We are living in a borderless world with Dr. Jack Wheeler
to evolve his followers from simply being travelers to
embracing a far more important role as global elite leaders
by Hyong-Jin KWON
Jack Wheeler at l’européen, paris 09 feb 2020
Since Jack was listed in The Guinness Book of World Records in 1981 for the first free fall sky-dive in history at the North Pole, he has been called the "Real Indiana Jones" by the Wall St. Journal.
Following our first simple whatsapp voicing for a french fine dining in Paris, Jack flew to Paris Sunday afternoon (Feb. 09) just to have dinner with me, then flew back to Lisbon the next morning. It didn’t matter to him that all Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris are closed Sundays.
So I conducted the elite explorer, the Founder of Wheeler Expeditions, to l’Européen in front of the big clock tower of Gare de Lyon, on Boulevard Diderot. It was here I had an enlightening conversation with Jack in the center of Europe, Paris.
Jack is credited by the Washington Post as the "Creator of the Reagan Doctrine"
Jack with Ronald Reagan,
As the legendary fashion magazine editor Diana Vreeland said, ‘The eye has to travel’. Jack and his wife Rebel have now relocated from California to Sintra, Portugal.
I feel passionate adventure dripping from his every word, whether he is discussing his philosophy and his expeditions, or as he runs on how personal everyone’s individual definitions of aspiration are in each country.
There is no shortage of energy behind such his enormous expeditions, so it is easy to see how aspiration and time could be his ultimate luxury. Because to truly be a global elite explorer takes time.
Time to aspire, time to dream, time to make mistakes, time to find the way.... through this expedition, he is always learning. In one hour with Jack, I felt I’m living in different continents some where I have never been. The expansion of my environments.
Jack says “The cliché ‘the world is getting smaller’ should never apply to you. The world should always be getting bigger for you, always expanding, always learning, always enriching your life with new experiences. It’s hard to comprehend how enormous the world is. Years ago, I once drove from Durban to Cape Town in South Africa – I never imagined the distance was so far. Guess how many kilometers ?”
I just drove to Paris by car from Domodossola, north Italy. The distance was about 700 kilometers...
Jack answered, “It’s two thousand kilometers Durban to Cape Town – that’s as far as Paris to Gibraltar! China is big, Russia is enormous but Africa is so gigantic you could fit all of China and all of Russia both into Africa and still have room left for all of India. I’ve been to every country in Africa – all 54 African member states of the UN. Our next expedition there is to Zambia this June – the best safari country for the price in Africa today. What an amazingly great world we live in!”
Like Indiana Jones, Jack Wheeler seeks the treasure of wealth and power, but doesn't want to possess it; his is not so much the pursuit of happiness as the happiness of pursuit. "Because," says Wheeler, "ever since I could remember, I've had this sensation, a very intense awareness, that this is it. I mean, there will be only one me on this planet forever. You have one chance. One life. Some people collect stamps. Some collect rare china. I want to collect life-memorable experiences."
Jack Wheeler has lived more adventures than even Hollywood could dream up. He climbed the Matterhorn at 14, and was adopted into a tribe of Amazon headhunters at 16. Then he swam the Hellespont like Leander of Greek mythology, the straits that separate Europe from Asia. At the age of 17, he shot a tiger known as the man-eater of Dalat in Viet Nam that had eaten 30 people.
He was the first man to sky-dive onto the sea-ice of the North Pole – 90 North Latitude – a feat that landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Northern Most Parachute Jump, a record Guinness says that "cannot be bettered after setting."
Jack is credited by the Washington Post as the "Creator of the Reagan Doctrine" as President Reagan’s liaison to freedom fighters throughout the Soviet Empire that ended the Soviet Union and won the Cold War.
He’s been to every country in the world, led numerous expeditions to every remote corner of the globe, and continues to do so to this day. And on top of this, he has a Ph.D. in Philosophy (University of Southern California, 1976) and is a scholar on the philosophy of Aristotle.
Jack understands a lot about a country through personally experiencing the traditions and aspirations of the people. This is what I love. Travelling always a best tool to understand and communicate between people who are not necessarily speaking the same language. By actually connecting with people on other continents, not just admiring their images from afar, Jack finds new sources of inspiration to use. And a frequent stream of inspiration is a necessary requirement when one is primarily fixed in a town.
It is not just inspiration that Jack takes with him from his journeys. In his expeditions, he has discovered who makes the best of the best life, and he brings those practical methods and aspirations into his philosophy. Above all else is the commitment to ultimate luxury in his journey.
Himalaya by helicopter with Dr. Jack Wheeler in a week
In today’s culture, where profits are sometimes prized over quality, his approach to finding and planning the best expeditions stands out.
The most extraordinary is his Himalaya Helicopter Expedition in Nepal.
Hidden Central Asia is a deeply profound experience in all ‘Five Stans’ of Asia’s mysterious heartland.
Indian Tibet is an exception in the world, combining exotic spiritual cultures with one of the world’s greatest whitewater experiences in remotest India.
The African Dream Safari is showing proudly the art of luxury while surrounded by a profusion of Africa’s iconic animals.
We are living in a borderless world with Dr. Jack Wheeler. So he produces his unique collections there. And of course, his American but cosmopolitan sensibility informs each destination.
How many countries did you travel ?
In 2014, I reached a lifetime goal of traveling to 197 countries (all 193 countries recognized by the UN and four that are not: Taiwan, Kosovo, North Korea and Somaliland.).
Is it possible to conquer the world with a philosophy?
If you are looking at the meteoric rise and enduring popularity of Dr. Jack Wheeler’s unique-first-class adventure of the Himalaya Helicopter Expedition, the answer is a resounding YES. With expeditions worldwide each year– one of the most prestigious travel brands in the world – he has been an advisor to a number of United States Congressmen and Senators on geopolitics for decades.
Wheeler Expeditions offers more than any other expedition. A philosophy of defining himself with a perfection, wildy-creative-cultural journeys, it seems there is no slowing down in sight for the world’s most recognizable explorer in the 21st century. As the greatest adventurer, Jack is using this milestone of over 40 years ofexpeditions to re-evaluate every aspect of the journey and ensure evolution with his partners.
Let’s face it: There are no negative stereotypes about any countries on the planet with Jack Wheeler. His followers want to advance at light speed to the highest peaks of the Himalayas or to every corner of the world. They don’t want to stay in one comfortable position.
Stereotypes serve as a distraction from the more fundamental issue we face managing our obsessions: Jack is challenging his followers to truly learn how to lead the way, where they will be heard and challenged — This requires them to evolve themselves from simply being travelers to embracing a far more important role as globalelite leaders.
Yes, in the greatest one week adventure on earth today, you will explore all eight of the planet’s “eight-thousanders” (peaks over 8,000 meters) of the Himalayas in Nepal – Everest, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga and more. The Himalaya Helicopter Expedition is the fulfillment of Jack Wheeler’s goal of bringing ultimate adventure into your life.
"Carpe diem," Jack advises.
“Life is short. The time for a great adventure is now.”
It’s advice to take to your heart.