As promised here is the interview with Riaan Manser, author of Around Africa On My Bicycle, Around Madagascar on my Kayak and Around Iceland on Inspiration.
Enjoy it, I have to say that I have great admiration for this man and what he does! As I used in my Pilates this morning: What doesn’t challenge you won’t change you! So very apt I think!
So, without further ado, Ladies and Gentleman, I present Riaan Manser!
1) In writing ‘Around Africa on my bicycle’ did you find it difficult to remember your journey in as vivid detail as what you described? Especially when your notes were stolen?
Not at all. My diary was stolen on the Around Madagascar circumnavigation but returned after the robbers were caught the next evening while robbing someone else.
My Africa circumnavigation was different. I wrote notes on small pieces of paper and sent them home every now and then. It was amazing how many notes I had taken throughout the two years. I remember writing the Around Africa book and been mesmerized at how not only memories flooded back but even distinct smells!
2) If there was just one memory that you could keep from your journey around Africa what would it be?
Crossing that finish line feeling. It was unbelievable to imagine someone actually took a bicycle where I had and HOW I had. And that person was ME. Strange to say but it probably was the first time in my life where I was genuinely proud of myself.
3) Since traversing the African continent (including climbing Mount Kilaminjaro -which is definitely on my ‘list of things to do before I die) and kayaking around Iceland and Madagascar, is there anything in your ‘creature comforts’ of home that could compare with any of those expeditions?
I love sleeping on the floor. Just a blanket over me and maybe a few books as a pillow. I also have a weird obsession with cold weather. I don’t like getting too hot.
4) How did you meet Dan Skinstad and how did he need much convincing in order to go around Iceland on a kayak?
Nope Dan was super eager. I had met him through his famous big brother. Dan pulled at my heart string and I wanted to do something for him that would change his life. I think we accomplished that in the Iceland circumnavigation.
5) What is your main inspiration to be exceptional?
I don’t have a father who I can look up to and appreciate. A father I can brag about and call on when times are tough. My goal is simple. I want to make a legend of my life so my children one day can be proud of me. Probably every man’s goal I think.
6) What was it like to meet Mandela, our heart of our nation?
Surreal. Mr Mandela is what all human beings want to be. That humanness that cannot be reproduced or bottled. The time I spent with Mr Mandela was probably the highlight of my career thus far. The special moment in our meeting was when he paused for a long time. Looking me square in the eyes, and then telling me that I don’t realize how great an achievement this Africa journey was. He said it is a journey that will inspire the youth of our continent .
7) In your book, you alluded to your childhood and foster care, do you think that you would write a book about your experiences there?
Without a doubt. I’m just very sensitive about it and not brave enough. I grew up feeling inadequate , abandoned and unwanted. It’s cowardly I guess but I will in time share everything.
8) What is your hardest part about putting pen to paper and telling us readers about your journeys?
All writers will tell you that there are days when the words just flow and you’re a runaway train . Then there are those days where you cannot even get a paragraph out in one days sitting. Hyper self critique is the most debilitating .
9) How did you decide on your charity ‘ No food for Lazy man’ to work with children and sport. I really like that they need to give back in some way, in this day and age so many children grow up with a sense of entitlement but yet give nothing in return or even work for that sense of entitlement.
You’re spot on. But the reality is that that entitlement you speak of is taught. Children don’t expect unless someone is always just giving. I want any kid that is blessed through NO FOOD FOR LAZYMAN to pass that blessing on, in which ever way they can. Two things are taught and learnt here. One is that nothing in life is free. And secondly , no matter how dire your situation you can still help someone else.
10) Would you like to have children of your own one day? And if so, would you do an adventure with your child?
Having children is actually my BIGGEST dream. I want to have 6 kids if possible. My kids entire life with me will be an adventure!
And there you have it! Admit it, you feel inspired don’t you?
And now, we have an awesome give away! We are giving away one of your choice of Riaan’s books. Choose one out of his three books AND get a personalised inscription in the front cover!
What do you need to do to stand a chance to win?
* Tell us in the comments section one crazy thing you have either done, or would like to do with your life.
* Share this giveaway on FB, twitter and/or your blog (an extra entry for each one)
* Make sure you include an email address so we can contact you if you win.
Simple as that!
So, even if you are not inspired, maybe you know of someone who needs that little nudge in following their dreams and knowing that anything is possible if you put your mind to it? Enter on behalf of them and get a personalised inscription from the man himself.
This give away is unfortunately Not international.
Get your comments on and holding thumbs you win!
Give away closes on the 13th June and the winner announced on the 14th.
You can see my reviews here and here.