Himalayan Adventure, Thinking Outside…

Categories Design Thinking, Travel & AdventurePosted on

People talk about design thinking and how the ideation process works, but my belief is that none of this is possible without some outside input. By this, I mean an adventure, a travel experience or learning about other cultures. It involves getting out of an office or studio environment and perhaps getting outside of yourself.

One year ago this month I undertook an adventure I had been dreaming about for nine years – A motorcycle journey through the Himalayas. It was one of the most physically challenging routes, at times kicking the bike forwards when the altitude became too much for the engine, or welding back on the rear brake pedal when [stupidly] trying to pass your mate on a hanging bridge while he takes video footage.

It was the things that went wrong on the trip that made it such an amazing adventure.  A lot of things went wrong! I wouldn’t change it and hope for more challenges next time. These mishaps were the memories just as much as the extraordinary scenery. In a similar way mistakes in design lead me on to more interesting discoveries.

Following my trip to the Himalayas, I wrote and illustrated a children’s book. I didn’t see that coming. Although, I’m still looking for an agent or publisher – another journey!

Go to the Himalayas and get outside of your head.

Bjoern doing his McGyver thing to fix the exhaust of his Enfield.

Half way in the Himalayas between Pokahara and Yomsom. It took 6 hours to reach this point around 3pm. We did not reach Jomsom until 8 pm, meaning around 4 hours riding in the pitch black on the edge of mountains trails – a memorable time, not an experience to forget.

Fixing a flat tyre at the many roadside maintenance shops.

At the end of our trip and a 14-hour bike ride through the Himalayan mountains and the broken road back to Jomsom. Riding during the night is not recommended and slightly disconcerting as we navigated the craziness of truck and bus drivers. It’s also very dusty for the same reasons.

All text and images © Copyright 2017 Mark Woodward. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any content from this blog.



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