Sarah Outen, Dare to Do - Book review

 Photo by Nigel Millard

Photo by Nigel Millard

Sarah Outen, Dare to Do: Taking on the planet by bike and boat

It’s hard to comprehend the enormity of a round the world trip - taking four and a half years and covering 25,000 miles, Dare to Do is Sarah Outen’s account of kayaking, cycling, and rowing around the world.

Each leg was a major expedition in its own right. Setting off to kayak from London to France, the trip involved; cycling across Europe, Russia, and China; rowing solo across the Pacific from Japan to Alaska; kayaking the Aleutian islands with paddle partner Justine Curvengen; cycling across Canada and the USA in winter; before rowing home across the Atlantic.

It sounds like a superhuman feat of physical and emotional endurance, but Sarah is very human. She is sometimes tired and sick, she endures a terrible storm and is rescued, but she remains determined to continue. Although it is hard work, there are moments of beauty - encounters with whales and turtles in the ocean, bears in the Aleutian islands, and starry skies in the stillness of the sea.

Sarah's writing captures the character of the people and places along the way. Although much of it is a solo endeavour, she is supported by friends and the many people she meets. It's incredible to read as they offer a bed for the night, travel to bring food, or meet for a chat and cycle a short way.

Sarah is generous in sharing the doubts, fears, and difficulties she encountered along with her success. It's touching to read about the team supporting her and making the journey possible - her family, friends, and fiance. When they can't be there physically, they are still a part of her 'invisible peloton,' and they make the logistics of such an extended expedition possible.

Dare to Do gives a deeper insight into what it really takes to be an 'Adventurer.' By pushing her boundaries so far, Sarah shows us what could be possible in our own lives. Whatever you want to dare to do, you can find inspiration from Sarah’s story.

Sarah Outen MBE is an adventurer, motivational speaker and author. Visit www.sarahouten.com, and follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahOuten