I’m sure I’m not the only one who is longing for a holiday after the last year we have had. Just the last month of rain alone is enough to get anyone browsing secret escapes and yearning over old holiday pictures. Although stay-cations are back on the cards now and some international travel is opening up, for many (myself included) there is still a lot of anxiety around travelling and holidaying – not to mention the stress of whether you’ll actually be able to go by the time it comes around or whether we will be in lockdown fifty-two by then. So, for now, I am fulfilling my holiday fantasies virtually and I thought I would put together a list of keynote speakers that can help you pretend you’re somewhere else too, or to help you plan the dream get-away for when the time comes.
Not only has Chadden travelled the world tracking wildlife he has travelled the world tracking wildlife alongside the one and only Sir David Attenborough. As well as a producer and director on many of the natural history series we know and love including Frozen Planet, Planet Earth etc, he is a keynote speaker with the best travel stories. He shares unimaginable tales of stand-offs with polar bears to being attack-hugged by a group of penguins and the accompanying photos and videos really take you into a different world. Though I am happy not experiencing a stand-off with a 10ft bear in real-time, it is exciting to be taken out of my workspace aka my dining table aka my living room for a short while.
Amar is your guy if you’re looking for someone to spark the adventure junkie in you. Since going blind at the age of eighteen Amar has travelled all around the world, climbing volcanoes, crossing jungles and sailing the seas. His mission is to prove that adventure is accessible for all and he set up a company, Traveleyes, specialising in supporting blind travellers to make it happen. As well as a traveller, entrepreneur and television presenter he is a keynote speaker who shows just how much can be gained by stepping out of your comfort zone and opening up to new ways of seeing the world.
Want to get away but uninspired as to where to go or where to stay? Look no further than Mr and Mrs Smith and you’ll be absorbed by picture-perfect stay-cation cottages and opulent beach-side settings surrounded by wildlife before you can even start to worry about your bank balance. The co-founder of the company Tamara is a fantastic keynote speaker who shares how she turned her disappointment in dull and dated hotels into a guidebook of new modern, stylish destinations. As well as coming away with new holiday inspiration, her story will ignite your entrepreneurial spirit too – win-win!
If you’re ready for a change of scene but you prefer an informative guided tour to a free reign adventure then Liz Bonnin’s virtual field trip is for you. Grab your lunchbox, sit back, and let the science and natural history broadcaster and keynote speaker guide you through the forests of North America. Alongside the immersive graphics, you will learn all about the environment as well the AI and technologies that help improve sustainability and protect the forest and the planet.
As well as being famous for her alter-ego Patsy, Johanna Lumley is known for her travel documentaries and her support for indigenous communities around the world. In conversation, Joanna recounts her travels to Bhutan, her time spent on a desert island and takes you along with her down the silk roads and along the Nile. Open to any questions, she is a one-stop guide to many of the world’s unspoken wonders and hidden treasures that you might not find in any standard guidebook.
Maybe after the last year we have had, just travelling to a different country isn’t far enough? For those who have really had enough, the only logical next step is to consider space travel. Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a space scientist and keynote speaker who shares the wonders of space and gives ‘Tours of the Universe’, exploring untravelled planets around us so you can be fully briefed by the time SpaceX’s public flights become mainstream. Her enthusiasm is infectious and her talks really take you out of this world for a short while…For me, seeing things from way up in outer space always helps put the small day to day niggles into perspective too.