Saying YES To 40, Travelling 40 Miles in 40 Adventurous Ways.
Wise words from Dave Cornthwaite.
1. Comfort kills ambition.
2. Never make a big decision in a room—get outside!
3. It’s not what you earn, it’s what you don’t spend.
4. The big one. Say yes more!
If anyone was going to make this happen, it was going to be our ambassador, Dave.
Promoting a “Say Yes” way of living, Dave decided to spend his 40th birthday with The YesTribe and a group of life loving friends, travelling 40 miles in 40 unique ways on non-polluting transport. Adventuring using unique transport is nothing new to him of course. The challenge raised an incredible £2500 for the tribe and YesBus whilst celebrating Dave’s milestone.
We are proud to continue supporting the organisation, and praise the opportunities it offers to those wanting to spend more time outdoors and in nature. The organisation connects global communities and regional networks, connecting new friends and like-minded motivational and inspirational leaders.
More about the challenge.
Spent a mile in a wheelie bin or been stretchered by friends before? Dave rescued a trolley and a wheelbarrow for parts of the challenge, the London cross country club donated some roller ski’s for 1 mile! We definitely need a little try on these… On the list of non-motorised transports were an inflatable dinghy, a sail boat, a hitch on a stretcher, a mile paddle board, an ICE trike stretch, even a whizz on a go kart. The land water challenge started from Bury Lake at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome.
Thanks Dave for contributing these words during your weekend of recovery, and, without needing to be said, a huge well done from all of us here at BAM for crawling on through challenging October weather conditions. We know there were quite a few bumps and uncomfortable moments, but we hope it was made easier with our kit throughout!
What was the most testing part of the challenge?
“I felt great after the first ten miles but then mile 11 almost knocked the day on the head. A few days earlier some people had come along to the YesBus, our West Sussex Community Space, and having heard about my birthday challenge brought some stilts along. I’d never walked on stilts before, but after an hour of trying managed to walk around the bus. If you can stilt walk around a bus, you can stilt walk a mile, I figured! In reality, I underestimated how slow and painful it would be.”
“It took one hour and two minutes to complete that mile, which put us behind in the schedule and physically destroyed my back. But for all the cons I’m glad I chose stilts for a mile, nobody watching that painfully slow mile could have thought that this was an easy day, and the cheers at the end were pretty special!’’
How do you encourage people to adventure more?
“First up, join the YesTribe on Facebook and @theyestribe on Instagram. You’ll be surrounded by folks who focus as much on mental health as adventure, and being surrounded by the right people makes life infinitely better. Build confidence with small steps, try something new every single day and before you know it saying yes to any new opportunity becomes easier.”
“And spend time outside! It’s the best healer for our minds, you feel much less like looking at a screen when you’re in the great outdoors and those niggling anxieties that infiltrate modern living feel less important when you’re surrounded by nature.”
Tell us, how do we leave our comfort zone?
“One, it’s so much easier to do new and different things when you’re surrounded by people who are doing and wanting the same thing. And two, developing a good old yes habit has to start with small steps. Doing a mile on a new form of transport—as so many did on the 25th—can be a nudge towards a larger adventure. If you can do a mile in a kayak or on a skateboard, you just need more time to cross an entire country.”
“This is exactly what the YesTribe does. It brings together those people who not only make big and little challenges a part of their lives, but they also encourage those around them to live better, happier and more sustainably.”
How do you hope The YesTribe will keep growing?
“Since the YesTribe started with 19 strangers venturing out on an overnight wild camping trip, the community has grown organically. We’ve never had a goal in terms of numbers, we just wanted to focus on what felt right. Over the years I’ve travelled slowly around the world on non-motorised transport and have been looked after and supported by endless angels on road and river; complete strangers, within minutes, would take me into their home like I was a member of the family.”
“I hope that we slowly continue to buy up little plots of woodland around the country to enable folks to wild camp legally. There’s some un-explainable magic in dreams conjured up over a campfire, so the least we can do is get the fire burning.”
How can anyone meet like-minded people?
“First up, I’d look around to see if the community you’re looking for already exists. It’s hard, all-consuming work to build a community and we encourage folks in regions where we’re not represented to build their own YesTribe, with our support.
If you have a unique idea that hasn’t already been covered, put your stake in the ground and let people know what you stand for. Stories are so important. For us, we went wild camping and made a little film about each trip, usually on my phone. Sharing film and photos helped other people see what we were doing.”
What’s made your 40th so memorable?
“The people. Over 100 folks joined the party throughout the day and formed a human avenue of applause at the end of each mile. With so many forms of transport scattered around, it was rare that I’d complete a mile solo, and passing dogwalkers probably had the most interesting walk in the park ever!
Doing this solo would have been satisfying, maybe, but it wouldn’t have been worth it. Celebrating 40 with 40 miles was for me a celebration of life and community, The YesTribe and all the incredible things that this growing group of doers has accomplished and has become a massive part of my life.”
What’s up next?
“Personally, I still have 10 out of 25 non-motorised, thousand-mile journeys to complete, so next year I’ll likely take on one or two of these. My wife Ems and I are living out of a van and house and pet sitting for the next year, both saving money for our dream future and enjoying the spontaneity of nomadic living.
All the while, we continue to run The YesTribe, building our team of volunteers around the world and helping them set up events.
We’re on the lookout for investors who might be willing to buy plots of woodland for the community to protect, nurture and enjoy. And our big future plan is to buy up some land, with a little place to live and a glamping/camping site for sustainable income. Space with woodland and meadow where we can build up our current YesTribe activity, hold an annual storytelling festival (it’s called Yestival, we’ve had five of them so far!) and create some income opportunities for our volunteer team, who give our community so much.”
“Revisiting some of the craft that once upon a time I travelled 1000 miles on brought back the sensation of setting off. A good old Rolls Rolls Longboard, the same type that in 2006 I crossed Australia on. I was superbly fond of the fast miles. Covering 40 miles in 13 hours was always going to be a tall ask so whizzing round the lap in around 6 minutes to tick another mile off always felt great”