A former reservist in the Royal Navy, the broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle first found fame on BBC’s Castaway, in which he was marooned on an island in the Outer Hebrides for a year. Since then, he has presented numerous programmes including Countryfile, New Lives in the Wild and Crufts; published nine bestselling books; and been named the United Nations Patron of the Wilderness. Adventure being at the heart of his passions, he has scaled Mount Everest, rowed across the Atlantic and raced to the South Pole.
To encourage others to get out of their comfort zone, he launched Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures with Celebrity Cruises to offer a unique series of shore excursions that capture his immersive travel style. Across all of these endeavours, Ben Fogle shares a profound interest in family, self-improvement and community, as Carrier finds out…
How can different generations build stronger connections with each other?
Simple. By spending time together and sharing experiences. There is nothing as bonding and binding as experiential travel. Choosing things that you can all enjoy together are also important. An eight-year-old and an 80-year-old will have different needs, but it isn’t hard to find suitable activities – something that is new to everyone is always a winner.
Do you think it is important to push personal boundaries?
Life is too short. I have always lived by the motto: ‘to add life to my days, not days to my life’. I want to fill it with as much colour and light as possible. Travel and adventure give me those experiences. I like to take myself out of my comfort zone and make the most of my life. I also want to seize opportunities and live life with no regrets. For me, the greatest wealth I can give my own children is experience and opportunity to explore, learn, grow and be curious.
Is taking the time to unwind essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
I just need to be in the outdoors to relax. So many people assume that we need to create a great boundary between work and relaxation but for me I can work and relax in the same environment. It’s about switching off and taking in your surroundings. There is nothing as soothing as staring into the wilderness.
When abroad, how important is it to connect with the local community?
You haven’t really travelled if you have merely translocated your normal life into a new environment. Travel and, specifically, experiential travel, is all about immersive journeys. It’s about being a part of the fabric of a new land. It’s about tasting the food and experiencing the culture. Community is so important in many cultures and for me you haven’t really experienced a new country until you have spent time with the local people.