Ryan cultivated his passion for travel and the outdoors while spending summers working at a youth camp in America. After graduating from university with a degree in Geography, he went on a ‘round the world’ backpacking trip. As he settled into working life in the UK he knew his appetite for travel and adventure hadn’t been satiated and he needed to go deeper into another culture and test himself on the road. In 2014 he moved to Vietnam where he spent a year and a half teaching English and immersing himself in Vietnamese culture, before embarking on a 6000 mile bike ride from his home in Cần Thơ, Vietnam to Kathmandu, Nepal. Both work and travel were richly rewarding and helped him discover what he cares about the most - living a healthy, adventurous and compassionate life and helping others to do the same.
He now spends winters in arctic Finland, showing visitors the magic of Lapland and indulging in winter sports - skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The rest of the year is spent leading tours with Wild Frontiers, leading a youth programme in the UK and going on adventures. His latest epic adventure was hiking the length of America, 2650 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail in summer 2018. He has also hiked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and the Cape Wrath Trail in Scotland.
Q: How did you fall into tour leading?
A: Having gained so much experience I wanted to help others enjoy the positive benefits of travel and adventure that have shaped my life.
Q: What do you like most about tour leading?
A: When you’re with people who are experiencing or seeing something for the first time with a sense of awe and wonder, it’s impossible to take it for granted.
Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?
A: The impossible question. I’ll name a few specific places that I love: Äkäslompolo- Finland, Ha Giang - Vietnam, Nongriat - NE India. Annapurna Region - Nepal and, closer to home, the Scottish Highlands.
Q: What was your biggest travel highlight?
A: Unzipping my tent after stealth camping around the temples of Bagan in Myanmar, the sun rising behind the temples and the sky full of hot air balloons.
Q: What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had from a client?
A: It wasn’t my client, but I overheard a very disgruntled person demand that the northern lights be turned on!
Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?
A: My buff neck scarf - practical in all environments.
Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?
A: He’s maybe not a household name, but it was reading Alastair Humphrey’s books and blog posts that inspired me the most, so to travel with him would be amazing.