In my 2017 summary; the highs & lows blog I said that I was not born to be fit. Because I really do feel like that sometimes. No matter how hard I train, I don’t seem to make much progress! It was nice to get so many comments from people who relate to this.

I like to put myself in an adventure category of a different kind. I’ve got some level of fitness. I can run 5km and do a long day hike with a heavy backpack, but I’m no endurance athlete. Ultras, triathlons, record-breaking speed adventures – they are out of my league. I’m never going to be an elite athlete and that’s ok because adventures don’t have to always be physical.

Last week I met an inspiring adventurer called Richard Tilney-Bassett who is proving that there are different ways to have an adventure. I’ve been following Richard and his Glass Passport Project for over a year now on his mission to travel to every continent in the world without spending any money. Instead, he exchanges his skills as a photographer. Anyone can book him on the basis that they cover…

  1. Food
  2. Accommodation
  3. Transport

Landing on Mafia Island

I couldn’t believe it when I saw that, of all the places in the world, Richard was coming to me on a tiny island called Mafia just off the coast of Tanzania. He was brought here by a hotel that were in need of some professional photos.

Now it might initially seem a lot paying to fly someone all the way here just for some pictures but in most cases, this works our far cheaper than booking a photographer and paying a fee directly (plus it’s way more fun!). And he doesn’t just do hotel photography, Richard will also do weddings, events, profiles….anything you want!

I really wanted to be part of Richards story, plus Gil and I could really do with some profile shots for our websites. So I offered him a deal. Richard already had his accommodation sorted, but if he could spare a day, we’d take him on a whale shark tour and cover his food and drinks in exchange for a few snaps.

He accepted!

We had a great day. One of my favourites on the island. It turned out we had a lot of mutual friends so had plenty to talk about (the adventure scene is fairly small) and I enjoyed being able to show off my favourite Island to someone new. We had a brilliant whale shark tour and finished the day with a sunset cruise and a BBQ on the beach.

I think Richard’s story is incredible on so many levels. Finding adventure in your life in a way that inspires you. Valuing exchanges over money and showing that earnings don’t have to play a part in happiness and success.

Thanks for the pics Richard!

Photos from Trade 77



the Glass Passport project - exchanging photography for expenses

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