The Off the Ropes podcast was originally created with the intention of interviewing world class performers who had achieved greatness despite any adversity endured; to share their stories of triumph over tragedy and to encourage listeners to have the courage to follow in their footsteps and to live as optimally as possible. Often, these record-breaking, high achieving, Type A personalities have overcome hardship; they’ve wounds to heal, points to prove, and issues to resolve. Motivators which drive them to accomplish their awe-inspiring feats. Factors which are a far, far departure from the motivation and achievement of this week’s podcast guest, Paul Archer, who, following a drunken taxi ride home after a night out, decided, with his two best friends, to find out exactly how far the longest taxi journey would be. No pain, no suffering, no past trauma to conquer. Just one hilarious life-changing adventure of driving a retired London black cab 43,000 miles around the world, for FUN! An often underestimated element of being ‘off the ropes!’
Two years after the boys’ booze fuelled idea to see exactly how far a London taxi – bought on eBay for just £1300 – could travel, Paul joined buddies, Johno and Leigh, and embarked on a 15 month madcap expedition across fifty countries and four continents. A trip which was expected to last just six months; which racked up £80,000 on the meter, and rewarded them all with two Guinness World Records (one entirely unexpected!).
As essential element of a good ‘off the ropes’ story is the disaster; the ‘what went wrong’ part of the trip; the lessons we can all learn from (should we ever find ourselves marooned in Pakistan with a spluttering, exhausted black cab called Hannah). And, despite the 15 months of high-jinks and hilarity, the adventurous trio experienced all manner of never- to- be- repeated escapades – it’s not every day you get followed by the Iranian Secret Police, nor imprisoned in Moscow, or deported to Dubai! Those are the tales we all want to hear during a dinner party. Quirky, alternative and original stories from one of a kind journeys. And, incidentally, those are the stories sponsors and the media want to hear, also. (Paul offers tips aplenty about how to fund such a loony adventure).
So, how does a 15-month, 43,000 mile adventure change a person? Aside from acquiring a very unique set of skills relating to the maintenance of London black cabs, did Paul learn anything about himself he hadn’t realised before squeezing up with his mates to see the world? Did his unusual travels hinder his future employment opportunities, or enhance them? And how exactly does the mundane reality of day to day life feel having experienced such a journey?
Find out now, on the Off the Ropes podcast!