Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

The Marathon Dodger

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I’m positive that although they’ll be a strain on my patience, lifestyle, love life, diet, family, physical and mental health, as experiences through life go,  I think it’s fair to say, it’ll be fairly significant. I’m eager to test myself with something that is not a marathon (have you realised just how much I don’t fancy doing a marathon yet?). I hope above all, it will be monumental for the causes I’m doing it for and not just a straining adventure for myself.

I’ve worked in the Waste Management and Recycling sector for five years in the UK (a little more f that later) and even in such a small space of time, feel that there is so much unnecessary wastage from domestic and commercial producers. Without a doubt, it is effecting the way our planet is developing and how our resources are dwindling. It is however, from what I’ve seen, at it’s least noticeable at home in UK and this is a concern. It’s also quickening the downfall of some of the planets most stunning and fascinating natural landmarks and habitats.  For this reason, I’d like to raise awareness of what is definitely a global issue and therefore raise awareness of being more ecologically frugal and less economically wasteful.

The aim is to trek via at least ten environmentally significant places of interest and in doing so, document them and raise awareness of our planets ecosystems and natural habitats, which are so important to us.

cougar laugh

The humorous reaction similarly adopted by most of my close acquaintances on hearing about my quest. Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about coming across wild cats when things get serious.

So that you have an idea of the who I might be before I stumble into your town, city, local area or back yard (my apologies if I do this, I have no intention of trespassing and I’ll not light any fires or leave any litter if I do), here’s a little more about me.

I was born into a large family in the North West of England in 1983. Quite a lot can be, and has been said about Northerners in the UK and I will firstly point out that probably, most of anything you’ve heard is likely to be true. I’m proud of my roots but have, over the years spent little time settling in one place. Although happy to be currently based in London, I seem to be unsure about where I call home and I’m open to suggestion and influence about where I might eventually settle.

My Father has been a driven Professional Golfer for 0ver 30 years and is a successful businessman in his field. My Mother is retired, after being a dedicated school teacher, specialising in music and teenage students with special requirements. I spent my younger years growing up in the north west of England and also a few years in France, where I attended my first school. As childhoods go and with some rather bold moves made by my parents to relocate more than half a dozen times, it was relatively stress-free for me and I grew up with strong family bonds in a well-fed, supportive home – wherever that was.

In my teenage years and early twenties, I pursued a career in sport, concentrating briefly on teaching people of all ages cricket, basketball and golf.  After acquiring a Diploma at the University of Bath, I became a professional golfer and despite enjoying a career and some success in sport, a few years was enough to realise it wasn’t my calling.

My parents split up as I left school and I spent a few years travelling through Europe and Australasia, using the UK as my base. Over the past decade I have remained close to my parents and have a strong relationship with my extended family which has now spread across the UK and the world, from Bangkok to Dubai, San Paulo to Sydney…. and umm, Birmingham. I’m one of the youngest of sixteen cousins and I’m proud to be part of my family.

Please don’t think that my parents were some kind of gypsies. We just relocated for employment opportunities. We didn’t live in a mule drawn caravan or sleep in the woodlands of England. All in all, with a little help from a large family and variable cultures close to a home, wherever it was, I think I’ve turned out to be a fairly respectable young gent….

Ben 2


…Moving along…

Since 2009, I’ve worked in London for the UK’s fastest growing waste management and recycling company. I learned that after the Chairman met me on a train and requested quite bluntly if I would work for him within the first couple of sentences of his introduction, it was a fairly good decision to say yes. I quit my previous job within a couple of days and soon was learning about an industry which I never thought I’d be working in. The management team that I had been introduced to and now work with continue to make waves in the industry and I am grateful to be working alongside them (OK, under them). From starting 4 years ago, I’ve also surprised myself, maturing into something of a committed individual when it comes to work; something prior to my current job, I was pretty bad at. Working alongside successful business people, with a likeminded sustainable approach to global issues has fuelled my passion to strive to accomplish something more. I think the last 4 years have been rather influential and I am driven even more by my environmental passions and love of nature to be sewn more into my lifestyle and not something to just be curious about. I guess I have finally figured out what I would like to do (although not discussing it now).

If you’re interested, I work for these guys:

To make a difference on any level, be it for a nation, for a stranger I meet on the bus, for a habitat of an endangered creature or the friendly hedgehog in my back garden (he’s called Icarus) I have to act. Nothing will change without effort, hard work, commitment, curiosity, passion and luck.

In my spare time I paint. I recently put on a small exhibition at my favourite pub (The Huntsman) in Eridge, Kent, England. Inspired by the menu, I painted (fairly) local animals. No doubt wondering across the U.S.A. will fuel me with further inspiration.


Websites of interest:

Donate to World Land trust:

Art work:

Couch Surfing:




The Huntsman:

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2013 by in USA on $6 a day.

Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

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