Straits cycling: Singapore to Malacca and Penang

This is a guest post from Claire Le Hur who is cycling to China with her fiancé Stuart Block. The couple will start their journey in East Africa where they will follow new ‘silk roads’ charting the journey of key natural resources as part of an exciting new education project. 
Claire will be riding a bamboo bike, built by an African social enterprise and Stuart will ride a tandem, keeping the back seat free for those they meet en route. They will also be raising money and awareness for two great educational charities. Find out more about Claire’s big adventure here.

Claire Le Hur

After taking a month’s ‘holiday’ and cycling only 200km we desperately needed to make up some miles and Malaysia, with its wonderful people, careful drivers, and flat roads, was the perfect place to do it.

We chose to cycle the west coast as it was a shorter distance to Thailand, plus it offered better weather and seemed less touristy. In fact, between Malacca and Penang we didn’t see another westerner.

newyearCelebrating Chinese New Year in Malaysia


Reasons to be happy

Did you know yesterday was the International Day of Happiness? Where does your happiness come from? What are your sources of joy? Do you actively think about it, and prioritise those things in your life?

DWYL the girls

Hanging out with my girls. This makes me happy.

Here are a few treasures from around the web to explore and ponder this week (After all, being happy is the whole point of doing what you love):

If you find any other great resources on happiness around the web please share them with us via Facebook or Twitter!

Have a happy week



Do What You Love Interview – Tiffany Coates


I’ve always dreamed that one day I’d be able to ride a motorbike. As a child I’d sit for hours watching my next door neighbours tinker with their bikes and, come the weekend, speed off in their leathers on some wild and crazy adventure. I had no idea where they were going or what they would be doing, but I wished I could go along for the ride.

As an adult I started thinking differently. ‘It’s way too dangerous’, I told myself. And then, when I became a mum, ‘I have to be responsible now and when would I find time to ride anyway?’ Comments from others, like: ‘bikes are really heavy you know’; ‘you need good balance’; ‘it’s a skill’; ‘it takes a long time to learn’; ‘the test will be difficult’; ‘you don’t have a bike – or any gear’ gave me all the more reason not to try. 

But a few weeks ago, when I interviewed the inspirational Tiffany Coates, the world’s foremost female bike adventurer, something changed. Tiffany has covered more miles than any other solo female rider and, as an international freelance motorcycle guide, she really is doing what she loves. Tiffany’s story reminded me that I’d let fear get in the way and that I needed to give myself permission to follow my dreams. Two motorbike lessons later and I’m so grateful for her words of wisdom. I hope this interview gets you thinking about what you’d love to do and how you can make it happen. ~ Rachel

Tiffany PeruTiffany and Themla (bike) in Peru


Life really can be the greatest adventure you’ve ever dreamed of

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” In other words, when we live curiously and courageously, and embrace every new opportunity with an open mind and a loving heart, we allow ourselves to learn, grow and be the best we can be.

If that isn’t motivation enough to be more adventurous, check out this inspiring video from

Dreams vs Reality


This is a guest post by adventurer, author and motivational speaker Alastair Humphreys. Find out more about Alastair here. Alastair’s latest book ‘Grand Adventures’ is available for pre-order on Amazon here.

Alastair Humphreys

I received a really interesting email this week titled “Dreams vs Reality”. It’s an important counter-point to the usual online messages of “Follow your dreams! Quit your boring job! Head for the sunshine! Choose adventure!”

I’m guilty of those rather polarised, binary messages myself at times, so I asked Paul, the guy who emailed me, whether he would allow me to share it. He kindly agreed, and I really hope you take a moment to read it if you are dreaming of adventure but unsure whether or not to take the plunge.


Hello Alastair,

It was your first two books detailing your adventures cycling around the world that sparked my own dreams. I thought you may be interested in my own experience when things just don’t work out that way. I found my road in the end though.

I spent about three years planning a cycle touring trip around the world, I bought the kit (Thorn Nomad, Hilleberg tent etc.), handed in my notice, sold my possessions, gave the house to my ex-wife, car to my son etc. and away I flew to Delhi where I’d begin by cycling up to Leh. It wasn’t strictly ‘around-the-world’ but about 2-3 years worth of linked expeditions in many parts – Alaska was a particular destination. This wasn’t an idle day-dream, but a thoroughly researched and invested plan.

However, after six weeks cycling up through the Himalayan foothills past Recong Peo, there was something not right. I was finding it hard going, feeling unbelievably lonely and isolated and wondering ‘what the hell am I doing here’. There was a nagging worry I couldn’t shake and the feeling didn’t go away, even after 6 weeks. I began to realise that London was an okay place, with its parks, people, coffee shops, museums and all capped by a comfy bed at night, hot showers and money in my pocket the next day.

Somehow the adventure, the sights, the sounds, the struggles and the “seeing the world” bit just wasn’t overcoming my homesickness and I began to resent it. Every day I longed to go home and so eventually I did. I quit. Booked a taxi back to Delhi and flew home.

For nine months, I loved being home. I found a new relationship, a new flat and lots of freelance work. An enjoyable single, well-paid life. But then, I went and did it again – now, instead of being homesick, I was obsessed by wanderlust, more intense than before – a deep-rooted need to travel across hills, rivers, valleys and oceans. It was an irrepressible urge once it had set in and I just kept thinking ‘why not?’

So again, I planned the escape, closing my attachments and plans in London. I’m a keen scuba diver and went to Mexico for a two-month diving trip, followed by a flight to New Zealand for a volunteer berth aboard a pacific environmental research yacht touring the islands.

Again, however, I got the yips, the uncertainty, the lack of security or whatever you might call it. Again I found myself back at Heathrow two months after leaving, relieved and happy to be home once more.

I knew then, that it wasn’t for me. My dreams of travel and expedition on an epic scale just couldn’t work for me in reality. The worry and unpredictability was overcoming my ambition. I could see that, like many things in life, the anticipation and planning can be of greater enjoyment than the reality. When I returned home the second time, I had a massive depressive episode which took me six months to get over.

Eventually, I came to realise that I love adventure, travelling and some degree of wildness, but just not on a long-term basis. Today, I love to take time out to go cycling/camping. A couple of weeks ago I jumped on the sleeper train to Penzance and cycled home through the January wind and rain (enjoyable but really not, sort of). Next month I fly to the Philippines for a month’s diving around four of the Visaya Islands (hotels and showers included).

I accepted a permanent job in London, but with two months leave each year so I can get away for extended trips when I get the urge – but I think I’m happier with a return ticket in my pocket and keeping the lease option on my flat open. It’s my middle-way.

I was impressed by your championing of microadventures, and it’s a way of life I very much recommend to all who, like me, can’t manage round-the-world, sell-your-home adventures but who aren’t couch potatoes either and randomly day-dream about waking up in the middle of nowhere and firing up a camping stove.

Many might be jealous of your lifestyle, and aspire to it, but my lesson is that reality, for some folk, can bite – and a relatively mundane love of sitting outside a coffee shop with a good book on a sunny afternoon can can wreck the sturdiest and wildest resolve. So go with what you enjoy and have no regrets about what you can’t do. I can still dream about cycling around the world and smile, but it’s a thought that usually gets me planning another little excursion and then coming home – and that’s really okay. Adventurers like you show that anyone who really wants to, can – just as far as they want and no further. As Bob Dylan said: “And but for the sky there are no fences facing.”

What does adventure mean to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Shared story – AnneLiese Nachman


Today’s shared story comes from AnneLiese Nachman from Seattle, Washington whose new-found passion for climbing has inspired to take her skills as a video producer to the next level and earn a living by making short films about her adventures. She is currently on the road filming in various locations such as Yosemite National Park, California, Red Rock Canyon, Nevada, and Moab, Utah.

AnneLieseN Profile PicSoaking it all in: Cochise Stronghold, Cochise, Arizona

As I counted down the weeks to finishing a work contract in Seattle, I booked a flight to Arizona for the week after my last day in the office. After months of pining for the outdoors from inside my cubicle, I decided to give myself a chance to breathe in that fresh air for a couple weeks instead of jumping right into the job hunt. It was my first big climbing trip, and my first time climbing outdoors instead of in the rock gyms. I was instantly hooked. I started thinking that maybe I could climb on the weekends, when the weather is nicer.

AN photo credit Javier GarciaBouldering in the McDowell Mountains, Scottsdale, Arizona

Sunshine In The Stronghold from AnneLiese on Vimeo

Coming back to Seattle from Arizona, I gave myself a couple of days to recalibrate to the way of structured life in the city. I became depressed as I applied for jobs. I went climbing in the gym to ease the stress, and I felt right at home. A continuous struggle between applications and climbing persisted for a few days.

AnneLieseN indoor gymReleasing it all on the indoor wall, Stone Gardens, Bellevue, Washington

The idea of committing to a normal life in the city made my body ache, literally. I actually had a very painful knot in my lower back, and learned a few days later at a yoga class that this spot is where our sense of belonging and grounded-ness are felt. I knew then, in my heart of hearts, that I was not pursuing the right thing. The moment I started to think about the logistics of making a new life that focussed around my climbing work, the knot in my lower back began to unravel. I felt happy, excited, inspired and motivated.

AN photo credit Jared BryantComing up to the second pitch, Sven Tower 3, McDowell Mountains, Scottsdale, Arizona (Credit: Jared Bryant)

The next day, I filled an empty box with some professional clothes, belts, and a big leather purse. I took it to Goodwill, and with pep in my step. When I reached the donations bin I looked down at the box I had packed and saw my old life peeking out through the top of the cardboard. I dropped my box into the bin, and walked away feeling lighter. There was a sense of relief from not having to carry that part of me around anymore.

After a good dose of hype from an episode of the Dirtbag Diaries podcast, I booked a one-way flight to San Francisco to meet my Arizona climbing crew in Yosemite National Park.

“Dreams Are Needs” from AnneLiese on Vimeo

Now I plan to keep climbing either back in Arizona, or to discover new climbing terrain in California. My goal is to work with video collaboration companies such as Story & Heart and OnlyInVR to turn a small profit from the videos I produce during my travels. I am hoping to bump into the likes of Cameron Maier or Chris Alstrin who have many years of experience capturing adventure footage, especially climbing, and pick their brains about the art.

AN photo credit Michelle MarcoGame face on Trad Rock, Cochise Stronghold, Cochise, Arizona (Credit: Michelle Marco)

Failure is pretty scary but sometimes the unknown is even scarier because you can’t foresee it, or prepare for it. At least I can visualise what failure could look like for me as I carve out this new life for myself. For instance I could have an accident and break a bone; I could lose my confidence; or I could run out of resources and struggle to make a living from climbing. If any of these things were to happen, and I was no longer able to climb, I’d try and take it in my stride – as I do with everything in life – and treat it as a turning point: an opportunity to start exploring all over again in the hope that I’d find another passion – something that can offer the same kind of release and buzz that I find when I’m up on the rock.

Failures And Optimists from AnneLiese on Vimeo

You can see  AnneLeise’s work on vimeo and on her website or connect with her on Facebook or twitter.

Canoe_credit AnneLiese NachmanEmbarking on a new journey, Bald Eagle State Park, Pennsylvania

Last chance to join our life-changing e-course Do What You Love (Starts today!)


One of the best parts of my job is guiding people through the Do What You Love e-course journey, because I see them cracking open, unfolding and growing in front of my eyes.

I see people grow in confidence, make bold moves, discover new things about themselves.

They get a ton of ideas for getting paid to do what they love, and put together real plans for moving forward.

Crucially they reorganise their lives around what really matters to them, so they can do more of what they love every single day.

This is the ninth time we have run this course and the results continue to astound us. Just recently one of our course graduates said,

“I can’t believe it’s nearly a year that’s flown by since we took the course and how far I’ve come; physically, emotionally, personally and professionally.”

This is why we do what we do, and I why I started Do What You Love in the first place.

Class begins today, and this will be the last time we run it until the end of 2016 (because I’ll be working on a very exciting project which I will share shortly…)

CLICK HERE to register and begin your journey of self-discovery to find out how to do what you love, every day.

Hope to see you in class for a transformational experience to remember!