Ricky grew up in a small town on the coast of northern Ireland. As a geography buff, he spent much of his time studying maps and wondering what was out there beyond the border.
He was first introduced to travel through family holidays throughout Europe, and at eleven years old, experienced his first SCUBA dive–and was instantly hooked! And as soon as Ricky was financially able, at 21 years, he boarded a plane for the Southern Hemisphere. A much larger island than ‘wee’ Ireland, Australia was the just the canvas he was craving for year and a half of eye-opening adventures, with SCUBA certification atop his list.
Ricky worked as a dive guide and instructor for Wicked Diving for seven years in Thailand and Indonesia before joining forces as Co-Founder with Paul Landgraver (Wicked Diving owner) to launch Wicked Adventures. A destination management company, Wicked Adventures creates personalized, one-of-a-kind overland adventures and expeditions throughout Southeast Asia, with a primary focus in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Ricky oversees all operations, research of new areas, product development and manages training for the local land agents and guides. And on Wicked’s expeditions, such as Orca research and wreck diving, he serves as Chief Expedition Leader.
Motivated by facilitating positive change in local communities through sustainable tourism, Ricky plans to open an adventure guide center where community members receive training in expedition travel leadership and environmental stewardship–providing a means to preserve local knowledge and provide economic opportunities.
Always on the move, Ricky can often be found climbing mountains, trekking, mountain biking, SCUBA diving, kayaking, or sailing. His favorite pastime, however, is fueled more by emotional curiosity: “I can think of nothing I love more than connecting with local people in a country and sharing stories and experiences together.”