2 night solos

A chance to develop your confidence, experience a solo adventure with experts nearby.

Campfire chats

Solo adventures

Paddleboard and canoe - even if you've never picked up a paddle before.

Adventure collective ,, Zanzibar and Mississippi, adventure school in the midst of an adventure, whether you want to go pro or just nail one big trip. Rise early, Guided meditation before campfire coffee each morning. As much about inner confidence as adv

elf assuredness


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


THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER JOURNEY

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.

WORKSHOPS

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.


PLAYTIME

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.

SummerSeries.jpg

SKILLS & TEAMWORK

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. 


MY FELLOW EXPEDITION LEADERS

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

EMILY PENN

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

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.


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.


We, Dave Cornthwaite and Emily Penn, 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.

 

  • What it's all about

     

    Workshops

    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.

     

    Skills and Teamwork

    To date, Exploring Mindset has been firmly based on the swaying, floating base of Sea Dragon, a 72ft yacht run by Pangaea Explorations. The solitude of ocean life alongside the team work and sailing skills needed to ensure each passage is successful, provide the ideal scenario for our programme. And no, you don’t need to have any sailing experience to join us!

     

    Playtime!

    This isn’t all about changing the world and making a difference. Stopping off at epic places, snorkelling, paddleboarding, dolphin and whale 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'll be stepping outside our comfort zones...

We'll have the kind of conversations we never have in ordinary life about the things most important to us...

 

Past Expeditions

We have a desire to keep things fresh. Every Exploring Mindset adventure will be a once in a lifetime experience, in a new location and with new people.

 

SEPTEMBER 2015 & 2016: MISSISSIPPI

Our first Mississippi River Exploring Mindset was such a success we decided to make it an annual trip. Canoeing on a wide, magical river, camping on vast sandbars. Sharing stories around the campfire and soaking up a new kind of life. This was a special new chapter for Exploring Mindset.

 

 

December 2014: Martinique, Antigua, Virgin Islands

Dodging lobster pots outside Martinique, learning how to film and edit by making a pirate movie in Barbuda, being joined by dolphins and whales en route to Antigua and paddleboarding and snorkelling in beautifully warm water.

Meet the crew - Watch the trip film

 

 

February 2014: Miami, Dry Tortugas, Cayman Islands

Sailing the length of the Florida keys before spending two nights at anchor, enjoying a Sea Dragon rope swing into the water and exploring Fort Jefferson with the Dry Tortugas all to ourselves. 
Meet the crew - Watch the trip film

 

 

March 2012: Mexico to Hawaii

Watching sperm whales breach less than half an hour into our departure from Cabo San Lucas, dolphins bathed in phospho-rescence during night watch and 17 days at sea rushing across the eastern Pacific.
Meet the crew - Watch the trip film

 

  •  

    Testimonials

    "I left the boat feeling determined to implement positive changes."

    - Naomi Jane

     

    "A life-changing experience. It will be forever ingrained in my mind."

    - Matt Snage

     

    "For anyone searching for their passion and how to make a difference."

    - Erin Williams

     

    "I'm leaving with a greater sense of clarity about my life."

    - Rowan Wakeford

MISSISSIPPI

  •  

    Mississippi

  •  

    Mississippi

  •  

    What it's all about

     

    The Journey

    This is 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, where we will travel south from Memphis by canoe, camp on sandbars, hold discussions by the campfire beneath the stars, and prepare perfectly for life's next step.

     

     

    Workshops

    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.

     

     

    Canoe & Camp

    Taking on the Big Muddy is no mean feat, but we're working alongside the Mississippi Riverman, John Ruskey, and his team from Quapaw Canoe Club. And don't forget, Dave himself paddled the full river in 2011.

     

    Each night we will make camp on the riverbank, make camp and sling hammocks, then hold structured workshops and campfire chats, soaking up the tranquility of river life and the inspiration that comes with spending time with like-minded people.

The Mississippi

We will be retracing Dave Cornthwaite's paddle strokes for our week-long journey down the Lower Mississippi, joined by legendary river guide John Ruskey..

  •  

    Trip Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrive in Memphis at 4pm, meet the team and stay in a local hotel

    Day 2: Head down to the river after breakfast, set off for the first day on the river

    Day 3 - Day 5: Life on the river - paddling & workshops by day, camping by night

    Day 6: Final day on the river, arrive into Helena, pack up kit and head to Clarksdale

    Day 7: Depart Clarksdale after breakfast for a 1h30 shuttle back to Memphis

     

  •  

    Workshops

    Before we start

    – Setting the Scene: an introduction to the expedition and what to expect

    – Why Adventure is Important: why getting out of your comfort zone leads to success

    – Getting to know each other

    First day on the River

    – Safety Briefing, paddling instruction and packing up the canoes

    – An Insight Into Our Changing World: Environmental (ocean science, degradation and conservation) and Social (consumption, energy, city living and population)

    Philosophy

    – Values: our shifting mindset

    – Happiness: what is happiness to you?

    – Time: our most precious asset and how we use it

    – Discussion: how do we rebuild society?

    Skills

    – Photography & Video Shooting

    – Social Media

    – Money & Fundraising

    – Time Management

    Personal

    – Identifying your passion and expertise

    – Creating a Yes List

    – One-on-one sessions with mission leaders

    – Designing your future

    Take the Floor

    – 30 minute life story from each crew member

    – Photographer of the Day

  •  

    Trip Cost

    This cost includes:

    - Canoes and SUPs

    - Camping Equipment for 5 nights on the river

    - Hotel accommodation for 2 nights

    - All food provisions while on the river

    - Shuttle from Clarksdale back to Memphis

     

    Not included:

    - Travel to/from Memphis before and after Exploring Mindset

    - Evening meal in Memphis on day 1 and Clarksdale on day 7

    - Personal travel insurance

THE RIVER

 

 

TESTIONIALS

The Mighty Mississippi flows 99 miles out of Memphis down to Clarksdale in giant meandering loops into the verdant and fantastically fertile Mississippi Delta, the former cotton kingdom that gave birth to the Delta Blues. 

 

The river leaves the city behind, carving elegant S-curves through deep woods as it meanders through Commerce Bend, Mhoon Bend and Walnut Bend, and then wanders down through a floodplain fifteen miles wide to the mouth of the St. Francis River, one of several tributaries that adds to the feeling of wildness. 

 

Hundreds of thousands of acres of protected bottomland hardwood forest rest alongside the Mississippi in an incredible labyrinth of islands, forests, bayous, blue holes and back channels. Its the largest roadless area in the mid-south and where the road ends, the trail begins for paddlers. Giant islands in the river adds to the experience and we will enjoy wild open places, deep forests, hidden back channels, rich wildlife, and spectacular camping throughout.

Testimonials

"I thought I would have an adventure, hoped I would find some answers, and expected to get some clarity. Exploring Mindset did so much more in galvanising me, not just for the immediate future, but for my new direction in life - helping me to recognise where I can and will make a difference, on a personal, and social level. The friends I have made will be friends forever, and I know in 20 years time, I will look back at Exploring Mindset, those people and friendships, and see it as a turning point in my life."

David Ardill, Mississippi 2015

 

"A life changing experience in which I felt a deep connection to the ocean and with genuine, talented and positive people who share a beautiful vision of the world and that work towards their passions in order to make a difference. Dave and Emily guided us through a journey of adventure and open minded debate where they provided structure but also allowed space for spontaneity and surprise. I came back facing the world with a feeling of meaning, belonging and support."

Alice De Castro, Caribbean Sail December 2014

 

A very special kind of adventure that will leave you with new friends and memories for life, as well as a notebook full of ideas and a newfound determination to make things happen.

Anna Lundberg, Mississippi 2015

 

“I’ve never had more fun than I did doing Exploring Mindset: Mississippi 2015 (and I've done a lot of traveling in my lifetime!) The people who were drawn to this were the best people I’d ever met. The smile in my heart will last a lifetime, as will the friendships made on this trip. Truly, this is a life-changing, fun, laugh-out-loud-everyday event you cannot pass up.”

Alexis Ray, Mississippi 2015


Find out more on www.exploringmindset.com