In 1973, Richard Bangs founded Sobek Expeditions, the original and now the largest adventure travel company in the world, with over a million clients guided since its beginning. But this is not just a story of an unusual company, one that profoundly transformed the way we travel and experience the world. It presents true stories, both perilous and awe-inspiring, from the full array of adventure travel: trekking, climbing, sailing, diving, adventure cruising, kayaking, back-country skiing, mountaineering, biking, cultural immersions, canyoneering, and more. Sobek pioneered scores of adventures, from trekking in the Himalayas, to cruising the Galapagos and Antarctica, to first descents of some eighty rivers around the world. The author personally led thirty-five first river descents, capsizing on six continents (a unique, albeit dubious, distinction), and organized and led the first trips into North Korea, Libya, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, New Guinea, Iran, and even China back in 1978. Sobek clients have included Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mick Jagger, Barry Diller, and Daryl Hannah. It is the shadow company behind National Geographic Adventures, New York Times Active Journeys, and Smithsonian Expeditions. This book traces fifty years of adventure travel and how it has evolved through times of war and peace, terrorism, the rise of the internet, the pandemic, and the first virtual expeditions.
Richard Bangs is co-founder of the pioneering adventure travel firm MT Sobek, which has ushered over a million clients into the wildernesses of the world, and pioneered thousands of adventures. Richard is also CEO of White Nile Media, Inc., (www.whitenilemedia.com), a sustainable tourism development and media company that has worked with scores of major companies and organizations, from USAID to Airlines, Tourist Boards, and OTAs such as Orbitz and Expedia. Richard is also co-founder of Steller.co, which in a short period has become the world’s largest travel storytelling platform.