Bucket List Turns Into Business Venture for U.K. Native-Turned-Fort Worthian

Rocky Icelandic Landscape

Years spent working around the world inspires a U.K. native to start his own travel company — based in Fort Worth.

From leading expeditions through educational organization Outward Bound to clearing landmines with nonprofit HALO Trust, David Gill has spent most of his life traveling everywhere from Africa to South America.

But the U.K. native eventually found himself in Texas, thanks to his wife, Audri. They met on match.com — he was in the U.K.; she was in Fort Worth. Over the course of three years chatting online, the two had developed a list of 40 things they wanted to do before they turned 40.

On hers: Travel to Africa. Earn her teacher certification. Hot air balloon through the Serengeti.

On his: Learn how to ride in a rodeo. Climb Kilimanjaro. Start a business.

On theirs: Meet in person. Get married. Start a family.

It wasn’t long before they began checking off a few of those items (they eventually met and married in 2013, and their son was born in Ghana two years later). Another from David Gill’s list would come to fruition in 2016, when the list itself sparked the idea of starting 40/40 Adventures, a company based in Fort Worth that leads groups through expeditions in lesser-traveled parts of the world.

“[40/40 Adventures] provides people the opportunity to go to countries they wouldn’t necessarily consider but will come back having had the most amazing time,” Gill says. “40/40 is my way of offering that to other people, to get them inspired to see the world differently.”

The company offers three types of services: Expeditions (trips “off the beaten path,” from mountains to jungles), Educational & Leadership Expeditions (trips geared toward high school and college students), and 40/40 Experiences (trips that immerse travelers in local culture, as opposed to typical tourist areas).

The company’s first trip took place in Croatia, spent climbing, rafting and trekking through the country with a group of 27 students from an Egyptian school, Cairo American College. Gill took a short hiatus from 40/40 to help friends start a brewery in Pantego, but now, he’s back to planning more travel packages into the next year. 

Yet another from Gill’s list will be checked off next year, when 40/40 takes a group of 12 veterans from The Warrior’s Keep to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Among the other adventures coming in 2019 — packrafting in Patagonia, horseback riding in the Andes, and more. The company is planning North American travel packages as well.

Valpariso

As for the rest of this year, here are a few upcoming trips 40/40 has in the works.

Poldark, Pirates and Pasties – Experience Cornwall
Sept. 22–29

About $3,200 for party of eight (price varies depending on size of party)
The next trip on 40/40’s itinerary is Gill’s homeland of Cornwall, located at the southwestern tip of England — the backdrop of stories like King Arthur and Poldark. Gill will give visitors a tour of UNESCO Heritage sites, coves and landscapes, as well as his favorite local spots. The package includes a return train to Cornwall from London Paddington, all ground transportation, accommodation at a local farmhouse, meals, a 40/40 Adventures guide and all activities within the itinerary.

Deserts, Driving and Discovery – Experience Salta, Argentina
Oct. 19–28

About $5,550 for party of four (price varies depending on size of party)
The Salta package is a self-driving tour through Puna de Atacama by 4-by-4, sightseeing through mountains, salt plains and volcanoes. The price includes all ground transportation, internal flights, accommodations, food, a 40/40 Adventures guide and all activities within the itinerary.

Surf & Safari West Africa – Experience Ghana
Nov. 9–19

About $3,500 for party of 10 (price varies depending on size of party)
This trip takes travelers through West Africa via Overland Truck, visiting spots like the beaches of Cape Three Points (where one can take surfing lessons) and the savannah of Mole National Park. The package includes all ground transportation, internal flights, accommodations, meals, a 40/40 Adventure guide and all activities within the itinerary.