Dave Cornthwaite is somewhat of a legend in the adventure world. On his maiden exhibition in 2006 he longboarded 896miles from John O’ Groats to Land’s end, making him the first person ever to skate the length of Britain. Following that, he burst his limitations bubble and concluded that there was no such thing as limits.
Since then, he has skated the length of Australia, tandem cycled from Vancouver to Vegas, kayaked Australia’s Murray River and broken a world record with his Stand up Paddle journey spanning the entire reach of the mighty Mississippi River.
Nowadays, Dave is forging an epic new challenge christened Expedition1000, a series of twenty-five journeys each consisting of 1000 miles. The clutch; only non motorized forms of transport can be used.
“I understand how they might appear daunting, but dealing with the distance is just a state of mind. However slow you go, if you keep going you’ll make it to the end if you want to and that is the key.”
A dominant characteristic of Dave’s personality is his own self-reliance. He never looks to others for help but simply takes initiative; “I taught myself new skills as quickly as I could, everything is based on common sense. It wasn’t simple and took some hard work, but I made it happen pretty quickly. Anyone could do it!” It has proved an essential skill in his line of work by cutting costs in half while adding a certain personality to his outputs.
Mr. Corn’s career is one which is undertaken by only an elite few. For a life so extraordinary and so rewarding, it is difficult to grasp why so little pursue it. Dave pitted me the crux of the answer; “People love comfort but comfort kills ambition.” He proceeded to add; “what frustrates me most is people who have potential and don’t take advantage of it. Anyone I meet who moans about their job, I’m at them trying to work out how they’ve let it get to the stage why the one thing that takes up the majority of their waking hours isn’t pleasing. We’ve only got so much time, why would anyone choose to waste it!”
So what drives a person to renounce ‘everything’ and lead the life of a travelling vagabond? Dave did not sugar-coat the response, instead he spilled out the words in exasperation; “I was bored! I’d followed everything that’s expected of all of us. Schools, Uni, Degree, Job, Mortgage, Partner, Pet. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I realised I was unhappy. I ditched everything and started afresh. I’d been depressed, living the same life every day, I needed a change.”
However in a world so wrought with violence and corruption the question on the public’s lips was, is this unconventional career a life that overlooks the essential problems of the world? Should one follow the path that leads to change or the path which they are passionate about? His answer will hopefully silence the pessimists; “If we are passionate about something we can enact change. There’s nothing like passion to inspire. Adventurer’s can inspire in so many ways! Forget the doubters, what do they know? Is the funny kid at school ever encouraged to be a stand up comedian? No, because it doesn’t fit in the typical box. Trust your gut, if it’s what you want, go for it. You’ll never regret a decision like that.”
Dave is currently at a standstill for a few minutes at least, as he scrawls down his latest book, “Stand up Huck” which relive his Mississippi paddle. Then he resumes the next leg of his Expedition1000 mission. Dog sled, stilts, and paragliding are all on the agenda for the next great escapade.