Inge Solheim is a free spirit, a new-age explorer, and a wilderness guide-guru whose sense of freedom hinges upon not caring, at all, about what other people think of him. Leading trips to the most remote places in the world with diverse groups—ranging from scientists, to private clients, to film crews, to people with disabilities—Solheim trains those who are with him to overcome extreme physical and psychological barriers. Among his most memorable expeditions are a trip to the South Pole with Mark Pollock, who had lost his eyesight nine years prior, and a North Pole expedition with an organization called Walking With The Wounded, accompanied by Prince Harry and a team of English wounded soldiers.
Born in Norway, he grew up in a rather dysfunctional family that left him mostly to his own devices. From a young age, he turned to nature, learning to appreciate solitude—and to be self-sufficient. At 14, Solheim started working at a pizza shop at which he would become a shareholder within a year. At 19, Solheim’s daughter, Marian, was born, and he transitioned into a nine-year “mundane” (his word) finance job, eventually becoming VP of a bank in Norway. While the career prestige was exhilarating in its own right, his passion led him to take on adventure traveling as a full-time profession.
A rare combination of old soul, hopeless romantic, and youthful pioneer, Solheim chases beauty and adventure, living peripatetically: He resides part-time in Oslo and finds himself gravitating toward Malibu, California, two to three months a year. Reaching the middle of his life, Solheim remains optimistic about almost everything—even climate change—and is currently working on sustainable tourism and travel business.
On this episode of Time Sensitive, Solheim and Andrew Zuckerman get philosophical about what it means to be an explorer at a time in which it’s practically never been easier to get anywhere in the world; confronting fear, anxiety, and pressure; trauma and its effect on our perceptions of time; and instant gratification and materialism.