Patrick Billings, lives life with passion. He started his own travel and adventure company in Singapore, Wildfire Expeditions and helps people expand their comfort zones and try new things.
What’s your story?
I grew up in the foothills of North Carolina, the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rock climbing and trekking was something I grew up doing. Always loving the outdoors and nature, I found myself using every opportunity to escape from the city to reconnect. I moved to Singapore in 2008 and started trekking and exploring this side of the world. After spending 8 years travelling through nature, trekking, backpacking, diving and climbing, I found that sharing these experiences was more rewarding and satisfying. This is something that I’m passionate about. In 2016 I started my own adventure, travel company, Wildfire Expeditions.
What excites you most about your industry?
The excitement is watching people rediscover themselves as they get out of their comfort zones and try new things. The have breakthroughs about what they are capable of. We are more than just a travel company. We train people, giving them necessary skills, and then we take them to unique and exotic places to do more than they thought they were capable of.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I came to Asia in 2000. First living in Japan, then Thailand and now Singapore. The Zen Effect; the “Ying/Yang” view of life has always resonated with me.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Taipei is my favourite city. The landscape around Taipei is amazing. The food is excellent, the people are super friendly and always willing to help. When doing treks or climbing, the Taiwanese always reach out and are super friendly.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In any problem or dilemma, I ask myself, ”What’s the lesson in this for me?”
In every problem or challenge I face, there’s always a lesson or a gift, it just needs to be identified. If I ask myself the right questions, I’ll find the answers behind them.
Who inspires you?
Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Black Diamond and Patagonia outdoor gear. Yvon was a rock climber, who started selling and making climbing gear to pay for his climbing habit. He constantly challenged himself to grow and do more for the environment.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
How to get better organised using the RPM plan (Results Focused, Purpose Driven, Massive Action).
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have studied and mastered the art of communication, (with myself as well as others).
How do you unwind?
I enjoy going for a run, preferably a trail run. If that’s not possible, a glass of red wine in the evening.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Lopburi, Thailand. It’s a hidden gem for rock climbing, in the middle of a vast sunflower field. The food is great and inexpensive, and it has amazing coffee.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Road to Your Best Stuff by Mike Williams.
Shameless plug for your business:
Live life with passion. Join us for an adventure, we will teach you how to expand your comfort zone. Whether it’s getting back in shape, or learning technical aspects of climbing and diving, or just looking to reconnect with yourself by reconnecting with nature. We can offer training, treks and trips that are most suitable to you.
How can people connect with you?
Either thruogh Facebook or our webpage www.facebook.com/wildfirexpeditions or www.wildfirexpeditions.com. Like our Facebook page and stand a chance to win some cool stuff.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started,
built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.