Bear Grylls hit our screens as the daredevil adventurer braving all manner of harsh environments. He is determined to inspire the next generation of explorers big and small.
What inspired Bear Grylls Adventure?
For me the whole park is about simply empowering people to be able to experience an adventure on their doorstep. This is why our site at the NEC Birmingham is proving so popular. We bring adventure indoors and give experiences like shark diving or free fall to thousands of people who might not ever get to do those things in normal life. When you stand on the top of our high ropes course (the highest in Europe) it literally takes your breath away. Even for me, every time still. In life it requires courage to keep moving forwards when we are scared and that’s why we say at the park that we are here to empower you inside and out. But first you’ve got to get ready to feel some fear!
How important is it to foster the spirit of adventure in children?
My main goal is to help those who might not normally get the chance, to get out there and experience their own adventures. Even a walk in the park or cycle ride can show children that there’s so much more to life than computers and TV screens. It’s so important to instil in kids from an early age that adventure can be for everyone and that you don’t need to tackle Everest to find fun and empowerment in the great outdoors. Adventure builds confidence and I see that time after time through the scouts and through our TV shows.
Where did your spirit of adventure come from?
My Dad who was a former royal marine commando and always an adventurer at heart. My earliest adventure memories are of climbing with my dad on the sea cliffs around the Isle of Wight, which is where my dad first taught me the fundamentals of adventure: keeping moving towards the mountain before you, even it is scares you, respect and humility mean more than wealth and status, and above all never give up.
What are the highlights of your adventuring life?
I’ve been lucky enough to see so many incredible places on this earth through my job – so many amazing landscapes and beautiful cultures. However, the real highlights and always the most important parts of my life are rooted in the friendships and bonds that I’ve built along the way. Adventure always creates connection, and the friendships and kindnesses I have experienced from different cultures worldwide are such a beautiful reminder of how humanity at heart is good and that adventure brings people together.
Is there an ‘adventuring mindset’? If so, how can you develop it?
Top of the list is to adopt a survivor mindset to never give up. Tenacity, a dogged determination to keep going despite the overwhelming odds. That spirit is key to staying alive on all adventures. Ultimately this matter more than any amount of knowledge or skills. Resilience is also a muscle that gets stronger when worked over time and that fire inside is in us all, and it can change everything. Couple that with resourcefulness and courage in the big moments, and you have the winning ingredients for the wild and life.