Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Interview Tuesday: Sarah Outen

Well Tuesday's are going to be Interview Tuesday's in my new Themed days structure! I was going to call them Inter-Tue but not sure it works - any suggestions?! Today i've been lucky enough to have Sarah Outen answer eight questions for me.

In 2009 Sarah rowed across the Indian Ocean alone, from Australia to Mauritius; she was the first woman to do so and the  youngest to solo row the Indian Ocean and was the youngest woman to have Solo'd an Ocean at the time! Quite an achievement; she's got a book coming out next month about it!! Now she has bigger plans for the future and you can find out all about them in the following interview!

Sarah Outen on her Indian Ocean Row

1) What made you the adventurer that you are today, where did you start?

My adventuring started in the garden at home climbing trees and in the woods behind our house. Then it was nurtured on family holidays with day long hikes. Later on I got my first taste for expeditioning through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and discovered my love of watersports through kayaking and sailing. Essentially, I have always loved being outside and have always loved pushing myself physically and mentally through sports and journeys. The Indian Ocean row was my first major expedition in 2009 and naturally (some might think oddly!) led me to dream up my next expedition.

2) Was it mentally challenging being alone for so long on the Indian Ocean?

Soloing is wonderful for its simplicity and purity, though the demands can sometime be physically and mentally demanding. Out on the ocean, travelling as a soloist means you are everything to yourself and if you get it wrong, then its game over. Its all about endurance, attitude, discipline and living for the moment. Its tough but sublime and hugely rewarding.

3) What was your toughest day during the Indian Ocean Row?

There were many days which fit this billing - days when I rowed late into the night and woke early to make the best of the conditions. I was exhausted like I had never been exhausted before. Day 86 was horrific too - it was my first capsize and really scared me.

4) What was the best day and why?

I find it hard to pick the best - there were so many moments where I felt so utterly happy and moved or satisfied at a great day's rowing... Landing was one of the most intense days - and although stepping off the boat brought with it a mixture of emotions, it signified the end of a three year journey to get there, battling through grief and triumphing. I have chosen one of my favourite days actually - my birthday, May 26th. I had champagne and a hair wash!

Sarah Outen's living quarters aboard her boat. I wouldn't want to live in there for so long!

5) What's your next challenge?

London2London: Via the World - around the planet by human power. I leave on April 1st 2011 and will take 2.5 years to kayak, cycle and row right around the planet. Two oceans, three continents and about 20,000 miles.

6) Do you enjoy the planning phase of a challenge or is the enjoyment
solely in the adventure itself?

Planning is a bit like an expedition in itself - it has its ups and downs and different phases. It is hard work putting together this next expedition but it is rewarding to see mine and my team's efforts paying off as things develop and departure day approaches.

7) What would you say to someone considering taking steps towards
their own adventures?

Follow your heart and be true to yourself. Chase your own dreams and work hard to make them happen. Keep on trying when things go wrong too - no one got anywhere by giving up. And remember that adventures come in all shapes and sizes - you don't always have to jump in at the deep end!

8) Where do you see yourself in twenty years? What do you want to have done?

Twenty years, blimey! 2.5 years seemed like a long time. Three passions of mine are adventure, wildlife and young people, so if I can fuse those into something sustainable I will be happy. That's the main goal for me - being happy, making a difference where I can and living life to the lees. It might sound cheesy, but if you really mean it then it is magic.

Mission accomplished. Sarah Outen arriving in Mauritius

You can find out more about Sarah's Round the World trip <<<< Click

Sarah's website is at www.sarahouten.co.uk 

I'd like to say thank you very much to Sarah for kindly answering the questions above. Another really interesting interview! Good luck with your incredible London to London expedition; I'm incredibly jealous - it is bound to be hard but an amazing and worthwhile experience! Enjoy!

If any other adventurers out there would like to be interviewed then please do get in contact; I always love hearing about people's incredible journeys and adventures! 

Tonight I'm off on my own little adventure until tomorrow evening some time. I'll be telling you all more about it in a few days! Enjoy!


  1. Nice Interview, Tom. Her upcoming London2London will be amazing to watch.

  2. Thanks for commenting! Ye it will be an incredible epic; it's set to take over 2 years but i'm sure it will be worth it!


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