‘You can do more than you think, should dream of more than you do, and can discover more than you know…… In the end, we’re all just stories. So you may as well make it a good one. Live a good story’. Belinda Dixon
When we think about adventure often our first thoughts are those of extreme expeditions and far away destinations. Whilst these adventures are extraordinary and inspiring, it is often the mini / micro adventures closer to home that bring joy to our everyday lives and make us feel alive. Belinda Dixon is one lady who definitely appreciates both and has shared her experiences through her travel writing for Lonely Planet and Rough Guides; broadcasting for radio and inspiring us to #GetOutside with her adventure blog, to name but a few of her projects. Lucky for us, Belinda will be sharing her knowledge and skill of travel writing and journalism in a workshop at Women’s Adventure Expo’s ‘Create Your Own Adventure Brand’ event at the end of January. But we couldn’t wait that long to hear from this inspiring lady, so we thought we’d catch up with her and find out a bit more about how adventure features in her life………
Belinda, your career obviously sends you to many destinations and on plenty of adventures, but what has been the best adventure you’ve had in the last 18 months?
Being a Media Leader on the British Exploring Society’s five-week 2016 Himalaya expedition. On this we established a base camp in the remote Pensi-la region of Ladakh and headed out on adventure and science treks where we carried all our own kit. My role was to help the young people use media as a way of reflecting on their personal journeys, to capture a sense of that and to share it. It was extremely challenging in pretty much every way – and I loved it!
Wow, that must also have been very rewarding. So what expeditions do you have planned next?
In August 2017 I’ll be helping lead on another five-week expedition with British Exploring – this time to the Canadian Yukon. It’ll be similar in many ways except this time we’ll also be paddling canoes as well as trekking mountains. Hugely exciting.
That does sound exciting. What else do you think is really exciting in the world of adventure at the moment?
So many things, but they include a growing network of women adventurers, who are communicating with and empowering and inspiring each other. The difference this can make to self-esteem is enormous – I’ve seen and felt it on expedition. It’s heartening to feel that more and more women and girls can glimpse a sense of their potential.
We totally agree with you….the buzz and excitement that these fantastic women adventurers create amongst other women at our events has been amazing. So who inspires you and why?
So many people – I admire the aspirations of Exercise Ice Maiden (the #sisterswithsledges) as they aim to cross the Antarctic landmass. Homeward Bound’s journeys there were inspiring too. On British Exploring’s Himalaya expedition so many leaders and young people showed such grit and determination. And most recently I’ve been loving following Anna McNuff and Faye Shepherd on their Cycling the Andes trip – adventurousness and a corking sense of humour is a winner.
You’re right, those are all very inspiring women who are doing a great job of promoting women in adventure, and are clearly enjoying doing it. For you what does adventure bring which enriches your soul and makes you happy?
It’s to do with doing extraordinary things, in extraordinary places with extraordinary people – and maybe discovering that one of them might just be you ….
You obviously spend a lot of time doing extraordinary things, but what are you most proud of being able to do today that you could not do a year ago?
I’m (still!) learning to climb – and have been going more regularly and more consistently, which is really paying off. So each time I can do just a little bit more than before. Which is what it’s all about really.
Absolutely, you have to build on your knowledge and skills over time, even if it’s not always easy and mistakes are made. But we learn from our mistake and they have the ability to improve us. However, people are often scared to make mistakes, so what would you say to a person who is scared of this?
I guess the greatest failure is not to try – everything else is success.
If you could make a 30 second speech to every woman who is interested in adding more adventure into their life, what would it be?
You can do more than you think, should dream of more than you do, and can discover more than you know.
(I know, that’s not 30 seconds, but I’d say it slowly. Or possibly twice. Yes – twice 😉
Fantastic! Quality not quantity! So with that, when would you say the time is to stop calculating risk and reward, and start doing what you feel is right?
That would’ve been yesterday. But starting today is also good.
What do you think makes women feel more confident about planning their own adventure?
You should never, ever, underestimate the immense power of a positive role model.
And finally, what’s the one big lesson adventure has taught you, Belinda?
In the end, we’re all just stories. So you may as well make it a good one. Live a good story.
Belinda, thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions and for sharing your experiences and adventures with us through your writing and broadcasting. You certainly are an inspiration to us all and we look forward to hearing more from you this year. You can follow Belinda by clicking here, on her Facebook Page .
If you have been inspired by Belinda and would like to learn more about travel and adventure writing then check out her ‘Writing and Journalism’ workshop at our ‘Create Your Own Adventure Brand’ event being held in Bristol on 28th January 2017. Tickets are available on WAEXPO website.
Interview by Vicky Taylor
(c) Photo Credit Malcome Snelgrove Photography.