Daniel Eggington has set his sights on an expedition, and is only working harder and harder until it’s done. Returning in April 2021 for his 5th time, Dan will look to cross on foot the Darien Gap: one of the world’s most dangerous jungles along the pacific coastline.
In this open conversation with Dan, we talk about planning and researching for expeditions, his passion for Columbia, the drives for trying again, the issues and problems the region faces, his resolution priorities to ensure success, contingencies, connecting with local people, the best place to discover Columbia, and why Dan keeps returning.
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Falling In Love With The Culture
As with so many guest and so many places, it’s the culture and the people that draws Dan to Columbia every time like a magnet. From attempting to cross the Darien Gap to specifically learning salsa for a summer festival, Columbia captivates him.
It is something that we all can relate to; returning somewhere for the people. It feels like a part of you has been left there. It could be Tanzania, Norway, or the Yukon – there are places away from our home that we just feel we belong to.
Never Giving Up
With this focus and love for Columbia in mind, however, it’s important to remember ‘not giving up’ doesn’t mean ‘ignorance’. The Darien Gap is dangerous, and Dan is more than aware of this.
This will be the 5th time Dan has travelled to Columbia and the 2nd time he has attempted this crossing. You can’t complete the crossing if you are killed, so understanding when to retreat, re-plan, and try again is key – and the same can be said for every expedition: from scrambling ridges, to high-altitude mountains, to paddling the Yukon River. The only failure is not coming home.
With research starting in Panama and working his way backwards through local contacts and research, Dan goes in to detail about his plans, views, motives, and goal.
Why Would You Want To Do That?
Something we talk about in the podcast is the understanding of others. People, generally, want to help – and they often will do – but when it comes to understanding why it’s a different topic altogether.
As Dan says, if people can’t understand the motive or visualise themselves doing it, your own ‘whys’ can be met with friction. Even talking before we hit record, Dan was talking about his goals and the people around him trying to get their head around it.
So long as you’re being as safe as you can and you’re a good person, you can essentially explore wherever you want in this world. It’s important to remember this, especially when people outside of the adventure community start to wonder why you would do such a thing.
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