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Livia Simoka (adventurer & filmmaker)

Filmmaker Livia Simoka created and presented Channel 4’s ‘Extreme Tribe: The Last Pygmies’. The series followed her journey as she spent 5 months living with a pygmy hunter-gatherer tribe in the rain forests of the Congo, where she immersed herself with a family and became part of their tight nit community.
On the Podcast, we talk about this incredible experience and the lessons she has learnt from living with this remote tribe.

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Transcript of our Conversation

Livia Simoka

[00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the modern adventure podcast coming up. What is beautiful, you know, over there, beauty means filing your teeth and they would sort of ask us, well, what’s, you know, what’s beautiful in your country. What do you do? And, and we had got into a really interesting conversation where we explained well that some people actually make a cup underneath their boobs and they put things in there to make their boobs Baker, and they were just horrified.

They were absolutely horrified that we would do something like that or that there’s people that would inject things to make their lips bigger or light that we would pour hot wax on our bits or our intimate bits of hair and rip it out. I mean, they just. Couldn’t believe that they thought it was the most barbaric thing they’d ever heard.

[00:01:00] my next guest is Livia smoker. She is a TV presenter, and has an incredible story to tell. Produced and presented the channel Ford’s extreme tribe. She spent five months living with the Ben jelly tribe out in the Congo where she immersed herself with a family and became part of the tight knit community there on today’s podcast.

We talk about some of the differences in coaches, along with her experience of five months, living with them. It’s a fascinating insight into the culture there. And I am delighted to introduce Livia smoker to the show. Hello. Thank you for having me. No worries. Well, I had to say I was absolutely fascinated with the story about the Ben jelly tribe out in the Congo.

And I really wanted to get you on to sort of talk more about that because for people listening, you. You spent five [00:02:00] months with this sort of remote tribe, which is cut off from Congo society or the Republic of Congo. Um, but before we start before we sort of jump into that, let’s start with you and how you sort of got into this sort of line of work and these sort of adventures.

Hmm. So I’ve, um, you know, I’ve never sort of set out to be a TV presenter, and that’s not the sort of background that I’ve come from. So I first and foremost have always been a filmmaker specializing in sort of adventure and anthropology, documentaries. And, um, I was. Couple of years ago, a few be about three years ago.

Now I was out in Siberia, working on a project about a wooly mammoths and the ice age and was out there with a bunch of tusks contest, trying to find these incredible Willie rhino and woolly mammoth remains. And as part of it, it was a big Reckie trip part to do a bit of filming and, um, to sort of, you know, [00:03:00] explain to.

The broadcaster and the powers that be what we were looking at. And, um, the woman at the time, he was the controller of channel for women called Jay hunt, saw it and said, Oh, Livia is like really good on camera. Should we ask if she’s interested in presenting something? And isn’t really anything that I’d ever thought about.

But the thing that I have been passionate about for years, and now I’ve spent many years making are sort of anthropology programs. And, um, and the first thing that sprung to mind was that I’ve always wants to go and live with a tribe and one tribe in particular that I’d sort of had on my radar for about five years where the Ben jelly.

And I’d found out about them through an anthropologist at UCL that I’ve been speaking to for years about various different tribes and indigenous cultures. And I was just really, really fascinated [00:04:00] with their way of life. And I’d sort of spent probably about five years. Pitching them to various commissioning editors, um, in various disguises trying to get a project off the ground, um, that could allow me to go and spend time with them.

And, um, and also what another thing was, you know, all the projects that I make, I start from the very early development stage. So I always think of them. Get those sort of money from a broadcast to make them then go and visit them on the ground, work out what, who the people are that we’re going to film with and then tell the stories.

And as part of that, I’ve been trying to find a sort of female. Bruce Perry or adventurer for years, but as you well know that that whole genre is, is quite male white middle-class ex-army and, uh, under, so yeah, I mean, the first thing that I thought of was that. I want to go [00:05:00] and live with the tribe. I want to go and spend time with Ben jelly and thankfully, um, you know, the channel agreed.

And after the various hoops that you jumped through, I set off and yeah. Go out there. Good. And so how did it sort of, how did they sort of take to it because you were there for five months filming and I suppose, Oh, sorry. I suppose. Um, it was very much. You know, they were going to be filmed. Their lives were going to be opened up to the world.

How did they sort of take to that? So I, um, it was, it was five months. Well, it was actually six months, but we broke it down into three chunks. Uh, in order to come back and change crew and have various medical checks done. So I went out there for the very, very first time to, um, go and meet with the tribe and to basically ask for their permission to go and live.

There. That’s something that, where we filmed a bit of it, but it never made it as part of the [00:06:00] program, but it was really to go and introduce myself and say, look, this is me. This is what I would love to do. And we really seek that permission and also find the family that I was going to go and live with, which was a Kaia and mama.

And, you know, the people that you see in the documentary, uh, and then went back out there and did it. It was actually six months that was sort of time on the ground, but broke it up into three, two month chunks. Um, and they were, I mean, they were absolutely incredible at the way. They just opened up and allowed us to capture their lives.

And I think a lot of that was also, you know, it took a, it wasn’t overnight, it took a little bit of time as it always does when you’re filming with anybody to gain their trust and to really become part of the family and part of the greater community. But they were incredibly open. We, and just, you [00:07:00] know, there was no sort of, um, sort of putting on an act or anything like that.

Yeah, because I suppose that was probably one of the questions I was quite intrigued to find out was because suddenly they had. Camera cream. Cause I imagine it was you and what two or three others or one of them, there was a little group of us. So there was, you know, four translators because everything had to be translated through to languages.

Um, so there was, you know, from English to Lingala, which is the Congolese national language and then into Bengali, which is the tribal language. So it had to go through two ways. And then a director who was also camera man, and then a producer who was working with the translators. Um, and then we also had a, uh, sort of remote location, trauma medic, because we were a good sort of two, three days away from the nearest.

Medical facility and the nearest road [00:08:00] access. So, you know, in case there was an emergency, we needed somebody that could administer sort of remote trauma, uh, sort of assistance. Um, but they, yeah, because they hadn’t really seen cameras before. A lot of the time at the beginning was we actually would give them the camera so that they could film each other and then play bits back to them.

Cause they were just so fascinated with these big. Devices that we were carrying around and you know, what the heck we were doing. So actually it was quite fun for them to just have a look at, uh, sort of them filming each other. Yeah. And I said, I suppose with that, it was, how do you feel that it was sort of authentic because in terms of having that big camera crew following you and following them, did they ever play up to it or was it very much?

They just almost. There was a wall between that, where they just didn’t even think about the cameras. It was just all very [00:09:00] real. Yeah. It was really real. And because I think a lot of the time, you know, if, if you think about how long. We were there and compared to the three 46 minute programs that you see on TV, there were many days where we would just sit around and not film, and we’d always have a camera nearby, but I’d say the majority of the time we were there and we weren’t really filming or we’d go out into the forest, you know, Gathering food or sitting around chatting or preparing food or going around the village, chatting to people and bonding with people, um, and just really becoming part of the community so that when things then did happen, it was really natural to just pick up a camera and film.

And we weren’t as sort of odd ones out observing a situation because we was, we was such a big part of that community. How, um, in a sort of community that, which [00:10:00] is cut off from the world and Western world, how are the sort of individual roles of women and men within a sort of that community? What were the sort of differences between, let’s say the Western world and the Ben Ben jelly tribe in terms of the roles that each man and women play.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, the Ben jelly are known as one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. Um, so men and women are men, women, children of all ages have a real equal standing, which means, but that, but then. Roles are still divided. So men were very much in charge of hunting. Women would take charge of the gathering and more of the food preparation, but then both men and women, depending on when, where, and when they were around would raise the children and, you know, sort of play with them and, and, [00:11:00] and actually.

Even in arguments that would sometimes, as you see in the program, get very physical. There was no sort of like distinction between your man or your a woman, which is quite incredible to see really and kids that if they weren’t happy or they’d had an argument with somebody in the family, they would just go and sleep somewhere else in the village.

They would just move out of the home for a bit. And there was an argument between neighbors that got nasty. One family might just decide, I’m going to take off and I’m going to go into the forest for a while. And when I come back, everything’s sort of passed. Yeah. Because I watched it and I suppose it was very nice to boys that they’d have these full blown arguments and then.

A moment later, they were all friends. Again, there, they are like the Ben jellies are absolute masters at living in the moment. They really [00:12:00] like, they’re the epitome of living in the moment. Cause also they don’t, um, you know, they don’t measure distance or duration or time they don’t that most of them can’t count above three.

And so. They is. So when you ask them, you know, how far away is something we’d go somewhere. They’d be like, it’s not very far away. And then three, four hours later, you’re still walking through the rain forest. You’re like, you know, we nearly there. Yeah. We’re, we’re nearly there. Another two hours later, you’re still walking is they don’t measure anything.

It’s because to them, like I’m going off on one now, but eventually you’d work out. Not very far away as you can get there. And back in a day, fairly far away is it’s an overnight and quite far away means you’re gone for multiple days. Um, but they’re really, um, you know, they really live in the moment so that when you’re having around with them, Somebody the row is happening, the her, and then, and then when the row ends, it’s sort of forgotten [00:13:00] about.

And the same if they’re having a great time and a great night or a party, and they don’t want it to end, there’s never ever a case of like, Ooh, well, I dunno, it’s two o’clock in the morning now. And you’ve got to get up for work or you’ve got to go and, uh, you know, a monkey, it’s more like we’re having a great time.

We don’t want it to end until somebody is knackered and they’re going to fall asleep there. And that, you know, like they, they really live in the moment with their emotion, which actually took me quite a lot. And what is the sort of day to day life of, of the people there? Because if there’s no time, I suppose they wake up at sunrise and go to bed at sunset.

Yeah. I mean, a definitely don’t always go to bed at sunset because they do like a good knees up, but, um, life always does begin in the morning at sunrise and, um, you know,

That life is centered [00:14:00] around food. And putting, you know, food on the plate for everyone within the family, but that means that kids have to go and pull their weights or get dragged along to go and, you know, forage for whatever might be in season or, you know, help the women go fishing. Or if the men wants to go out hunting.

Uh, but it is a sort of case of sitting around and in the morning around the fire and working out who is going to do what, but that is what life would center around. And actually in terms of. Number out number of hours that they work is actually not very much because they would go out into the forest and be back again within, you know, two, three hours because they are expert Hunter gatherers.

Um, and then be back preparing food, gossiping, and chatting, uh, having a row with the neighbors or whatever it might be. Um, so in terms of their working hours, they’re so much shorter than. Then the hours [00:15:00] that we do here, obviously a much more physically demanding, but, um, but yeah, you find that a lot of sort of similarities between the tribes and the sort of Western culture of gossiping.

And cause there was one, there was one clip, which I saw, well, the one that sort of I took was the idea of women in the tribe. I think it’s really attractive to file their teeth down to just a, a point. Whereas, you know, in Western society that’s not really done. And then probably what they thought was what you would think is normal in Western society was very much frowned upon in their society.

Course. Yeah. And, but, you know, like what is beauty, you know, over there, beauty means filing your teeth and they would sort of ask us, well, what’s, you know, what’s beautiful in your country. What do you do? [00:16:00] And, and we had gotten to a really interesting conversation where we explained well that some people actually make a cup underneath their boobs and they put things in there to make their boobs Baker and they were just horrified.

They were absolutely horrified that we would do something like that or that there’s people that would inject things to make their lips bigger or like that we would pour hot wax on our bits or intimate bits of hair and rip it out. I mean, they just. Couldn’t believe that they thought was the most barbaric thing they’d ever heard.

And yet to us, the idea of obviously filing teeth, isn’t exactly attractive, you know? Well, I have to say when I was watching, I was sort of there with my mouth hand over my mouth, just being like, Oh, I can’t even see it it’s that they saw. Cause we showed them your app. For some reason, somebody had some pictures on their phone, you know, showed them pictures of somebody having a nose job done.

Oh, I mean, [00:17:00] when you really think about it, do you have a video, someone having a nice job on their phone? It’s a long story, but, uh, but also like, you know, pictures of fake boobs and things like that, that when you actually tell an outsider that that’s what is deemed beautiful in certain cultures, they thought it was complete madness.

Yeah. I’m sure. Yeah. Good. And what was the sort of moments where she will sort of take away from that sort of five months there? Um, I think the, sort of the biggest thing hands down is this living in the present moment a lot more and not obsessing. About where you are in life or trying to measure that against what, what you should have achieved or that like, Oh God, you know, late thirties should be married.

You should, kids should have won a BAFTA by now or whatever it might [00:18:00] be. Is that like, what does it really matter? Why, why measure yourself against what other people are doing? Uh, and just really embrace the moment a lot more. I think that was like one of the biggest takeouts for me. Yeah. I think everyone can be very, it can be very easy to look at other people and think that they’ve got, you know, life figured out.

But what you really find is that everyone’s in the same boat thinking, what, what are they doing? And that sort of endless thing of trying to what’s the word. You have this sort of idea that you’re way, way behind of where you should be. And actually, actually you’re, you know, you’re doing just fine. And some people, you know, they hit it when they’re 30, they hit it when they’re 40 and some people, you know, rise up when they’re 20 and full away when they’re 30, it doesn’t really matter.

Cause [00:19:00] they don’t know like, you know, age or time. So nobody puts any measure on, Oh, well you must achieve this. Or I must have the biggest monkey that I’ve ever hunted within the next week. You know? I don’t think like that at all. Um, which, yeah, which I really like. And also another thing that I really love about our way of life is that they, they only ever take what they need.

You know, they let their life is very minimalistic in terms of their possessions. And they don’t put a lot of, I mean, they do one full things, but then their life is very minimal. You know, so there isn’t this constant desire to sort of have more an order more, or have too many supplies. They only ever really take from the forest exactly what they need.

And, um, and that’s like another thing that I guess I’ve walked away from of going, I’m really happy in my life and I don’t need to go and [00:20:00] buy. Two three pairs of these jeans or that dress, or I don’t need to have a fridge that’s really fully stocked, but only really ever having what I need right now, if that makes sense.

Yeah. Yeah. No, of course I completely agree. It’s this idea of, well, you know, in the Western world, it’s very much consumer driven and say you, I think a lot of people have this sort of keeping up with the Joneses mentality. Yeah, I hate it. Like, that’s such a big thing of just like, just be really content with actually making your life a lot more simple and stripping it right back and going.

I’m going to use something until. It’s completely broken and I can’t use it anymore. And then, you know, yeah. I mean, I was, I, I was wearing my fleece, which I had in 2007 from university, [00:21:00] and it’s still got like the Edinburgh logo and everything. I was like, ah, it still does me. Brilliantly that may need to change it.

I love that. I mean, that’s like, yeah, I think a lot of people can learn something from that way of life of just don’t need to have all these things. And so with the documentary that came out on channel four, how was it sort of viewed or taken by the public? Yeah, it was really, it was actually really well received.

I was obviously at the time, do you know what it was not long after, you know, Stacey Dooley had a bit of an incident with the. Picture of that, that whole white savior thing that got banded about a bit. I was, you know, I did obviously have concerns when it went out, thinking, God shit, what’s it going to look like a very white woman going to live with an African tribe.

Um, but actually I didn’t. You know, didn’t have any [00:22:00] criticisms in that regard at all. Um, and I think, yeah, it was really overall, really, really positive feedback from it. I think what I, what I loved about it was you were just there to learn. We had Benedict Alanon a few episodes back. And he very much deals with this sort of immersive documentary style where you just, you’re not there to say, Oh, you should be done.

Should be doing that. Sorry, not there to preach. Yeah, exactly. You’re just there to observe and you’re, you’re just a fly on the wall, observing, learning, and understanding. And I think that’s, I, I think that’s probably why it was so well received was you were very much. Okay. Embracing it not, not trying to influence if you know what I mean.

[00:23:00] No, definitely. And I think, but do you know what? That was tough as well because, um, I was there for such a long time and they, and became part of the family and part of the community and they were, you know, They became my friends, the people that I was living, you know, I was, I mean, for God’s sake, I turned up and asked somebody, can I come and sleep on the floor of your bedroom for the next five months?

And they welcomed me with open arms. I mean, I’m not sure I’d react that, that if some random person just rocked up at my house and asked to do that, um, but they welcomed me with open arms. And so obviously I became friends with all the people in the village and which as a. Documentary maker, you are there to observe it, but of course, after such a long time and forming personal relationships, you do get sort of drawn into arguments and you form opinions and when behavior is right or wrong.

And so, you know, in episode two, I think there was the big [00:24:00] fight. That was sort of ended up breaking up a little bit, because I was worried about that when that went out, thinking God, I’m just people going to think that I went there and started interfering in people’s lives. But actually it was just a gut reaction that when one of your friends is.

In a fight you want to help out, you know, but fortunately that was sort of, you know, wasn’t taken out of context. So yeah, that’s always the trouble nowadays. And I mean, did you have, um, what’s the word. In terms of the editing process. Did you have any say on it? Well, because I was, cause it was edited in stages because there were three different directors because trying to get one director to come and do the whole stint would have been impossible.

So, um, whenever the FA you know, whenever they came back home, they started editing it already. By which point I was, cause I’d only come [00:25:00] back for like a week or whatever, and I’d be back out on location. And, um, so I didn’t actually see the pro I wasn’t actually editorially involved in deciding what would be in the program and what.

What, what should and what shouldn’t be in the program, which ordinarily I would do. Um, and so by the time I saw the programs, they were right near the end. And, uh, but actually it, you know, there was, we filmed so much and there were so many stories that just never made it into the program that because I’m so close to, it would have been really, really hard to make that decision.

I do sort of keep in touch or do you, are you heading back out there again? No. I mean, I’d love to go out. Um, but they are, it’s impossible to keep in touch with them because a lot of like, you know, a lot of other tribes now have mobile phones and got even I worked, I spent a lot of time with the hammer tribe in [00:26:00] Ethiopia and a load of them have got mobile.

They’re all on Facebook. Um, but the Ben jelly. So cutoff that they, there’s not a single person that had mobile phone or they don’t have an address as such. And they’re still semi-nomadic. So trying to even write a letter to them, not that they can read, but is sort of impossible. So the only way to really try and, uh, you know, get in touch with them will be to go and visit and is to turn up.

Um, sadly the last year as it has not really been possible. And is the plan to do another style documentary like this? Uh, I don’t know. Um, again with, you know, COVID in the last year sort of things got turned on their head a little bit. Um, so I don’t know. I’ll wait and see what happens in terms of sort of preparing for that sort of.

Um, five months then, did you learn the language or did you read [00:27:00] up quite a lot about the tribe beforehand? Yeah, so, um, our, the language is really, really difficult to learn. Um, and, but I did speak to a couple of anthropologists. I’d done their thesis with the band jelly, which is how I found out about them through the professor at UCL and, um, sort of, you know, would get.

Basic bits of language from them to just be able to say hello and how are you? Or good morning and good evening. Because obviously when you’re living with somebody and sleeping on the floor of their heart, you quite like to be able to say, good morning when you wake up. Um, and then with time I picked up bits of the language, but I was by no means fluid ’cause yeah.

I, I had a thought, um, with that, especially learning a sort of. Tribal language after five months, because you’ve probably got a English speaking camera crew. It must’ve been quite [00:28:00] sort of difficult, but in terms of immersing yourself, you’ve probably picked up quite a lot by the end of your five months then.

Yeah, exactly. And also because, you know, the crew were in a sort of separate crew area and I was with the family. And so there were. Days and hours that I was just on my own with them. So I’d say like, probably about less than 50% of the time, but I’ve spent huge chunks of time, just on my own with various people in the village and members of my family, which then.

So it pushed me to learn the language a bit more, just so that I could communicate on a very basic level. I suppose. What’s the one thing that you probably, would you say the one thing that you’ve taken from it is living in the moment or was there something else which you’ve sort of taken back with you to try and embrace on a sort of day to day?

Yeah, I think that, and the sort of trying to be a bit more simple with life and, [00:29:00] you know, using things until they’re on their last legs and just trying not to be such a rape. Big consumer. And in terms of your other projects, you’ve done because you’ve done the wooly mammoth. Uh, you’ve done polar bear, hired a bass.

Yeah. All over the world, doing these sort of expeditions and your focus is very much on, well, actually, when I say that you will, those two, uh, um, animals, but it’s more on the sort of indigenous tribes and indigenous communities around the world. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve done stuff with various indigenous communities in Alaska and, um, Hamar tribe in Ethiopia did a big project with, um, and uh, created, uh, corporate about seven, eight years ago, series that.

Um, we deal with Ben Vogel called new lives in the wild, which is about, uh, which on channel five, which is about people who’ve sort of quit the right race, moved to [00:30:00] the back of beyond and tend to live a quite subsistence, you know, life off the land. Um, and that’s sort of taken, taken, taken us all over the world.

So yeah, it’s various things like that and did a series following the great migration through the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara, um, and that involved. It’s something with a headset tribe. So, yeah. What in terms of the migration of what the world? Yeah, that was the Willdabeast. And then, so we followed them for a year, uh, but we collared a, it was about eight or not eight or nine Willdabeast and followed them through the whole course of the migration through the Serengeti and the mass Omara over the course of the year.

And checking in with them at different points, um, on the route and then looking at how humans sort of, you know, interact and how their lives, um, sort of intermingle what, in [00:31:00] terms of the crossover between expansive population. Yeah. And it’s, you know, whether the conservation project or, uh, with the Maasai and their whole lion hunting and how that sort of the false circle of life ties in together, but told through the eyes of the Willdabeast on the migration.

Wow. Yeah. It’s, it’s an amazing part of the world out there. Yeah, love it. Absolutely. And yeah, you’ve just been out here in Kenya. I saw. Yeah. I was just out in Kenya for a couple of months, and that was working on a few development projects, which, uh, you know, let’s see what happens, but yeah. Yeah, there’s a great Hemingway quote, actually that says is it?

I never knew of a morning in Africa where I woke up and I wasn’t happy. And I think that’s so true. What was one of these countries like, you know, continents where you [00:32:00] wake up and I don’t know what it is, whether it’s the smell or the sights and the sounds, and you just always like wake up with a bit of a smile on your face.

I think it’s the Kuwait on my, one of my YouTube videos. It’s just like, I envy the man who hasn’t been to Africa to Africa, because he has so much to look forward to. Exactly. Yeah. I love that. It’s so true. It’s um, it’s such an amazing place. I w I had to say I had a year where I was like in and out of Africa the whole year on different projects, by the end of our God, you know what, I’m going to have a break from Africa for a while.

I need a break. Cause you know, there’s, there’s like Africa time and you know what it’s like, there’s just, it’s also a total nightmare to try and work in. And, uh, but yet lo and behold, after a good six to eight months, I was like, Itching to get back there. Yeah. It’s such a beautiful part of the world [00:33:00] and yeah.

As soon as I have the opportunity to go back, I most certainly will. Well, I have to say this, the story of you and the, uh, with the tribe has just been absolutely incredible. And, um, so, so fascinating because it’s very different and yeah, not many people really get the opportunity to do something like that.

Yeah, and I was so lucky and it’s one of those things that if I got the chance to do it again and, you know, sort of relive it all over again, I absolutely would. And that’s one of those things in hindsight, it’s like, Oh, did I appreciate it enough at the time? And like, you want to just soak up every moment.

Uh, well, Livia, there’s a part of the show where we ask the same five questions to each guest each week with the first being on the sort of trips. What’s the one gadget that you always [00:34:00] take with you. So I really dislike gadgets. I, um, Like technologically, an absolute source of moron. I, I barely, I barely know how to work my mobile phone.

I sometimes need help turning the TV on. I’m like, I’m really, really bad with gadgets and technology of any sort. Uh, so I I’m quite anti gadget. I’m afraid. Uh, Does a toothbrush count? I can’t go to sleep till I can’t go to sleep to my teeth. So I’d say like, my gadget has to be my toothbrush. That’s a thing works every time.

That’s a must definitely must on every adventure, which I’m sure people always might forget to take. Yeah, there’s diet, but any sort of other gadgets and Garmins or sat phones, I’m like, Oh [00:35:00] no, I’d rather just cut off from it all and work it out. As long as I can brush my teeth. I’m happy. Yeah. We were discussing, I think a few episodes back and saying.

I, I, I didn’t like people knowing what I’m doing at the time I miss, you know what I mean? It’s, you know, these people who have like a tracker, so you can see exactly where they are at every, at any given point. I’m just like, yeah, terrifies me. I’d rather just sort of get out and sort of immerse yourself into whatever of a or experience you’re doing and just completely shut off because you know, as soon as you get back into.

Normal and then a life then you’re almost, you’re plugged back in and to sort of switch off for a few days a week or so is just so. Blissful. Definitely. And I think that I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s the great point about going off on an adventure is the sorts of just turn it all off [00:36:00] and, you know, go and explore or go on the journey or wherever that you are going on and switch off from the world.

And that’s what, when I’m on a production, that’s the things that I, and I’m, you know, In a sort of directing whatever and have to keep in touch with the office. That’s probably like my keeping everyone updated as to what you’re doing. Cause I’m like, Oh, I love the bubble that we’re in, where no one knows what we are or where we are or what we’re doing.

And then you’ve got a gay with Patricia, from HR and talk about some health things.

Yeah. Like that. Um, what about your favorite adventure or travel book? My favorite adventure or travel, or do you know what I do love a good, uh, a good and like there’s the, what’s it called? The mammals of [00:37:00] Southern Africa book. I love that book. Any sort of encyclopedia or dictionary that tells me what a little biog of the creature.

Um, yeah, I love that. Probably that’s. That would be my go-to book that I take everywhere. Something that I can do a bit of learning on the way. Yeah. But like mammals, creatures. Um, why are adventures important to you? Why are dentists important to me? Uh, do you know what I. I am one of these people. I get very itchy feet quite very quickly when I haven’t escaped.

And, uh, I think it’s for my mental health is to go somewhere and experience a new place, explore a new [00:38:00] area and meet new people and cultures. And. Find out what makes them tick and how life works for them. And, uh, you know, just yeah, different smells and sights and sounds, and just getting out of the, the world that, you know, yeah.

That’s a slight sort of what, what makes life for me? Very nice. Um, what, what what’s that? Why is it important for you? Oh, good. Uh, the only time I ever repeated the question to me, I mean, I’m going on an adventure. What, in two days time and. I don’t think anything gets me quite as excited as planning it, getting all the sort of gear laid out.

I mean, I, then I see on my bed, I’ve got everything sort of laid out behind me, [00:39:00] um, in the next door room, all the kits sort of ready to go. And I didn’t know that it’s just such a buzz about it. It gets me so fired up. And then as, as we were saying earlier, it’s it’s that idea of disconnecting. Yeah. You know, connecting L L connecting nature or where you are and disconnecting from all the bullshit out here.

And for me, it’s, I didn’t need, I’m getting paddle boarding down the river seven and the excitement of just standing on a board, sitting on a board and just drifting down the river seven, which will probably be freezing cold, but. I didn’t know, there’s just something so exciting. So refreshing about the whole experience and it just make whether it’s difficult, whether it’s hard and the harder, the better, because I sort of feel with more challenge and more adversity, you [00:40:00] only grow as a person.

And by putting yourself into those different cooked spots and challenging yourself, you will only grow as a person. Whereas if you just stay in your comfort sane, eventually you’ll. I don’t. I get very, very bored and become very, very miserable in your ways. Yeah. I really like, and I think this all the time before I go off on like a big expedition or just like you, do you know what?

Even like a random weekend away somewhere doesn’t it can be the smallest of expeditions for a day out to, uh, climbing up a mountain or something or a month long. You know, adventure somewhere is I always have it on the way there I’m like, stuff’s going to happen. I don’t know what it is, but I know right now that come the end of this expedition, I’m going to be a slightly different person.

And I don’t know why, like, I don’t know yet what’s going to [00:41:00] happen, who I’m going to meet or how it’s going to fall change the core of me, but it will in some way. And I love that. The unknown. What, uh, what about your favorite quote, favorite quote? This is really hard because I love a quote. Um, but I, um, uh, I will have success with echo Tali.

I love him the power of now everyone needs to read it. It’s like, it’s my Bible. It’s such a brilliant book. And it was actually post, um, Congo that I’ve got really, really into him when I started getting more into light, you know, living. In the sort of present moment more and being more mindful and all of that.

And, uh, and he mean, he’s got so many incredible quotes, but one of my favorites is, uh, say yes to the present moment and surrender to what is. And I love that. And it’s just about being [00:42:00] sort of like, you know, the present moment is all that you’ve got and even when things are going, Oh, and there’s another quote that he says that I love, which is what is the problem now?

So it’s like, even when shit is going wrong, it’s like, okay, but what actually is the problem right now? And, and even when it’s all going wrong, it’s learning to live in acceptance of it and sort of like. Accepting it as if you’ve chosen the situation and then either doing something about it or accepting it.

And, uh, yeah, I really liked that. No, I think that goes back to why adventures are important because you become very, more adaptable to things going wrong. Hmm, definitely. And sometimes I quite embrace things when they don’t go, when it’s not plain sailing, you’re a bit makes you think on your feet, there’s nothing more boring than a story that goes, we went and did this and it will work fine.

And [00:43:00] then we came back. Yeah. I mean, it’s so much, it’s such a rewarding story. When something goes a bit tits up, you know, I remember like one of the Congo trips we’ve got out there and it’s a nightmare, you know, getting to the village and we got there and it was. Tasting it down with rain. And we were trying to allies, helping the crew try and put tents up and keep everything dry.

And then everyone, pretty much, they all ended up sleeping in one tent for the first night because they couldn’t get anything else up and stuff was getting washed away. And, uh, like in hindsight it was very much a, you know, type two fun. Um, and in hindsight it makes such a better story. Yeah. Yeah. Like one, two and type three fun.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. A better story. That was her type two fun makes for a better story. So type one fun is in the moment when you’re having a great [00:44:00] time and this is the best time ever. And in hindsight, it’ll still be the best time ever type two fun is when you’re doing something on it. Goes a bit wrong and you’re not having a great time, but actually in hindsight it was amazing and it makes for a brilliant story and type three fun is when it’s really shit at the time.

And in hindsight it’s still shit, but that’s quite rare. I mean, yeah, I definitely say type two is the best. Um, because as you say, that’s all the best stories come from type twos. Definitely. Um, so people listening are always keen to go on these sort of adventures and travel. What would you recommend for people wanting to get started?

Um, just do it, stop overthinking it and, you know, get on with it. Stop talking about it. Stop like [00:45:00] boring everyone with what you’re going to do and just. Book a flight. Get on a train, jump in the car, set off on your two feet and just do it. Like drives me mad sometimes when people are like, Oh, I’m going to do this and I’m, I want to do this and this and that.

And sometimes obviously you understand that it might be for, you know, reasons, finances that they can’t do it right now. But I do think that if you’re somebody that enjoys an adventure and an expedition, there are things also that you can do that don’t cost very much. And I think it’s just get out there and do it and don’t overthink it.

And, and if you are scared of it, then that’s good. Embrace the fear, you know, laugh into the face of the fair and just crack on with it. I think that was quite that said if it’s, if it’s exciting, if you are, we aren’t going to butcher this. Um, it said if, um, if it scares you and excites you at the same time, you should [00:46:00] probably do it.

Absolutely. Yeah. And there’s like, Oh, it’s in that, uh, basil alum and song. Is it, or do something every day that scares you is that I might have just got what’s the song. You know, there’s always wear sunscreen. You’re going to have to sing it. I’m not sure I’m a really bad singer. You’re going to have to listen to it.

I’ll send it to you on Spotify. But, um, but yeah. Do something every day that scares you. If you’re a bit scared of it or you’re dreading it, then even more so reason to do it. Yeah. My advice would be is just to just do it, get on with it, stop talking about it and just do it. And then actually there’s so many small or even bigger yeah.

Ventures to be had in the UK or wherever you are local. I mean, I’m going on one in a few days, which, um, which is, uh, you know, a week long. And then there’s Nick butter, who was on the [00:47:00] podcast, who at the moment is trying to come the quickest person to run around the UK. Wow. That’s cool. Uh, which. Again, I think it’s going to take about six or eight weeks.

Um, so, uh, but I mean, they, you know, what he’s doing is on quite a sort of grand level and to do, but double marathons every day for a hundred days is quite something that’s that’s going to hurt. Yeah. So, I mean, for people listening that probably wouldn’t recommend that as a start, but. Maybe just go for a run into your next door town or one 20 miles away or something even just like, you know, if you like walking, it’s just like go.

And I don’t know, even if it takes three, four hours to get there, just set off and do it. Yeah. It’s very true. Um, finally, what are you doing now? And how can [00:48:00] people follow you in the future? Um, I I’m currently working on a bunch of development projects, um, for various different documentaries, uh, both in front of and behind camera.

And, uh, yeah, let’s see what happens. Hopefully sort of, you know, the world is slowly starting to open up a bit, which, and, you know, foreign travel and foreign filming is sort of on the horizon. So yeah, let’s see. Well, I. Can’t really talk about anything sort of in particular that I’m doing, but, um, yeah, let’s see what happens in the next six months.

Yeah. It’s just like nothing’s, you know, signed off and in various, uh, chapter at the minute. Amazing. Well, Olivia, thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you very much for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure listening to your stories. Thank you very much and good luck on your, uh, [00:49:00] Mission. Well, I look, I look forward to following your documentaries in the future.

Thank you. Thank you very much. And seeing what this development documentaries have to offer. Great. Thank you. Well, that is it 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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