About The Resilient Explorer

The Resilient Explorer is a personal blog that holds the memories of me, my amazing wife (The Wife) and our kid (Kiddo). As with many other blogs, I have a passion for exploring and discovering the world, the various cultures and being an intrepid traveller in all of its sense. The Wife, on the other hand, is a casual tourist (in every sense of its word!), relying on the Resilient Explorer’s judgement, analytics and calculated risk-taking when doing the exploration to a foreign land (and once in a while the casual family hiking). Kiddo is only in its first year, so we are still debating which Kiddo take the most after.

Let me paint you a picture of our two personalities in regards to how we were broad up when we were younger. I’ve always been keen on getting to remote, un-travelled land. Meeting interesting people and plunge out in the unforeseen almost regardless of the risks involved. The Wife on the other hand, had mostly been traveling inside the country of Denmark, getting to far parts of the land on vacations (Denmark is only 452 km from East to West and 368 km from North to South [1]) and venturing the high seas in the southern water of Denmark with all of its calmness and idyllic nature. The Wife has a couple of times ventured outside the borders of Denmark, but mostly in civilised countries and safe cities as Berlin, London and the like. She actually once ventured to Bahrain in her teenage years!

At the age of 22, I had, on the other hand, travelled six continents, over 30 countries (mostly in the 3rd world) such as Colombia, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, India (Kashmir region) and Myanmar (Burma) in the early days when it was still relatively close. I must note, that The Wife is a vivid and very skilled hiker and camper having the patience and skills to set up a bond fire, tent/bivouac, and you can spin her around for two minutes, and she is still more reliable than a compass. So our stars are perfectly aligned with the same desire for adventures – they just need to be very planned and very, very safe.

This is thus the starting point, for the Resilient Explorer. I try to document the risks, hazards and every other aspect of our intrepid travels as The Wife won’t have it any other way. The thought of taking a less safe route needs to be well analysed beforehand, or you can rest assured, that you will be spending a lot of your time exercising your best incident management skills.

What Does it Mean to be a Resilient Explorer?

Let’s start with the easy part of this name. Explorer. To ex·plore can be said to be either 1) “investigate, study, or analyse: look into” and 2) to “travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery[2]. As the meaning of an explorer is thus two-fold; on the one hand its a description of a person who travels to new and unexplored parts of the world (at least for that very person) either for the adventure alone or to discover something. The discovery part could be either something physical (a new place, country, culture etc.) as well as something on a more abstract self-discovery level (gaining knowledge or understanding of one’s abilities, character, and feelings). On the other hand, to explore can be about the investigation, studying and analysis of a particular subject. This leads me to the next part of this name; resilient.

Resilient, or resilience, is a word with a multitude of meanings and values. To be re· sil· ient is something “characterised or marked by resilience” such as “tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change[3]. When something is resilient, it is “able to quickly return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed[4]. However, being resilient is not only about handling and recovering from adversities when ones travel plans is seriously on a sidetrack and all hell has broken loose; resilience also focuses on the preventative measures; the risk management thoughts and how to foresee risks and adjust problems before they escalate.

Fancy words, but what does it mean? Well, for once, all backpackers, explorers, travellers, hikers and so on will at some point meet unfortunate circumstances when out and about. Such adversities could stem from scams, theft, food poisoning, piracy, civil unrest, seismic activity and the list goes on. The best part is that you can actually mitigate most of these risks by being informed and do a little research beforehand. If something happens, you are aware of the effects and most likely have a plan B to accommodate these changes and then bounce back and be stronger/wiser for your continued travels! Don’t let some little misfortune stop you! Get back up on the donkey, take the bumpy (but acceptable safe) road and learn from your experiences!

The Travel Preparations

As The Wife desire a high level of safety when we travel and do intrepid adventures (even more so when we got our offspring), there is a high demand for me to plan, assess and evaluate all the risks involved with these activities. At the beginning of our relationship it started off with some rough travel itineraries based on current local information, the weather and there was some room for change in location, plans etc. The more we ventured on rocky paths, the farther we travelled and the more uncertainties induced in our travel plans, she started to require detailed information and ‘proof’ that our travels would not create unacceptable unsafe situations with any adverse incidents.

This sound perfectly reasonable right? Not taking any unwanted, un-calculated and stupid risks. The problem is that The Wife’s idea of safe sometimes means staying on the route and not to make a detour down the untravelled path, to not venture off into the fantastic parts of the 3rd world or not to engage in some weird (but mesmerising) local tribe ritual. Instead, residing in the safe parts (read: not-as-adventurous-as-me) and not experience Hakuna Matata, TIA (This is Africa) and cope with the new and unknown. Her risk tolerance can be said to reside in the very low and acceptable level. However, we all know, that there are risks involved with everything we do. It’s all about taking the right ones and filtering out the unacceptable ones, thus balancing risk and rewards.

I adopted the ISO31000:2018 model for risk management – guidelines, principles and framework when planning our adventures.

Figure 1: ISO 31000:2018 Process

The Rise of The Resilient Explorer

This blog is our personal website to document our trips around the globe. As we love to travel the world – regardless of whether it’s a small hiking trip, survival around the Norwegian fjords, a vacation in a city or a more extended trip in foreign land – there is no better place to share our stories and adventures (for you to pinch in on, discuss and possibly laugh at). It all started with some great stories (of incidents) we experienced on our adventures and most importantly, to remember these. Accompanied with these stories are my longed passion for photography which is why I make photosets. Some (long) time ago, I found myself taking these photos, editing them and then leave them in my computer for no-one to see.

The Resilient Explorer came to life to remedy this wrongdoing, as a means to document our endeavours. Typically, the adventures are documented through various posts – or photosets. They’re an excellent way for us to share the memories with loved ones and friends, but also – and most importantly – relive past experiences and laugh of the singular, beautiful moments with The Wife and Kiddo.

We hope you enjoy this blog and would like to participate!

Changelog

January 30, 2019
Published

February 7, 2019
Added “About The Resilient Explorer” section.
Added “The Travel Preparations” section.
Added “What Does it Mean to be a Resilient Explorer?” section.
Added “The Rise of The Resilient Explorer” section.