I get plenty of email, but it’s rare to get one from a reader who, on first contact, invites me to climb one of the tallest mountains in the world with him.
But that’s the kind of guy Akshay Nanavati is—full speed from the starting line or stay home.
At first, I thought it was a joke. “Sure dude, let me book my ticket today.” But after a few emails, I was convinced he was serious.
We haven’t worked out the details for a mountain climb yet but, in the mean time, he’s taken on all kinds of inspiring challenges. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with him a few times at WDS over the years and, when he told me what his latest project is, I knew I had to share it with you.
Last year, Akshay started the biggest quest of his life: to run across every country in the world. If it were anyone else, I’d have laughed them out of the room when I heard that but, knowing Akshay, I don’t doubt for a second he’ll make it. The last time we spoke, he’d finished eight countries already.
Taking on big, difficult challenges is one of the most important things you can do with your life (in this writer’s not-so-humble opinion), and hearing the stories of others who are taking action on their biggest goals in life can make taking action on your own feel a little less lonely and a little less intimidating.
I sat down with Akshay (read: sent him an email) to try to understand the motivations, logistics, and the highs and lows of such a quest. The result is below in the form of an interview, edited for length.