Meet Your Walking Guide: David Perry
How did you get into active travel?
I've always been interested in exploring! First as a young boy exploring the woods and hills where I grew up on the North Yorkshire Moors, then a school trip to the Scottish Mountains broadened my horizons and I later joined the Royal Navy. I've been climbing, mountaineering, canoeing and x-country skiing in several countries for many years since.
Have you been inspired by a famous explorer?
As an avid reader of books about exploration, these books rather than any one person inspired me from a young age. Although I guess it helped that my mother never once tried to put me off when I was young, even though many years later I found out she worried about what I was up to as a youngster. My wife has also been a constant source of encouragement.
What is it about active and adventure travel that fascinates you?
I enjoy meeting new people, watching wildlife, learning about the environment, geography and history. These all add to the enjoyment.
What do you do to stay fit and active travel-ready?
Working in outdoor centres, leading groups and being personally active in the outdoors keep me fit, but if I'm planning something more adventurous, taking a heavy rucksack for a long walk tops my fitness up.
How has your understanding of yourself changed after dozens of travel adventures?
I've been to the world's most remote inhabited island, Tristan Da Cuna and one of the world's most remote intact eco-systems, The Barren Lands in Northern Canada. I guess I realise now how privileged and lucky I've been. I've learned also to be content with what I've got on my doorstep, the North York Moors!
What do you like about group travel?
Discovering what motivates others and sharing knowledge is a splendid way of learning new things.
Do you have any advice for people who for the first-time go on a walking or cycling holiday?
All journeys start with one footstep, you don't need to be super fit. Just do a little research about your plans first, don't wear new boots and take tried and tested gear you've used before, if you have it. Always carry waterproofs in the UK hills and new boots are often the cause of blisters!
What are your favourite active and adventure travel destinations in the world and why?
I'm not sure I have a favourite destination as I've enjoyed all the places I've travelled in. Anywhere new is good. Closer to home cycling the C2C just after it opened across northern England was an entirely new experience for me - endless cycling and almost no roads! Leading the Coast to Coast is always fun as I am literally walking home - I live in Robin Hood's Bay!
What has been your most memorable travel experience ever?
Canoeing the Thelon River in the Northwest Territories in Canada with my wife and six other canoeists. Many hundreds of miles from another human, beyond any communications, was unforgettable. Endless tundra, forests and wildlife that few people have ever seen was unique. Knowing that we were totally reliant only on what we had in our kit, our canoes and our companions for our safety enhanced the experience!
If you like to join one of the guided walking holidays that David is leading this year, please get in touch with our team by email or phone.