Tall, dark, handsome, and exceedingly enigmatic Callum is one of the founding members of our team. At this description of himself Callum is laughing hard, and says that the only reason we think he is so enigmatic is because he can’t get a word in. He may be right but today he is the focus of all our attention and we are all ears.
Tell us your version of the Epic Minds story?
It was a great idea. I felt that our idea of tourism and travel was unique, entertaining and different. I was no longer interested in the chocolate box version of travel that you see everywhere. When I travel I want to know more than just the history of a landscape. I want to know what happens in that landscape now. I want to know who lives there now and how they live. I come from a surveying background and am interested in land use and land economy, nature and wildlife. There is nothing like ending the day with a glass of whisky in your hand and mulling over all the fascinating things that you have seen and heard.
Where have you travelled and which memory stands out most?
How can you choose one? I have great memories of all the places that I have been to. The best way to travel is to live in a country for a while, and get to know the locals. That way you learn about the people and the place. I have been to Ireland, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Canada, the Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, and I spend a lot of time in Papua New Guinea. PNG is by far the most different in terms of culture. What an amazing place. The waters are pristine and the marine life captivating. I have learnt so much talking to the locals.
What is your favourite place in the UK?
I have a soft spot for Cornwall but by far and away Galloway is the most captivating. The coast line is so picturesque but I love the hills. They are so untamed. There is only one way to see them and that is to walk them. On a good day you can see to England and Ireland and on the way up you see everything from birds of prey, to deer and wild goats. Every now and again you come across an abandoned cottage, or spend the night in an old bothy. I even love the hills when the weather is bad. Looking out over them as the light changes or the mist rolls in. It can be so dramatic.
What’s your idea of a holiday?
I travel where I can get out and explore. I plan my travels around places that I can walk, hike and run. There is nothing better on the weekends then going somewhere you have never been. I choose a destination and go, and as soon as I get there I want to connect with it. The easiest way to do that is to get out of the car and walk it. That’s why Epic Minds is such a great idea. It gives you the inspiration to explore. I come from the area the demo route was designed for, and when Sara and Sarah researched and wrote the content I realised how much I didn’t know. It inspired me and I was off and out and discovering for myself all the sights I had never known about. I couldn’t believe that the same man who designed one of our local bridges went on to build the Plymouth Sound.
Give us your best road trip?
The best so far, you mean, because I intend to have many, many more. There are two. The first was in East New Britain, PNG. It wasn’t a long road trip, just me and my girlfriend and great music. We discovered and walked up an active volcano, walked through the tunnels of a WW2 Japanese military base dug in to a mountain, and discovered Japanese landing craft abandoned and rotting on the beaches. The second one was through New Zealand from Queenstown to Auckland, taking in Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo, the Marlborough wine country, then travelling on the lost world highway through Taranaki.