How many eight-year-olds, asked what they want to be when they grow up, would say "explorer"?
Inspired by stories of overcoming blizzards to reach the South Pole or oxygen deprivation to scale high mountains, many dream of such exploits.
Such would-be explorers typically end up living perfectly happy lives as accountants or sales assistants, indulging their intrepid sides at the weekend by climbing or hang-gliding. Very few at the age of 44 can legitimately put "explorer" in the job description box on their passport application.
Craig Mathieson, however, can do just that, having become the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's first explorer-in-residence. Not content with having Scotland's coolest job title, he is now determined to rekindle ambition in discouraged children.
In the past, exploration resulted in the discovery of new continents. Today it reflects a deep-rooted human impulse to push the limits of mental and physical endurance and can help bestow on individuals something priceless: a sense of possibility. If Mr Mathieson can help give children that, it could be his most tremendous achievement.
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