“I think that success is dictated by the number of experiences you are able to have and the depth of them. I try and experience everything! As a result I’m in a constant state of FOMO.
I also relish discomfort. I like to feel completely out of my depth because that’s where you grow. Discomfort and growth go hand in hand.
Once upon a time, I spent a year working in a university lab, living a life that had been predetermined for me. But I didn’t last there long. I ended up opting for a life of adventure- pushing my body and mind in the great outdoors.
I’ve done a lot of big trips– skiing from Antartica to the South Pole and back, paddling Bass Strait, kayaking the length of the Murray River. Kayaking from Australia to New Zealand over 62 days was when I experienced the greatest amount of personal growth. There were obviously challenges in the ocean– sharks, 10 meter waves, storms that would last four days– but the challenges in the lead up were probably harder.
I want to inspire people to chase their own passion, go on their own adventures, build connections and create shared experiences. Watching somebody pursue their passion is an invigorating thing and it spreads to those around them.
I also want to work with people to ensure they don’t lose themselves when they have children. Children can be your greatest teachers if you allow them. As adults, we should be applying a child-like lens of curiosity. My wife and I did a major expedition, walking 1800km for 102 days across the Australian Outback with our one year old daughter. Seeing the growth that happened in her while we were out there was probably one of the most special experiences of my life. Children don’t fall to societal expectations like adults do and I think we can all learn a lot from that.
Right now a lot of us are disconnected from everything– we put barriers around each other and around ourselves. A more ambitious Australia is a more connected Australia. It’s an Australia that’s more empathetic to humans and to our environment.
Australia has lost its identity somewhere along the way. There are pockets of people doing amazing things and I think s p a c e is one of these pockets. We just need to work out how to translate this to society more broadly.
It’s hard to put my finger on what made s p a c e so special. I think it had something to do with everyone meeting as equals, shedding their nine to five lives and showing up with a willingness to be honest and vulnerable. When you don’t focus on what people do, you allow so many other facets of them to shine through.”
*Interview and write-up- s p a c e storyteller, Sian Gooden