BEGA Valley’s own Ryan Campbell is set to release a book titled Born To Fly about his recent flight around the world.
Mr Campbell was 19 years old when he completed his solo journey in 2013, beating two world records – youngest person to fly around the world solo and being the first teenager to do so.
“It’s a pretty surreal feeling, but for me it doesn’t matter so much being the youngest,” he said.
In the beginning it did, as Mr Campbell started off with the aim of breaking the records, but as he went along his outlook changed.
“For me, the record signifies everything I learnt on the trip and what’s important to me,” he said.
I want people to be captivated, and I want people to take on that inspiration and put it into their own lives.Ryan Campbell
Mr Campbell described himself as a quiet child, fixated on flying since he was six.
“I went into this as a kid with a dream,” he said.
“That was my life - there wasn’t much else to me then.”
He kept his dream to himself for a long time, but eventually the urge to do it got the better of him.
He contacted Dick Smith and Ken Evers, who offered their support and the journey began to take off.
He saw a million different landscapes - from Pacific islands that would pop up out of the ocean to empty deserts, and from molten lava-spewing volcanos to icy glaciers.
“When it comes to favourite view or favourite moment, I can’t just single out one,” he said.
Challenges on his flight included being alone, but “the hardest part of the flight was just to keep on going”.
The journey has had its impact on Mr Campbell.
“I’m a completely different person now,” he said.
“Being pushed out of my comfort zone probably changed me more than anything.”
He said his whole attitude has changed - he is much more positive - and has improved at public speaking.
Mr Campbell didn’t start writing his book until the end of his flight, when he could reflect on everything that had happened.
After arriving home he couldn’t bring himself just to sit around and watch TV - he needed to do something.
“I always thought I would write a book one day, I just didn’t think I would do it so quickly,” Mr Campbell said.
“I found it was a good thing to debrief, and get the story out of my head.”
There were 106,000 words before editing began, and now the completed autobiography runs to over 300 pages.
“I found that reading my own story was the closest I could ever get to seeing Teen World Flight through someone else’s eyes,” he said.
Mr Campbell has recently started a new job based out of Sydney working for Aeromil Pacific, a Cessna Aircraft dealer, where he will be flying as well as operating a few other roles.
Because his trip around the world was so stressful for himself as well as his team, he doesn’t think he will tackle something that big again for a while.
For now he wants to work, learn and move up in the aircraft industry - but his next dream is flying a World War 2 era aircraft.
With the publishing of his book Mr Campbell hopes to share his story and for people to be inspired by the challenges he went through to complete his journey.
“I want people to be captivated, and I want people to take on that inspiration and put it into their own lives,” he said.
Mr Campbell will be having a book launch on July 23 from 6-8pm at Merimbula RSL.
RSVP by July 16 at Booktique Merimbula by calling 6495 1969.
Born To Fly will be officially released in August.