In 2005 Rob and Jo Gambi became the first married couple to achieve the ultimate adventurer’s ambition when they climbed the ‘Seven Summits’ (the highest mountains on all seven continents) and skied to both the North and South Poles. Rob is also the first Australian and Jo the first female to achieve this feat.
Rob was born in Sydney, Australia in 1958; just four years after his parents had immigrated there. He grew up with his brother and sister close to some of Sydney’s best beaches and as a consequence has always loved being in or on the water!
Throughout his school years Rob was an active sportsperson taking part in as many sports as possible including tennis, martial arts, soccer, running and many more.
After finishing school Rob studied at University and completed degrees in Actuarial Studies and Statistics and obtained an MBA. He then worked for an investment banking company, in corporate finance and securities markets till the age of 31. After this he had a short career break before joining an asset management company in 1989. In 1991 he was seconded by his company to their London operation and has lived in the UK since then.
During this time Rob had a successful career in the asset management business when he was responsible for a significant part of the business with responsibility for almost half of the assets under management and a sizeable group of fund managers and other staff located in multiple international centres.
In 1995 Rob first met Jo on a sailing course on the south coast of the UK. The second time was in Chamonix France while Jo was on a climbing holiday.They were married in September 1996 and since 1995 aside from their love of sailing, skiing and windsurfing Rob and Jo have spent many weeks climbing and hiking in the UK and the European Alps.
In late 2000 Rob was diagnosed with his second bout of Cancer (the first occurring in 1993). This led to a major operation, plus an aggressive course of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy treatment. After recovering from this, he and his wife Jo decided to take some time out. This led to Rob leaving his job in 2002 when they commenced their travels together.
Since returning from their travels, Rob now works as a Managing Director with UBS Global Asset Management.
Jo was born in the UK in 1969 and grew up with her two brothers in Droitwich in the West Midlands and later in Penn, Buckinghamshire.
From an early age Jo was involved in various physical pursuits from ballet to skiing to climbing and her family holidays always had an outdoors focus and were often spent sailing on the south coast and hiking in the Lake District. In addition to the usual school studies, Jo regularly represented her school and competed successfully over many years in both short and long distance running at county and district level.
After ‘A’ levels Jo went on to complete a 4 year degree course in ‘Business Management and Clothing’ at the Metropolitan University of Manchester. Whilst studying, she used her summer vacations to work and travel abroad, paying for it with her part time jobs she had in term time. During this time Jo worked for Camp America as a sailing and lifeguard, Operation Raleigh In Kenya on community projects and various community/ church based projects in Bolivia, Greece and Malaysia.
Between her first degree and starting work at Marks and Spencer she studied for 1 year at King’s Bible College in Scotland for a ‘Diploma in Biblical Studies’. In 1992 Jo joined Marks and Spencer’s on their ‘Graduate Management Training Programme’ and continued on to work for several years in various buying departments throughout both Menswear and Womenswear as a Product Technologist.
In 1997 Jo retrained to be a Physiotherapist and in 2000 started working at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), one of the country’s leading NHS trusts. She also worked for several seasons for the London welsh Rugby club. After Rob’s second episode of cancer in 2000, Rob and Jo decided to take some time out and left their respective jobs to travel in 2002.
Since returning, Jo has written a book – HOLDING ON - about their adventures which has been recently been published by Piatkus.
Source : their own website