From waking up in a shepherd’s hut to eating boiled bush rats, Levison Wood has done it all. He has explored more than 100 countries on foot and embarked on a nine-month-long circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsula of nearly 5000 miles. The British explorer, writer, and photographer hitchhiked when he was only 18 years old, and at 22, he visited India following the old Silk route.
He glided down the boat, tackled the Jordanian desert and stepped onto the land of war zones. He is the unstoppable and undaunted explorer who never stops travelling the world, come what may.
His journey from being a paratrooper to the full-time adventure junkie
Before he jumped into the field of travel adventures, Levison Wood was commissioned as an officer into the Parachute Regiment in 2006. During his tenure, he served in Afghanistan combating against Taliban insurgents in Helmand and Kandahar.
But later, he left the British army in 2010, as he wanted to pursue his career in writing and photography. He set off for some exhilarating experiences and published six bestselling books. He produced a number of critically acclaimed documentaries that aired globally. His famous books, including Walking The Nile, Walking The Himalayas, and Walking The Americas, have been translated into travel shows with the same name.
Passion to experience inaccessible dangerous places
The urge to unravel the secrets of the world has earned him titles like “the toughest man on TV,” “a more handsome Bear Grylls” and “ten times tougher than Bear Grylls.” He took 18 million steps while covering the length of the River Nile, traversing the Himalayas, and conducted scientific research in Central Africa for the Natural History Museum. He weathered sandstorms and survived in the scorching heat, but nothing held him back from his mission.
He became the first person to take a stroll from the source of the world’s longest river in the highlands of Rwanda to the Mediterranean Sea. Not only this, he hitchhiked from England to India and back, and driven ambulances from London to Malawi. Levison also pioneered tourism in South Sudan, where he led the TV team which included the Hollywood’s heartthrob George Clooney in the Imatong Mountains.
What is Secret Compass?
He has recently co-founded a company named ‘Secret Compass,’ which brings people to remote areas and takes them on adventures in war-stricken regions. He has undertaken mountaineering expeditions in places, including Iraq for skiing, Afghanistan for horse riding and Sahara for camel-trekking. The agenda behind these expeditions is to let the adventurers be acquainted with the spots that are safe to visit and provide a first-hand experience of such places.
Levison as a ‘woman magnet’
Donning a bearded look and flaunting his curly hair, women admire his rugged appearance, no matter his actions on screen. He is often seen devouring fried grasshoppers or is shabbily dressed, surviving in a cave. Despite getting a lot of female attention, he has expressed how being away for nine months of the year ends up taking a toll on his love life. Ladies, he may be single but is not ready to get hitched anytime soon!
Bet it will be difficult for his significant other to stay with this man and constantly worry about his well-being. After all, he stood in the mass grave of 17 murdered pastors and was threatened by a military soldier to leave his country, by pointing a gun to his face!