What does adventure mean to you?
Adventure is determined and measured by each individual.
It can be a walk to the park to look at spring blossoms or play in autumn leaves, trying out a new cafe, attending a festival, travelling the world, walking across a continent. It is what I make it.
It is joy, discovery, a buzz, something new, exploring culture and places, escaping routine, stretching my limits, learning new skills. It is wonderful!
Tell us a little about your adventurous self?
Some adventurous experiences in this life include walking a 17,000km solo unaccompanied lap around Australia plus more than 5,000kms solo bushwalking through Australian coastal and alpine wilderness, sailing, kayaking, bike touring, diving with great white sharks, swimming with crocodiles, snorkelling deserted islands with turtles and whales, kissing cobras and tracking tigers for conservation, hitch hiking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and snow camping, trekking the Himalayas and Sahara solo, trekking and sailing the Indonesian Archipelago and years of volunteering in Australia and overseas with animal rescue, conservation, social justice, fire fighting and search and rescue.
What was your BEST adventure?
When I set out on a 10 day solo Annapurna trek it wasn't solo by choice. It was during Monsoon and it was a holy holiday. There were no porters or guides available because they were on pilgrimage with family or assisting other families. I was given a map and issued permits and reassured there would be no problem.
On the first day of the walk I fell in with a group of Gurung teens on their first day of pilgrimage as we walked together to Ghandruk. They introduced me to their mother and grandmother, also on pilgrimage, when we stopped for a break and shared food. We continued together and I was invited to join the family for a special pilgrim lunch where they were testing and watching to see if I could assimilate quickly. I didn't know this until after lunch when I was invited to join the Gurung's holy family pilgrimage.
Only one other person had ever been invited to participate and I was the first permitted to photograph the entire pilgrimage, including the holy lake and rituals. Over the next 6 days I walked, ate, slept and prayed with the family clan. Pilgrim numbers grew as we merged paths, family members joined until we had almost 40 people spread out across the mountain paths walking in silent contemplative meditation over a 6,000m pass before dropping to 5,000m. Each night we slept in season herders huts with their family and lying up against the yaks, buffalo and sheep for warmth.
The main rule was to observe and follow each part of tradition and ceremony.
It was and still is the most amazing experience of my life and the highest of all privilege offered to a traveller.
What's at the top of your Bucket List?:
Right now there is a stack of big walking, riding and xc skiing treks in Mongolia, Patagonia, Canada, Himalaya, Europe E1 and E4 and Shikoku waiting for me to get funds and sponsors. Some I have been planning for decades.
A 2 year multi-adventure bike tour around Australia starts this summer where local community, cultural and conservation initiatives will be showcased as well as adrenaline adventure, deep outback and three of Australia's longest walks.
Anything else weird, wild or wonderful you want to share about yourself?
As part of my adventure ethos kindness and compassion are primary values. I believe all sentient beings should be free, this is why I am an human powered adventurer.
As a plant strong vegan, recently completing a 17,200km solo unsupported walk around Australia I am an example of what is possible.
Keep following her adventures...
On the app: Terra Roam #1