128 km trekked through the Kelabit Highlands in Borneo
We all look forward to meeting you in person, but until then, why not put a face to the name.
Mike has been responsible for over 2000 school expeditions and is an acknowledged authority on safety and back-up. For over 40 years he has led expeditions to the jungles, mountains and deserts of the world. He has been the Chairman of the Expedition Providers Association and represented the school expedition sector on the national advisory group which supports Learning Outside the Classroom.
Mike was awarded the Sword of Honour when he graduated from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and was commissioned into 2nd King Edward VII's Own Gurkha Rifles.
During his military career he was Chief Instructor at the jungle warfare school in Brunei, an instructor at the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre in Wales, and flew helicopters with the Army Air Corps before commanding the Army Mountain Training Centre in Germany.
He worked for the Foreign Office during the war in Yugoslavia, has been Director of an aid agency in Bosnia, and more recently led a multi-national UN team tasked with verifying the status of Maoists combatants during the civil war in Nepal.
Mike has led over 20 Himalayan expeditions including 4 to Everest, the summit of which he reached in 1999 at the age of 47. He is the author of The Storms which was published in 2015 and includes the disaster on Everest in 1996, following which Mike co-ordinated the rescue which was featured in the 2015 film “Everest”.
He is a father of 3 and the proud grandfather of 4 granddaughters, the eldest of which celebrated her 8th birthday by trekking with Mike in Nepal.
Director of Operations
Mark is extremely passionate about how beneficial and developmental our expeditions can be for young people. Having led his first expedition in the late 80s and since then personally leading in excess of 40 school expeditions coupled with serving for 26 years in the Armed Forces, Mark has developed an instinctive understanding of safety and the benefits of developing world travel.
As a previous Chairman of the Expedition Providers Association he has represented the wider expedition industry on various national safety committees. This along with his personal experience of operating in remote environments means he is perfectly suited to oversee True Adventure’s “Safety and Backup, Planning, Team Training and Leader Selection”.
As well as visiting the mountains, jungles deserts and seas of the world to scope out our itineraries, Mark is a keen triathlete and adventure racer having completed several Ironman triathlons and recently the desert race that is the Marathon Des Sables.
Tom has had a fascination with travel and visiting the far flung corners of the world from a very early age, something that may have been helped when he moved to Hong Kong at only 3 months old! This was followed by time living in Brunei, Germany and Namibia whilst exploring the surrounding areas on family holidays.
At 15 he trekked to Everest Base Camp and at 17
boarded a train in Hong Kong, with his brother Dan, travelling via Beijing and
Moscow to the Mediterranean coast of Spain, all by train, and visiting 15
countries along the way! At last count Tom has visited 75 countries and
continues to look for new and exciting trips away and new True Adventure
Tom also enjoys time out in the countryside of the UK, he is a keen cyclist, runner, mountain walker, and although his playing days may be drawing to a close, he is also a big rugby fan. He enjoys cooking and during the summer often fires up the BBQ to cook meals for the whole True Adventure team.
Customer Services Director
Jacqui is the Director of Customer Services, and shares husband Mike’s passion for adventure. Together they have explored jungles, mountains and deserts around the world.
Jacqui’s favourite trekking destination is Ethiopia where she experienced the majesty of the Simeon mountain. She has also in recent years reached the summit of Kinabalu in Borneo, and challenged herself by trekking through Ladakh’s high mountains. Jacqui adores visiting the wilds of Namibia, but her personal highlight was trekking in Nepal and exploring its wonderful culture, to celebrate her granddaughter’s 8th birthday.
Head of Administration
Having spent many years working in education, Gemma has much experience of internal organisation within both state and independent education and draws on this knowledge to head up True Adventure’s administration department.
Her familiarity with the school environment means that she understands the needs of students and teachers alike and is committed to providing both with a first class service.
She has been part of the True Adventure team for many years now and is a firm believer in the wide-ranging benefits of international travel and expedition life, having travelled the world independently after finishing her own education.
Gemma is married with a young son and continues to take an active role in local education as a Governor of her son’s school. She can often be found on the touch line of the local rugby club, or exercising in the beautiful Sussex countryside far too early in the mornings!
Head of Planning
Lizzie joined True Adventure in September 2015 with an extensive background in planning. In previous roles she has worked with both schools and government departments heading up logistics from Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to conferences for the Home Office. In her academic life, she has pursued her love of African religious history with practical research in Uganda and Rwanda, completing her BA in 2008 and MA in 2013. Whilst in Uganda, Lizzie learnt Luanda, the regional dialect of the Buganda people, and speaks a small amount of French.
Having travelled throughout south east Asia, the Indian sub-continent, north and eastern Africa and Canada her passion and first-hand knowledge of other cultures is extensive. Indeed, whilst in Mumbai Lizzie was asked to be an extra in a Bollywood film! Encouraging young people to get out there and explore the world is as important as tea in Lizzie’s opinion.
Lizzie is a keen rugby player, competing in the annual university grand finals at Twickenham in 2008, she also likes to compete in cross country running and swimming events, such as Three Forts or the annual Christmas day sea swim!
Emma has a passion for adventure, and after gaining her PhD she swapped academia for a four month Expedition Leader training course in the wilds of Belize. Emma also found time to be involved in youth outreach programmes while studying in Bristol, as well as spending her holidays travelling the world.
In January 2016 Emma completed a double world record setting expedition, rowing across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Cairns, Australia as part of the Coxless Crew. Following three years preparation the team spent 257 days at sea rowing over 9000 miles on their 29ft ocean rowing boat called Doris raising funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Care and Walking With The Wounded.
As True Adventure Operations Manager, Emma uses her wide ranging skills and knowledge to assist and inspire teams as they move through their expedition program. Emma is also responsible for planning expeditions and managing risk assessments for the company.
Jimmy joined True Adventure in 2016, and has a background in provision of services for young people, including open access youth work, further education for high needs students, and several years of planning and delivering school expeditions overseas.
After graduating in 2011, Jimmy began working as a youth worker in Portsmouth before moving on to overseas expeditions, organising and leading teams from schools around the UK, venturing to Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Bulgaria. In this role he was able to pursue his passion for the success and achievement of young people, and continue to educate and inform the next generation of the world in which they live. This mindset made Jimmy a perfect fit for the True Adventure ethos.
Sport forms a big part of Jimmy’s life. He is an avid footballer, with his own brand of ‘no-nonsense’ defending. He also enjoys squash and running (if it’s not too cold…), and will spectate most sporting events. His other great passion is music, with a wide range of artists forming his collection. Jimmy is himself an accomplished musician, and plays both electric guitar and bass!
Having studied at Art College, worked for a short while in a chocolate factory and then moved to London, Rupert joined True Adventure as an Expedition Manager in 2016.
He found his love of the outdoors when he learned to sail at the age of twelve, and since then has competed and coached all over the world. He hopes to sail around the world solo one day!
In 2013 Rupert learned to climb and has been on several climbing expeditions to the Himalayas including Everest. He was caught in the Nepalese Earthquake in 2014, putting paid to that particular expedition, but this is definitely something he is planning to revisit.
He is a keen runner and spends a lot of his time running and cycling around the South Downs. As a sailor Rupert is hoping to take part in the Fastnet race in summer 2017 as well as completing his first Ironman.
Ellie joined the team at True Adventure as Expedition Manager in September 2016. During her academic life she completed a BA in Outdoor Adventure Facilitation in 2012 before going on to qualify as a Level 1 and 2 Ski Instructor in New Zealand. She has spent several years working as a ski instructor in America, New Zealand and Japan. Ellie has also spent time as an indoor climbing instructor and rowing coach.
Her passion for travel began when she spent four months exploring Australia and New Zealand on her own at the age of eighteen. Since then, she has lived in North America, Australasia and Asia, travelled by train through thirteen European countries and backpacked across South East Asia. These experiences have allowed her to develop a keen interest in people and culture and she is looking forward to exploring more of the world.
Ellie was a member of a coastal rowing club for ten years where she coached crews to success, competed at regional standard, winning the South Coast Championships with her crew several times. She also enjoys climbing, cycling in the countryside and swimming. When she doesn’t have a pair of trainers or walking boots on, Ellie likes to watch theatre performances, films and in particular attend live music gigs.
Raj graduated in medicine in 1999, but has been involved in the expedition world as long as he has been a doctor.
He has led numerous expeditions worldwide as well as
organising logistics on several private expeditions.
Raj still actively practices as a doctor, with a keen interest in austere environments, particularly when it comes to medicine in the mountains. He is currently an instructor on various expedition and wilderness courses.
Raj is a reservist in the British Army and has served on recent operations. He was fortunate enough to have summited Mount Everest in the spring of 2007 on a military expedition. In addition to his climbing role, he organised and provided medical logistics for the successful expedition.
We firmly believe that True Adventure works with the best Leaders in the industry. We are told that experienced Leaders choose to work for True Adventure because they like to work alongside our friendly team of outdoor practitioners who know very well the pressures and challenges of leading school expedition groups.
We work hard to ensure Leaders feel well supported by our tried and tested Operations Room, well equipped with the very latest in satellite communication technologies and well rewarded through our fair and transparent payment structure.
If you’re interested in joining the True Adventure merry band of expedition leaders and think you have what it takes to be regarded as one of the best out there, please drop us a line.
We don't have a 'sales department' so any one of us may answer the phone and we're always delighted to help with your questions.
We love to chat about expeditions over a cuppa! We're happy to visit you to discuss your expedition aspirations or via phone if you're short on time.
Announcing an expedition to the school is always exciting. We present to students in assembly then a week or so later to parents after school.
Unlike typical school trips, we collect all applications and payments directly, reducing admin time for teachers.