Reza Pakravan: "I wish I could explore more"
Explorer Reza Pakravan talks about cycling the length of the planet, his plans to trek the Congo and his idol Richard Burton in this globe-trotting Lockdown Life
Lockdown hasn't been easy for anybody – but pity those whose living literally requires them to travel the world.
Explorer Reza Pakravan has cycled the length of the planet by bike, a feat immortalised in his Amazon TV show.
Yet over the past couple of months, the poor fellow has barely been able to leave the house.
"I can’t make a living if I don’t travel," says Pakravan.
Catch up with his past expeditions by watching Amazon's Kapp to Cape and The World’s Most Dangerous Borders.
You'll be very, very grateful for your sofa.
Pakravan will make up for lost time next year by cycling the length of the Himalayas.
Rather you than us, Reza...
What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?
Currently I am really excited about the release of two of my TV series on Amazon Prime.
Kapp to Cape, which chronicles my journey from the arctic circle to Cape Town, South Africa, by bike and The World’s Most Dangerous Borders, which follows time I spent in the Sahel region of Africa.
My TV shows, which aired all over the world, finally made it to the UK so I am quite excited. As for the new expedition, next year I will be cycling the length of the Himalayas.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Cycling the length of the planet and making a TV series about it.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
Explore more, less time in front of the screen.
My job as an explorer requires me to be a good storyteller. I create stories that change people’s understanding about the world that we live in.
This means I have to spend a lot of time in front of the computer to write, edit and plan.
I really like this part of my job but I wish I could be out there all the time and explore more.
What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
Trekking the mighty Congo River. Since I was a kid I have always been obsessed with this mighty river as well as the country itself.
The Congo River still is one of the frontiers that have not been fully trekked.
Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?
Sir Richard Burton. He was a true explorer. He spoke twenty-four languages. He was bold, curious and a complete nutter.
When he was thrown out of the Oxford University no one would have believed that he was going to be one of the greatest explorers of all time.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
I used to be a professional basketball player. I played serious basketball from the age of nine till 21.
I got to the stage that I had had enough of competitive sports. Then I found mountain biking.
How are you finding lockdown?
Some days I love it and some days I don’t.
Generally speaking I am not good at staying at home all the time.
Best thing about lockdown?
Adapting to a new way of life and learning a lot of new skills. After the lockdown I soon realised that I need to adapt myself to the new reality.
Getting out and filming was no longer possible. I had to focus on the resources that I have available and make the best use of them.
I purchased a couple of software programs and really mastered them, which has enabled me to start doing live broadcasts.
Most recently I worked with The Scientific Exploration Society and put together a 90-minute show for their 2020 awards, The Oscars of Exploration.
Worst thing about lockdown?
I can’t travel and my job is all about travelling.
Top tip for surviving lockdown?
Keep busy. Learn new skills, exercise and do things (within the current government guidelines).
If you could be locked down with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
My baby boy. He is only nine months old. I need more time with him.
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?
Travelling again. Travel is one of the most important parts of my life and the most integral part of my work.
I can’t make a living if I don’t travel.
For more details on Reza Pakravan or to learn more about his incredible journeys, visit – rezapakravan.com