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Ep. 547: Guiding Adventures in Hostile Places - Oli France

Despite studying outdoor leadership at university and filling his summers with adventure travel, Oli found himself falling into an incredibly boring job as a kitchen salesman. After getting to the point where he couldn’t take it anymore, in the middle of a major house remodel, and months away from getting married, Olie decided to undertake a solo winter journey from Hong Kong to Istanbul along the mountainous spine of Asia. During that adventure, he climbed 14 mountains in the 11 countries he visited and the journey became the basis of his first book, ‘The Trail of the Mountain Folk’.

Since then, he has lead groups on overseas adventures to destinations including Iraq, Somalia, DRC, Sudan, and Turkmenistan. Overall, he’s taken clients to 13 countries in total and 60 countries he’s traveled to personally.

With a keen sense of balance, he has become a specialist in taking in doing personal trips and taking paying clients to hostile environments and situations, like being detained for five days in Uzbekistan, navigating through minefields in Iraq and Laos, avoiding car-bombings in Beirut, being caught in a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, dodging avalanches and frostbite, getting stuck in a militia-run town in the DRC, facing down the barrel of a gun, and being stranded alone without water in a remote desert valley.

There have been so many occasions where he has had to find the resilience to continue, and more latterly, to have good leadership to keep his groups safe.

Could you do this for a living?

Instagram: @oli_france

Website: www.oliverfrance.com

His book: The Trail of the Mountain Folk

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