It is something of a surprise that Julian Sayarer avoids categorising himself an adventurer. What else do you call a man who cycled 18,000 miles around the world and broke a world record in doing so?

Julian's own description is more subtle. He's a 'slow travel' author, journalist and public speaker - or as he puts it, someone who offers "a 12mph view of the world in passing."

Hi Julian, thanks for agreeing to take part in our expert interview series. How did you get into the adventure scene?

I still try and avoid categorising it as a scene, or fixing my joining it to some certain date!

When I was perhaps about ten years old and bored one Saturday afternoon, I rode my bicycle the ten miles it took to get to my grandparents' house, and then rode home after lunch. It wasn't very far, but I suppose it stays in my mind quite firmly as a moment of taking a small gamble on how to spend time, doing something out of the ordinary, and it turning out a really great and liberating experience.

From there I started cycling out of the county, then to Lisbon, then Istanbul, and then around the world. It's involved a lot of travel, but I still think that adventure doesn't need to be about different countries or even conquering geographies.

Everyone has to start somewhere! Micro-adventures are great for helping people break out of their comfort zone. What little missions would you recommend?

Ride a bicycle to work, talk to strangers, and listen to the questions children ask.

What about something bigger? What experience should be on everyone's bucket list?

I don't really believe in bucket lists. I'm happier just enjoying my life in general, rather than enduring it and waiting for the moments in between that make the rest of it worthwhile.

One of my problems with the whole adventure and travel thing is that it seems to make fulfilment in life too much about exceptional destinations or activities. I think there are many ways of engaging with society, people, politics and ourselves that might not be as thrilling as skydiving, but are much more meaningful, and can have a more profound human effect.

That's very true. Do you have any tips for people interested in doing what you do?

Do the things you want to do yourself - don't feel compelled to conform to cliché ideas of what it is to be an adventurer or to have an adventure.

A lot of people tell me that they'd love to do some of the things that I've done, and I'm generally of the opinion that if they really want to do it, then they will. A good balance of inspiration and common sense is all it really takes to get any adventure off the ground.

Does much planning go into your adventures?

Not to any great level of detail. I generally have an idea of where I want to go, and how I mean to travel there - be that by bicycle, hitchhiking or some other means.

Everything else has a habit of taking care of itself.

What's the one book you'd recommend for inspiration?

I have quite a vested interest in recommending my own book! I've been told it's very inspiring and it's always really special to hear people say so. My own favourites are generally all nineteenth century classics without much relevance to camping.

What's about a favourite campfire meal?

I've always quite liked throwing an onion, peppers, and some chopped up sausage into a pan, then just eating that with some bread. Risotto does quite well on a campfire, too.

I'm a firm believer in eating good food even when you're camping, and you don't have to compromise. Just buy good ingredients and keep it simple.

Good food and good company is always a winner! Do you have any particularly good or bad camping memories?

There are too many good memories to single one out. Watching the night sky in the Kazakh Steppe is one. I played a game where I wasn't allowed to close my eyes and sleep until I'd seen a shooting star, and never had to wait more than a few minutes.

Worst experiences I don't really go in for. Even if it was the typical moment of getting scared by a strange man in the distance, that turns out to be only a plastic sack blowing in the wind, I've never had anything bad happen to me out and about on the road.

Coming back to normal life tends to be harder!

When you are in the UK, what are the favourite places that you keep going back to?

I've visited Devon a lot, but seldom for camping. I went to university in Sussex, and there's nice countryside around the south east and up on the South Downs. I'm not sure I'd single out any one place, and it probably depends on a lot of things including the type of trip.

What about your favourite off-the-beaten-track spot?

Wouldn't that put it on the beaten track?

It would, but you can't blame us for trying! What's the next adventure?

I've taken up running recently, and find myself wanting to run long distances.

Running from London to the Massif Central is something that's been in my mind a lot recently. Writing has always been as big a passion for me as travel, and it's really exciting to be getting to a place where people are reading my work and enjoying it.

I see that as an avenue for maybe changing the world a little bit for the better, and that strikes me a worthwhile challenge.

Who is your ideal travel companion for these trips?

A notepad, because it makes me a better travelling companion for others, as well as giving me the company of my thoughts.

Are there any gadgets you always take with you?

A pen! I'm not so in to gadgets - I like paper maps and paper books. All perhaps quite boring, but it's easy to get distracted, and I'm a pretty firm believer in less is more.

Thanks Julian, you're clearly a man that enjoys the simple things in life and who can blame you!

You can follow Julian on Twitter at @Julian_Sayarer and read more about his projects on his website,

His book, Life Cycles, tells the story of his world record circumnavigation by bike and is well worth a look, as is the dedicated website for his trip,

Keep an eye out for Julian's follow-up book too. Messengers is out in 2016 and follows his adjustment on returning to normal life in the guise of being a London cycle courier. Not a job for the faint-hearted!