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13 Questions: Adventurer Martin Symons

by Dan Slipper

Martin Symons has been trekking in the Himalayas, sailing on the North Sea, canoeing in Spain and has taken part in expeditions to Snowdon and Ben Nevis.

In 2009 he travelled the Hadrian’s Wall cycle route using an off road wheelchair called a Boma. A documentary was made about the trip which recently won the short feature award at the Moondance International Film Festival in Colorado in the US.
Martin Symons
Martin was born with Klippel Feil syndrome which creates a fusion in the cervical spine and other related conditions such as a cleft palate and a rare aplastic anaemia. He finds it difficult to walk long distances and wears a ventilator at night.

Martin is now planning his next trip but Ouch managed to hold on to him long enough to ask some questions:

Today I'm thinking about...

What's in store for me with the Government cutbacks and whether my direct payments will be reduced.

I spend most of my time...

Planning my next two challenges including a coast-to-coast trip between Ilfracombe and Plymouth. I have also started working as a volunteer at the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People.

If I didn't live in the UK it would have to be...

Australia. I'm attracted by the climate and the wildness of the terrain.

My ideal dinner guests would be...

Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield and – of course – my friends.
Television presenter Phillip Schofield

I would like to ban...

All people who discriminate against those they consider do not conform to their ideals.

I couldn't live without...

My mobile phone and computer.

If I were granted one wish I would...

Increase my independence and have my own home as I currently live with my parents and sister.

I excel at...

Listening to people who want to get something off their chest.

I struggle with...

People taking long stares at me.
Martin Symons using his Boma

To chill out I...

Listen to one of my CDs, which would either be a musical like Phantom Of The Opera or Hairspray, or Il Divo.

The best piece of advice I would pass on is...

Be positive. There are ways to get around problems.

My travels have so far taken me to...

Wales, Scotland, Nepal, Spain, Portugal, Karachi, Dubai and Dublin.

The future for me holds...

Ideally travelling the world on a Boma. I also plan to be more involved in promoting and raising awareness of adventure.
•Watch the award-winning documentary Being Martin here.

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