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Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - www.toughgirlchallenges.com and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
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Now displaying: September, 2023
Sep 26, 2023

Today, we delve into the inspiring story of Dr. Hannah Lock, 33, a British doctor and mountaineer living on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, Wales. With a deep passion for medicine and a love for the mountains, Dr. Lock has embarked on thrilling adventures, led expeditions, and shared her invaluable knowledge of mountain medicine. Join us as we explore her remarkable journey.

Raised near the Peak District, Dr. Lock's childhood was filled with outdoor adventures. From hill walking to rock climbing and skiing, she developed a deep connection to the natural world. A pivotal moment in the French Alps introduced her to Alpine mountaineering, sparking a lifelong love for high-altitude environments. Her subsequent expeditions took her across the globe, from the Brazilian Amazon to the Bolivian Andes and the Swiss Alps.

Dr. Lock found her true passion in Emergency Medicine. Today, she skilfully balances her work in the ER with mountain medicine teaching and expedition support. She provides medical support for ultra marathon trail events in the UK and has expanded her reach to cover mountain marathons in the Nepal Himalaya. Her true calling lies in supporting groups on remote, high-altitude expeditions, empowering them to push their limits while ensuring their safety.

Dr. Hannah Lock's journey as a British doctor and mountaineer exemplifies the power of pursuing one's passions and bridging different worlds. Driven by her love for medicine and the outdoors, Dr. Lock continues to empower others through her invaluable knowledge of mountain medicine.

Her story inspires us to merge our passions, conquer new heights, and make a positive impact in our chosen fields.

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Hannah
  • Working as a portfolio Doctor
  • Being based in Bangor, North Wales
  • Growing up in Macclesfield on the border of the Peak District
  • Spending lots of time in the outdoors as a child
  • Fitness and spending time in the outdoors while studying at university
  • Doing Duke of Edinburgh as a teenager and how it inspired her love of the outdoors 
  • Doing a World Challenge Expedition to Bolivia 
  • Her first taste of big mountains and travelling in South America
  • Going to Leeds University and joining the hiking club 
  • Combining her passions together
  • Learning more about becoming an Expedition Doctor 
  • Doing a Chemistry Degree first 
  • Going and finding opportunities 
  • Going to medical school at University of Warwick 
  • Gaining mountain skills via Mountain Leader Qualification 
  • Wilderness Medicine Society
  • Professor Chris Imray - (Vascular & Renal Transplant Surgeon based in Coventry, climbed the 7 Summits, & world expert in frostbite) 
  • Dong a Diploma in Mountain Medicine 
  • Starting off on UK Event Work - supporting runners on ultra marathons and multi day ultra marathons
  • Supporting runners in Nepal and gaining more experience 
  • Risk assessment planning
  • Working within your competency level - but also being competent to deal with challenges
  • Her first solo trip as a medic on Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and the challenges of altitude 
  • Heading to Northern India - Summiting Stok Kangri (6,154 m) - highest trekkable summit in India
  • Starting to teach Mountain Medicine 
  • Realities and Risks 
  • ER (Emergency Room (USA)) -  ED (Emergency Department (UK))
  • Views on life and risk taking
  • Why you should tell people you love them
  • Working in intensive care
  • Deciding to work part time and how her schedule looks
  • Risks in the mountains and how it’s changed over the years
  • Being a climber who is scared of heights 
  • Joining Ogwen Mountain Rescue team 
  • Dream mountains & wanting to climb a 6,000m peak
  • Introduction to “Humans at High Altitude” 
  • CPD Credits 
  • How to connect with Hannah on the socials
  • Working on a 2nd course - which will be specific to women mountaineers
  • Final words of advice and wisdom
  • Trying to fit her work life around the mountains 

 

Social Media

Website: www.drhannahlock.co.uk

Altitude Course: humans-at-high-altitude.teachable.com/p/course1 

Instagram: @hannah_lock_exped_doc

 

Sep 21, 2023

In this episode of  the Tough Girl Podcast, we talk with 26-year-old Claire Wyatt, who is currently cycling 16,000km around Australia. Claire is passionate about solo bicycle touring and sharing stories of kindness from around the world. She tells us about her big adventure in Australia, her passion for cycle touring over the past four years, and her early years growing up as one of five children.

After studying criminology at Loughborough University, Claire moved to Cambodia to work for a travel company. It was there that she got into cycling in her 20s and eventually went on her first cycle tour around Cambodia for three weeks. She tells us about the lessons she learned on that trip and how it inspired her to continue exploring the world on two wheels.

Claire also shares with us the challenges of cycle touring, from budgeting to communication and staying safe on the road. She tells us about the magical moments she's experienced while out on the road and the kindness of strangers she's encountered along the way.

Throughout the episode, Claire provides practical advice for women who want to travel by bike, including how to plan a trip, what equipment to invest in, and how to communicate with locals. She also shares the story of how she was inspired by Dervla Murphy, an Irish travel writer who cycled from Ireland to India in the 1960s.

If you're interested in following Claire's journey, you can check out her blog and follow her on Instagram at @exploringbybicycle. And don't forget to hit the subscribe button for new episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast every Tuesday at 7am UK time. You can also support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media by visiting www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you for listening!

***

Show notes

  • 26 years old
  • Travelling by bike
  • Her big adventure in Australia 
  • Her passion for cycle touring over the past 4 years
  • Her early years growing up and being 1 of 5 children
  • Getting into cycling in her 20s after university 
  • Having a twin sister
  • Studying criminology at Loughborough University 
  • Moving to Cambodia to work for a travel company
  • Her decision making process
  • Taking redundancy
  • Going on her first cycle tour around Cambodia for 3 weeks
  • Figuring it out on the first trip
  • The magic letter and how it helped her communicate with local people
  • Staying with local family and cheap guest houses
  • Heading home during COVID 
  • Setting up a small project called Mind over Miles 
  • Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) to raise funds for the Adventure Therapy Charity 
  • The lessons from cycling LEJOG and why it was a good experience
  • The bike - Surly Ogre 
  • Investing in new equipment 
  • Power while on the road
  • Carrying her laptop and working while on the road
  • Money and budget while on the road
  • Cycling 16,000km around Australia 
  • Starting in Tasmania and ending in Perth
  • Planning to cycle from Cambodia back to the UK
  • The challenges of cycle touring 
  • Magical moments while out on the road
  • Using Warmshowers for accommodation 
  • The kindness of strangers
  • The Great Queensland Rail Adventure 
  • Learning mechanics for the bike 
  • Communicating with family and using a Zoleo
  • Communicating via radio (Channel 40 in Australia) with the truck drivers
  • Advice for women who want to travel by bike
  • Being inspired by Dervla Murphy 
  • Book: Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy 
  • How to connect with Claire
  • Her blog

 

Social Media

Blog: https://wanderingwyatt135121267.wordpress.com/ 

Instagram: @exploringbybicycle 

 

Sep 19, 2023

In her own words:

“Hi! I'm Kalyani, a freelance photographer, biologist and wildlife filmmaker, born and raised in the city of Leicester, what felt like miles away from the countryside and the outdoors. 

With no role-models or influences in my life to steer me to the natural world, it's a mystery to my whole family how I ended up loving the outdoors and everything in it, but somehow I did. 

My love for nature fuelled me to pursue a BSc at the Royal Veterinary College where I studied a whole range of aspects of animal biology; from anatomy and physiology to behaviour and evolution. My research into kangaroo biomechanics and limb bone scaling was part of a paper published in the Royal Society Open Science in 2018. I then completed my MSc at Imperial College London, where I fell in love with science communication and story telling.

I first picked up a camera at 19 years old when my parents sent me to live in an ashram for 6 months (of course, as a teenager, I wasn't too thrilled at the prospect initially) and that's how I accidentally got into, and got hooked on, photography. I am self-taught and now specialise in travel and wildlife photography.

I love exploring the world, often travelling solo, and learning about different cultures beyond stereotypes. Having Indian heritage, I have a deep understanding of the need to look beyond imperialist and colonialist generalisations and I am able to truly connect with people around the world.

As a biologist, there's something so incredibly special about seeing the most breathtaking animals in their natural habitat and experiencing the sheer magnitude and magic of the world around us.

I have been fortunate enough to have been to the Kumbh Mela, the largest gathering of people on Earth, the forests of Finland to photograph brown bears and the depths of the South African ocean, surrounded by thousands of hammerhead sharks.

My photography work has been featured by UNICEF and the BBC and I have had the opportunity to have worked for Parmarth Niketan Ashram and Light for the World. I have also had footage featured on BBC AutumnWatch and one of my photographs was selected for the long list of the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. I work full time as a freelancer on science and wildlife documentaries, where I am currently working as a researcher for the BBC's Natural History Unit on a landmark natural history series for National Geographic.”

***

New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. 

You can support the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast Thank you.

***

Show notes

  • Who is Kalyani
  • Her love for the outdoors and nature
  • Wanting to be a vet when she was younger
  • Being sent to India by her parents
  • Accidentally getting into photography
  • What did her daily life look like in the Ashram
  • The moment when it all came together for her and started to enjoy taking photos
  • Going back home and doing a 3-year science degree
  • Still unsure what she wanted to do
  • Getting her Master's at Imperial Science Media Production
  • Working in a restaurant
  • How did she get her first job in The Great British Bake Off
  • Starting out as a runner and what she does
  • Taking every opportunity that is given to her
  • How does she cope with the stress
  • Her trips to other countries and what was it like for her
  • Her main job as a wildlife filmmaker
  • Working on a big series for National Geographic
  • Interesting place in Africa called Mauritania
  • Doing a shoot for three and a half weeks with a small crew
  • Why she's less tired than many others and her exhaustion-coping advice
  • Biggest challenges she's faced and had to deal with
  • Kalyani's trip to Iceland and why it was one of the best wildlife moments for her
  • Taking a trip to Finland for her birthday
  • Diving in the South African ocean with the hammerhead sharks
  • Climate change and figuring out shoot dates
  • The reality of nature
  • Where to find more information about Kalyani
  • Top tips and advice

 

Social Media

Website: www.kalyanilodhia.com

Instagram: @kalyanilodhia 

Twitter: @kalyanilodhia

 

Sep 12, 2023

Alice is passionate about solo female travel, adventure and eco-tourism. A 7x telly award winning host, filmmaker, writer, and photographer, Alice has travelled to some of the most remote and beautiful places in the world. 

Alice  has documented her solo adventures on her popular youtube channel “Alice Ford Adventures”. Alice creates videos on adventure travel, National Parks, hiking, outdoor exploration, sustainable living and wildlife.

 “I'm an adventure filmmaker, travel addict and a Stuntwoman, but most of all a traveler, explorer and lover of our earth.  I love to get outdoors and hike in the mountains, explore off the beaten path destinations and get up close with wildlife.”

Alice's first solo travel experience in her late 20s was a life-changing one. Travelling to Europe, she was inspired to see more of the world and to do more adventuring by herself. Despite concerns and fears, Alice managed to overcome them by being in contact with local people and having an agenda when she travels. Alice wants to encourage more women to get out and explore the world.

One of Alice's most memorable experiences was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and going on a safari in Tanzania. The challenges of hiking at high altitude were mitigated by the support and encouragement of other women.

Alice Ford is truly an inspiration for all those who love adventure, nature, and eco-tourism.

***

Don't miss out on new episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, which are released every Tuesday at 7am UK time. Hit the subscribe button to stay up-to-date and inspired by the incredible stories of female role models from around the world. 

If you believe in the importance of increasing female representation especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges in the media, please consider supporting our mission by visiting www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast. Thank you for your support!

***

Show notes

  • Who is Alice Ford
  • Being a solo female traveller who loves adventure
  • Being passionate about eco-tourism and exploring indigenous cultures 
  • Wanting to teach people about the world, nature, ecology and wildlife
  • Wanting to empower other women to get out and explore
  • Where her passion for adventure came from 
  • Growing up in the woods in New Hampshire, USA
  • Starting out as business major before changing her major to community development  
  • Transferring college and changing to sociology and public administration 
  • Getting a Masters in Environmental Management 
  • Being athletic at college and doing; track & field, spring board diving and gymnastics
  • Her first big solo travel experience in her late 20s
  • Travelling to Europe and how it changed her life 
  • Being inspired to see more of the world and wanting to do more adventuring by herself
  • Concerns and fears before travelling solo
  • Tips for managing fears and concerns 
  • Being in contact with local people 
  • Having an agenda when she travels
  • Spending time in Tanzania
  • Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and going on a safari
  • The challenges of hiking at high altitude
  • Being supported and encouraged by other women
  • Training for Kilimanjaro
  • Hiking with an altitude mask on 
  • Eco-tourism and climbing mountains
  • Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) a not-for-profit organisation, is an initiative of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) 
  • Hiring guides in other countries and wanting to support local communities 
  • How can people fly ethically?
  • The challenges of travelling in a green way in America
  • Buying carbon offsets 
  • Exploring the National Parks in America 
  • Working as a stuntwoman on movies and TV shows
  • Training in marital arts and learning how to do film fighting
  • Keep fit and healthy 
  • Women in the stunt and film industry and how it’s changed over the past decade
  • Solo female travel, eco tourism and indigenous communities 
  • Staying with a Sami Family (reindeer herders) in Norway 
  • Putting grass in boots to keep your feet warm
  • Future travel plans for 2023 - Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon, The Vancouver Island West Coast Trail, GR20 in Corsica, The Great Western walk in Australia and The Trans Bhutan Trail, plus hikes in New Zealand and South America
  • How to connect with Alice 
  • Final words of advice to encourage more women to go travelling 
  • Vision boards 

 

Social Media

Website: alicesadventuresonearth.com 

Instagram: @alicesadventuresonearth 

Twitter: @alicelford 

Youtube: @AliceFordAdventures  

 

Sep 10, 2023

Hey hey, it's Sarah Williams, your host from the Tough Girl Podcast, and today we're diving into something a bit different. 

In this special solo episode, I'll take you through my personal journey, looking back on the end of 2022 to the adventures and challenges of 2023, and my exciting plans ahead.

I'll share highlights like my journey to the Outer Hebrides, health changes, and unexpected twists like catching COVID while in Australia. Plus, insights into projects like Project 7, and "7 Women - 7 Challenges”.

Discover how I navigated an empty diary, contemplated future adventures, and decided on my next big challenge—the Camino de Santiago. You'll also hear about changes in the vlogging format and deciding between hiking and fastpacking the PCT. 

Plus, insights into how I choose my adventures, my favourite one so far, and the vision board guiding my future goals.

Join me on this adventure and get inspired to set your own goals and chase your dreams. 

Thanks for being part of the Tough Girl Podcast community, and don't hesitate to share your thoughts, questions, and comments!

***

🎙️ Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

💪 By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!

***

Show notes

 

Social Media

Website: www.toughgirlchallenges.com

Instagram: @toughgirlchallenges

Twitter: @_TOUGH_GIRL

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ToughGirlChallenges

YouTube: @toughgirlchallenges

 

Take a listen to the previous solo reflections episodes 

4th Aug 2022 - Sarah Williams - Reflects on the end of 2021 and the start of 2022.

4th Aug 2021 - Sarah Williams - Reflects on the end of 2020 and the start of 2021

7th Aug 2020 - Sarah Williams - Reflections on 2019 & and the start of 2020. 

4th Aug 2019 - Reflections on 2018 and the start of 2019. Plus plans for Tough Girl Challenges. 

30th Dec 2017 - Reflecting on 2017 and the plans for 2018 

30th Dec 2016 - Reflections for 2016 & Plans for 2017  

 

Sep 5, 2023

Meet Anna Stishova, an adventurous paddler hailing from Russia, whose paddling journey began in the UK in 2011. With a strong initial focus on white water kayaking, Anna's path took an unexpected turn towards flat water marathon racing due to various challenges she encountered along the way. As a dedicated paddler, Anna not only pursued her own goals but also became a staunch advocate for inclusivity in the sport. Let's delve into Anna's inspiring story of determination and community impact.

Overcoming Obstacles and Chasing Dreams:

In 2015, Anna faced a significant setback when an elbow injury from a bike accident forced her to put her athletic pursuits on hold for six months. However, Anna's indomitable spirit remained unwavering. In 2016, she earned her Coaching Paddlesports qualification and generously volunteered at the Leaside Trust in London, sharing her knowledge and passion for the sport.

Anna's ultimate aspiration was to complete the formidable Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, a challenging 125-mile-long journey often referred to as the "Kayaker's Everest." Undeterred, she participated in this demanding race twice, first in 2017 and then in 2018, paddling in a K1 kayak. Although her first attempt resulted in disqualification on Day 3 due to a minor time delay, her second endeavour faced unexpected adversities as adverse weather and treacherous water conditions forced the entire race to halt on Day 2.

During her time at Leaside, Anna crossed paths with Sirin Arif Gisel, a young Turkish girl who had relocated to the UK from Romania. Recognising Sirin's potential, Anna invited her to be her Junior-Veteran kayak crew for the 2019 DW race. Their collaboration paid off handsomely as they successfully completed the race, becoming the first female Muslim K2 crew to conquer the DW challenge. With Anna's achievement, she became the first hijabi Muslim woman, to finish the race.

Life's Transformations and Continued Resilience:

In 2019, Anna tied the knot shortly before the DW race and subsequently moved to Bolton. The following year, she experienced the joys of motherhood, along with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 lockdowns. Anna herself contracted the virus in April 2020 and continues to deal with its lingering effects. 

Furthermore, the combination of a demanding pregnancy, labor, and the pandemic led to a decline in her fitness levels. However, Anna discovered solace and rejuvenation by joining the Bolton Canoe Club toward the end of that challenging year. Her passion for paddling even inspired her stepchildren to explore the sport.

Advocacy and Recognition:

Anna's dedication and remarkable achievements within the paddling community did not go unnoticed. In 2021, she was honoured to become a #ShePaddles Ambassador for British Canoeing, serving as a role model and advocate for female participation in the sport. She also joined the Inclusion Advisory Group for British Canoeing, actively contributing to the development of the organisation's Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategy for the years 2022 to 2026.

Looking ahead, Anna continues to be a shining example of perseverance, determination, and the power of inclusivity in the world of paddlesports. Her journey serves as an inspiration to all those who dare to chase their dreams, overcome obstacles, and make a lasting impact on their communities.

***

Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast! Tune in every Tuesday at 7am UK time. Hit the subscribe button to stay updated and ensure you never miss a show.

If you believe in the mission to increase the amount of female role models in the media, especially in relation to adventure and physical challenges. You can show your support by visiting www.patreon.com/toughgirlpodcast

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

 

Show notes

  • Who is Anna
  • Moving to the UK in 2003 at 20 years old
  • Her love for paddlesports
  • Her childhood and growing up in Russia 
  • Getting introduced to the outdoors
  • Festivals and kayaking in Siberia
  • Wanting to start over in the UK
  • Her first big rafting trip at 18
  • Not knowing where to paddle in the UK
  • Converting to Islam & getting married 
  • Losing herself and going through a hard time
  • Visiting her parents in 2011 and going on a 21 day kayaking trip with friends in Siberia 
  • Wolves & bears!
  • Getting back into paddling again once back in the UK
  • Finding a local canoe club
  • How things have changed over the past 10 years
  • Hiring a coach 
  • Struggling with barriers in white water rafting and needing to make a pivot
  • Getting into flat water marathon racing
  • Being better suited to endurance 
  • Kayaking marathons
  • Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race 
  • Persevering with the race and going back 3x
  • Deciding to enter as a Junior (aged between 15-19 years old) & Veteran Team 
  • Finding her team mate, Sirin Arif Gisel
  • Dealing with the death of a competitor during the end of the race
  • The lessons and learning from completing the race
  • The support from the flatwater community 
  • The mental challenges while being out on the river
  • Being a role model
  • Feeling judged by the non paddling muslin community
  • Using water sports as a way to have time to herself 
  • Motherhood and continuing with paddlesports
  • Not being able to get out and paddle during the lockdowns
  • Getting back into paddlesport 
  • Dealing with a back injury and not being able to get back into a kayak
  • Taking up Stand Up Paddle boarding 
  • Being a She Paddles Ambassador (2021-2022) 
  • Being a member of the Inclusion Advisory Group for British Canoeing 
  • How to connect with Anna on Instagram & Facebook
  • Follow #ShePaddles hashtag on Instagram
  • Advice for women who want to try new things 

 

Social Media

Instagram: @KayakingHijabi 

Facebook: @KayakingHijabi 

 

 

Sep 3, 2023

Em will be coming along to this year's festival with Molly, her super cute Mongolian street dog, Grettle, her awesome, intrepid scooter AND Arty Bakes, her seriously tasty looking catering business!

If you've not come across Em before then you're in for a treat - quite literally...Em's a baker by day, an artist by nature and an avid traveller at every other opportunity! 

Having bought her first and only bike in 2013; a mint green 125cc vespa, otherwise known as Grettle, she has driven around Europe three times and tackled the Indian Himalayas on several occasions! 

But even better than that, she has ridden her Vespa from the UK to Mongolia and back again, carrying with her a street dog named Molly, who she rescued in the far East of Mongolia and brought home as her pillion passenger! The journey took her two and a half years and she crossed 32 countries racking up 30,000 km en-route!

***This episode was recorded live at the Armchair Adventure Festival 27th - 30th July 2023. Buy tickets now for #AAF24 - THE UK'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FESTIVAL. Mt Edgcumbe, Cornwall, 25-28th July 2024. Use TG10 to get a 10% discount on tickets.  www.armchairadventurefestival.com. ***

 

Show Notes

  • Who is Emma
  • What Emma does
  • Starting on a journey at 24 from the UK to Mongolia
  • Finding and adopting Molly
  • Being an artist
  • The dream of an overland trip
  • Setting off as a learner with no tools and very little money
  • Doing a TEFL course and teaching English to earn money
  • Traveling the Silk Road
  • Being warned by everyone she knows not to trust anyone
  • Meeting amazing people despite the language barrier
  • Molly the dog and the route she took to get to Mongolia
  • Coming to a point where she doesn't know what to do with herself
  • Starting to bake cookies for fun
  • Advice for people who are going through a wobble
  • Why did she stop doing what she loved
  • Future journeys Emma would like to go on
  • What was it like going to Afghanistan as a single woman
  • How did she build up her knowledge of mechanics
  • Having a bad crash in Istanbul
  • The aftermath of the accident
  • Her bike Gretel and the story behind the name
  • Getting back on the bike
  • What sort of food does Emma eat
  • How does she keep her blog updated throughout her journey
  • Where would she go back to and why
  • Dealing with extreme cold
  • Final words of advice

 

Social Media 

Website www.emmatrenchard.com 

 

Sep 2, 2023

Guliafshan Tariq is a trailblazer who has made history in the world of biking and adventure travel. Born and raised in Pakistan, Guliafshan has always been fascinated by the world beyond her doorstep. Despite facing numerous obstacles and challenges, she has pursued her passion for exploration with unwavering determination and courage.

Guliafshan became the first Pakistani female biker girl to break gender stereotypes and venture into areas that were previously considered off-limits due to Taliban activity. With almost no support from her family or community, she taught herself how to ride a motorcycle and set out on a journey to discover her country. Despite facing many hurdles along the way, including dangerous river crossings and treacherous mountain paths, her passion for travel kept her focused and alive.

In addition to exploring Pakistan, Guliafshan has also recorded her journey in the form of videos, which she shares with the world. Her efforts have earned her three consecutive national records, including cycling to Khunjerab, the highest border in the world, from Islamabad in 2015, a 20-day motorbike ride through the whole KPK Province in 2016, and a solo paragliding jump at a height of 7800 ft in Chitral in 2016.

Guliafshan's achievements have not gone unnoticed, and she has been recognized by both the Pakistani government and the international community. In 2017, she received a gold medal from the Government of Pakistan and the Nazariya Pakistan Council for her lifetime achievements from AQ Khan. She has also hosted a travel show on BBC and appeared as a motivational speaker on TedX.

By profession, Guliafshan is a computer engineer, but her passion for adventure travel and biking has taken her far beyond her chosen field. Her ultimate goal is to become the first Muslim Pakistani woman to cover the world on her motorbike. Through her daring exploits and unwavering determination, Guliafshan has broken down barriers and inspired countless people around the world to pursue their dreams, no matter how challenging they may seem.

***This episode was recorded live at the Armchair Adventure Festival 27th - 30th July 2023. Buy tickets now for #AAF24 - THE UK'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FESTIVAL. Mt Edgcumbe, Cornwall, 25-28th July 2024. Use TG10 to get a 10% discount on tickets.  www.armchairadventurefestival.com. ***

 

Show notes

  • Who is Gul
  • Sharing her early childhood years
  • What it was like growing up in Pakistan as a female
  • Being told just to stay inside their house
  • Getting more education than the rest of Pakistani girls
  • How she was encouraged to pursue a career in computer engineering
  • Failing her medical exam intentionally to get into computer engineering
  • Losing his father in 2011
  • Her dream to spend one whole night outside the house with her friends
  • Earning and saving money to leave home for her first trip
  • Going on her first cycling adventure with one other friend
  • How her family reacted to her adventure
  • Her mum trying to stop her
  • Becoming an inspiration to a lot of women from Pakistan who wants to follow her path
  • Progressing from bike to motorbike
  • Doing her first longest trip on a motorbike
  • What was the journey like
  • Meeting her future husband, a filmmaker
  • Resigning from her job and focusing on a business with her husband
  • Road to equality with McDonald's
  • Meeting women on the road and one that touched her
  • Visiting one of the most dangerous places in Pakistan - Balochistan
  • The challenge of getting a good bike in Pakistan, and how she dealt with it
  • Learning how to repair her bike and how to fix it
  • Being invited to a motorbiking show in London and meeting a lot of women
  • Moving to the UK in 2021 and being pregnant with her first baby
  • Stopping riding her bike because of her health issues
  • How her husband pushed her to come out of her home and ride her bike
  • Her dream to explore India and other parts of Europe and America
  • Advice for women to learn how to ride a bike
  • Final words of wisdom

 

Social Media

Instagram @guliafshan_tariq 

Facebook @guliafshantariq 

 
Sep 1, 2023

Born and raised in England. Vanessa grew up in the great outdoors, getting muddy with escapism always being through sports. Whether that’s kite surfing, snowboarding or mountain biking, it’s always been about getting physical. 

However, life took a turn in 2014 when Vanessa was hit by a red-light-jumping car while cycling. Since that day she’s made it her goal to make the most out of life.

With a 6.5 year recovery seeing 7 surgeries and two reconstructed body parts, it’s been a roller coaster for Vanessa, but through this she discovered motorcycles. Starting with cruising but rapidly ramping up to trials, adv and now even full hard enduro as her body healed. Bikes have swiftly become Vanessa favourite form of adventure; the open road, the power, the ability to simply disappear into the unknown and travel the world.

Vanessa is known for sharing her journey with the world, but not just the happy days you expect on social media. She’s real and honest, showing the rough and the tough days too

Vanessa’s love for two wheels has seen her riding all over the world in recent years, including Bolivia, Ukraine, Sardinia, Iceland and many more.

*** This episode was recorded live at the Armchair Adventure Festival 27th - 30th July 2023. Buy tickets now for #AAF24 - THE UK'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FESTIVAL. Mt Edgcumbe, Cornwall, 25-28th July 2024, Use TG10 to get a 10% discount on tickets. www.armchairadventurefestival.com. ***

 

Show notes

  • Who is Vanessa?
  • Vanessa’s early sports memories
  • Growing up in a very active childhood
  • Living on a remote island in Bahamas in her early 20s
  • Working as a marketing and PR for marine biology research
  • Going out doing shark research
  • Getting her first motorbike
  • Getting hit by a car while cycling
  • 7-year recovery from the accident
  • Being diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders
  • Having a hard time dealing with mental health recovery
  • What Vanessa has learned from being in recovery and how it has given her a new perspective in life
  • Starting to post pictures of herself from before the accident
  • Wanting to be something real on social media
  • Quitting her full-time job
  • Why sharing her story helps her overcome the pain
  • Talking about Tunisia desert challenge
  • Getting stranded in dunes
  • Mindfulness and how it helped her manage her pain
  • Having the biggest panic attack of her life
  • Being in 46-degree heat with no shade for the day
  • The helicopter that saved her life
  • Advice for women who want to get into the sport
  • Nutrition and fitness; Fitness vs. Skill
  • What is the hardest thing to go through
  • The next big race, the Africa Eco Race
  • Working with a charity, Tools for Life
  • Doing free workshops in any school in the UK
  • Vanessa's words of wisdom

 

Social Media

Website www.thegirlonabike.com

Instagram @thegirlonabike

Facebook @thegirlonabike

YouTube @TheGirlOnABike

TikTok @thegirlonabike

 

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