Mr. Paul Deegan was born and raised in England in the 1970s. From the age of 18 until the present day he has enjoyed a peripatetic lifestyle. Indeed, since March 2015 he has lived as a nomad: after traveling to New Zealand and before heading to southern Africa, Mr. Deegan traversed the Pyrenees on foot from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Upon leaving high school, Mr. Deegan spent a period of time as one of the world’s highest trash collectors. He also worked in the outdoor retail industry to fund his expeditions to the world’s remote places. Each time he returned from a far-flung place, he shared his experiences through the twin mediums of oral and written storytelling. Mr Deegan gave his first public lecture and saw his first article published in a national magazine at the age of 18. But it took several more years before he was able to achieve his dream of becoming a full-time writer and speaker.
In addition to ascents of peaks in Alaska, the Andes, Central Asia, East Africa and the European Alps, Mr Deegan has also travelled to some decidedly non-mountainous destinations, including Antarctica, Car Nicobar and Mos Espa.
In his presentation, Mr. Deegan described how three seemingly unrelated events – which took place when he was aged 12, 15 and 17 – ultimately led him to make three attempts to climb Mount Everest. Mr. Deegan talked about how, as a teenager, his lack of knowledge and experience empowered him to achieve goals that at first glance appeared to be beyond the reach of a young person.