Callum: Expedition Leader Interview

Charismatic, professional, and experienced leaders are crucial for any overseas group adventure. We are proud of our leadership team here at Gapforce, with many of our leaders having worked for us for many years and in all four corners of the globe!

We are therefore excited to release another recent interview with one of our Gapforce leaders: Callum. Callum’s objective in life is to spend as much of it outdoors as possible. Truly passionate about nature and all that surrounds us in the wilder parts of the world, when at home in the UK, he can usually be found rock climbing in the Midlands, road cycling around his hometown of Cambridge, or surfing the Southern coasts. Photography, reading and cups of tea are his 3 best friends and he feels far more at home in the jungles and the mountains than he ever has in a house.

Why did you want to become an expedition leader?

I wanted people to experience all the wonders of the outdoors. To aid in conquering personal goals whether that be trekking for several consecutive days or overcoming the nerves of travelling across countries for the first time. It’s a big world and there’s a lot to see.

What is your favourite destination from the gapforce portfolio and why?

My favourite destination is Costa Rica because of the biodiversity. The Jungle is the most precious place on earth to me and its inhabitants big or small have captivated me ever since. Getting to buddy up with the Bríbrí tribe and dip fresh bananas in fresh chocolate surrounded by greenery is just heavenly.

What is your favourite volunteer project you’ve worked on?

The VBC project in Cambodia is incredibly memorable every time. We build a small house together for a Cambodian family who have been affected by civil war. After a week of team grafting we present the house with an incredible house blessing. Usually things get quite emotional and its always feels as special at the last.

Describe a typical day during one of our award-winning expeditions

A typical day usually consists of breakfast together followed by an energetic morning of activities ranging from trekking, rafting of exploring caves.

Tell us about your favourite moment or a participant’s experience from a trip.

Nothing beats the moment the team reached the Kala Patthar summit in Nepal at 18,000ft. The point we took our group photo after a cold dark hike, dawn broke and the sun beamed over Mt. Everest and shone down right on us and it was smiles and laughter all round. It felt meant to be!

What one piece of advice would you give to future participants?

Come with an open mind. It’s important to know that not everything always goes to plan when travelling and sometimes the itinerary changes.

What aspect of the job do you find most rewarding or inspiring?

I feel so lucky being able to go to some of the most beautiful parts of the world and know that it’s my job to be there. Some of the people we have come across and met during the trips have warmed my heart with their hospitality and genuine interest in our lives back home. These exchanges although brief, are always so memorable.

What would be your dream expedition to lead?

My dream expedition would be a Point A to Point B style expedition, leading a group on a raft expedition down a large river in Africa or South America. It would be reminiscent of the daring expeditions of the early 19th century, which still captivate my imagination to this day.

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