Swapping two wheels for two oars

We’ve just had an inspirational weekend in Bristol following a last-minute booking to go to the Women’s Adventure Expo. This Expo had a line up of INCREDIBLE women who’ve adventured on, or in water.

Inspirational women

The event kicked off with Della Parsons from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. She shared a unique insight into the challenges on board the 70+ foot yacht. The Clipper race involves 12 identical boats with crews from all walks of life, many with no sailing experience until they enter into the Clipper training programme. Find out more.

Next was Beth French. She is an open water swimmer who has crossed the English Channel and is midway through an epic 7 Oceans challenge. Only 6 people have completed it to date, and Beth is aiming to be the 1st person to do it in 1 year. Her talk took us deep into the depths of swimming long distances in all sorts of environments across the world. She also shared her story of a close encounter with a Tiger Shark – not for the faint hearted! Find out more.

“If you want guaranteed inspiration and a fabulous range of speakers, get along to the next Women’s Adventure Expo!” – The MahoJos

Environmental angle

Just before lunch, Natalie Fee shared her City to Sea project. She’s doing amazing things to address plastic pollution in our rivers and oceans. It was enough eye-opening talk which made you seriously think about avoiding single use plastic products. Find out more.

Lunch time gave us a chance to network and also have a go on the Clipper virtual reality experience. It totally made you feel like you were on board in the middle of huge seas!

After lunch, kayaker Erin Bastian shared her experiences of kayaking around Sardinia and Patagonia. Erin shared the highs and lows, and the expected and unexpected challenges that are part of taking yourself out of your comfort zone. She’s so passionate about inspiring other women to go on kayak trips with her. Check out Evoke Adventure for your own inspiration.

Beverly O’Kane gave  passionate talk about the work of the Marine Conservation Society and their “Plastic Challenge”. This campaign encourages people to avoid single use plastic in the month of June as a minimum. Even engaging with the campaign for 1 day can make a difference. Find out more.

Sarah Outen

Sarah Outen took to the stage to share her intrepid RTW adventure tales. She took 4.5 years to complete a round the world trip by bike, kayak and ocean rowing boat. She kayaking and rowed in huge seas and unfortunately experienced two ocean rescues. On the plus side, she came face to face with a all sorts of wildlife. I took the chance to buy her latest book which I can’t wait to get stuck into.

Finally, Tom from Shoreseeker introduced us to his Ocean Rowing boat expedition company. If you don’t fancy crossing the Atlantic in a rowing boat then how about a UK or Mediterranean mini adventure with Shoreseeker instead? Find out more.

I took the opportunity to travel to the Expo with some ladies that I met through the Tough Girl Challenges group. It was great to get to know them and hear all about their own activities and adventures. During the day I met Vicky from Challenge Wales and Jo from Healthy Happy 50. The Expo was another cracking day packed with stories of adventure from such an inspirational range of speakers.

Ocean rowing anyone?

To keep the excitement going, we signed up for a taster session in the Shoreseeker boat the next morning. Skipper Simon taught us the basics of rowing and we cruised through Bristol docks. It’s incredible to think that people row these boats across the Atlantic – sometimes solo! This was such a fantastic way to finish off an excellent Expo event.

Find out more about the next Women’s Adventure Expo by visiting their website.

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