Meet Jason Rawles!
Jason quit his corporate job, ended a toxic relationship, sold his house and moved to Wales – all to follow his passion for the outdoors. He now balances his time between climbing mountains and working in sales for a tech company in North Wales. He is a #GetOutside Champion for Ordnance Survey, promoting the outdoors, and brand ambassador for Keen Footwear, and is a qualified adventure guide.
Here, Jason talks about why he chucked in the high paying job and luxury lifestyle and what he has learnt along the way.
What was the impetus behind quitting the corporate life and following your passion in adventure? Why did you have to do it?
My life had got out of control. I was earning a massive amount of money – and spending a massive amount too! I had what people would have considered an amazing life but I was dying inside and couldn’t work out why. Adventure had been such an important part of my life so I went for a long walk, lasting three days, and reasoned and rationalised with myself as to what had, and was, going wrong.
I’d lost touch with everything I held dear and had compromised on my core values. This created internal friction making me unhappy and something had to be done. With work, material things and the state of my life in general, I felt it best to press the reset button rather than spend my life trying to put plasters over the problems.
I had to do it because my soul was being eaten away and it was making the people I loved the most very sad. I was smiling with my mouth but my eyes told a completely different story. At the time, I was 36 years old and there were still some miles left in the legs! Life is for living.
Before setting out on your first adventure what were your doubts/fears/concerns and how did you overcome these?
Same fears as I have now! Have I done the right preparation? Am I good enough to do what I’m doing? Have I understood the risk correctly? Am I capable enough etc. etc. The fears/doubts/concerns don’t go away you just manage the preparation in a way that helps alleviate the doubts.
What is the main thing you have learnt (about life or yourself) from these experiences?
You have to give it a go. Don’t be afraid to try. Naturally do some research and be sensible. Don’t jump off a cliff expecting to base jump using carrier bags as a parachute! But, you don’t have to be an expert and it’s okay to not achieve primary objectives if you’re willing to enjoy the journey and learn. It’s the same in adventure as it is in life. Give it a go…
“I had to do it because my soul was being eaten away… I was smiling with my mouth but my eyes told a completely different story”
What would be your dream adventure and why – and why haven’t you done it yet?
I’d love to travel in the footsteps of Shackleton and follow his journey around Elephant Island and South Georgia. It’s such a wonderful story and the stuff of heroes. It’s something in the planning and should be done in the next couple of years if budget allows. I’m researching now and putting some details together.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. The journey becomes more exciting and you share experiences and make even more amazing memories.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three things would you have with you and why?
- My iPod, headphones and solar panel! I’m claiming them as one as they’re connected with a cable! I’d have it loaded with tonnes of podcasts like desert island discs and my favourite cheesy pop music.
- A decent bottle of single malt whisky (no justification needed!).
- Perhaps some kind of hand drill for making holes in the coconuts to drink the water from. Every film I watch shows people having absolute epics so this will help.