"If the challenges look really big, it looks like you might well fail, friendship can often be the thing that pulls you through."
Writer Tim Cope has been urging North East school groups to explore for real, not via social media or smart phones.
"They have this great saying in Kazakh that if you must rush in life, rush slowly and I want to encourage people to get out of their parochial world and get to know all walks of life and cultures and to expand their understanding of the world," he said.
"It's just as important now as it ever was to create your own story and have your own adventures.
"Also I wanted the kids to realise that making mistakes, fear, troubles, it's all part of life and it's how you respond to them that matters."
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Cope spoke to children at Myrtleford, Bright and Mount Beauty about his three and a half year journey by horse across the Eurasian steppe from Mongolia.
His Kazakh dog Tigon walked 40,000 kilometres alongside him in "a very unexpected, a very serendipitous friendship".
When given Tigon, then aged six months, Cope told the pup's original owner he couldn't possibly look after or feed a pet and border crossings would be difficult.
"He looked at me and said, 'Well, I'm sorry, but in Kazakhstan dogs choose their owners, not the other way round, and he's yours', so that was it," the writer said.
"And of course within a few days I couldn't survive without him.
"It ended up dropping to minus 52 degrees and he kept me warm at night in the tent, just as the guy had promised.
"He didn't necessarily protect me from the wolves as promised because he was such a scrawny little pup."
Tim & Tigon, just released, is Cope's young adult edition of his adventure, previously outlined in On The Trail Of Genghis Khan.
Cope was living in Tawonga with Tigon and two-thirds through writing his latest book when his four-legged friend died last year.
"An animal that has intertwined its life with mine for 14 years, you know, you're kind of missing in every step, every moment of the day," he said.
"He inspired me a lot during the journey. It transformed the book into something different, kind of an ode to him."
Tigon's daughter, Ali, was a popular guest at last week's school talks.
Cope plans to tour schools for the next 12 months to coincide with the book release. More details at timcopejourneys.com