Johnny Ripley, 29
from United Kingdom
Email: click here
Present Country: United Kingdom
Join Date: March 17, 2014
Last Updated: January 10, 2018
Last Signed In: March 14, 2018
I love roaming around and seeing new places, but I prefer to have someone to share the adventure with.
I'm self employed so I'm very flexible on when I go and how long I go for.
A good destination and a good companion are more important to me than the dates.
It would be nice to do a mix of helpxing, sight seeing and hiking (especially somewhere with lakes and mountains).
There should be a bit about the sort of helping I'd like to do listed below.
I'd really like to find a place in the mountains to build my own eco-home and live in a little eco community, so I'm interested in eco-build and renovation helpx stays, not hotel and bar stuff.
It would be nice to have someone to travel and try helper-ing with.
Another guest to share the experience with, and someone to play with on days off.
I'm also interested in sight seeing; castles, museums, monuments type of stuff.
I really like being out in nature, so anyone wanting to do some hiking, lake swimming or riding type trips then I'd like that.
I have a couple more long term ideas too, so if anyone is interested let me know:
I'd really like to visit Georgia and maybe Turkey.
Turkey has Istanbul - it's been a major world city for nearly 2000 years and it's crammed full of amazing buildings like the Süleymaniye Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
But that's really just a stop-off on the way to what I'd really like to see.
Anatolia and Georgia are riddled with cave cities.
I'd love to see some of these places, where thousands of people lived together in cave complexes like Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Ozkonak and Vardzia.
It seems like something out of a fantasy world, like Lord of the Rings.
My overall favourite idea, though I'd definitely want to go as a pair, is long distance horse trekking, say to Karakorum to see the capital of the Mongol Empire, or along the length of the Andes.
It would be amazing to go on a month(s) long horse ride / hike (I'm too soft to make the horsey carry me all the time) somewhere where there are no fences or boundaries and we can live free, unrestricted and nomadically.
I'd really love to do this for an unspecified length of time, before finding my patch of land and building my eco-home.
If anybody is even remotely interested in something like this (doesn't have to be Mongolia) then please write to me.
I'd really like to spend a bit of time helping with rural building renovation and eco-builds, as well as organic farming on small farms.
Hobbit holes, cuevas, ruined farmhouse renovations and yurt encampments would all be really interesting to me.
One day I hope to build my own home. An eco-build hobbit hole kind of thing
(straw bales or earth-packed tyres, rendered and with a turfed roof), with a couple of hectares of land to do a bit of organic farming and holiday rentals.
I have an idea of what I'd like to do, and the sort of place I'd like to do it, but before I get as far as buying a patch of land I'd like to spend some time helping other people setting up their places, so I have a better idea of what works well and how long things take, as well as how to find and take care of helpers of my own.
I'm a self employed ecologist. As with a lot of self employed people, I work super hard some weeks, and not at all others, depending how many contracts I can find.
This actually suits me quite well; as long as I stay ahead of schedule on the big contracts I'm free to take lengthy breaks whenever I like, allowing me to travel and take part in things like helpx.
Most of what I do is making forest maps for the Forestry Commission in West Scotland, so lots of hiking around mountains and forests in the rain.
I'm not a farmer, but I grow a bit of veg, used to keep horses and have spent a few weeks working on a dairy farm.
Also, I have a BSc and an MSc in Ecology and Environmental Science, quite a bit of it plant science.
I'm more interested in zoology and conservation, but there's a slim chance I might have a useful opinion on organic farming.
Most of my building experience is of the garden variety; a couple of goat pens and the odd wall, mostly in the Spanish style (cement a heap of breeze blocks together and cover them in render).
I've travelled quite a bit, a lot of it tourism, but I've also supervised jungle research projects in Asia and South America, and I have lived abroad (in Paris).
I speak quite a bit of French, though it's been a couple of years since I practiced, so I'll have to relearn some of it.
I'm not vegetarian, but I don't have to eat meat three times a day either.
I don't smoke.