How to make everyday an adventure | Callum Fairhurst | TEDxUniversityofEastAnglia

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imagine you've only been given a week

left to live what would you do would you

fly somewhere that you've never been

before would you meet a celebrity that

you've always wanted to meet would you

do something daring something a bit


jump out of a plane perhaps well over

the next 10 minutes I'm gonna try and

convince you why I would spend the last

week of my life by living an adventure

and it all starts with a boy a boy named

Liam Liam was 10 years old when he was

diagnosed with cancer and Liam changed

my life he was my brother he was my


my best friend actually and he was the

most amazing person that I ever met in

the entire world and in 2005 when he was

10 and I was a doctors told him he had

synovial sarcoma a cancer in his left

leg and he was given after a year well

after a year he was his friend sadly

passed away at a similar age a friend

that he met in hospital that's when it

became apparent to me to Liam and to a

whole family that the same could happen

to him and Liam wasn't invincible

and shortly after Liam's cancer was cast

his terminal doctors gave Liam just one

week left to live much like that

scenario opposed to you earlier

imagine being 11 years old and only

having a week left to live what would

you do Liam decided that rather than

being sad and sitting in a corner and

crying for the last week of his life he

wanted to help people he wanted to do

great things he wanted to help people

like him and like his friend who passed

away and then a week went by and Liam

was still here and people going hot on

him probably shouldn't be here not that

they weren't that mean about it

but for the sake of the narrative they

were and they were like this is so

confusing why are you still here and

then another week went by and then

another couple of weeks went by doctors

told Liam he wouldn't live to his

twelfth birthday he proved them wrong

Liam was told that it would never be

able to walk again because of the cancer

in his leg he proved them wrong time and

time again

Liam defied all odds until sadly on the

30th of June 2009 the impostor way he

was aged as 14 years old and his promise

he made to himself in that last week of

his life was to try and help people and

he ended up raising millions of pounds

for charity and he proved to me that you

can do anything if you believe that you

can do it and I remember many things

about the day he passed away I remember

the time remember the weather and I

bought was on TV I remember what I ate

but my most - poignant memories for the

two promises that I made to Liam firstly

that I would try and help other people

in some way however I could and secondly

I think this is a promise that we should

all make to everyone at anytime is that

I would live a great life and I decided

to do that by living every week of my

life as an adventure it started in

January of 2015 and I saw these nutters

going around the world on a bicycle they

were either trying to beat a world

record or they were trying to spend

years and years just cycling around and

doing amazing things and meeting really

cool people I was like I really really

want this challenge so I decided that I

would just do it

so my first kind of point about trying

to live your life as an adventure and

how you should is just to do it to go

out there and do something I decided

with some little savings that I had I

would spend all my money on perching

purchasing a flight to Australia and I

purchased the flight so I had to go

there and cycle around the world and


upon thousands of miles nine months on a

saddle that's 5% of my life and loads of

Vaseline I started to realize it wasn't

actually about the challenge it wasn't

about the number of miles I covered on

my bicycle it wasn't about the really

really tough times and I was trying to

climb up a hill it was about the people

I met it wasn't the challenge

it was the adventure it was the

adventure of doing something different

and I was told before I left on my ride

and even during the ride that everything

will go wrong I was told I remember

friends specifically telling me we're in

a month

Calem you're gonna die this isn't good I

don't really want to be doing this and

and then I was after a month went bars

that oh yeah I'm doing all right here

I've only almost been hit by a few cars

it's not going too bad but everyone was

telling me I'd be marked that didn't

happen everyone was telling me I'd be

stabbed that didn't happen everyone was

telling me I'd be invited into strangers

houses and something would go wrong that

didn't happen and I started to realize

that it would all be okay and I was in

Malaysia I just so I could free

Singapore and Indonesia and Australasia

and everything was being fine but I was

sat down by someone in Malaysia who was

really worried that I was about to enter

into Thailand he said in Thailand

everyone has a gun and it sounds stupid

because it is not everyone has a gun no

one wants to hurt you either people

don't care you're there or they're

really excited by the idea that you're

living your life as an adventure and

rather than being greeted by people who

didn't want to help me or didn't want to

support instead over 400 cyclists join

me within a week I was actually I was

actually greeted by police cars who

would take me through cities and towns

and close off roads that loads and loads

of people would stop their cars and

cheer me on this stranger who didn't

speak their language who had never been

to Thailand before but was greeted by

people it will all be okay some people

are scared about going on adventures

they're scared of doing something a bit


I was iced

sometimes but have to remember there are

actually people aren't there to hurt you

people are excited by the fact that

you're doing something different and

then my other point is that everyone has

a story this is something I think we can

remember every day there everyone around

us everyone in this audience every

single one of you has a story that's

worth shouting about there's worth

hearing and less about the challenge of

cycling a bike around the world it more

became about hearing what people have to

say and hearing these incredible stories

I met a man in France his name was Tom

he was 75 years old he was an English

guy I was having a really really tough

day there was a headwind the whole way

it was raining I was feeling fed up I

was in the middle of France in December

in winter the worst time to cycle

through Europe and then I started

speaking to him and he was telling me

about his life story he started off in

the Navy because he wanted to go on an

adventure he wanted to see different

things they'd never seen before I he

quit the Navy decided to go traveling

and then he kept doing things up until

that day I met him aged 60 he crossed

the Amazon rainforest in a canoe aged 65

he he took a camel across the Sahara

Desert aged 70 he went across the Great

Wall of China without telling his wife

that he was going to be going away for a

few weeks and that inspired me I was

like if Tom can do this for his whole


why can't I so I set about thinking

about the next adventure

I didn't have much time and I didn't

have much money but the next time that

can actually do something adventurous

was in between my first year at

university and the start the second year

so summer three months so I decided

let's take an Indian took took around

every single European Union country

because why not

28 countries in a little Indian free


it started off me just being excited by

the novelty of an Indian took took

breaks it happened and it doesn't matter

about the way you voted in or out I

realized that not many people actually

know much about our 27 neighboring

European Union countries I didn't know

anything about them I'd been to France a

couple of times so why not actually

learn about them speak to people by

taking a little took took through all of

those countries and after going through

these 28 countries on the tik-tok I

started to realize actually every day is

an adventure it's not about just these

moments where you're taking a bike

around the world or a tuk-tuk around the

European Union or you're running a

marathon or you're doing something

different every single day is some kind

of adventure even on the bad days in

that took - we still met different

people we still heard incredible stories

we still got to see things that we had

never seen before and then I relate that

to these days like I walk through campus

and I see a a new thing that I've never

seen before I take a different route to

walk to university or a different way to

cycle and you get to see different

things and by making every little bit

more and more adventurous it just makes

life that little bit better so I hope

I've encouraged people in some way to

think how can I make not just the last

week of my life like an adventure how

can I make every day an adventure so I

challenge you and I challenge me this -

actually that when you leave today take

a different route home walk somewhere

different drive somewhere different stop

off and look at what's around you and

spend five minutes just exploring speak

to someone that you've never spoken to

before because everyone has a story

our lives are one big adventure so let's

make them a little bit more adventurous

thank you