What is it that draws us to extreme travel? Is it the adrenaline rush from a soaring bungee jump, the fulfilling feeling upon reaching the peak of a mountain or a well-deserved gratification as you complete another mile along an arduous hike?
In our penultimate episode of series four of The Rough Guide to Everywhere podcast, we speak with travel writer, filmmaker and storyteller, Ash Bhardwaj. Ash recently travelled the entire length and breadth of the Russian-European border – that’s 8,500km, in case you were wondering – so we decided to find out exactly why he decided to take this travel venture to the extreme, and what travel means to him.
In this episode, Ash tells us about his exhilarating journey, which started in the northern slopes of arctic Norway and finished down in Crimea, a Russian-occupied annexed part of Ukraine. Along the route, he ran into Belarusian border guards in the Bavarian forest, engaged with local people dealing with day-to-day life on the border and gained a deeper understanding of the history of the area on a first-hand level.
He also shares how he got into travel, from his passion for science and going to New Zealand to play rugby (or ‘eating mud’ as he puts it) to retracing World War II secret missions and trekking through Uganda and Sudan with Levison Wood.
When we travel, we are inspired by the world around us. Our travel plans might be inspired by our heroes, hobbies or a part of history that intrigues us. Whether you want to take a road trip, visit a famous city or simply get off-grid, there are plenty of ways to take your adventures to the extreme: and this episode is packed with reasons why you should do exactly that.
In our final episode, which comes out in August, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most magical spots in two of our upcoming books, Make the Most of Your Time on Earth and Best Places on Earth 2020. See you then!
This episode was hosted by Aimee White (@aimeefw) and produced by Femi Oriogun-Williams for Reduced Listening.
Header image: ERainbow/Shutterstock
Aimee is an in-house Senior Travel Editor at Rough Guides and is the podcast host of The Rough Guide to Everywhere. She is also a freelance travel writer and has written for various online and print publications, including a guidebook to the Isle of Wight. Follow her on Twitter at