Friday Forum: Leon McCarron

‘Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.’~ Howard Truman

Once again, this week’s Friday Forum left its audience with food for thought. Leon McCarron, traveller and cameraman, told us about his fascinating journey across China, from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia to Hong Kong – a distance equating to three times the length of the UK!

Leon McCarron’s story began a few years prior to his epic journey across China. Like many individuals, Leon found himself in a job which he didn’t enjoy and his only aspiration was to go off travelling. Inspired by Howard Truman, he quit his job and embarked upon an epic journey of cycling around the world. Initially he flew to New York and cycled around the city. McCarron told the audience how fearful he had been camping on the streets of such a busy city and then of finally flying out to New Zealand. Ironically, it was this fear that fuelled his dreams of travelling the world and this, in turn, inspired him not give up on his dream.  After finishing his initial journey, McCarron found out about the possibilities of being paid to be a cameraman for the National Geographic Society, whilst travelling across China. Although for many walking over 3,000 miles wouldn’t seem the most appealing job in the world, McCarron seized the opportunity and began to plan the journey with a fellow friend.

The ambitious journey began on the 14th November 2011 and finished on the 26th March 2012.  The journey not only allowed McCarron to see every aspect of the Chinese culture first hand, but enabled him to do the thing he loves most, travelling. McCarron described his trek across China as ‘minimalistic’ and ‘humbling’ as well as physically and emotionally draining.

McCarron left us with a final few thought provoking words: ‘mistakes are the portrayal of discovery’.  He told us never to give up on dreams, as they will lead you to find your passion.

By Will Robinson 6S1