The Luxury Channel speaks to Matthew Robertson from Momentum Adventure and finds out what dramatic experiences they have to offer.
Does a person create the journey or does the journey create the person?
I would say that the way we create any journey is really coming from what excites us about the wilderness and the wild. I am a big believer in if there is a will there is a way. If a client wants to give it a go, then Momentum Adventure are going to make it happen for them. So back to your original question, does the trip make the client – or the client make the trip – we all evolve throughout the trip.
What sets Momentum Adventure apart?
A Momentum Adventure is designed to bring out the best in the individual. We want to challenge and give people the opportunity to get out into these fantastic environments. Many of us are ‘armchair adventurers’ living through guys like Bear Grylls and Ray Mears. There is a reason why they are so popular on television. However, with Momentum Adventure this is not just hanging out with the experts, which can be somewhat contrived – this is learning and adventuring alongside them. Clients are not carried through the trip. They learn how to run the dogs, hang out with the Sami people, cook their food. We teach you about snow packs or how to pack your rucksack in order of importance.
Do clients go through rigorous training before departure?
We do a bit in the UK but most of the training is done on location. Momentum Adventure focuses on getting the best out of a location for its clients. We strive to get the best of our locations and work out the best way to facilitate the ultimate trip from that particular environment.
Your trips look highly physical. How do you guide an amateur through the ‘adventure’ process?
Whatever your individual capacity, whether you are an old boy with a heart murmur or a tri-athlete – it is very humbling being in these environments. There is so much to learn and you are sort of like a bewildered child and need a lot of guidance. The Momentum Adventure guides will help you mature into that environment, be it a desert or a rainforest, and help you learn. Confidence grows and when you leave, you are standing taller, if you like.
You offer a seriously bespoke service. What competition do you have in the increasingly popular market of adventure tourism?
Now, you know because of what we do, it’s very complicated and labour-intensive. So it is not easily replicated and as a result, we do not really have any competition.
Has the recession had any impact on the popularity of the Momentum Adventure trip?
You can’t put a value on experience. This is a way for the high-net worth to see the world.
What is it like travelling to such remote areas of the globe?
It is soul food. A lot of these places are so beautiful – when there is nobody else around and everything is so remote. You soon get into the groove and start to live the adventure. It is quite spiritual in a way. You sleep really well, there is no noise pollution, and there is no light pollution. There is a real sense of sadness when you come back. You are thrust into this extraordinarily real environment and think back on how beautiful it was.
How do your more ‘high-maintenance’ clients cope with the more gritty side of adventure travel?
Travel can be brutal, dusty and tiring. Yet, I don’t think it has to be. I think I don’t like the phrase ‘adventure travel’ because it is so generic. It does suffer from the dirt under the fingernails – wet camping hideousness that I would not want to do or associate with. It does not have to be like that. We are about giving people really unique experiences.