Hey there! I’m writing this from the Adventure Travel Film Festival in beautiful Bright, a small country town in Victoria’s Alpine region about four hours out of Melbourne. For three days in this picture-postcard setting, the air has been filled with the sound of people talking adventure, regularly punctuated by the vroom of yet another motorcycle rolling into town to join the throng.
It’s the first time the festival’s been held in Australia and if this weekend’s anything to go by, I really hope it comes back next year. It’s being hosted by the affable Austin Vince of Mondo Enduro fame and his adventure motorcycling other half, Lois Pryce, and has been a veritable smorgasbord (I never use that word, but it’s absolutely appropriate here!) of adventure films, talks, and general waxing-lyrical about all things adventure.
This weekend, I’ve met some of my adventure heroes: Lois Pryce, whose motorbike travels in Africa inspired me to get my bike licence; Tim Cope, the Aussie adventurer whose travels through Mongolia, Russia, Kazahstan and Siberia have long had me wanting to visit those parts of the world; and Jon Muir, legendary mountaineer and explorer who amongst many feats has walked solo and unsupported across Australia. All gave inspiring and entertaining talks about their adventures – their motivations, the highs and lows, the rewards and the challenges. All had one clear message: you have to grab life NOW, don’t wait for “the right time” or worry you’re not good enough, JUST DO IT!
I’ve seen an amazing array of films here. My favourites are Riding Solo To The Top of The World, about an Indian guy who rode his Royal Enfield Bullet to the highest motorable road in the world, and Back Of Beyond, a classic film about a crazy truck journey across the remote Aussie Outback. Austin Vince’s Mondo Enduro and Jon Muir’s Alone Across Australia have also been brilliant viewing.
Soaking up the vibe in beautiful Bright over the long (and scorching!) weekend, it’s been wonderful to mix with adventurers of all shapes and sizes, amateur and professional, from weekend biker to long-distance expeditioner. You can tell everyone here has been really inspired by the films and the speakers – and for my part, it’s been brilliant spending time with like-minded people who are all adventurous spirits and have the wanderlust riddled through their souls like I do!
As the festival comes to a close and we head to Bright Brewery for one last witbier, I’m absolutely sure many new adventures will be hatched as a result of this inspiring weekend.