10 Lessons from Two Great Adventurers

January 01, 2011 Travel

In 2010, I had the privilege of crossing paths with two remarkable adventurers—Olly Steed and Skip Yowell.

In my role as a public relations consultant, I had the opportunity to collaborate with distinguished brands such as Discovery Channel, Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center, and Jansport. 

The year 2010 proved to be exceptionally fortunate for me, as it not only involved professional collaborations with these esteemed brands but also provided me the chance to meet individuals whose exploits in exploration I came to admire.

Encountering notable adventurers like Olly Steed and Skip Yowell has enriched my understanding of exploration and life's journey. Here are some invaluable lessons and insights shared by these remarkable individuals:

Seeing from Other People's Eyes:

Olly emphasizes the importance of gaining trust, respect, and insight from locals. Traveling with an open mind and understanding different perspectives enriches the travel experience.

Sensitivity to the Community You Visit:

Olly shares a story illustrating the need for sensitivity to cultural nuances when capturing moments. Being mindful of the subject's preferences and seeking permission can avoid misunderstandings.

Sharing Pictures:

Olly suggests using small Polaroid cameras in remote locations. Sharing instant photos with locals fosters connections and trust, allowing for more authentic and relaxed photography.

Use Natural Lights:

Olly recommends capturing moments during the morning and evening when natural light enhances the beauty of landscapes. Utilizing different light effects contributes to storytelling through photography.

Life's Disappointments Can Lead to New Ideas:

Skip Yowell shares a life lesson from a failed tent design, highlighting that setbacks and disappointments can pave the way for innovation and new opportunities.

For an Extraordinary Climb:

Skip reflects on the lessons learned from an extraordinary climb, emphasizing the importance of leaving one's comfort zone, working together, knowing limits, staying on mission, and sharing in the rewards.

Climb with a Team:

Skip emphasizes the benefits of teamwork during climbs, highlighting the challenges of solo expeditions and humorously noting the difficulty of picking leeches off one's back alone.

Pursue Your Passion:

Both Olly and Skip stress the significance of pursuing one's passion. Life is an adventure, and finding joy and fulfillment in one's work is essential. If not, it's worth changing course to pursue the passions of the soul.


Acknowledging the power of active listening, Skip points out the interesting fact that the words "LISTEN" and "SILENT" share the same six letters. Remaining silent while another person speaks is key to truly understanding and connecting.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough:

Skip encourages embracing life as a grand adventure and emphasizes that, for those passionate about their dreams, no mountain is too high. The pioneer's journey is unpredictable, but a passion for dreams can conquer any challenge.

These lessons inspire a holistic approach to exploration, blending cultural sensitivity, innovation, teamwork, and the pursuit of passion on life's adventurous journey.

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