I find it hard to recall a journey more memorable and formative than my source to sea descent of the Mississippi River in 2011. It was an easy decision to bring Exploring Mindset to the USA's most important waterway.

Once a year, I co-lead a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a moving retreat designed for those who are ready for a personal or work-based transition.

Join us on the mighty Mississippi River every autumn, where we will travel south from Memphis by canoe and paddleboard, camp on sandbars, hold discussions by the campfire beneath the stars, and prepare perfectly for life's next step.


About Exploring Mindset

We live in a time of constant change where the importance of our actions have a wider reach and impact more so than at any other time in our existence.

Alongside Emily Penn, I formed Exploring Mindset in 2012 as a project which we believe will inspire and facilitate a new community of change-makers.

Our programmes combine a unique, remote backdrop away from the pressures of life as we know it, featuring specialist skills and workshops designed to stimulate passions and areas of expertise into an effective future path.

Find out more about past trips, and book yourself onto the next one, on the Exploring Mindset Website


Beginning in Memphis, Tennessee, we spend one night in the city and the next day paddle downstream. We spend five nights on the river, wild camping at night, enjoying wonderful food and enriching, challenging conversations. Then to Clarksdale, the home of the Blues to wrap up a memorable week.


Designed to encourage a rethink of everything we do. From the social and environmental challenges we face, to happiness, efficiency, values, mass-consumption, how we spend our time, career creation, attitude, adventure and, the big one, how do we rebuild society and where should we fit in it as individuals.


This isn’t all about changing the world and making a difference. Stopping off at epic places, wild camping on remote sandbars, swimming, paddleboarding, eagle and pelican watching and letting our hair down is all part of the package. Pack light, soak up the sun and recharge in between the deep bits.



We've held our expeditions on board a 72 ft yacht named Sea Dragon and more recently on the Lower Mississippi River. Remote locations plus a geographical journey provides the ideal scenario for learning. We don't require any previous skills ahead of a trip, but you will leave us well qualified to move forwards. 


I'm privileged to lead Exploring Mindset journeys down the Mississippi alongside two change-makers in their respective fields.


Emily Penn is an oceans advocate, skipper and artist; a Cambridge University architecture graduate; and Director of global organisation Pangaea Explorations. Emily's ability to develop and communicate solutions for challenges facing today's society has been sharpened by a diverse portfolio of unique experiences, including organising mass-waste clean-ups on Pacific islands, trawling for micro plastics in the Arctic, and rounding the planet on the record-breaking biofuelled boat Earthrace.


John Ruskey is a canoe builder, youth leader and has been paddling the Mississippi River since 1982. He operates Quapaw Canoe Company from Clarksdale Mississippi and is writing the Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River. He runs year-round workshops on canoe building, navigation and survival skills for the youth of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Find out more on www.exploringmindset.com