Exploring Cultures and Wild Places with Ian Finch

Insightful, Inspiring, and Incredible are three words that come to mind when both researching and recording with Ian Finch. With a fisherman Father fascinated by native cultures and with Ian’s own background in the Royal Marines, he has gone on to explore and adventure with culture at the forefront of his mind.

Having paddled the Yukon river, led expeditions across Norway, canoed into the wild Highlands, and so much more, Ian’s experience and stories are unique… and yet the experience connecting with people over the love and necessity of nature can be experienced by all.

Listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and all other platforms; just search “Between The Mountains” or Ask Alexa! (“Alexa, play Between The Mountains Adventure Podcast!”).

Before We Begin

Before we get into the episode, I want to mention the sponsor for this episode: Sidetracked Magazine. Sidetracked is dedicated to adventurous storytelling at it’s very best. They use stunning imagery and personal stories from expeditions and journeys from around the globe, and you can tell!

If you are one of the few who haven’t heard of them… what are you doing?!

Go and check out their website and see for yourself. Browse and purchase from the back cataloguesubscribe, and browse/sign up to their free Field Journal newsletter; providing you with some of the best adventure updates weekly!

“That cultural thread drives every expedition that I do”

The Search for a Way Of Life and Thinking

Growing up surrounded by Inuit art and native culture history, Ian’s primary passion for these big expeditions is culture.

There is just so much to telling their stories. Stories of what’s happening to these people, – culturally, socially, and economically. Are they able to live from the land, and if not: why? Is the changing environment affecting their ability to live from the land? Do they have a strong connection to ancestors? What about the younger generation?

With drives and motives like these it is clear to see how Ian has excelled at expeditions such as paddling himself 2000 miles along the Yukon River talking with the Athabaskan people, or following in the footsteps of the Cherokee across America.

“When you go on these trips and you speak to people you could be there for days asking questions and having conversations”

We chat about some cultural moments that really stood out for him, and you can listen to that further in the podcast (about half way through!).

Living In The Moment vs. Capturing The Moment

From canoeing with beautiful light to having a photograph wherever you point your camera, it’s hard to balance this ever-old problem when on adventures.

The frenzy of taking it all in, whilst also positioning yourself, the kit, the lighting, the backdrop, and the camera results in “a tough dichotomy between being present and being that photographer and being that creator” he is.

But it’s much more philosophical than that. Ian asks himself about the narrative. Why is he there? Is this a real story telling moment? Does he need to capture it?

Then, with all of these influences and threads pulling against each other, he weighs up – as an outdoorsman – the question of when to take and when not to take a picture.

“…is the camera becoming a middle man between me not actually being present in the moment and looking and appreciating the light, the mountains, the river? Should I be putting the camera away and walking around and appreciating the true beauty of the moment?

Some of the best pictures aren’t the ones that you take, they’re the ones that you remember

It appears all too easy to overthink in these situations, but as Ian points out: it just takes experience to make that split second decision to act or to pause.

Ian Finch

To follow Ian’s adventures and catch up with his expeditions, the best place for that would be his Instagram @ianefinch, or failing that you can also check out his website and blog here.

I want to listen, now!

Listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and all other platforms; just search “Between The Mountains” or Ask Alexa! (“Alexa, play Between The Mountains Adventure Podcast!”).

If you enjoy the show please subscribe/follow and share with a friend!

If you really enjoy the show please check out our Patreon site here. Supporting through Patreon really helps cover costs and allow to invest more time into the quality! Or, you can just simply buy me a coffee.

To come on the show or work with me, please email on: btmtravelpod@gmail.com

Join in with the community. Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and our new Facebook Page to share your own photos and videos here.

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Ian Finch

“Between The Mountains podcast was one of the most thorough and enjoyable to date. Chris’s questions were well researched, planned, and delivered and brought us into a really inspiring and engaging conversation about adventure and why we do what we do. Chris’s enthusiasm shone throughout! Also great to be linked via Sidetracked Magazine”  Ian Finch, Expedition Leader and Photographer, Episode 89

Published by Between The Mountains

Between The Mountains delivers researched, in-depth interviews, captivating expeditions, and expert advice for must-do adventures in the world of Adventure Travel!

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