That’s the only word I can come up with to adequately describe the Adventure Travel Show held every January at Olympia, London.

I last went two years ago and, but as I perused the website and spotted that Sir Ranulph Fiennes himself would be giving a talk on Saturday 17th January, decided that another wee trip to London was in order.

I decided to treat myself to a train ride rather than the coach as it meant nearly two hours less travelling each way, and after a quick hop on the tube arrived at Olympia just after 9am.

It was packed. This is a very popular event. I joined a queue, thinking that I was queuing to get into the auditorium for Sir Ran’s talk, but soon noticed the man himself sitting at a table signing books for people and this was the queue I’d joined. I couldn’t really stretch to buying one of his books, and just as I was wondering whether I could get him to sign my exhibition guide, I was joined by a girl wondering if he’d sign her travel journal.

So we both stayed in the queue swapping tales of travels, and yes- he signed her book and my guide… and smiled at me, saying ‘thank you very much’ while I just gawped like a star struck guppy.

I joined my new friend in the auditorium where we were treated to a very engaging and witty speech from Sir Ran. As we parted ways afterwards, we swapped names and she is also a Steph!

There were loads and loads of travel companies there, all giving away brochures, advice and, in some cases, sweets (my favourite exhibitors!!) Once again I came away with two bag fulls of inspiring information! I did buy a discounted Cicerone guide to the Pacific Crest Trail as a possible future trip, plus a copy of Dave Cornthwaite’s book ‘Life in the Slow Lane’ which he enthusiastically signed for me.

But by far the best part of the show are the talks. There are three smaller auditoriums besides the main one, and each had a full program of speakers, from polar explorers to people travelling the world by motorbike. These are all included in the price of the entry ticket (£10 on the door, or £5 plus booking fee in advance if you use the offer codes supplied by companies such as Wanderlust or Explore). I went to a talk by Felicity Aston, in which she described the agonies and loneliness of her epic solo unsupported crossing of Antarctica via the South Pole.

2 hour seminars on travel writing, photography, filming etc are also on offer but these aren’t free (£40 when booked in advance, £45 on the day) and I haven’t tried these, although I’d love to in future.

So now I feel all fired up and ready to start having lots more adventures… I started by walking the five miles back through London to St Pancras, which was quite entertaining!

The whole day was, in fact, a bit of a wake up call for me… I say I want to have adventures and talk about all the things I’m going to do, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of life- to say ‘I haven’t got time… I can’t afford it… I’ve got the cats to consider’… and before I know it, another week, month and year has gone by… and who knows how many more years of good health and fitness they have left?

From now on I fully intend to make the most of life and seek out adventures. Sure, I may not be able to go on long epic trips right now but even going for a walk in a different area is an adventure!

What adventures have you got planned for 2015?

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