What does adventure mean to you?

Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 00.29.45.pngAdventure is a weird one for me. I’ve always seen it as being out in the wild, potentially in a place I could die and where there are a lot of insects (I don’t like insects). There would also be tents and food rations, a generous amount of dirt and spontaneity.

The closest I’ve come to my idea of an adventure was when I went on my expeditions to complete my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. I’m sure the idea was pretty terrifying for my family to let me go camping and hiking all over Luxembourg and then to the Pyrenees but I really enjoyed it and the friends I made are now friends for life.

Those adventures took place a long time ago. Since then, my health became a thing and with that, the idea of going out on an adventure not only became culturally challenging but also seemingly physically impossible. I’m also an indoor climber. I stay as far away from insects and dirt as I can!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the Women’s Adventure Expo (WAExpo) to give a workshop on how to overcome self-limiting beliefs. I was genuinely puzzled, I can talk about my journey and how I overcome my perceived barriers but how would that apply to a group of incredible women who are out there doing things I don’t even dream of doing because they are so beyond the realm of what I can believe to be possible?

I was also very honoured, there was obviously something in me that WAExpo had seen in me which I had not seen in myself, but I couldn’t work it out then though.

The day was brilliant. I had the opportunity to hear from women who have summited Everest, some of them multiple times. I heard from a woman who had travelled to regions that have no access to roads and others who talked with passion about paddle boarding around islands in order to highlight the plight of plastic in our oceans. There were women looking to go on their first adventures too, trying to find out what would best work for them and their circumstances. These women came from all backgrounds, all walks of life and in all shapes and sizes. They definitely broke my perception that you need to be super strong and fit to go on an adventure.

I now understand why I was asked to give my talk. The journey I am on, my life, is an adventure. I make very spontaneous decisions about accepting opportunities to try new things. I meet people and talk about my journey to encourage them to leave their own comfort zones and in the face of adversity, like any adventurer, I buckle down and get the job done.

Adventure is not about dirt, insects and going into the wild. It’s whatever you make it to be. Whether that is trying to get your first 5km run after a period of ill-health, travelling to a new country (and staying in hotels) or summiting Everest. It is simply leaving your comfort zone.

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