Women on the Edge - Adventure Travel Show panel
Hosted by Rebecca Stephens, the first British woman to climb Everest and 7 summits, the Women on the Edge panel included; Justine Gosling, who loves the Arctic and undertakes expeditions to engage people in history; Laura Bingham, who cycled 7000km across South America with no money; Natalia Cohen, a member of the first all female team to row the Pacific Ocean, and; Paula Reid, an adventurer who is working her way through her bucket list and advocates living life to the full.
The panel was part of the Adventure Travel Show, a weekend dedicated to travel experiences off the beaten track. The adventurers answered questions about recent expeditions, and shared their advice for others who are thinking about adventurous travel:
Where do you get your sense of purpose on a long expedition?
Laura Bingham - We've found that a common denominator among all of us is human related - connecting with people through adventure.
Justine Gosling - I love to learn, and for me the best way to do that is to go to the places, meet the people, and immerse myself in their culture and surroundings.
Natalia Cohen - As well as connection to the team and the people you meet along the way, there's also the connection to the environment. Nature provides this wonderful ability to allow you to be in the moment. Also, that inner connection - understanding what's going on in your mind and how you're dealing with certain aspects of life.
Paula Reid - I believe in living life to the full, really stretching yourself and digging deep, finding out what you're made of. We are so much more amazing and resilient than we realise. I love that.
How do you manage to have a career (or pay the bills) and travel?
Natalia Cohen - I was always involved in the travel industry, I chose to work short term contracts of 9-12 months so could fit work around adventure and travel.
Laura Bingham - It was a four year progression in the pursuit of happiness. I tried different types of work, but nothing fit. I realised that travelling is my passion, and eventually made travel my job.
Justine Gosling - I worked in the NHS for 8 years, a normal 9-5 job. I worked with my employer to make adventure possible and took a career break to travel. I know that this adventuring isn't forever, I want to have something to go back to.
What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of planning an adventure?
Paula Reid - Be proactive. Take a leap and jump in. I love the journey of an adventure, the trials and tribulations make you stronger.
Laura Bingham - If you've got a dream and there's an adventure that you want to do, don't wait to be ready. Give yourself a deadline and go. Travelling keeps me humble, it reminds me how lucky I am for every blessing.
Justine Gosling - Have a bit of room for spontaneity, keep the adventure organic. Allow for the unplanned things because they're often the best things too.
Rebecca Stephens - If it's in you, you'll find a way of doing it, and a way that works for you.
All of the women agreed that they have never regretted making the decision to go!
The Adventure Travel Show is an annual event featuring inspirational talks, specialist travel companies, and seminars on adventure planning, travel photography, and adventure filming.