Who are you and why are you here?
Hey ho, Allan here - a rootin', tootin', moustache-sprootin', water pistol-slingin' British fellow. I'm here on earth to ride the buffalo of life through the gentle pastures but also into the wild rodeos, stopping to graze along the way and spread my dung wherever I can help with the fertilization… It can be pretty dry out there!
(That was a metaphor, I’ve never been on a buffalo.)
What does "happiness" mean to you?
Being happy is about appreciating the simple joys of life! Yes, it's a universal language that we all have access to, and sometimes it's so simple we can't see it even when it's staring right at us.
Would you describe yourself as happy?
Think Ronald McDonald on acid.
Would we get the same answer if we asked someone from your environment/family?
Nope! I mean yes. Actually, no.
When and how did you consciously make someone happy for the first time?
Hmm, nothing really comes to mind. Maybe when I kissed my first girlfriend? I was six.
«I decided to leave it behind, sell everything on an Italian flea market and head off into the void like a mustachioed turtle on an overland trip around the world.» Allan Dransfield
What makes you happy? When are you at your happiest? Or when did you start being happy?
I was a 'normal(ish)', pretty upbeat guy with a decent job and this and that. But it all changed when I decided to leave it behind, sell everything on an Italian flea market and head off into the void like a mustachioed turtle on an overland trip around the world around 2013.
The people I met along the way taught and inspired me in so many ways. For the first time, I really was able to slow down and shut up. I guess you could say that I tuned in to myself and the world around me. With no expectations, I learned to be present. That still remains my happiest place, being in the now - and returning to nature reminds me of that.
Swinging in a hammock is also very pleasant.
«LET GO, SLOW DOWN, BREEEATHE, JUMP!, GOOD MORNING, ahh a nice cool bath, SPAGHETTI, NOW, LISTEN, CONNECT, SMILE!» Allan Dransfield
Can you tell us more about how you will approach your role as an EVP?
Sure I can. The next year will be filled with a journey - a quest of discovery! I/we will be working together – and by “we” I mean pretty much everybody who crosses my path, to investigate what happiness is. Finding out more about this universal language and transmitting it to you through multi-sensory means, then spreading these findings like little tree ferns around the earth. We are gonna be a gang - the happiest tree fern gang around - and anyone can join!
Happiness is often there, but sometimes we have blockages and just can't see it, I suppose we're all too busy running around, and it's all just a bit of a blur. We’ll be finding out what these blockages are, and then - yup - helping to unblock them! Although we won't really be using words to do this, here are some jumbled up letters to give you a taste of what's in store: LET GO, SLOW DOWN, BREEEATHE, JUMP!, GOOD MORNING, ahh a nice cool bath, SPAGHETTI, NOW, LISTEN, CONNECT, SMILE!
How did you discover the jump? Tell us how it all started.
I like how you say 'discover the jump'. Actually that's really what happened...
Rewind to 2007, my mate Ben and I were having our first Sziget festival experience - a week living on a small island in the center of Budapest with a community of music lovers - one big, colorful, head-banging family. Returning to our home city in the North of Italy was a bit of a culture shock - nobody seemed to respond when you chatted to them on the bus, and people looked way too suspicious when you said 'Hi!' on the street. So I began searching for a way to connect with people in public spaces, ultimately trying to put a smile on their serious faces and I put a simple question to my friend:
“Alex, if I ask that couple over there to jump, do you think they'll do it?”
Well, to make a not-so-long story even shorter: yes, they jumped! And so it began… They jumped, and a decade later I’ve taken hundreds of jump shots across the globe.
I realized over time that this simple gesture was more than a simple jump: it was a way to connect. A way to trust, a way to let go, and that capturing this moment of detachment and freedom was very symbolic.
Many thanks and the best of luck!