Colin Angus prepares listeners for hurricanes

Karla Karcioglu, Contributor Ω

Colin Angus, Canadian adventurer and International Days keynote speaker. - Photo by Karla Karcioglu

Colin Angus, Canadian adventurer and International Days keynote speaker. – Photo by Karla Karcioglu

“The good thing about being in a hurricane is you learn from that hurricane and are better prepared for the next one.”

On Feb. 4, Colin Angus, author, adventurer and keynote speaker at this year’s International Days, told stories from his voyage as the first person to travel across the globe using only human power.

During the trip back to North America, Angus and then-fiancée (now wife), were travelling some of the calmest waters in the North Atlantic Ocean when they found themselves caught in the centre of not one, but two hurricanes. A phenomenon as likely as being struck by lightning twice, Angus said.

He detailed his journey with a mixture of sincerity and humour.

The logistical and financial planning for the trip took two years, but even the best planning can’t prepare you for everything.

Angus emphasized the importance of maintaining perspective, describing a particular day in Russia when he was feeling sorry for himself. As he walked along thinking nobody was as bad off as him, having just lost his tent in the Siberian winter, he came across a gulag concentration camp marker and was returned to a sombre reality.

He also spoke about the subtle changes in landscapes as you travel across the globe and he realized how, “[countries] aren’t that far apart but they are facing very different challenges.”

One of the main messages in Angus’ story was to believe in your dreams. When he was young boy, child of a single mother and not a lot of money, he read a book titled Dove and was immediately certain that, like the boy in the book, he would one day sail around the world.

“I was so inspired by this book,” Angus said. “This guy didn’t have a lot of money, he didn’t know the right people, he just had a dream and he made it happen, against all odds.

“When you have a dream, you get people saying you can’t do it. You start questioning yourself.”

He said it is important to be able to differentiate between good and bad advice and to not get caught up in warnings and false perceptions.

Angus’ wife travelled part of the way with him, becoming the first Canadian woman to row across an ocean.