Discover more from HunchMaker
Into The Wild With Wandermut
An interview with expedition leader PATRICK HORSTMANN
“One day you might find yourself restless in the mundane, longing new perspectives.”
There are those that travel dangerously to survive, those that seek adventure. Places beyond ones imagination, away from mass tourism where nobody goes. One day you might find yourself restless in the mundane, longing new perspectives.
Whilst you can, it is no exception to switch worlds, casting your eyes to vast deserts, jungles, mountains — as if transported in time.
“When you spend weeks talking to indigenous people, you acquire a different world view, unknown to the West.” — Patrick Horstmann
Usually people stick to daydreaming, a glance through the window for something that seems mad — all the while accepting a mediocre fate that doesn’t spark. What remains are ‘moments of awe’ covered by dust, ones that’d make you feel alive.
“I used to live in the future, fortunately I learned to go with intuition.” — Patrick Horstmann
Judging risk can be dubious at times. Faced with this realisation, Patrick chose to wake up an explorer. "I have never regretted that decision, leaving safety behind,” Patrick said, “it’s a far greater threat doing something that makes you ‘feel ok’ or unhappy for years.”
Some believe everything tends to fall into place once you embark on what you love. “When confronted with uncertainty, take the wild, it often boils down to resilience,” Patrick added. It might be scary at first, but as you dig deeper, capabilities often stretch further than you think.
“I imaged anyone leading these expeditions was some kind of Rambo, Reinhold Messner.”
HunchMaker interviews 🎙 Patrick Horstmann.
When did you decide to become an expedition leader?
Up until 3 years ago I was part of the business world. In that moment I needed a change and noticed an ad by Wandermut; a call for adventurers to lead travellers through ‘Panama’s most notorious jungle’, the Darien Gap. It felt like the perfect thing to do.
Did you feel prepared at the moment?
I imaged anyone leading these expeditions was some kind of Rambo, Reinhold Messner. However, my training mostly centered around risk assessment, managing group dynamics. Stuff I had randomly picked up, like being a captain of a football team, or my travel experiences; bumping into problems with the military in Venezuela, unexpected — in the end, it gave me a head start in the field.
How do you manage group dynamics when the journey is hard?
Set clear expectations from the beginning, for frustration strikes easily when people are tired or hungry. We’d sit around the fire, communicating — it tends to clear the haze. After a while, you observe, digest thoughts as meditation.
Do these expeditions work transformative?
Nature reminds you how small, unimportant you are. I’ve seen many conquer the extreme, return a different person. Besides, being off grid so long gives you time to reflect. The uncertainty of it all makes it such a challenge, thrill.
Do you ever think about returning to ‘security’?
When I was telling my father I’d leave the business world to become a professional adventurer, he gave me a reassurance for life; a German author who came from a circus family told his father he wanted to become a lawyer. The father replied; Well son, I wished you'd go for a safer career, something we've known for generations; spitting fire, walking ropes, throwing knives. I have no idea what you will do, but as long as you are happy, so am I.
“From childhood, I loved adventure; as soon as I leave the jungle, it kicks me back in.” — Patrick Horstmann
Patrick went from business analyst, co-founder of 'Hang & Over Cures', to guiding travellers through extremes in the Sahara, Amazon, Darien Gap, soon-to-be Mongolian Altai Mountains.
When I first met him in the back of a hostel, I instantly connected. The type of person that radiates energy, allows his journey to remain dynamic. While settling down can promote productivity, it may well counter at some point.
Patrick and I never lost contact, carrying a mutual desire for the unknown. I find it fascinating how some keep exploring the blank spots in their life. For many, it seems to be working out better than expected…
“Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it. That is your punishment. But if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing — an actor, a writer — I am a person who does things — I write, I act — and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.” — Stephen Fry
Patrick's last words urge you to go outside, see the world from different angles — it can teach you a lifetime.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much Patrick and I enjoyed bringing it to life.
🔔 **Below a little teaser of how I challenged my friend in this interview**
If blessed with the freedom to roam distant lands, ones living in communion, try discovering the beauty of how these people connect. Individualistic ideals more prevalent in the West may catch a different angle there.
✍️ *** Your experiences, thoughts, ideas for new articles are most welcome ***
Change is a matter of reaching for it. When feeling stuck, may this story encourage reinvention, do what you love. 🔥 In addition HERE some of ‘Wandermut’s adventures’, ones that make creative works like “Indiana Jones”, “The Alchemist” come alive. Who knows, the future will take you somewhere else.
🔔 🎬 Behind the scenes “Into The Wild” with Patrick and Antoine