E39 Fearghal O’Nuallain: Irish Adventurer

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In episode 39 I was joined in the studio by adventurous Irish geography teacher Fearghal O’Nuallain. Fearghal trained as a chef in several exclusive restaurants before waking up hungover one morning to the serendipitous discovery that he had emptied his bank account to buy a touring bike and camping equipment.

Fearghal’s experience on this bike inspired him to become the first Irishman to circumnavigate the world by bike between 2008-2010. Since then he has walked across Rwanda, hitched, biked, and tramped across Transylvania and the Balkan peninsula, before recently travelling the Bolivian high plains, a journey that was documented in soon to be released documentary, Altiplano.

Fearghal has the wild eyes and zen like physical presence I’ve come to recognise in adventurers and combat sportspeople. His love of adventure isn’t limited to his travels but permeates all aspects of his life including his current career as a geography teacher in the tough south east London suburb of Abbey Wood.

My conversation with Fearghal included;

  1. His assertion that life can teach us far more than books.
  2. The importance of learning by experience, even if means learning things the hard way.
  3. Fearghal’s experience as a student in Blackrock College, one of Ireland’s most exclusive secondary schools.
  4. The contrast between Blackrock College and St Paul’s, where he now works.
  5. How his adventures started accidentally, and almost stopped immediately, when he bought that bike in Melbourne, Australia.
  6. Ferghal’s use of the joy of expectation of future adventures to temper his occasional depression.
  7. Fearghal’s belief that endurance for Western adventurers is a hobby compared to the struggles faced by many.
  8. His description of the time he was attacked by 3 men with knives.
  9. What HTFU means.
  10. His love of Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Fearghal was an absolute gent and it was my pleasure to spend to a few rushed hours with him. Enjoy the episode. Dave

Please leave a rating for the podcast here.
Check out Fearghal's site here, or his twitter here, or his flickr here.
Check out Fearghal's pre-death obituary here.
Check out the teaser for Altiplano here.


It's good to talk

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