Alumni update - Ethan's journey from London to NZ's back country

Ethan joined us in March 2018 for the Adventure Guide Program in New Zealand. We loved his cheeky sense of humour and great attitude. It's so awesome for us to hear the impact our program as on people and even perhaps change the direction of their lives. Here's an update we got from Ethan last week:


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My name is Ethan Willis, I’m from the UK, just outside of London. I’m 23 and I came from a background of very limited outdoor activities being from such an urban area. I left school at 16 and went on to further studies and had various jobs to earn some money, to fund my desire to travel. Which led me to New Zealand in 2016 for a few weeks. Once wasn’t enough for me so I wanted to find a longer term, supporting program to help set me up in New Zealand. Which brought me to AGP (Adventure Guide Program).


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The mixture of being supported and set up in NZ and more specifically Queenstown, while getting to do crazy outdoor activities AND get qualifications from it was what really sold me on the AGP program. As well as this, something I learnt while doing the program was that the team were interested and very helpful to each of our individual needs and it felt more personal, they were very helpful, and still are even after finishing.

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 After the course I returned back home for the summer with a return flight already booked back; I did the course for the experience and really just to get back to NZ for a longer time, but after doing the AGP my aim and hope now is to return to NZ with a guiding job. It’s given me a whole new perspective on life and changed me from a Londoner to someone who just wants to be in the outdoors.

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If Ethan's story is something you can relate to (or would like to make your own) then get in touch! We have a range of programs that appeal to young people looking to travel, whether you are into expedition travel, volunteering, or a career change. Email us below!

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20th October 2018

Learning the ropes. Literally. Let's check in with Ken and see how the team is going with their intro to rock climbing on the NZ Adventure Guide Program!

18th October 2018

Look at those happy faces, what a bunch of legends. Team Kachow it's an absolute pleasure having you here in New Zealand with us!

14th October 2018

Alrighty, our first check in from Ken, our ambassador currently on the New Zealand Adventure Guide Program! Check out his run-down on Orientation week here..

13th October 2018

We've had some rather snowy Spring weather in NZ over the last few days, but it will mean some beauutiful hiking days afterwards! #brightside #freshies

12th October 2018

Meet Ivor, our head guide in New Zealand. Hailing from Scotland, Ivor brings decades of experience climbing and guiding around the world. He has a few good stories to share and a great sense of humour!

8th October 2018

We only have 3 places left for our Expedition Leader Program, starting June 2019! This overland tour heads through Southern China, Peru and Nepal, heading to famous regions and small villages alike. Perfect for those looking for experience in high altitude hiking and developing world regions. Ditch the desk job for a few months and join the missions!

7th October 2018

So, you've just signed up for the Adventure Guide Program in New Zealand. Touchdown in Queenstown. What happens now? Let's see...

7th October 2018

So many beautiful corners of New Zealand to explore. Does anyone know where this is? An area well known for its surf breaks, fish and chips and amazing regular visits from whales, dolphins and seals!

1st October 2018

A magic hike into north branch of the Routeburn with the honey badgers 👍🌿

30th September 2018

Team briefing, then off into the snowy springtime hills!

29th September 2018

Snow, a practical refreshing drink?

28th September 2018

"It’s given me a whole new perspective on life and changed me from a Londoner to someone who just wants to be in the outdoors." Click below to read more from Ethan, who completed our Adventure Guide Program in March this year!

26th September 2018

Awesome to see some of the crew testing out their trad climbing skills on Tombstone at Hospital Flat, near Wanaka today. A great effort by everyone!

23rd September 2018

This is what we like to see. Grins from ear to ear! 😜

20th September 2018

Are you keen to test your outdoor skills at high altitude? To explore developing world regions? To hang out with like-minded, inspiring people? We think you are in the right place, my friend.

18th September 2018

Beautiful intro to hike module 1 with a day hike in Arrowtown! Team 3 was introduced to new navigation skills including compass and map reading, identifying local and exotic flora and fauna, and some people skills to go along with guiding. Ivor entertained the team with stories and facts along the way to split up the trek. What a way to spend your Tuesday!

17th September 2018

If you see an out of office on our emails today, this is why.

17th September 2018

Some surprise snow for Spring in Queenstown, New Zealand! Movie day for our team ❄❄☃️

10th September 2018

Founder Zach instructing team three on their first day on the rock. Pure Exploration's immersive and hands on program takes first time climbers and trains them to be rock leaders. Giving them the tools and knowledge to pass on to future climbers. At first sight the walls can be intimidating, but the intimate teaching environment and one on one instructor-trainee relationship gave these first timers the confidence to send their first routes.

9th September 2018

We currently have three groups in Queenstown, New Zealand taking part in the Adventure Guide Program. Here's Team three packing up their twelve person van like absolute pros!

9th September 2018

Team three setting up camp in Wanaka for their first week of climbing. Not a bad view, I guess!

6th September 2018

When adventure guides meet Real Country

6th September 2018

Guys, meet Team Honey Badger. We can tell its gonna be a good 3 months!

5th September 2018

Double cone in the setting sun. Queenstown is truly amazing. The perfect place that lends inspiration for all of us aspiring adventure guides. #neverstopexploring