Globetrotting explorer Mike Horn whose adventures included a solo journey around the world without motorised transport says lockdown has changed him for the better.
Although many found the loss of freedom devastating Mike said that it allowed him to devote time to things that he would never previously have done, and he now wants to focus on giving something back to the planet.
Horn wants to reduce the number of explorations so he can focus on helping people, helping to change their mindset, to help show them how they can achieve their goals.
He said lockdown also gave him the chance to reflect on his last expedition in particular what it showed him about the state of the planet. He said: “My last expedition to the North Pole, when I saw how much the ice had changed, how fast it is drifting, that I did not see a single polar bear in 100 days, that is not normal.
“What is normal is that the Earth that takes care of us, that feeds us, we have to also take care of it too.”
Speaking about his life-changing decision he said: “I have never been so creative in my life. I have been able to do things that I had never had the time to do. And I have found pleasure again in doing little things that will change my life once we are free.”
Horn, 53, also said: “Freedom is a luxury. A luxury to build something that normally one would not have the time to do.”
He added: “I haven’t always gone the right way, so I do not want to return to the same life.”
The explorer wants to not only reduce the number of expeditions he undertakes, but also reduce how many aeroplanes he gets on, so that he can spend more time passing on his skills and experience to other people.
He said: “Exploration how I was doing it, we have to change it. […] We can’t continue doing things the way I was doing them.”
Speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, he said: “Fear and doubt are more dangerous than COVID-19 because it changes the way we react, we almost become obsessed.”
Horn, a South-African born Swiss explorer, has been famous for his exploits for almost 20 years. He first garnered international attention in 2001, when he completed the solo journey around the equator without any motorised transport.
In 2004, he successfully completed a two-year, three-month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle.
In 2006, with Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland, they became the first men to travel without a dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness.
On 6th April 2020, Mike Horn, who is also a motivational speaker, featured in the BBC’s The Boss series, in which he said: “We all have resilience but we need it more or less depending on what we do in life and our social status… You’ve got to make it grow.”
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