The road less traveled: the 5 best TEDxTalks on adventure to watch before you set off

With a new year comes new adventures, and to ring in 2013, here are 5 talks to inspire you to follow through on those new year’s resolutions to be more adventurous, climb Mount Everest, see the pyramids, or just to get out more:

Walking the Amazon: Ed Stafford at TEDxSalford

Forging ahead against the advice of experts, Ed Stafford became the first person to walk the length of the Amazon river, a journey that took two and a half years. At TEDxSalford, he recounted his incredible odyssey trailblazing along the world’s longest river.

Think small: Alastair Humphreys at TEDxOxbridge

After spending more than four years circumnavigating the world by bike, Alastair Humphreys returned home inspired to help other people experience the thrill of adventure. In his talk at TEDxOxbridge, he explained that anyone can create their own mini trek, whether it’s a mountain bike race or a weekday mountain climb.

John Haskell of Atlantic Dash at TEDxCardiff

After John Haskill’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, he and a fellow firefighter set off to raise money by rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. In this thrilling talk, he described the epic scale and challenges of life at sea.

The wages of fear: Andy Kirkpatrick at TEDxHull

Fighting fear, self-doubt, and the warnings of locals, Andy Kirkpatrick attempted to scale the massive Troll Wall in Norway three times before finally turning back just 50 meters from the top. Along the way, he discovered that life is about the journey, not the destination, as he relates in this lighthearted talk with a heartwarming message.

Photographing whales large as life: Bryant Austin at TEDxSanJoseCA

Bryant Austin gave up his career, his marriage, and his savings to swim with whales in the deep ocean for up to six months at a time. Through the tales of his profound encounters with endangered whale species, he makes a call for understanding these gentle giants of the sea.