Ben Fogle: “It’s unlike anywhere I’ve been before.”


people in your TV show new life in the wild Give up who give up ‘civilization’ to live in the wild. What do they have in common?

they are like extreme wanderlust reader. They’ve been on vacation, they’ve experienced some exciting things, they’ve probably been on a six-month trip, but they’ve finally decided to give up their comfortable city life for a life in the wild.

They are both quite brave souls. Often something happens in their life that prompts them to make a decision, whether it’s a bereavement, breaking up with someone, or having a “sense of purpose.”

Do you usually see some sort of psychological need prompting them to do so?

Yes, it’s not just a form of wanderlust, as wanderlust can be itchy and can be satisfied with a few weeks of travel or challenges. But to make it a way of life, these people feel the need to take it to the next level.

A Mongolian woman outside a yurt on the Mongolian tundra (Dreamstime)

Where in the new collection has left the deepest impression on you?

Mongolia.i have never been Mongolia forward. Since I travel a lot, it is unusual to go to a completely new country, and Mongolia definitely met my expectations. It’s wild, it’s bleak, it’s different, it’s gritty, and it’s beautiful. It made it into my top 5 countries to return to.

what are you doing there?

I went to a very remote corner of Outer Mongolia, near the Russian border, on the shore of a frozen lake. It’s unlike anywhere I’ve been or visited before. I lived with an American missionary family in a simple yurt on the shore of this frozen lake, so a lot of the trip involved driving small Russian vehicles on the ice.

We participated in a local wolf hunt. The wolves were stealing livestock, so we rode out across the frozen Mongolian tundra to try and catch these wolves who were apparently slaughtering livestock. The culture here is very different from anywhere I’ve been before. The food they eat, the way they live, the weather…everything is there to assault the senses.

magazine benfogle newlivesinthewild se5 ep1 08
Ben Fogle in the icy wilds of Washington State, USA (New Life in the Wild)

Where else have you explored?

I went to live with a former war correspondent who now lives with wild bears british columbia. I went to live with a couple who lived in a very rural area Tanzania, Ruaha National Park, one of the most beautiful parts of Africa I’ve been to on safari.We did a hike so we were very close to the wild elephant.

We also went to Ibiza to meet a Yorkshireman turned hippie who lived in a cave in the middle of the island.

Ben Bathing with Noelle Herzog and Andrew Molinaro in Tanzania (New Life in the Wild)

Do you think people rely too much on TVs, laptops, smartphones and other technology?

Yes. Not everyone I interviewed gave up on technology. They have forms of technology and forms of communication, but not as prolifically as we have. Recent research shows that kids check their phones every ten minutes, even at night. People are completely dependent on their devices, technology, and social media, and the people I go to, like everything else for the rest of their lives, are rationed. If they maintain a connection to the internet, usually via a satellite dish, it’s expensive and intermittent, so they’ll have a small window, maybe once a week, where they can connect to the outside world.

Some have completely cut off, and some still keep in touch. But yeah, I think we’ve become too dependent on technology. Many people want to get rid of it. No-tech breaks are a big thing right now. Hotels and resorts around the world pride themselves on being devoid of WiFi and mobile network coverage.

Giraffes in Ruaha National Park (Dreamstime)

What does being less connected, not having a phone checking in every ten minutes, do to people?

Usually they’re less informed than we are, so when we arrive as a camera crew, they’re almost like those little clockwork teeth, chatter on two feet? They talk non-stop because they want to ask questions, and they like company. But it also means there’s an air of calm about them.

Have you ever been tempted to live wild?

often. I spent a year on an island when I was on a rafting team many years ago, and I think the reason I keep coming back to this series is because I was dying to find my utopia, the idyllic place I escaped to elsewhere to be with my family .

I’ve been to many different places now, many of which have an element of seduction that appeals to me, but I’ve never found the full package. This is what I’ve been looking for: the perfect place that fits every criteria. I don’t know if I’ll ever find it, and I don’t know if that’s why most of us never actually start a new life in the wild. The few who do this tend to find their utopia, and I think many of us spend our lives searching for it.

Ben Fogle Hunting with the Bow (New Life in the Wild)

If you actually lived in a cabin in the woods, what would you miss?

I love the news. I love hearing what’s going on in the world, even though it’s often depressing, so I’ll miss being connected to some kind of news outlet.

You’ve completed several physical endurance challenges, including crossing oceans and deserts. What is the hardest part?

Presumably a transatlantic brawl, simply because of longevity. That’s 49 days of sleep deprivation. It’s uncomfortable. This is a very difficult challenge. Since then, I have learned a lot about myself. Everything I do has a learning curve.

What keeps you going through these challenges?

It’s usually thinking about the last worst thing I did. I can often look back on times worse than the one I am suffering from right now.So if I’m going to jump into the water with ferocious Nile crocodiles, as I did, all I have to look back on is the time I was trapped Antarctica In the crevasse area, I was worried that I would fall from 1000 meters into the crevasse and freeze to death. I look back at previous experiences and it actually made me stronger.

Elephants Cool Down (Dreamstime)

You’ve been involved in several wildlife campaigns. Where do you think most need attention?

We should pay more attention to the locals on the ground.Much of the anti-poaching movement is clearly focusing on the market, and rightly so; Far East Markets rhino horn Ivory must be reduced, but it is a difficult task. I’m an optimistic person, but I can’t help but think there will always be someone willing to pay top dollar, even if you make it very unfashionable.

So we need to go back to the grassroots, to the people who live on the ground with these wild animals every day. What I found in Africa is that being close to all this nature, it’s not just high end great white hunters coming in and charging huge bucks.poachers are killing elephant For ivory, much of it is small-scale bush hunting by locals who have nothing – they have no incentive to protect and care for their wildlife.

We need to help local people understand how valuable this commodity is to them, and we need to root out poverty at the grassroots level and then start moving in a bigger direction.

Where do you spend your time when you’re not writing or producing TV shows?

Travel is an important part of our family.I traveled with my family in a Land Rover Tanzania. We went off-road by ourselves, pitched our own tent, cooked our own meals – it was very much a DIY trip.

We love going to Europe.we spent a lot of time AustriaFrance, Portugal… I really want my kids to learn about Europe and how important it is and what our neighbors are like.

New 8-part series Ben Fogle: A New Life in the Wild starts on 25 October at 9pm on Channel 5.

Main image: Ben Fogle, Washington State, USA (New Life in the Wild)


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