The early years
Let me start by saying I don’t have a particularly exciting backstory or event that got me to where I am today. I consider myself completely ordinary, hence the name!
I grew up in the UK in a large town called Basingstoke, otherwise known as ‘the concrete jungle’. School wasn’t fun for me. I struggled to fit in and didn’t do well in my lessons, mostly due to having undiagnosed dyslexia for most of my childhood. But my vivid imagination saved me. I used to live out make-believe adventures constantly in my head. Building dens, pretending to be a spy and following in the footsteps of my adventure heroes….often with my dog Monty in tow. I was a tom-boy through and through!
An addiction to travelling
During my teenage years, I grew an overwhelming desire to escape my town and see more of the world. Determined, I got a couple of part-time jobs working evenings and weekends and saved every penny I earned. The second I finished school aged 18, I was on a plane heading to East and South Africa for 6 months exploring. Not completely without worries it should be noted….I was so nervous the morning I left had to throw up in the airport toilets!
What an experience that was! I drank goat’s blood with a Samburu tribe, met people who’d never seen white skin before, was chased by a hippo and hitched hiked through the night clung to the room of a truck (I was a little more reckless back then!). It was a pure experience full of African sunsets, wildlife and freedom.
From that point on, I was totally addicted to exploring. So, after going to university and graduating in Media and Film, I was off again. This time while in a Spanish school in Guatemala, I bumped into Gil who was travelling after finishing his Israeli army service…..It didn’t take long for us to fall in love!
(This is a picture of me and my sister looking pretty cool! I’m rocking the epic sunglasses.)
Trying the 9-5 lifestyle
Gil and I settled in London and faced a battle with finances and visas so we could stay together. I tried all sorts of different jobs from travel administration, charity fundraiser and school teacher. Switching from one unhappy stressful role, I didn’t like, to another. Working, paying bills and living for the weekend.
After 6 years, I was done with feeling stressed and overworked. I was burnt out, not sleeping well, was over-thinking all the time and had bouts of depression. I could no longer ignore the fact that this life just wasn’t me.So, I decided to make a change.
Gil and I handed in our notices and set ourselves a challenge that we thought was so beyond our capabilities and fitness level……we were going to hike the length of Israel!
We enough savings for a year’s worth of cheap travelling. We wanted more than just another gap year though. Instead of spending our time sat on beaches and partying all night, we applied ourselves to projects that we were passionate about.
My life couldn’t be more different now.
I love to write and organise adventures so I set up this blog, the Ordinary Adventurer, and shortly after founded the female adventure community, Love Her Wild. With a mixture of luck, determination and a bit of much-needed self-belief, I’ve managed to craft a career our of adventuring (you can find out more about how here – how do I earn a living as an adventurer).
We are both completely nomadic now which means we don’t have a base and travel full-time. This helped keep expenses low which was an important part of the process, especially when starting out.
This lifestyle has also allowed me to pursue conservation which is another big passion of mine, particularly when it comes to protecting our oceans…the place where I am most happiest. Where possible I try to reduce my footprint or incorporate conservation efforts into my adventures.
In case you are wondering what Gil does, he has his own travel website for Israeli’s and builds websites for bloggers remotely. We do most of our travelling together but also find time to go on our own adventures and work on our individual projects.
A full-time adventurer
If you want to find out more about me and my life, here are some of my personal reflections so far
That time I went travelling and came back with a husband… | Dear adventurers, Please stop pretending everyone can do this | Why