Who is Matt Prior and why is he credible?
World Record Holder for the Highest Altitude Reached by a Taxi – 17,143ft.
Matt has lived and worked across three continents and after completing his degree he served for six years in the Royal Air Force flying Tucanos and Hawks before being subject to the UK Defence cuts. Since his teenage years he has travelled to over one hundred countries. Some of the more interesting include: Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Chile, China, Falkland Islands, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lesotho, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Peru, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Tibet, Turkmenistan, the UAE, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Zambia. He is the Director of the Explorers Club (Hong Kong Chapter) and over the years has been sponsored by big brands such as GoPro. He is an Adventure Consultant for Red Bull, a pioneer for the Adventurists, a qualified Wilderness First Responder, Commercial and Paramotor Pilot.
As a British Military Overseas Expedition Leader he led several multi-discipline expeditions across the world and gained experience in the selection of HM Forces next generation of Officers. He has ascended various famous peaks across five continents, with the highest being just short of 20,000ft (6000m).
Matt is an award winning photographer who has had his work published internationally in magazines, journals, news articles and online.
See some of Matt’s pictures from previous trips >> HERE <<
Matt has been approached by National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the BBC for his overland expertise and willingness to push boundaries. He has embarked on numerous unsupported expeditions, all of which were on a shoestring and have received global coverage in different guises:
- Ice Run – Lake Baikal, Siberia – A World First
A pioneering expedition to see if it was possible to circumnavigate Lake Baikal, in winter, on the ice, on a wholly unsuitable WWII Russian motorbike for charity. Matt and his team mate endured temperatures down to -30 degrees and winds up to 80mph, remaining self sufficient out on the lake for the duration. This expedition was sponsored by GoPro and featured by Red Bull.
- It’s On The Meter – World Record Breaking Circumnavigation of the globe in a London Taxi
Advisor and participant in the Expedition which received global media coverage, covered 45,000 miles and raised over £20,000 for the British Red Cross. The journey covered 4 continents, 50 countries and an ascent to Everest Base Camp – in the taxi!
- Peru – Solo motorbike expedition during the rainy season.
Entered from Bolivia with a friend. On Day two, his friend broke his leg in an accident whilst riding at night. On recovering him to hospital Matt continued on his own spanning deserts, the Andes and the Amazon.
- Patagonia and the ‘End of the World’ by motorbike.
Rode over 6,500 miles through Chile and Argentina down to the ‘End of the World’ and back up again through the mountains of Patagonia.
- Southern tip of India to the Himalayas in a Rickshaw
Flew with two friends to the bottom of India with the idea of finding, purchasing and driving a local Rickshaw 2,900 miles through India to the Himalayas with only a weeks notice.
- Sri Lanka in a Rickshaw
A trip based on smiles not miles. Matt and his girlfriend zigzagged Sri Lanka through the high terrain, national parks and along the coastline. They were fortunate enough to have several encounters with wild elephants en route whilst in the Rickshaw.
- London to Mongolia and back
Matt left the UK in a 1.0L car purchased for £150 with a friend and spent 3 months driving 16,000 miles crossing some of the world’s most untouched countries. They returned in a Fiat 126 and raised thousands for charity.
There’s more in the pipeline and he’s always open to suggestions, opportunities and pushing boundaries.
HIS PERSONAL WEBSITE IS HERE: www.mattprior.co.uk
- Ice Run – Lake Baikal, Siberia – A World First
What is the Adventure Academy?
This is a no-frills, practical course designed to give you an introduction into Adventure, Travel and Overland Expeditions.
The aim is to show you the benefits of adventure to you and your life. Once you understand the mindset and how to implement what is required, you will be able to achieve anything you want to.
Join Matt and only three others on an exclusive course across several islands in Indonesia on a one week adventure like no other!
- Overcome fear, embrace uncertainty and the unknown as you climb an active volcano. (There will be two options)
- Enjoy the laughs and challenges of travelling overland and tackling various surfaces.
- Experience memorable encounters with the friendly and genuine locals off the beaten track.
- Visit a stunning local village high in the mountains and relax in the hot springs nearby.
- Gain an insight into how to get the ball rolling on your own adventure and ask any questions you may have on adventure travel.
The courses are specifically designed for adventure seeking “life squeezers” looking to get more out of life, they are not an A,B,C of basic travel. Each of the courses will be held across three to four islands. Bali is purely a meeting point as people are coming from all over the world. The itinerary is deliberately vague as a big part of this course and adventure in general is the willingness to embrace uncertainty and the unknown – it begins before we depart. As well as discussing the topics mentioned below, the course is very pragmatic and so you will be learning whilst actually on the adventure, which is why this is so unique. Even though we call it a “course”, it’s not school, we take a very relaxed and informal approach.
You will get to see things first-hand, practice what has been discussed and experience the highs and lows in just under a week!
The accommodation is very basic and the standard of English quite poor which makes it a perfect place to hold this type of course. It says no frills for a reason. If you need a hot shower and WiFi each day this is not for you unfortunately.
Topics to be covered throughout the course:
- Where to start and how to effectively plan and prepare for any adventure or expedition while remaining flexible.
- What showstoppers could kill your adventure before you even depart.
- Finances, which will include how to manage them down to sponsorship and how to get brands like GoPro and Red Bull involved.
- The locals and how important they are to all adventures and expeditions.
- Where to sleep? What to consider and the options available. Includes everything from Royal Suites to sleeping on ice in the Siberian Wilderness.
- Method of transport. This will depend on time, budget and aim. All options will be covered as well as your own vehicle and things to consider.
- Lessons from Matt’s own experience and creative ways to achieve what you set out to do.
You will have to APPLY HERE for each course due to the very limited number of places available. There will be space for only three people per course, this is so you get the most out of the experience as possible.
This course is best suited to someone who is:
- Interested in adventures, expeditions and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
- Has a positive attitude and is ready to go with the flow.
- Willing to unplug from the modern world and go completely off the grid.
- Looking to change their life for the better.
- Considers themselves a “life squeezer”, is ready to break through mindset barriers and wants to be pushed to the next level.
What do I get out of this course?
What you will get out of the course:
- Several once-in-a-lifetime opportunities all rolled into one.
- A chance to unplug from the modern world and get away for what will feel much longer than just a week.
- Unlimited advice from Matt himself.
- Feel far more confident about adventure in general and all aspects involved from conception to completion.
- Massive benefits in terms of personal development, general confidence and life experiences.
- Be pushed both physically and mentally in an environment you’re not used to.
- The skills and experiences you will gain can be applied to everything in life in all sorts of situations.
You will realise that almost anything is possible if you tackle it in the correct way. You will approach life in a different way to how you do now, even just after this one week. You will also notice an improvement in:
- Dealing with the unknown
- Mental and physical fitness
- Decision making
- Creative thinking
- Problem solving
- Interpersonal skills
- Risk mitigation
- Fund management
- Marketing / Social Media
- Creating opportunities
- Appreciation of simple living
- Stress management
Is Matt Prior actually going to take each course?
Yes or Squash Falconer! This is why the course is so unique. You will get the maximum value out of each course as they will be there ready to answer any questions / give advice on all things adventure.
Is this a course where my hand will be held throughout?
Definitely not. You will be expected to be completely independent and get stuck in with all aspects of the course. It will be run in a very supervisory nature with the idea being that the applicants will be empowered and therefore will learn more by doing rather than just being taught or led all the time. The idea is that you will learn from your mistakes and experiences so that when you leave the course, you will be comfortable with whatever you’re planning on doing in the future. If you are looking for a guided tour there are plenty of other options available around the world but this is not the aim of the Matt Prior Adventure Academy.
Is this a guided tour?
We’re afraid not. There will be a rough plan to follow and that is about as much guidance as you’ll get. The idea is that this is different and it should help prepare you for larger adventures which include a lot of unknowns. If you are just looking for a holiday you may get a bit of a surprise! Saying that we are able to cater for bespoke requests, please contact us for more information.
Why wouldn’t I just do this myself?
It is of course possible to try and do a similar type of trip by yourself but you wouldn’t get anything like the same experience you would if you’re on a course with the Academy. This is direct feedback we have had back from previous participants which reinforces our genuine opinion too.
“I do think you could do a similar trip like this on your own but I don’t think you’d have anything like the same experience”
Rich Thomas – Cathay Pacific Pilot
By going with the Academy, you are getting a consultancy service with the aim to give you the basic knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to tackle your own expeditions whatever or wherever they maybe in the future. This concept doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
The main focus of the course will be for Matt or Squash to pass on they have learned from their own on his own adventures. You will get to see things first hand, practice what you’ve been taught and experience the highs and lows in just under a week, none of this would be possible by going alone. It is this that is the difference – what you will learn from the overall experience, rather than just ticking off certain locations on a map.
See what others who have attended thought: CLICK HERE
The expertise, knowledge, planning and local contacts are also already in place which are required for the success of critical aspects of the course. This would not be possible without extensive pre-planning and time on the ground beforehand.
How much does it cost and what does that include?
- Internal Flights
- Motorbike hire and helmet
- 24/7 Emergency Cover with Global Rescue
- All Fuel
- All National Park Fees
- All Guide Fees
- All Food
- All Drink (not inc alcohol)
- 5% of all profits will go to the NSPCC*
*The reason we have a relationship with the NSPCC is that they were very important to a close friend of Matt’s who passed away recently and so this is our way of giving back.
**Accommodation is not included as the Academy is not run as a tour operator and therefore accommodation can not be included in the overall price unfortunately due to the law. Therefore there will be a small additional cost for the whole week.
- International flights to and from Bali (Denpasar), Indonesia (this is where the course commences and completes)
- Personal Insurance Cover (This is compulsory)
- Any personal medical requirements
It’s advised that you complete the course as part of a wider trip to Asia, purely because of the distances involved in travelling out to the course location, depending on where you live.
Are there any dangers or risks associated with this course?
The courses are demanding and strenuous at some points. You will be required to follow all instructions from the leader and obey all the laws and signs of the country you are in. Adequate insurance will need to be sought by the applicants and a personal waiver signed before attending.
All courses have undergone a rigorous military grade risk assessment detailed below.
Matt Prior is ex-military which means we have a comprehensive safety plan and risk assessment in place for all our courses. That being said, adventures are inherently risky, if they weren’t they wouldn’t be attractive to applicants. They are risky due to their geographical location, the type of travelling we do and the activities we conduct. By applying and subsequently joining an Adventure Academy course, you are accepting these risks. Taking all this into consideration we do the following to try and minimise the likelihood of anything happening and to reduce the consequences if it does.
OUR RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY
Our approach has evolved from our experience managing high threats and risk in various environments all over the globe, where a constant re-evaluation of risk is critical to success. This background gives us the confidence to analyse risk in detail and conduct courses that others may not wish to.
We carry out a full threat and risk assessment prior to each course, where we identify potential risks and put measures in place to mitigate these risks as far as reasonably possible given the locations we go to. At this stage we accept some risks as inherent to what we do – and it is the responsibility of applicants planning to join our courses to decide if they are happy to accept these risks too. Key mitigation measures which are common to all courses are as follows:
- A detailed plan for each course
- Reputable local partners
- A detailed medical plan for all stages of the expedition, including facilities and assets in country and extraction plans
- Comprehensive expedition med pack
- A detailed communication plan (we always carry Satphones)
- A thorough briefing on risks and risk mitigation measures.
These procedures do not ‘make the courses 100% safe’, but are in place to ensure we do our utmost before and during each course to ensure that any risks or threats are either avoided, approached or dealt with in the most appropriate way as they arise. It is also up to each applicant to research and take out a suitable and compulsory insurance policy for the duration of the course.
2: COURSE CONDUCT
Courses are then conducted in accordance with the various plans laid in place prior to the course, with a dynamic, ongoing risk assessment being carried out by the instructor at all times.
3: REACTION TO AN INCIDENT
In the unlikely event of an incident or emergency, we have pre-written and practiced contingency, incident and emergency and communication plans that are immediately put into place in order to resolve the specific situation.
To reiterate the above, our comprehensive procedures, forward planning, contingency plans, risk assessments and risk mitigation techniques do not ‘make the courses 100% safe’, for adventures are inherently risky and it is the responsibility of each applicant to decide whether they want to accept those risks in joining a course. There is always a chance of a genuine accident or completely unforeseen circumstances.
What preparation is required?
You will be required to:
- Organise visa if required. (more information will be provided upon booking).
- Organise 1-2 days motorbike training if required then scan the proof to us. (more information will be provided upon booking).
- Organise international flights to and from Bali International Airport (DPS)
- Organise appropriate insurance to include remote medivac and inform us of the company used, policy number and emergency 24/7 contact number in advance.
- Email us a scan of the information/ photograph page of your passport and any other information required.
- Ensure you are fully vaccinated and organise Malaria prophylactics.
- Ensure that you are physically ready and have the right positive mental attitude for conducting such a course. All course options include climbs to altitude and other aspects that will test you mentally.
- Bring suitable personal kit. A kit list will be provided in the joining instructions
How many different courses are available?
We are currently offering four options based in similar locations. There is scope for more in the future and Matt and the team will be out looking for further options this year. The main choice is which volcano you will decide to go for. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous there is a way to do both but this will be very hard on the body in the timescale. This will be a group decision between the three successful course applicants.
What kit, clothing and equipment do I need for the course?
You will be provided with a kit list on successful application to the Academy. No specialist equipment will be required. The kit will be carried on the bikes and so it will be lightweight and compact.
Will I need any extra money?
The only extra money you will require will be to cover alcoholic drinks on the last night and the a small accommodation levy mentioned in the costs section. It is also a good idea to have a small emergency fund to be kept on your person. Anything further will be up to you.
What travel insurance do I need?
This is an important and a compulsory element of your pre-trip planning. The insurance you will be required to have will be specific to the course and must satisfy certain minimum criteria. As part of the course fee you will have remote medivac and 24/7 assistance provided by our partners Global Rescue.
Do I need a visa?
You may need to arrange a visa before you travel to Indonesia. Please check your own foreign and commonwealth offices to find out your particular requirements.
Is there a minimum age?
Yes, 18 years of age. You must be of this age two months before the course you have applied for as you will need to sign the waiver as an adult.
Will I need to have to consult a doctor before I come on the course?
Depending on your medical history it may be required for you to get a doctors certificate saying that you’re fit to attend the course.
Can you help plan my own expedition or give me advice?
The whole aim of the Academy is to address many of these concerns, so the best thing we can suggest is for you to apply and then you’ll get a week on course to ask as much as you like! If you’re unable to attend a course or unsuccessful in your application we are able to provide bespoke advice on POA basis it will depend on your budget, timescale and expedition specifics.
FOR BESPOKE CONSULTANCY ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT US THROUGH THE CONTACT FORM: HERE