Inspiration for adventure comes from many sources: the pages of a glossy magazine, a well-traveled friend over happy hour drinks, and, increasingly, in just 140 characters. Indeed, Twitter, the social media site once reserved for online bickering between C-list celebs, has emerged as a digital travel journal for some of the world's top adventurers. Here, a few to keep your eye on.
Roz Savage, Rower and Environmental Activist, @rozsavage
I’ve been following this bad-ass Brit for some time now, and her feed is an excellent blend of inspiration and honesty about her latest adventure, which likely involves a tiny boat and thousands of miles of open water. National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2010, Savage, is the first woman to row three oceans (the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian), yet despite her seemingly super-human feats, she brings a humbleness to her online presence – and, despite the fact that she's recently retired, serious inspiration. One recent tweet: “It dawned on me that the size of my physique mattered less than the size of my self-belief,” from her upcoming book, which will be released in October.
Tune in to her tweets, and at the very least, you’ll be itching to find a boat and row some yourself, too.
Jimmy Chin, Pro Climber, Photographer, Filmmaker, @jimkchin
It’s hard not to feel humbled reading this world-class adventurer’s exploits on some of the planet’s most punishing peaks (and shooting incredible photos while doing it) – but it’s also hard not to feel inspired, either. Chin’s content varies from dazzling shots on landmarks like Mount Everest, to everyday (but no less arresting), images like a recent one from an underground boxing club in Brooklyn, to requesting suggestions on how to spend 24 hours in Dubai. But seeing such shots (Chin’s Twitter feed is also linked to his Instagram feed) as the Feb. 4 image of a Sherpa hauling a 77-pound load above Everest’s notorious Kumbu Icefall is reason enough to start following.
Bruce Poon Tip, Founder, G Adventures and Planeterra Foundation, @gadventures
As founder of one of the world’s top adventure travel companies, as well as a highly successful nonprofit that helped pioneer the sustainable tourism movement, Poon Tip could easily be forgiven for morphing into one of the biggest braggarts among Twitter’s travel circles, a space already overflowing with ego. Yet, despite his achievements, Poon Tip, who founded G Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures) with two credit cards, still radiates a down-to-earth attitude and work ethic, along with authentic passion about his travel-centric job, in his frequent tweets to 17,500+ followers. There are plenty of funny, no-filter comments, too (“Hey, it's been forever, let's hangout [sic]!" "No, it's been forever for a reason.”), as well as travel news and job listings among G Adventure’s growing empire - just in case you're looking for a gig like his.
Paul Salopek, Journalist, @PaulSalopek
Epic is a way overused word these days among adventurers, but if an undertaking is ever worthy of that description, it’s Salopek’s Out of Eden Walk. For the next seven years – yes, years – this National Geographic-backed journo will retrace the route of our human ancestors out of Africa and across the planet, reaching the tip of South America some 21,000 miles later.
Every 100 miles, Salopek will make a digital record of his location that includes photos, video and audio recordings, and a brief interview with the nearest human being. He’ll be tweeting, too, although not rapid-fire. But with content like this: “No wells. Bummed murky water off nomads in this enormity. Electric blue moonlight the color of pure thought.”, he’s certain to keep his 7,540-and-counting followers hanging on every character.
And don't forget to follow ShermansTravel on Twitter, too! Don't be shy – say hello!