Today we are joined by Laura Bingham, who is a natural born adventurer. Leaving home at 18 years of age she went to explore the earth and its kaleidoscope of cultures. Laura travelled through the Greek Islands, Continental Europe, Africa, Asia and North/Central America before eventually landing in Mexico where she taught English and undertook challenging conservation work to protect the endangered Jaguar. Challenging herself even further, Laura, a crew of two men and a cat sailed back home to England across the Atlantic in a 38ft Trimaran. In 2016 she cycled across South America with no money to raise money and awareness for a children's charity in Paraguay called 'Operation South America'.
Very soon Laura will be leading an all female team to attempt to be the first people to descend the Essequibo, South America’s third-largest river (behind the Amazon and Orinoco). Incredibly, until now the Essequibo has never been navigated from source to sea. Along with her teammates Ness Knight and Pip Stewart, Laura has been re-training to become proficient in paddling big rivers and carrying big kit. We managed to catch up with Laura before she headed off to South America.
Hi Laura, great to speak with you, thank you for your time today – I know you are busy preparing for your record breaking adventure. Being a watch brand who believe in working hard and having adventures, Burlingham Watches are very interested to hear how people like yourself value their time and interested to understand more about people’s life balance - we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.
Family do and will always come first. Second to my family comes my passions. The more tedious tasks will always come last.
I have a really big obsession with chickens. Hatching, feeding and growing. I like hatching chickens as you never know what you are going to get, it is just the best feeling. When not chickens I also really enjoy tending to my newest collection to the family – my bees. Anyone that follows my Instagram can see these obsessions! I also spend time working on a few rental properties as well as planning and writing children's books. I am an explorer first but I also have so many business ideas running around my head and so would like to do more with these ideas and make some a reality.
I think my perfect day would be very family based, perhaps a day outside with my husband and my son on some form of adventure (once we have done an hour or so of tending to the garden and vegtable garden). I would finish the day toasting marshmallows over an open fire with them. However, within my perfect day I would also enjoy doing some business related calls. The dream is to have a business empire behind me that requires a few calls duirng the day while enjoying free time with family and friends. I also really, really enjoy the stock market and as a complete opposite to this would love to buy some Jersey cows and so I would like to think my perfect day would include both of these, somehow!
It was a day both my husband Ed and myself will never forget. Giving birth to my son, we had a home birth and it was amazing.
I have many previous memories but the three that spring to mind start with when I was sailing the Atlantic. I was on iceburg watch and at one point saw dolphins; I could see them staring back with luminescent eyes – I was totally transfixed at that moment and felt an odd connection with the dolphin. Another moment was swimming in the Atlantic ocean during the same sailing expedition and soon after getting back on the boat a shark swimming exactly where I was swimming.
Of course, my baby first smiling was a hugely precious memory, it was such a heart warming moment. My final precious memory for now is when Ed proposed to me at sunset from the top of a mountain while trekking in Australia. It was just perfect.
No, there would be absolutely nothing. I am a strong believer that every experince has helped evolve me into the person I am today.
Professionally, I want to see myself as a pioneering woman in the adventure scene. From a business woman’s perspective I would like a chain of boutique hotels and an organic bee skin care range – sold in my hotels, and a number of rental properties.
Personally – I would like 4 children. Ed would like 3. So we have compromised at 3 and an accident! I would like a beatiful home with livestock. I love the idea of arriving back from a business event and going to tend to the livestock and getting dirty in order to help ground myself.
I have 98 so this is a difficult one! However, the three that are currently in my head are 1) Be kind 2) Find and explore a paradise – which hopefully I am going to ‘tick off’ the bucket list during my South American adventure in February 3) See the northern lights. I am hoping to do a dog sledging expedition soon to make this become a reality.
Dedication and persistance. One of my favourite quote is ‘perseverance is the difference between those who make it and those who don’t’, something I strongly believe in. Gaining experience and acheiving is possible despite what some people might say.
Laura, thank you for your time today, it has been a great insight into how you spend and value your time. We are glad you are enjoying your Burlingham Confluence 05 watch as well! We wish you all the best for your record breaking expedition and will be tracking your progress throughout on your website (www.laurabingham.org) and your instagram @laurabingham93.
Laura is shortly embarking on a remarkable expedition that begins in the land of the indigenous Wai Wai tribe, expected to take seven weeks in duration and will be very remote - so remote the ladies will fish for piranhas to supplement their protein whilst sleeping in hammocks by the side of the river each evening.
Unlike many parts of South America, 70% of the natural forest remains, and the country boasts one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. The ladies will paddle through untouched rainforest encountering giant river otters, capybaras, caiman, jaguars, tapirs, giant anteaters and various species of monkey along the way.
Vast sections of the river comprise huge waterfalls and treacherous rapids, machetes will be needed to open routes and the explorers will need to portage (carry their kit by foot) large chunks of the river through the jungle. As a result they are conducting the expedition using the latest inflatable kayaks that can be deflated, packed into a backpack, and hauled through the trees.
When the team succeed they will not just be the first female team to run the Essequibo, they will be the first people (male or female) ever to navigate the river and will have earned a Guinness World Record by doing so.
Burlingham London Watches are an independent British watch brand with a spirit for adventure and the want to help others, it is for this reason that Burlingham London Watches work with Cool Earth – an inspiring charity that works alongside indigenous villages to keep rainforests intact. Every watch we sell helps to save at least 200 metres of rainforest. To find out more about us and see our watches please visit our website here.