. I, you know, if someone’s got an opinion on whatever you’re doing, firstly, you know, what’s the source, who are they? Where did they come from? If they do what you’re trying to do are credible, are they, secondly, do they know you? If they did, they’ve never walked your path.

They’ve never. You know, walk your, your shoes for a day. So they don’t know what you’re thinking, what you’re doing enough to people make a judgment without knowing the facts in this world. As you say, the sort of [00:39:00] armchair critic who sort of gives the negative feedback on social media. And I w I always think someone I think he is Gary Vaynerchuk, or he said, you know, they listen to the positive and then you’ll know not to listen to the negative and no matter what comes at you, it’s just noise.

Yeah. Well, it’s, it’s hard. I think I’m not sure if I necessarily agree with that, because I think. Feedback is important, but you’ve just got to make sure that what you’re processing and letting come in is, is, is going to help you grow. It’s going to help you develop is going to, you know, because when, when you’re, when you’re, when I, when I’m doing a, an adventure and you’re getting lots of loving support in messages, you take a lot of strength from that as well.

You know, when, when you got people who’ve sponsored you or donated or sent you a lovely Facebook Instagram message, you know, you take a lot of positives that you’re inspiring people. So I. You know, I, I think feedback is important and, and engaging with people is really important. So I, I don’t think you should just sort of blank out anything.

Good. All, but I think [00:40:00] I, I think feedback is, is, is champion really? I suppose what I meant was when, when you have a hundred positive messages and you get that one very easy for people to sort of look at that one and be like, why have they said that? Why. It’s hard. It’s hard. Yeah, definitely. Why, why have they decided to say that it’s Ruffini but you’ve got like two or 300 really positive messages and you’re like, w why, why have they decided to say this?

Yeah, it’s very difficult as well. If you’re not used to that. And you know, you see with trolls and things on the internet, don’t you, you know, it’s. People always, you know, faceless keyboard warriors. They’ve always got an opinion on something and, you know, never left their, that the mom’s spare bedroom or whatever.

Very true. People listening are always keen to travel and go on these sort of grand expeditions. What’s the one thing you would recommend for people wanting to get started? [00:41:00] Are you just going to go for it? You know, I, I don’t always have the master plan. I don’t always have it all worked out for me. I see something and I make it happen.

You know, my dad used to say, there are, there are talkers and there are doers in life. And there are a lot more talkers than there are doers. And, you know, if you want something, go out there and get it, and you’ve gotta be relentless in pursuit of it as well. You know? Things don’t come easy in life. You know, you, you’ve got to make sacrifices, you’ve got to work hard.

You’ve got to save up. You’ve got to engage with people, but if you want to go make it happen, you know, the only thing that’s stopping you is you, you know, you know, you’re the person who is putting it on hold. You’re the person who’s stuck in that job that you don’t want to be in. You’re the person that’s sat in a, you know, on the computer all the time, get out there and go.

Yeah. And finally, what are you doing now? And how can people follow you in the future? Yeah. So yeah, lots of exciting adventures. Although at the moment I’m nursing an Achilles injury, so I’m pretty static at the moment, but I’m due to be. I’m due to be on the isle of Skye in four weeks time with Montaine doing some [00:42:00] filming for some new new products.

I am in Antarctica in December. I’m at the north pole in April next year. So lots of exciting things going on. I just need my, my Achilles to heal at the moment. And yeah, please follow the adventures. Mind socials app, Mr. Jordan Wiley on all platforms and Jordan wiley.org is the website. Right?

Amazing. Well, Jordan, thank you so much for coming on today. No absolute pleasure. Keep up the great work. It’s, it’s a, it’s an awesome platform telling some great stories. I I’m a fan and I certainly listened to it. So keep up the good work. Well, thank you very much. And we look forward to following your adventures in sky Antarctica and the north Paul.

Yeah, definitely. Well it’s air for today. Thank you so much for watching and I hope you got something out of it. If you did hit that like button and subscribe, if you haven’t already, and I will see you in the next video.

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