The early years
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, also known as ‘the Concrete Jungle’ or ‘
School wasn’t fun for me. I struggled to fit in as a tom-boy 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, living out make-believe adventures with my dog Monty or spending my free time drawing and cycling round the block.
An addiction to travelling
During my teenage years, I grew an overwhelming desire to escape Basingstoke. Determined, I got a couple of part-time jobs working evenings and weekends (and sometimes even skipping school to do a day shift…!) and saved every penny I earned. The second I finished school aged 18, I was on a plane heading to Kenya. I spent the next 6 months exploring East and South Africa. Not completely fearlessly I should add
What an experience that was. I drank goat’s blood with the Samburu tribe (the only time I’ve ever intentionally broken being veggie), 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. It was a pure experience full of African sunsets, wildlife and freedom.
From that point on, I was totally addicted to travelling. So, after going to university to study Film (because I didn’t know what else to do), I was off again for another 2 months. 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 damn 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. I tried all sorts of different jobs from travel administration, charity fundraiser and school teacher but couldn’t find anything I enjoyed. In the process, I felt like I had lost my excitement and passion for life.
After 6 years, I was done with feeling stressed and unhappy. I was burnt out, not sleeping well, and had bouts of depression. I could no longer ignore the fact that this life just wasn’t me. I needed a drastic change so we agreed to take a sabbatical.
I don’t know where the idea to hike the length of Israel came from but I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So that’s what we agreed to do first for our travels – spend 2 months hiking over 1000km!
We were unfit and completely inexperienced so hiking the length of Israel was tough but it was an incredible experience. It changed my life and me in every way shape and form. I fell in love with adventuring and wanted to share that with everyone.
With my new found confidence, I set up this blog and also the female adventure community, Love Her Wild.
Rather than spending the last few months of our sabbatical travelling, Gil and I decided to focus on our own projects, working hard to try and turn them into a career. It paid off! We now both work for ourselves and travelled full-time as digital nomads for 3 years. Check out how I earn a living as an adventurer.
the Full-time adventurer
Since my first adventure, I’ve been on many more from hiking across the Jordan desert to kick scooting the length of the USA. I’ve organised and led all-female expeditions all over the world and delivered inspirational talks to thousands. Aaaaand…..I’m feeling pretty happy!
As well as adventure, I’ve also developed a real passion for conservation. I hope to use my tales of adventure to encourage others to care more for our planet. Check out my Eco Adventuring project for more inspiration.
This website is full of journals from my adventures and useful tips on anything from pitching a tent to making a living for yourself online. For all my tips, head over to my advice page. Otherwise, here are some of my favourite blogs to get you started…..
Summary of 2018; the best and worst | Dear adventurers, please stop pretending everyone can do this | Why I’m ok with being a hypocritical sexist | 5 Takeaways from Kicking the States | That time I went travelling and came back with a husband | Getting a tattoo in Jerusalem Old City | What does it feel like to fail your expedition | What’s it like to hold your breath to 20 metres |