Anna Blackwell is an adventurer, writer, photographer and speaker with a love of the outdoors and pushing her limits. On this weeks episode, we chat about how adventure builds character and why getting outside and out of your comfort zone is important. This has led Anna to pursue numerous adventures, including trekking 1,000km across Northern Scandinavia by herself, kayaking across Europe, spending five weeks trekking across the wilderness of Arctic Sweden alone, walking 1,000 miles solo across France and Spain, and even hitch-hiking to Morocco.


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Transcript of our Conversation

Interview with Anna Blackwell

Interview with Anna Blackwell: [00:00:00] I knew that I wouldn’t make it back to the village. So I faced a really tricky decision, but ended up having to activate the SOS on my Garmin, on my sort of GPS device. And, yeah, got rescued by a helicopter, quite dramatic. And I really dont like being the one that causes a scene and makes a fuss.

I think that probably the best thing to do is introduce yourself and tell us who you are and where you’re from. Yeah, sure. So my name is Anna Blackwell. I am an adventurer writer, speaker, photographer, and I also, just finished studying a master’s in environment in human health. [00:01:00] managed to work my, passion for adventure into that as well in my thesis, which is more about how adventure shapes, resilience, which is really interesting.

We were speaking the other day about resilience. And I was saying that in terms of doing these trips, which you know, where you have to endure. Some horrendous, horrendous situations, you know, and people listening would be like, why would you put yourself through it? I think it builds character and it builds resilience to actually, when something does happen, that is completely out of your control.

You adapt far better than otherwise if you were not prepared for it. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s, it’s not any of the adapting, but it’s actually how you deal with challenged or the aftermath of challenge as well. so it’s not just about being able to kind of successfully deal with that challenges about being able to grow through it as well as in sort of gain positives from [00:02:00] it, whether that kind of more confidence or skills to deal with other challenges in the future.

Yeah, resilience is key and adventure is a brilliant way to build your resilience. Yeah, no. and so how did, how did you get into the sort of adventures? How did it all start? So I think really, I, I guess I trace it back to my gap year, so I was about 18, I think. and I ended up going out to central America with a gap year company.

And part of what I was doing, that was a couple of weeks of trekking in Costa Rica. And at this point, I’d never done any sort of really physical things. Cause I’d done bronze. Duke of Edinburgh award at school? And I had hated it. It got us the end of it. It says I was never trekking and camping ever again.

And yet I then found myself trekking camping for three weeks in mountains and jungles and along beaches. and I got to the end of that trip and I so distinctly remember everyone else [00:03:00] in the group sort of crying tears relief that this horrendous ordeal was over that they didn’t have to put their boots and their ruck sack on the next day.

And I just have to take myself away. It’s the corner and crying. I was so heartbreaking that this adventure was over. So I sort of realized then that I. I quite enjoy doing things that push my boundaries a little bit, where I was kind of uncomfortable and things sort of snowballed from there. So I then went off and started university and in my Easter and summer holidays, I ended up going off on a number of trips from hitchhiking to Morocco, with some uni mates, walking the community to Santiago 500 mile, 800 km, to pilgrimage really across the state.

and the more things I did, the more I loved it and enjoyed it and felt like there was something, something that I wanted to really pursue and just spend more and more time doing. So, is that how you came up with the idea for the kayak across the, across the continent? [00:04:00] So kayaking the continent. I can’t actually take any claim and the responsibility for the idea behind that.

And it’s quite a funny story. I, so this was after I finished university is 2017. I was working at a law firm. And I remember it as a slightly miserable or tunnel October evening. And I was on a website called explorers connect, which is a sort of expedition Teammate finding platform, basically. and I was, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but this ad that cropped up and there was a girl who was looking for someone to kayak across Europe with her.

And there were just a couple of things about the sort of advert that that’s she posted that has really captured my attention and it sounded like such a cool trip. So without thinking about it, and so what, I just sent her an email, it was like, Hey, you can’t find anyone I’m really interested in doing. And I heard back from her the following evening, she had posted that [00:05:00] advert three months before.

And during that time she’d had over 80 women from around the world replying to it. Cause she was after female in particular. and she had narrowed it down to two women who she was going to confirm which one it was the following day. She was like, send me your info send me a bit about yourself, your experience and all that.

And I’ll consider you. So you’re applying to that, the sorts of things that I’ve been up to eat. And that was at the time I was based in Oxford and that sort of thing. and it then transferred them and actually gone to the same school five years below me at secondary school in Oxford and she still lived a couple of miles away from me.

whereas the two other women, she considering her in like Scotland and Australia or something crazy like that. so we had a chat on the phone and just hit it off just like that. Neither of us looks back on that phone call it was like we were pretty committed to kayaking across Europe together. And we did that.

How long did that take? It was five months of actual kayaking.

[00:06:00] And do had you kayaked much before that? I mean, I kayaks on holidays and for fun and sort of recreation thing, never taking a particularly seriously. I think the longest I had been in a kayak was probably couple of hours and they’d like a half day me around the coast in Cornwall things like that. And kind of once we decided to actually do this trip.

And what was the, sort of, I mean, you said you guys hit it off from the start where there were a few sort of, moments along the way or. Is why you sort of capsize or she pushed you out of the Kayak or anything like that. They’ve tempted to try and push each other out at times. and so many people had warned us going into the, so we were in a tandem kayak, a double kayak and people.

I refer to it as the divorce maker, the relationship breaker. As I say, if you go, if you try this trip you wont be speaking by the end of it, you’re going to hate each other. but that just wasn’t the case for us. Like [00:07:00] we, it brought us so much closer together and we were sharing a tent for about two months as well.

so we were sharing a tent, quite a small tent, Sharing a kayak. We were completely inseparable, but we just. We could pick up on everything about each other. So like, we could get a sense if I was feeling a bit grouchy or as hungry or particularly tired, or just a bit annoyed with the world, Kate kind of knew just to let me have my quiet time or she’d like your snack bar.

and it was the same that you just, yeah, we, we learned to be very, very good together. and kind of each other are sisters now. And it’s quite a lot of together on that trip and it bought us safely and doing that sort of trip because you’re following the sort of coast line, what were the sort of highlights of it?

So we, Oh my gosh. So many highlights. having two capital cities to start with, to, we started in London. And had a couple of days, paddling down [00:08:00] thames around the Kent coast and across the channel to France. So that first stretch was coastal and it was quite cool, quite scary at times, sort of paddling around the cliff and low cloud poor visibility.

that was, another learning curve for us. but getting to see London and Budapest places like that from the river. It was really, really incredible. that’s not the perspective that most people get to see. but I actually think probably the best bits of it with the people that we met along the way.

in every single country that we went through the locals, that we met were so kind and so welcoming. And we were shown such generosity, a lot of confusion as well. People were always incredibly baffled by these two girls and a massive kayak and just sort of rocking up and say, they’d come from London, right?

Generally. Yeah, isn’t that weird, [00:09:00] confusing. But once people realize you’re serious, they just wanted to do it to help us. That was incredibly special. And then after that you came back, I mean, how old were you when you did that trip? I was, Ooh, that’s a good question. It’s 2018.

Okay. So you’d finished uni and you were, you were in law and then you decided, right. I want to go out. And then from that, did that sort of snowball your ambition to sort of do this more and more and try and find a way of making it work? Yeah, I think that ambition had already been there even when I was still at university, I kind of deep down, knew that I wanted to try and meet the career to adventure.

But at that point, I didn’t know anyone [00:10:00] in the adventure industry. I didn’t know anyone who did this sort of thing. And everyone around me was saying is that is completely unrealistic. It’s not a viable career option. so after graduating, I worked 18 months. which was,

is it a law firm for 18 months? And during that time, and often did do some other trips, between graduating and starting at the law firm. Spent five weeks trekking across, past Arctic Sweden by myself, which was absolutely fantastic. and did things like traveled to Morocco and went to Arctic Norway.

but really I knew that I wasn’t in an office job, an office nine to five long term, that was just a stint to get it out to my parents systems. [00:11:00] I think there’s a lot of that. You know, I think it’s very sort of similar case. you know, I think I was in 2017. I, I sort of knew I, I wanted to do this. but of course it’s quite difficult to figure it out in terms of when people are, Oh, well, how are you going to get you’ll monthly income?

How are you going to pay rent? How are you going to do that? You sort of, haven’t got a clue, but you sort of know deep down that. That’s the sort of path and you just sort of go with it and work it out later. Yeah. How you sort of felt. Yeah, I knew the kayaking trip definitely propelled me into that career.

More. I’d been, I’d gone part part-time at the law firm. So I was doing. It’s a lot of time off its job and part-time was already starting to do a little bit of public speaking and writing. so I’d started to figure out [00:12:00] where these. Potential forms of income were coming from, and it’s sort of done a little bit of work with brands and got a few sponsors, a few trips sponsors and sort of gear, things like that.

So I knew that there were these opportunities. I would say it was a aware that is going to be a real hard slog to create enough opportunities to sustain myself each month, but yeah, the kayaking trip coming back from that, I didn’t have to work too hard for these opportunities for a year and a half, I think, because the trip, you might hope high-profile

and, it was a world first and it was very long and exciting trip. it’s not sort of naturally lent itself to a lot of public speaking and writing. but she has enabled me to sort of.

And then you quit the law firm. I did. Yeah. I quit that before I went off kayaking. my boss very [00:13:00] kindly offered to hold the job until I came back and we still on fantastic times. But I would be surprised if I ever ended up in a nine to five in an office again.

So after that you had a sort of year and a half doing public speaking, sort of talking about it, that sort of drive the next project that you did. It certainly gave me the heads, basically thinking about what I wanted to do next. One of the things the kayaking trip was absolutely fantastic. And I sort of mentioned that the people that we got to meet along the way and that hospitality that we received a part of me was still really craving this kind of remoteness of the trek that I had done previously in Arctic Sweden.

and so as I was starting to think about what I wanted to do next, decided that I wanted to go [00:14:00] somewhere away from people. dispite been quite a socialable person. I do love being by myself and I really, really enjoy solo expeditions . Absolutely no offense to keep my hiking partner, fantastic kayaking partner, ideals.

They really solo that. so I, yeah, and sort of starting to think about what I wanted to do and decided that a three month solo trek across Arctic Northern Scandinavia was the next one for me. And that was the three month. Yeah. So I started in, it’s called the Trimix or is it it’s where Finland, Sweden and Norway meets.

And I sort of followed the mountains on the Swedish Norwegian border. so I was kind of hopping between countries, but it was mainly, mainly in Sweden. All right, great. And was that winter or summer? I mean, [00:15:00] did you get the chance to see the Northern light? That one was summer. So I didn’t see the Northern lights on that trip, but I did have the midnight sun, which is quite confusing when you’re in a tent trying to sleep and it’s like daylight.

Wow. That’s unreal. And, and so you sort of, because I sort of saw, you’ve been doing sort of mini adventures as well. These sort of micro adventures where you go away for the weekend. I’m doing that. Is that quite, do you sort of plan to do these each weekend or you sort of once a month, you plan a trip and you go for it.

It’s not even as sort of preplanned is that I tend to be better sense that I’ve been. In one place for too long, or I haven’t had my adventure fix and I sort of crave a night under top or just under the stars, in fact, or a change of scene for the [00:16:00] last say for a year I’d been living in Cornwall, which is fantastic.

but it’s the longest I have. Stayed put stayed at home, in years and years and years, which is interesting, I’ve loved it, but I have felt. I need so get my adventure fix. So things like going for a night and Vivian by the coast, mean even just a couple of days away being a fantastic way to get that little taste of adventure and change scenes of yeah, definitely.

Yeah. well I mentioned that’s what locked down really does for you. It makes you stay put for a very long time. Yeah. Eight months, not leaving the County who has,

this is probably the longest I’ve stayed for. Yeah. how have you found it? Okay. Cause I, I I’d sort of done three years and I was, I was [00:17:00] ready to be sort of placed for a bit, but as I say, now, I’m sort of. Scratching at the surface, like a sort of cat trying to get out of the house. Just sort of scratching slowly thinking about the next one.


And then I managed the floor. I can lock down quite lucky with the timing in Sweden. How did that all go for you? Well, it, swings and roundabouts. The, I was meant to be doing a seven, eight day Trek, and the first six days, like absolutely fantastic. Honestly, I, I would say that sort of the six best daysbof adventure I have ever had with everything I had dreamt, it would be more, I honestly couldn’t believe it.

I think I really needed it as well. Having not. Had a proper adventure fix since [00:18:00] January, by the time October came, I needed something. So I really, really appreciate it. but yeah, day six things changed. Oh bit. And I had so much snow for a couple of days, that I went from tracking and sort of ankle deep snow that was fine to track and I can make easy progress to that then being up to my knees and sometimes after my waist, Provide 90% of the time, which is absolutely exhausting.

and the issue that I then faced was I had about 36 kilometers left. and that was meant to take me two days and I had enough food for that. No problem, but because of the amount of snow, my progress was just so drastically. Slowed those days, half the distance I wanted to, and it was exhausting and brutally cold.

Minus 15 to minus 18 windchill. and I knew that I wouldn’t make it back to the village before I ran out of [00:19:00] food. So I faced a really tricky decision, but ended up having to activate the SOS on my Garmin, on my sort of GPS device. And, yeah, I got rescued by a helicopter, quite dramatic, and I really dont like being the one that causes a scene and makes a fuss, but needs must.

There was no way that I would’ve got back without it. And I got helicopter ride. And I got to see the Northern lights at night. So yeah, there were some bonuses to it. A helicopter ride out is not the worst thing in the world, but I’m sure, you know, probably in quite a dramatic situation for you to sort of pull the trigger and have to be rescued.

Yeah. It was really interesting trying to make the decision because I was no. no actual urgency to it. There was no immediate danger. I had enough food for another couple of days. I had plenty [00:20:00] of warm clothes. I had like really good tents. I had all the gear with me that I needed. If I needed to, I, whenever I had imagined activating that SOS and feeling out of an adventure, I could always imagine it would be a really intense moment of where everything’s going wrong, or like someone’s injured themselves, like a break my leg, but it was actually.

Other than the fact that it was kind of Gale force blizzard around me really, really cold, everything else was under control. so it was really hard to reconcile that situation with the fact that actually I did need rescue. so it was, it was really hard to make that decision and a big part of me for a while.

I felt like I was really over reacting. in hindsight and having spoken to this huge mountain rescue team, I knew that I wasn’t over reacting at all and I need made. Right. Call. but it was really hard to try and sort of see the situation, the, what it was. [00:21:00] yeah, it was it’s tricky and it was also hard facing that completely by myself.

Like I couldnt phone anyone for advice, I can get someone to tell me I was doing the right thing or provide other options. With anyone until I activated the SOS. and that was, that was for me the hardest it was an incredibly, yeah isolating, not fun. Are these, sort of rescues sort of commonplace with your adventures?

Or is this a one off? This is very much a one off or I never had time activate the SOS. How to get the emergency services involved. Once before on the trek that I was doing last year and actually more dramatic. I, it’s a kind of funny story. I had been stung by Hornets on my finger, just beneath my knuckle.

and I had such a severe reaction that my finger pretty much [00:22:00] doubled in size. which would kind of be okay, but I had a ring on my finger, my rings off the track I was doing, and my ring actors cut circulation off my finger, which then tangibly and had, I’ve seen the blood flowing through it. A Swedish chap that I was with trying to cut the ring off my finger with the little scissors on a pen knife.

And actually just finished to, gouge to my finger. So I then had a blue finger that I’ve ring that was not coming off at all and a blood pouring down my hand. and we realized that we needed to get the emergency services involved to get the ring off paramedics. he very proudly got the ring off and then took me to hospital. but I was very lucky that time round, the, his had, we waited a couple of hours.

I think it would have gone too long without circulation and the [00:23:00] paramedics. So they would have had to amputate now really needed that. But also for the eight days running up to that, I had been completely by myself. I’d been, I hadn’t had phone signal. I’d had my Garmin and my SOS. like being by myself in my tent and I would have had to call by myself, really quite fun to get a helicopter then as well, but grateful to have another person with me in calm.

He got very wrapped up, so trying to keep him calm. It was almost a bigger focus than what was going on with my finger.

So what the guy who was actually meant to be looking at helping you was actually the one sort of panicking and mental and you’re like calm down. It’s everything’s all right. And he got worse after he fell on my finger as well. Cause then he was so apologetic and he just didn’t know what to do at night.

You know, could [00:24:00] he’d actually hurt me then as well. It made the situation worse as I was having to read. David is fine. You’re trying to help your heart was in the right place. Maybe just missed off this one a little bit. Dont take kind of like this it’s just something again. Yeah, Penknife scissors. I mean, there is blunt, they’re usually pretty blunt.

So it was the sharpest thing.

Was this a proper Swiss army or are we talking made in China?

Not, like 127 hours.

Sure. And so when you’re out in the sort of situations and you know, times are pretty tough, what sort of motivates you to sort of keep going. Oh, that’s a good question. generally, so the toughest times, me actually, aren’t these kinds of moments where I’m finger or having to [00:25:00] consider the more challenging moments, when the weather has been crap for like three days in, row.

And it’s really foggy. And,

those are the moments where actually. I struggled the most, and it’s in those moments, I think the, the main thing that I do is soft as are my, myself that I have chosen to put myself in that situation. And I, yeah, I take this conscious decision to go and do something because I want to challenge myself.

I want to push myself and see how tough I really am. And it’s that those sorts of moments that are going to prove to me that I am tough. So I always get competitive with myself. Like, come on, you can do this. See what you find, what wet socks are four days, big deal, just crack on. so there’s that. And then. Trying to sort of distract myself from what’s going on around me as well.

I’ve got a ridiculously good [00:26:00] imagination I can daydream for days on end. And that honestly gets me through like really, really miserable sections of these adventures, these tracks. and I, yeah, I rely on that a lot because I don’t take, I don’t take, headphones say. Why some people would choose to listen to some music that’s going to just snap them out of that mood or go on a podcast, distract themselves.

I kind of don’t want that easy out. I want, I want it to be my own responsibility, like fully down to me to get through those moments and so far I have. It’s quite nice because by not taking headphones, you really immerse yourself within the environment that you have. You know, I think it’s very easy just to put the headphones on.

And although you’re sort of looking around, if you have them on and you’re listening to something, you didn’t hear what’s around you, you don’t hear the sort of [00:27:00] subtle things like, but songs or crickets or. Whatever it is, or the sound of the snow crunching on your feet.

Yeah, I kind of, I realized on one of my earlier trips, I was walking how’s the mask response has been by myself and big sections of that trip. I was kind of having to look really industrial areas. I was just Tarmac, and concrete all around and it was really monotonous. Testing in a very different way, not physically Testing, but mentally it was so challenging and I’m a pain.

and I watched for a couple of hours and then turned around and looked back and I had absolutely no recollection of what I can just spend a couple of hours walking past. Like I couldn’t have described it. I could gave out there now, and I wouldn’t need that. I haven’t been there. I kind of realized that.

I get so easily distracted. And I, I didn’t want that. I wanted [00:28:00] to experience every bit of high and the lows. So yeah, no more headphones me, they easy out kind of like driving on auto pilot. You sort of get in the car, you drive and then suddenly you arrive and you’re like, Oh, I can’t even remember. What’s just happened.

Do you think I’ll be getting in a car with you anytime soon? So, so you’ve done this I, and I sort of see from your Instagram, you’re quite into cold water swimming at the moment. Have you always been into that? I’ve only just got the last year or so. so I, I did it, it’s a bit growing up, so I’m part Swedish and every summer holiday I’d go to Sweden.

and we would always swim in the sea and the lakes that’s pretty cold water. so I think I kind of had a bit of an introduction to it growing up, no matter what the weather, no matter how cold the water, but then in my adult life, I [00:29:00] didn’t until I moved to Cornwall really. So just over a year ago, I started swimming.

and particularly since March, I have swum at least a couple of times a week for March, April, may I swam every single day in rain or shine. And there was a lot of rain quite awhile. and yeah, three, I think for me the biggest thing that I can. Read that cold water swimming is the community and my friends. I’m really lucky that down here, I’ve got a group, there are six of us women and become friends through dunking ourselves in uncomfortably, cold bodies of water.

and that’s just other, such sort of comradery through, doing that in the high that you have afterwards, you can chat with friends. It’s yeah, that’s really powerful. It’s the temperature of the sea at the moment. Oh, do you know your, I haven’t actually measured the sea recently, me, but we were swimming in a quarry, [00:30:00] a couple of weeks ago and that was 10 and a half or 11 degrees.

So it’s cold, but it’s not too. No, I, I went, I was up in Hampstead, Heath, cause I’m up in London at the moment. And that was 12, which I’d say is pretty, pretty cold. Yeah. That’s, that’s pretty nippy. How long do you stay in for

five minutes? Yeah, sounds about right. We sort of actually started in the summer, down in Devon. We were, we used to go every morning before breakfast to go for a sort of swim and down that actually was it the summer of September. Anyway, the sea was freezing. I mean, you would’ve thought it might’ve warmed up over the summer period, but it was so cold and gradually day after day, you [00:31:00] slightly get used to it.

I’m still, I’m slowly trying to mold myself into cold showers. But as I say, the difference between cold and warm showers is it’s quite a drastic difference. Yeah. Some of my friends really swear by their cold showers. It’s not like outdoor showers as well as an issue. So it’s up to the Hose is really cool and they love that.

But I cannot go on from, with, with that. I’m fine. Getting the sea like, yes, the first kind of minute or the first 30 seconds when you’re walking in can be pretty brutal. So, but once you’re in it, it’s fine, but I just. Yeah, I think it takes a bit of practice and learning slowly. You sort of have to just turn it from the sort of form to the mid range and then, or you just go right.

Suck it up. Maybe actually give it a try. Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely worth a try. And so what’s your plan for the next year? Or say with these adventures or you’ve got something in the [00:32:00] pipeline. well, I actually dont for the first time in quite a while. because very excited me, I’m getting a dog. and this is like the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my whole entire life.

I’ve been waiting probably 8 years to have my own dog. and I finally decided now is the time, but obviously that means I can’t really go away for any long periods of time. Because it’s just my dog. I live by myself, say next year is going to be all about micro adventures with puppy entails. I do have a little trip plans for January or February going back up to the arctic this time with skis.

So I don’t get caught out by all the snow. and so that’ll be about 10 days, I think is the plan. Predominantly in Finland. but other than that, yeah, my, my adventure calendar is looking [00:33:00] pretty bare. And in terms of your, cause you obviously spend a lot of time up in sort of Scandinavia and Sweden on.

So what would you, what sort of parts in the Arctic would you recommend our listeners? If they’re sort of thinking on going on these big hikes. So I would say my, my favorites place personally. Well, it makes it accessible places, obviously national park, just fascinating to be in the start or end point.

And there’s a fantastic mountain station. It’s very much set up for hiking or skiers in the winter. and from that, there is just a vast network of trails that you can probably do or a five day hike or track, or you can stay for months if you’re like me. but that’s an incredibly. To start off. you have a really good mix on there being the infrastructure and [00:34:00] having to eat can stay in during the summer and winter months, but you will see, do you get a sense of being in the middle of nowhere and you can avoid people with these cabins if you want to be as awkward as possible.

say honesty, I think is the one and it’s also. One of the best places in the world is definitely the best place in Europe to see the Northern lights. That is a part of the show where we ask the same five questions to every guest each week. and the first one is on your trips. What’s the one bizarre thing that you crave or miss from home.

This is going to sound, I’m dealing with this as bizarre or really boring. but the thing that I miss the most is fresh fruit and vegetables.

Okay. I mean, I mean, on the podcast, we’ve had chairs, Jaffa cakes, [00:35:00] coffee. And I always say fresh coffee with me, coffee, pot of coffee. I always,

yeah. I’d say yeah, sort of adding to the collection of bizarre things, which is great, but free and free pages. Not that bizarre. I wouldn’t say you see, it’s honestly the only thing that I really agree I’m I’m totally fine doing that in anything really. I’m pretty happy.

did you have a favorite adventure book? I put some thought into this and I think the one book I read a couple of times and Mark, and it inspires me every time it’s dare to do by Sarah Outon. It’s absolutely incredible. She spent four years cycling, kayaking around the world and it’s phenomenal. yes, I, I, I went to a talk, [00:36:00] where she was speaking, which was fascinating.

Yeah, but she’s got some funny harrowing tales of being rescued from the Ocean row. Cause a couple of them went drastically wrong retraumatizing machine minds and speaks about it in such a way, kind of makes an Ocean row. But when we say terrifies me, I’m just gonna makes me want to do it more. I, I, I suppose for me, ocean rowing, there’s something about it, which doesn’t appeal to me at all.

But at the same time, that appeals to me, it’s the same. So, because you didn’t want to do something, you should probably try it and see, rather than just sort of. Kind of to one side, it’s all these sort of adventures where I’m sort of like, now that doesn’t really appeal to me, but then at the same time, I’m [00:37:00] like, if someone said, you know, go and do this, do you want to, I in a blink of an eye, just go.

Yep, sure. Let’s do it. Let’s see what, see what happens. See how it goes. Yeah. I just have this image in my mind of being in a nation, very vague by myself in the middle of a nation and just a few, rather than seeing water in every direction. I want to experience that. So, another one is your, did you have an inspirational figure growing up?

Probably. And this is with hindsight, but I was growing up my inspirational figures, like. Steven Gerrard. I changed quite a lot Liverpool fan as well. It was once upon a time I used to play football his life. but kind of looking back when I think about it, I think actually my aunt, my mom’s sister, she was [00:38:00] really, really inspirational and influenced me a lot with that and kind of realizing it and she.

She worked the world health organization and lived all into the world. And whenever we got to see her so excited to hear about hearing about these countries that she lived in, and she’d always bring us something from that country stories. And it was always say captivating, and I think it kind of instilled the sense of wanting to experience things and experience the world.

yeah, so I’d say. Auntie Megan, she’s going to love that. Very nice. Do you have a sort of favorite quotes as well? I do have a favorite quote and it’s one that I actually, I use a lot in life. it is by some fonts, easy and start by doing what’s necessary then do what’s do what’s possible. And then you’re doing the impossible.

I just [00:39:00] feel like I’ve possibly paraphrased that a little bit, but it’s just the idea of when you’ve got a massive task or challenge ahead of you just work out what that first step is. You absolutely have to crack on with that. And then things sort of start to fall into place. And once you’ve done one thing, something else is impossible then.

Yeah. So I used that when we were starting the kayaking trip, when we needed funding.

We kind of looked at what the essential things that I used it for my dissertation as well, when I had to like 20,000 words to write and a research project to create new ideas. Yeah. So that is my go to quote. Oh, very nice. Yeah. We’ve had some good ones on the show so far and yeah, it’s always good to hear different ones.

It’s quite funny. Cause I actually, well, actually there’s so many that you could sort of read it off, but that hasn’t been [00:40:00] like a repeat of anyone that will be different, which is good. So there’s the one that I’m actually, you’ve got something on my fridge, that I like it’s quite relevant now, I guess.

failure is the condiments that gives success. It’s flavour. That is good. One of my favorites was Churchill’s. One about failure is not fatal. Success is not final. It’s always the courage to continue that counts. Ooh,

Which, I have to say I came across it when I was doing my, one of my runs and. one of my followers is sort of, I was sort of browsing through people who like commented on one of my. pictures. And it was like a sort of bio in her Instagram, and I was like screenshot and like, steal [00:41:00] that.

So it was really good. One, I say, people listening are always keen to travel and go on the sort of grand trips. What’s the one thing that you would recommend them to get started. This is going to sound abstract, but. it’s I wish someone had said to me work our water is that it stopped me from taking that first step.

So it may be that it’s fear of the unknown, or maybe that you didn’t know your focus skills or equipment say work out what it is that is being that barrier or preventing you from doing what you want. And instead about tackling that, where you even start thinking about like a big Trek or small treadmill, like the bigger picture, this person energy, and some thought into.

Nice, getting yourself ready to do it so that when the time does come to start the adventure you are ready and you’ve kind of already had that initial battle to get. [00:42:00] Yeah,

I think that makes sense. And so, people listening, how can they find you and follow your adventures in the future? The find out what is my Instagram, which is just Anna Blackwell. I always got websites and I’m on Twitter at underscore Annablackwell. And Facebook Anna Blackwell adventurer.

It’s been amazing listening to them. And, as I say, I look forward to seeing all the adventures that you have with Bilbo in the future, along with your cold water swims and see how the cold showers go. Yeah, I’m gonna give that a try. Now. That was kind of what I said. Oh yeah. This is not what you were saying.

Now that I’ve thought was able to do that. Like [00:43:00] now I have to do it. I try and do a 30 day challenge of like once every day, just get a group of people to force ourselves to do it and then hold each other accountable. So you’re like right 1st of December, that’s it? No, actually I do need, I need accountability and you got the people to make sticks.

Well, well, okay, well, we could try that and see how we do as long as can. Some days I have

a tough one.

I’ll be looking for rivers December the season, pretty cold temperature as well. That is true. I think it’s always, you have one cold shower, one cold shower a day. That’s it. You can have a cold for two minutes and be like, right. I’m done. I’m going to warm now, but I think that’s okay. We’ll try that.

We’ll try and get some more people involved. [00:44:00] Anyone listening? The December challenge, 30 days 31, Cold Shower every morning.

Well, thank you so much again. And, yeah, December challenge. It is amazing. Thank you.

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