If you get to spend time with Olly, around a campfire or over a pint, is always an entertaining experience. He tells stories of his adventures so casually, as though it is normal to wake up and find a polar bear staring at you, and it turns out he writes them in the same easy going style too.

"The Journey, Not the Destination" by Olly Sanders is a collection of recollections of expedition anecdotes, combining both sea kayaking and mountaineering, to remote and exciting destinations. Climbing rock faces in blizzards, kayaking in rough and icy seas, and encounters with polar bears all form part of the adventures. 


Despite the apparent cavalier attitude on the surface, Olly is immensely experienced and extremely well-qualified, he just makes it all sound so easy. He explains with such a matter of fact style what they were trying to do and how they made it happen that you feel you could do it too. It's only when he explains some of the adventures they encountered along the way that you don't know wether to be amazed, amused or incredulous.

Each chapter covers a different expedition, from his home in North Wales to far off places like Patagonia and Greenland and he writes of his experiences along the way. From dancing with overly welcome locals to watching rocks and ice fly past him on a cliff face, and chance encounters with polar bears. All while making the reader believe adventures are accessible to all, regardless of scale.


On the occasions he doesn't quite make the summit, or get to the intended destination, it doesn't detract from the adventure or story telling, but rather the message of him not making the destination is often more valuable.

Through his travels far and wide, and many precarious situations, one of his main messages is that "going away with the right people is fundamental to whether or not an expedition will be enjoyable". That alone is certainly something every reader can take away with them to help make their own trips memorable.


Following his unique 'can do' attitude Olly has published the book himself, and in places it shows. Some of the admittedly stunning photos don't match the associated  anecdotes and the narrative can occasionally feel disjointed, but mainly this adds to the charm and personable feel of the book.

In conclusion "The Journey not the Destination is a compelling read for anyone interested in expeditioning. Olly Sanders successfully encourages readers to find joy, learning, and growth in experiences, making this book a valuable companion to those undertaking their own personal journeys.


You can buy the book from the following palces: 

Ebay: £14.04

Amazon: £15.75 

The Author: £15.98


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By Philip Clegg

With over two decades of working in the sea kayaking industry, Phil can be found on a daily basis coaching for Sea Kayaking Anglesey.  That's when he's not expeditioning, playing or putting kit to the test.