In February of 2013, I was invited to go a talk about my travels at TED Active in California. At this event I met Stephanie Busari who, in turn, invited me to talk at TEDxBrixton in London later that year. Now the thing at TEDx events is that they have to show a few videos from other TED Talks throughout the day. One of the videos I watched at TEDxBrixton was about Cesar Kuriyama’s One Second Every Day App. I thought BLIMEY I CAN DO THAT using the 400 hours of footage I accumulated during The Odyssey Expedition.
When I got back to Liverpool I made One Second Every Country, plonked it on YouTube and it quickly went viral. One of nice things about a video that gets over a million views is that the quality of the adverts that YouTube put on your video changes from Honest Tom’s Discount Tattoo Emporium to the likes of Samsung and Coca-Cola.
An ad featuring a guy stranded on a tropical island with only a Samsung cameraphone caught my attention. I clicked through and was greeted with the opportunity to put myself forward to be a contestant on a thing called SOS Island, to be hosted by Survivorman himself, Les Stroud.
The application form called on me to tell the production company, in less than 500 characters, why I should be considered to take part in the show.
I simply wrote “Google me”
And Google me they did. Within a few hours I received a phone call from SXS productions in the States. They wanted me on the show.
I was flown over to Puerto Rico at the end of September 2013 and was on the show for three weeks. The whole adventure is detailed on my Jinja Island website, www.jinjaisland.com/sos-island. To cut a long story short, I won. The prize was “$100,000 towards an island adventure”. Having already travelled to every island nation in the world, I instead invested the money in an island off the coast of Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
I named the place Jinja Island and moved in on the 1st May 2014. Since then I have become the sole owner of the island and have opened it up to Couchsurfers and AirBnBers from all over the world. If you’re in Bocas Del Toro, feel free to drop by – it’s a tropical paradise. I have my own private reef, bio-luminescence in the water and ice-cold beers in the fridge.