BLOG: Travelling into the Unknown 1

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By Dan Etheridge


As an Adventure Filmmaker, I have been to a lot of remote places and I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I’ve been to a few that nobody else has ventured to. It’s not a regular occurrence and I can remember each experience quite vividly. In some ways it’s a little tricky to gauge exactly what makes these places unexplored but the whole notion of being remote having been somewhere uninhabited is a fascinating experience. 



Firstly, how do you define its size? Ten square feet? A hundred? A mile square? Or a whole defined area...? If you want to make its definition on the smaller scale, anyone of us could find these spaces relatively easily. I personally think that’s the way to do it. This method would provide everybody the opportunity to get out there and be real explorers. 

The explorer that you were when you were a child; climbing unclimbed trees and finding nooks and crannies around every corner out in the woods. If you can take a few steps off the trodden path and find somewhere that you might potentially be able to say is undiscovered and nobody has ever been to, the whole world would be a much exciting place.

Personally, I’ve never really lost that feeling, it’s never really fully left me no matter how many trips or expeditions that I have been lucky enough to go on.


Filming in the in unexplored tunnels and caves of Hang Sơn Đoòng, in Vietnam, with the intention to discover whether this particular cave system was actually the largest in the world – the cave didn’t disappoint and was not only the largest but pretty incredible to see. This particular cave had everything from lakes, waterfalls, stalactites, stalagmites the size of houses, beaches, jungles, holes the size of a football pitches in the roof… all sorts of craziness and many of them not really properly explored before. It’s an amazing feeling to see and film something which no one before has ever looked at and experienced. It’s almost eerie and not something the human brain digests in a regular way. It’s mysterious.

I love that Einstein quote that says…

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

I really believe this statement. If you can’t stop and look at something simple like a ladybird walking on its tiny legs, powered by minuscule muscles and a microscopic brain, on a leaf that’s photosynthesising the energy from the sun, all in your own back garden… then you should try to experience it. It’s pretty cool when you allow ordinary things to blow your mind. The world suddenly becomes a more interesting place.

Enjoying the scenery and experiencing things that you wouldn’t necessarily call ‘normal’ in your everyday life, it’s this sense of wonderment and mystery that lies at the heart of adventure that drives me to film.

This article originally appeared in the July 2018 edition of Be Inspired by Discovery Adventures