Exploring Mindset | Mississippi

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$1,850 / £1,200

Date: 27th Sep – 4th Oct
Depart: Memphis Arrive: Clarksdale Length: 8 days (7 nights) Focus: A moving retreat designed for those who are ready for a personal or work-based transition


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This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a moving retreat designed for those who are ready for a personal or work-based transition.

Join us on the mighty Mississippi River, where we will travel south from Memphis by canoe, camp on sandbars, hold discussions by the campfire beneath the stars, and prepare perfectly for life’s next step.

Check out the Exploring Mindset (Mississippi) website here.

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Designed to encourage a rethink of everything we do. From the social and environmental challenges we face, to happiness, efficiency, values, mass-consumption, how we spend our time, career creation, attitude, adventure and, the big one, how do we rebuild society and where should we fit in it as individuals.

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Emily Penn – Mission Leader

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Emily Penn is an oceans advocate, skipper and artist who has extensive exploration experience in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She is a graduate of Cambridge University with a degree in Sustainable Architecture; and Director of global organisation Pangaea Explorations; and the first and youngest woman to be awarded the international Yachtmaster of the Year. Emily rounded the planet on the biofuelled Earthrace boat; spent 6 months living on a tiny Tongan island organising the largest ever community led rubbish clean-up; and discovered previously unknown oceanic gyres – huge areas of plastic pollution accumulation. An experienced public speaker, Emily has spoken around the world at conferences, universities and global companies about her adventures and issues relating to our oceans, human mindset and future society. You can find more information on Emily’s projects at www.emilypenn.co.uk.


Dave Cornthwaite – Mission Leader

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Dave Cornthwaite is an adventurer, bestselling author, motivational speaker and founder of SayYesMore. Having travelled more than 16,000 miles under his own steam, his record-breaking expeditions including skateboarding across Australia, stand up paddle boarding the Mississippi River and swimming the Missouri have led to Dave being described as one of the most ambitious and tenacious adventurers around. His entertaining and motivational keynote presentations have been enjoyed on six continents and his passionate advocacy of the word YES has contributed to the sprouting of countless adventures worldwide, big and small. His mission is simple: to motivate people to break down their fears, not be afraid to challenge themselves, consume less, do what they love and enjoy Mondays.

Alexis Ray

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Background & Expertise

As a professional tumbleweed, I have adapted to life in 10 US states and twice in Australia. Resourceful, easy-going, tree-hugging type of gal. Not real skilled in setting up a tent but I can COOK! I’d be delighted to use my culinary training/skills to whip up good eats and treats along the way!

Expedition Goals

Dave inspired me from the moment we met in Australia. The opportunity to meet like-minded people like Dave just makes me giggle from the inside-out. Travel changes people, but esp folks set on positive changes. Nature enhances that experience. And Blues on the banks of the river? C’mon now, who wouldn’t wanna be THERE, eh? lol

David Ardill

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Background & Expertise

I love being outdoors and have missed it in my adult life, after getting used to sitting at a desk, staring at a computer and/or getting comfortable on the sofa. I have spent most of 2015 looking for ways to re-introduce some adventure to my life with small trips and experiences – basically trying to ‘say yes more’. I work in sports marketing and have a recent background in triathlon and running, though my passion and first (real) love is writing. I was born in Manchester but grew up in rural Shropshire, before returning to Manchester for work in the last couple of years, via the north east and various other parts of the north west. Having turned 30 last year, my main goal is to ‘be happy’ and be open to new things and new people.

Expedition Goals

To expose myself to new things and push myself a bit more than I have been used to – or been required to – in my cushy adult life, not just in a physical sense, but mentally and emotionally, too. I want to surround myself with like minded people and share amazing moments with others, in the hope that that extended exposure to the ‘sacred moments’ will help me to develop some clarity on my next steps. I am at a cross roads in my life and want to make the right choices to shape the next 30 years of my life. I hope this trip will help me do that.

Chris Barnes

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Background & Expertise

I am aware that I might be what you’d call a jack-of-all-trades! I started my working life at 16 as an apprentice aircraft technician, and have dipped in and out of this trade for years due to it being my area of expertise. However, I have spent several years in that time discovering and pursuing new avenues in life. Taking full advantage of the perks of my industry of course I have come to love travel and the life experience that it provides! Doors have opened for me, some of which I readily opened myself, and I have enjoyed a variety of lifestyles home and abroad. One of my main passions is outdoor adventure, which has led me to paddle, fish, climb, run, swim, ski, snowboard, mountain bike and the list goes on! I wouldn’t like to call myself an expert in any really (pls ref line 1), but what I lack in skill I usually make up for in effort!

As well as these hobbies I also have a love for making things and getting creative. I love to design, build and fix things wherever I go and this has led to a modest portfolio now of things like garden makeovers, property renovation, and random complex crafts.
There is more of me in between what I have already mentioned above, but in fear of this becoming some strange form of self promotion I am going to leave it there!

Expedition Goals

This is a big question therefore probably requires a simple answer…
My personal goal is to reconnect with my authentic self, with the aim to come away knowing the next step that is required in life, to help give the world what it needs.

Terri Witherden

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Background & Expertise

I’ve followed the path society laid out for me my whole life. I aspired for good grades, attained a good university degree and eventually a good job. unfortunately I’ve quickly learned that the things that society deem ‘successful’ and fulfilling don’t make me happy and I’ve found myself at a bit of a crossroad. I”m determined to stop living life by the expectations of others. I grew up by the sea (so am a little unsure of how I’m going to feel about water that isn’t salty) and spent a brief period of time living in the Netherlands through university. I moved to London 2 years ago and have a life that is pleasant but does not inspire me to grow or reach for new horizons. I don’t yet know what my passions are but I am an natural story teller with a rampant imagination. I have a quick sense of humour too, so perhaps my main skill will be keeping everyone laughing in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Expedition Goals

At the beginning of more than a few big journeys, I’m looking to challenge my understanding of who I am and who I can be. I want to question everything and find out how I can really make a difference to those around me and in the wider world . On a personal level I’d like to learn how to live my life with purpose in every moment. Big questions for a big river!

Anna Lundberg

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Background & Expertise

Born to Swedish parents in the UK, I lived in England until finishing my undergraduate studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford and then moved to Geneva to study International Relations and work at the UN; or so I thought. Although I did do an internship at the UNDP, I “ended up” in the private sector and spent seven years working in marketing for beauty products – as far from “helping children in Africa” as you can get. I learned a lot and made friends for life but I knew it wasn’t for me and this weighed on my mind throughout my time there. I finally found the courage to quit in 2013, after testing the waters with a three-month sabbatical travelling alone across South America.

I now run my own company, providing digital marketing consultancy to both large corporations and tiny start-ups. Working with different industries and different budgets keeps me on my feet, while I love the varied nature of the work as well as the flexibility it gives me in terms of managing my time and my location.

Today I’m building a “portfolio career” with two new projects. First, an online leadership academy to help set young managers up for success in their corporate careers. Second, a life coaching practice where my aim is to support people who are where I was two or three years ago – stuck in their jobs and unsure of where to go next – as they define what a meaningful life looks like for them.

Expedition Goals

I’m busy creating a life that’s aligned with my values and authentic to who I am, while seeking that holy grail of “making a difference” in the world – what better way to philosophise about the meaning of life than to spend a week exploring on the Mississippi with other curious adventurers?

Tamsine Shakespeare

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Background & Expertise
Coming soon

Expedition Goals
Coming soon

Andy McLean

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Background & Expertise
Londoner from New Zealand, strong organisational and community building skills.

Expedition Goals

To consolidate on my transition year and to have an adventure in nature with great people. To reinforce how important the outdoors is, with thinking space and time.

Lillie-Marie Cooper

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As of May 23rd, 2015, I am a very recent graduate of Elon University. I have a Bachelor’s Degree of Strategic Communications, and am now an aspiring communications professional. In the near future, I believe my ability to keep an open mind will allow me to adapt into various professional roles, and encourage me to further my understanding of the communications industry. I look forward to gaining more hands-on experience in the Public Relations, Community Engagement and Event Planning fields, as well as any others I may travel into.
I absolutely love to travel, and am inspired to learn about the different media outlets and influences around the world. Growing up, in addition to English, I learned to speak both French and Italian. In college I took up Spanish, which I hope to continue. My love of languages and travel give me the advantage of being willing and able to work in a variety of countries and environments.

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Day 1 Arrive in Memphis at 4pm, meet the team and stay in a local hotel.
Day 2 Head down to the river after breakfast, set off for the first day on the river.
Day 3-6 Life on the river – paddling & workshops by day, camping by night.
Day 7 Final day on the river, arrive into Helena, pack up kit and head to Clarksdale.
Day 8 Depart Clarksdale after breakfast for a 1h30 shuttle back to Memphis.

*Itinerary subject to change based on weather and willingness to ‘say yes more’ to spontaneous possibilities 😉

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Travel documents: Crew will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to the USA, with at least 6 months before expiry. Non US citizens must hold a B1/B2 Visa.

Contribution Includes:

  • Canoes and SUPs
  • Camping Equipment for 5 nights on the river
  • Hotel accommodation for 2 nights
  • All food provisions while on the river
  • Shuttle from Clarksdale back to Memphis

Payment does not include:

  • Return flight to Memphis
  • Evening meal in Memphis on day 1 and Clarksdale on day 7

Kit List

Please see our Travel Kit List.

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