Getting to Know the Guides: Keith

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Meet Keith Crockford…

Keith is the owner and the face of The Bucket List Company. He has spent his whole life going on epic adventures at home and overseas, from rock climbing on Dartmoor to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro eleven times! Find out why Keith created The Bucket List Company and why he loves Kili SO much in his guide bio!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Keith and I run the Bucket List Company. I have been involved in the adventure industry since I left school, 21 years ago, so I don’t really know how to do anything else! I live in North Devon, where our three companies are based (Rock and Rapid Adventures, The School Expedition Company and The Bucket List Company). I have always lived in Devon and love it, the only real problem is the distance to get to the airports!

What drives you to pursue a life full of adventure travel?

I love visiting new places and meeting new people. I love adventure and love seeing other people fulfil their dreams and ambitions. If I can be a part of that, then that is the best job in the world!

Why did you decide to begin The Bucket List Company?

We always used to run overseas trips with my original company, Rock and Rapid Adventures, but the marketing message was really confusing for people. Rock and Rapid Adventures is a localised business based in North Devon. I was at a conference once and the guest speaker was Debra Searle, who rowed the Atlantic single-handed. Debra was talking about fulfilling your dreams and ticking things off the “bucket list”. I quickly grabbed my phone and searched for The Bucket List Company. The domain name was available, so I jumped on it. This was in 2014, and it wasn’t until 2016 that I had the time to do something about it and build The Bucket List Company.

What is your favourite trip to lead and why?

I don’t have one! They are all great for many different reasons. I am lucky that it is my business and I set the trip schedule. This allows me to make sure trips are spread nicely apart and there is no time to get fed up with a certain trip. I love Peru for the culture, Nepal for the views and Tanzania for the people. I now have a massive Bucket List family all around the world, and enjoy going back and seeing them every year.

Keith climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for the 10th time
Keith on his tenth summit of Kili

What is one special moment from one of the Bucket List trips you’ve led that always sticks with you?

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2018 was quite special. We had an absolutely amazing group. 32 people in total, with me leading half and Gareth the other half. We managed to have a 100% success rate on the top which was just amazing. There were so many great people on that trip that I have now become great friends with and they are coming back for more trips with The Bucket List Company. The singing and partying on the mountain was just great fun!

If you could lead a Bucket List trip anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I have just come back from a trip to Easter Island; it was just incredible! We will be organising a trip there very soon!

What do you think is so unique about The Bucket List Company’s trips?

I think our expertise and knowledge is what makes us unique. Having a UK guide with the group for the whole trip really creates the sense of a team. When setting up The Bucket List Company, I never thought about the friendships that would be formed, but the Bucketlisters are certainly a community. We had one group last year that didn’t know each other, but when they returned they all booked another trip together!

Do you have any tips for Bucketlisters trying to find the best value kit for their trips?

My one piece of advice on kit is: “Buy cheap, buy twice’. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune, but don’t always go for the cheapest option. I have a jacket that I bought 14 years ago for £350, and it’s still going strong today and is always super warm. Everyone wants to borrow it when they are leading treks that I’m not on! I can’t actually use it in the UK as it is just too warm! It doesn’t look like I will need to replace it soon, either. 

How do you think adventure travel can change a person’s life?

We hear so many stories from people about how our trips have changed their lives for the better. New friends, new experiences, gaining a love for a country or just travel in general. I love photography and literally take hundreds of photos on every trip. It is looking back on these photos that makes me realise just how lucky I am to have possibly the best job in the world.

What’s next for The Bucket List Company?

Who knows! One thing for sure is that we are still going to be travelling with amazing customers around the world. We want to grow our community of travellers and offer them the best trips out there. We are growing as a business and that’s great, but one thing is for sure: we never want to get too big and lose our personal touch! 

Just remember – “Your next adventure begins here!”

Inspired? Check out our bucket list adventures to plan your next unforgettable trip today!

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