SwimTrek founder Simon Murie explains why he loves to explore the world through swimming
There’s a great satisfaction from discovering something new from behind a pair of goggles. Quite unlike seeing the world in any other way, it’s a gateway to a completely different perspective from our normal land-dwelling life and it’s certainly my preferred mode of travel.
I write this from aboard the SY Sea Bird, my home for the week as I take SwimTrek’s first guests on a swimming holiday around the Seychelles. We’re setting off to swim around some of the archipelago’s main islands: Grand Anse, La Digue and Felicite, as well as many more lesser-explored corners of the country. I’ve certainly had worse jobs.
While I’ve set up over 60 swimming trips, the thrill of taking people out to new places and showing them the joy of beautiful swims never wears thin for me. I love to be part of the experience of bringing people to incredible swimming locations, whether it’s a group of strangers (though they won’t remain strangers for long) or showing my kids some of my favourite places to swim.
Achievement and change
That’s the beauty of travelling for swimming. You’ll often get to see a place in a way that not many people have or will ever explore. Swimming has helped elevate my travel in ways I don’t think any other activity could, adding a sense of achievement to the memories of a trip. Canakkale and the Hellespont strait will forever be a place of achievement and change for me; the place where I first crossed the body of water as a thirtieth birthday celebration and that served as the inspiration to start SwimTrek in the first place, to share this love of swimming, travel and exploration with others.
Delight and astonishment
I do love to find new locations to swim in, but I also love to return to my favourite places as well. You still get the thrill of discovering the waters again when you return to a place, the beauty of this being that it will never be the same experience. Even after over 10 years of living near Brighton’s seafront, it still delights and astonishes me whenever I go in. The love of swimming gets me in the water and the love of adventure keeps me going back.
My advice for others who are looking for this kind of thrill in their life is to let your swim curiosity guide your travel and give in to the urge if a swimming opportunity ever comes your way. Take a dip in that lake you find on a hike. Make that detour to the natural spring you’ve heard about but never had the guts to visit. Discover a wadi and find a refreshing pool in the desert. I promise you’ll make some fantastic memories out of it. A lesson I’ve learned is to always bring your swimming stuff wherever you go, as who knows what swimming adventures you may be missing out on?