Walking is something that humans have done since we descended from the trees of Africa, from there we decided to explore the globe. Our ancestors had to overcome unimaginable terrain, traversing incredible distances with little to no food or water, crossing the arctic, jungles and climbing the tallest peaks in the Himalayas. My two year voyage was commemorating the struggles and sacrifices our ancestors had to endure in order for us to read this blog.
Before embarking on Crossing Africa, a 12,000km walk across the African continent from Cape Town to Cairo, I begin my training with more humble distances. A 550 kilometre / 342 mile walk from Toronto to Montreal. It was a massive undertaking guided by a good friend of mine Donna Foster. She convinced me to train and learn the art of endurance power walking. I am most grateful for her teachings and enthusiasm for life in general. I averaged ten-plus hours a day, sometimes surpassing fifteen hours in a single day. Incurring severe chafing between my thighs, feeling unimaginable pains and experienced boredom that eventually turned to torment, it was a rough start. To most of you reading this, you will probably never experience walking ultra long distances in such terrain. The tips I'm providing will help with anyone's walking needs, whether you're going for a casual day hike or setting up a two year expedition across a continent. Through my experiences and training I will share with you the basics in successfully walking short and ultra long distances.
I went on a little adventure in my home backyard and found the Conch Bar Caves on Middle Caicos is the largest non-submerged cave system in the Bahamas-Turks and Caicos island chain and is a Turks and Caicos national park. The cave system is named after the village of Conch Bar nearby.
Ever since I heard of Masdar City about a decade ago I was obsessed with the idea that cities can and should be built from ground up as sustainable and energy efficient as we can make them to serve the greater good of humanity while having balance with our fellow creatures and environment. Masdar City is building a model city designed for the future but applications of their architecture and technology can be used today.
Since 2006 Masdar, or Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, is a global leader in renewable energy and sustainable urban development. Masdar City is a planned city project in Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.
As humans we become too attached to ways of being even after it no longer serves us or even worse, destroys us. There are a multitude of reasons why as a society we don't progress, there are economic set backs, cultural and religious residence and marketing hypocrisies.
Education plays a major role in human development, thus the way we teach today must include, empathy toward our fellow creatures and toward each other, foresight and strategic planning for our species to have a fighting chance against climate change, technological advancement and social injustices.
A year goes very fast – even for someone that has spent over two years crossing Africa by foot and kayak between 2015 – 2017, like myself. And exactly one year ago, in December 2017, an international film crew joined me in Egypt to shoot a few episodes about my solo project and life as a global citizen, for an award-winning project called #LiveMoreShareMore.
I guess that is what happens when you believe in your dreams: people find you and support you. There are thousands – if not Millions – of travel influencers out there, people going places and creating content on a daily basis. But, somehow, my African expedition caught the attention of a digital agency in Vienna, which invited me to be part of a global campaign. Back then I had less than 10k followers on Instagram.
#LiveMoreShareMore was developed by RDB | Robin des Bois, an international Media agency focusing on Influencer Millennial Marketing and Branding Campaigns in Vienna, London and Manilla, and the project is powered by Western Union - the global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement in over 200 countries.
TORONTO (October 25, 2018) – Canadian Explorer Mario Rigby, who earlier this year completed his historic expedition Crossing Africa, today responded to Mountain Equipment Co-op CEO’s open letter about “recognizing the role we’ve played in under representing people of colour in the outdoors”, particularly in advertising.
“I started to hear a lot about the lack of diversity in the outdoor industry a few years ago when I began planning my expedition to walk across Africa (Crossing Africa). A simple search on Google of “modern day explorers” showed image-after-image of mostly white men. I certainly don’t mean to take away from their accomplishments – they did fantastic things and I admired and learned so much from them – however, I quickly realized that I would stick out like a sore thumb, seeing as there were less than a handful of black professional Explorers who appeared in search. There was barely any coverage of their work. This needed to change.
I started to hear a lot about the lack of diversity in the outdoor industry a few years ago when I began planning my expedition to walk across Africa. A simple search on Google of modern day explorers showed image after image of only white men. I don’t mean to take away from their credit as they did fantastic things and I looked up to and learned a lot from them, however, I quickly realized that I will stick out like a sore thumb, seeing as there were less than a handful of black professional Explorers—and there was barely any coverage of their work. This needed to change!
So with my global expeditions, and the Bruce Trail Camping trip last weekend, which included a diverse group of people, I hope to help change this narrative.
ATTN residents of the GTA and beyond:
Are you looking to break the stereotypes of what being an outdoorsy type is? Are you tired of doing the same thing every weekend without fulfilment? Are you ready for a world-class outdoor experience right here in your own backyard? Pay attention, because the following message is just for you!
From October 19 to 21, Mario Rigby, the Canadian-Turks and Caicos Islander explorer who walked and kayaked across Africa, is leading a team of 7 on a camping and hiking trip along the Bruce Trail in Southwestern Ontario.
Rigby's Crossing Africa expedition proved that being an explorer no longer means that you are a young European man crossing the Atlantic Ocean in search of spices and riches.
What an honour it was just to witness the last week in New York City with the MIPAD (Most influential People of African Descent under 40) crew. Great connections were made. What MIPAD stands for is black excellence and it is paving the way for current generations and future generations to make positive impact changes in the world today.
My emotions ran wild remembering all that I've gone through when I was welcomedge to be greeted by the president of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada after watching a highlight of Crossing Africa as well as future projects.
What is MIPAD?
In support of the International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by United Nation's General Assembly resolution 68/237 and to be observed from 2015 to 2024, the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors from all around the world as a progressive network of relevant actors to join together in the spirit of recognition, justice and development of Africa, it's people on the continent and across it's Diaspora.
It's that time of our preparations to choose the vehicle of choice for #ProjectEVA. Plug'n Drive is the perfect place to test out the electric vehicles.
Plug’n Drive is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in order to maximize their environmental and economic benefits. Since 2011, Plug’n Drive has established itself as a leader in the electric vehicle industry, a trusted and unbiased source of information on electric cars, charging stations and the electricity sector. Check them out at www.plugndrive.ca
Hi everyone! I’m happy to share some exciting news about my next expedition, Project EVA (“EVA” is short for Electric Vehicle Africa). In early 2019, I’ll embark on a year-long journey to be the first person to drive a full electric vehicle (EV) around the African continent, proving it can be done!
Project EVA is so much more than an adventure of a lifetime. Swapping hiking boots for an EV, the expedition will build awareness about sustainable transportation and renewable generation in response to Africa’s rapid urban population growth, energy, and transportation needs.
During Crossing Africa, I witnessed first-hand the growing need for transportation and access to energy. My next expedition will shine a spotlight on the value of alternative technologies, and how they can help fulfill our transportation and energy needs. Yes, they exist and work!
In the coming weeks, my team and I will have more exciting news to share about #ProjectEVA. I’ll post updates here on my website and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
THANK YOU all for following along and supporting me on my Crossing Africa journey. I can’t wait to embark on this next one with you. Together, we’ll inspire young Africans and the world to think big and long-term about the limitless possibilities of sustainable innovation.
For more visit mariorigby.com/projecteva
I spent a wonderful few days away to Muskoka, Woodfield to experience My Life Is Art retreat whereEmmanuel Jal lead a group of inspired listeners of his well thought out wisdom on leadership and self development. We enjoyed luxury tents in the forest with the help and support of the Woodfield team who accommodated us. We woke up early every morning to go on muted nature walks or runs followed with YAYA dancing which is a great way for you to feel good and relaxed for the rest of the day.
You can find more details about Emmanuel on his website at www.mylifeisart.org
This is a very touching story about heroes and potential heroes in Sudan...
It started at the Capital Radio 91.6FM show in Khartoum, I had an interview with Munir who hosts a show there on Fitness and Health, right up my alley for those who don't know my background I started in competitive Track and Field and then to fitness. Immediately we clicked and Munir asked if I'd like to do a Talk with his youth MMA fighters that he coaches, I was nervous and hesitant at first but thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Sudannesse youth culture.
Let me give a quick background on Munir. He's not your typical human being. Born Sudannesse and raised American while married at an incredibly young age only to come back to Sudan and then be raised on a farm with his family, this young man has ambitions to help the youth of Africa realize their potential and become the great leaders that Africa so much deserves. Munir along with his friends and family decided to start MMA classes in Khartoum. At first they would train on muddy grounds where dust storms and rain would ruin their sessions. Slowly over time progress was made to build a training center with their own pennies and labour. Now the first and only MMA center in all of Sudan called Muqatel Training Center is here because of Munir's vision. I was astounded at how well put together facility was, it's a must see if you visit Khartoum.
Here's a tribute to Charlotte Straus she's from Berlin, Germany who currently works to travel every few months. Charlotte joined me by foot from Tanzania all the way to Ethiopia. One of the bravest human beings I've ever met and am so lucky to have had her on my side across 2 countries as my campion. We met in Malawi and reunited in Zanzibar where the crazy idea that Charlotte and Charlie (another friend I met) would join me across Tanzania.
Do you know anyone else that would meet a stranger and say let's walk together across Tanzania and Kenya?. The amount of adventures we went through are just unspeakable and it gave me a huge relief from walking alone for a few months. Thank you Charlotte for being there with me and for me. It was truly an honour.
CHISWEA (children of the street welfare association) is a small centre located in the streets of Arusha that provides street kids housing and food. Their goal is to give them back a perspective in life by reintegrating them into social life and the educational system so they can lead an autonomous and self-determined life.
Unfortunately, the only sponsor they had stopped its support in 2012, so since then CHISWEA has been struggling a lot. Besides a lack of environmental facilities (water, ..), the consequences of this are found in shortage of food and support of counsellors.
Currently the centre is run by only one street-worker on a volunteer base, as the rest of the staff (cooks, teachers, social workers,..) had left as their wages could not be payed anymore.
Due to that the 34 adolescents do not receive the care they need nor deserve.
For more information about the centre or supporting it check out Mario Rigby's homepage (http://www.mariorigby.com/chiswea), the homepage made by 2 social-work students from Austria (- though there s unfortunately only the German version of the website online right now - ) or don't hesitate to send me a personal message for any questions!
I visited Alverna's Craft Market, it is located on Dolphin Drive. Much of the art and souvenirs at the market are handmade and unique, yet are sourced from the neighbouring nation of Haiti and are not created in the country. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, as such souvenirs are definitely an improvement over the re-branded and mass-produced Asian trinkets common to many Caribbean destinations.
A modern explorer recently finished a voyage of walking across Africa entirely by foot and kayak.