Adventurer & Mental Health Speaker from Ireland

Although I enjoy travel and big adventures, I’m really just exploring ways to create a more adventurous every-day life. I am not sponsored by any brands etc and basically work (like most people) and keep doing that until I have saved enough money to take the next trip. I choose this approach to my cost of living because it gives me complete freedom over what I say, what I do and when I do it. A poet named William Stafford explains this side of things really well: “The things you do not say make you rich and the things you have to say weaken your talk”.

If you’d like to see my videos, make sure to check out my channel on Facebook or Youtube.

(There’s more about my story down below)

MY LONG DISTANCE ADVENTURES

2013 – One year riding a bicycle solo from Cape Town to Cairo (12,000km)

2015 – Hiked the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, Canada (350km+)

2018 – Hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada (4,500km+)

2020 – Walked the Camino de Santiago (750km+)

2020 – Walked around Ireland (3,000km+)

2021 – Walked the Camino Frances (700km+)

2021 – Walked the Ireland Way (1,000km)

Want a closer look at these trips?

Click here for more info

WORK HISTORY

After many years working in different sectors, I decided to pursue a career as an “adventurer”. I also led adventure tours across twelve countries in Africa for more than 3 years. This involved taking groups on safari in Serengeti National Park and camping in various wildlife areas. I have a tiny brand called Outdare and work online as a content writer to help cover my cost of living.

Short BIO for MEDIA etc

Derek Cullen is an Adventurer from Ireland. He is best known for taking long distance adventures such as cycling across Africa, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and Walking around Ireland. In recent years, Derek has featured in the Irish Times, Today FM, Africa Geographic, BBC Radio and the Today Show on RTÉ.

More…

In 2013, Derek Cullen spent one year riding a bicycle through Africa, a journey of 12,000 kilometres through 11 countries. Following this trip, the Irish adventurer went on to hike 4,500 kilometres from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail before walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Most recently, Derek completed a 3,000 kilometre walk around Ireland before walking another 1,000km all the way down the middle of the country.

MY ACTUAL "STORY" (THE IRISH TIMES)

You’ve got to go back a few years to really understand why Derek walked out of his job one Monday morning – and took to his now unconventional life path.

“My mother died when I was 24 and two years later, my father died of cancer. I had moved back into the family home after my mother died and I was working in the bank, studying for stockbroking and marketing diplomas at night and looking after my dad. I was very resentful about life and having to constantly deal with bad stuff. There wasn’t time to grieve the loss of my mother”

After his father died just two years later, Derek decided to leave his job in the bank but that’s when things really got out of hand.

“I had become very negative and self destructive. I was drinking every night. I didn’t care about my career. I lost interest in football and music, and everything else that brought me joy. I even split up with my girlfriend of 2½ years and left Ireland to travel (escape). I just felt underserving of anything good and distracted by years of trauma. But my greatest mistake was blaming life, and everyone and everything around me. By the time I hit rock bottom – a dark, lonely and bleak place – I was mentally and physically beaten. And this was the first time that I had a kind word for myself and knew that I had to find something constructive to do with my life”

And, so Derek decided to go travelling again but this time, travelling by bicycle – carrying everything with him as he went – and camping at night. “I wanted to take this time to spend time alone and figure out where everything went wrong. So I decided to cycle from Cape Town to Cairo. The first few weeks were terrifying. I cried a lot. I was lonely and depressed and, every day, I thought about coming home. And I did go home, eventually, but not until I finished cycling to the Great Pyramids in Egypt”

It was the first of many long distance journeys and since then, he has also hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and Walked Around Ireland. Derek now makes videos in which he talks about different aspects of everyday life and the many lessons, perspectives and stories from these outdoor adventures.