Through
listening regularly to a BBC 2 radio show I came to learn of Sarah
Outen’s challenge to become the first woman, and
youngest and fastest person, to row solo from Western Australia to
Mauritius. A journey of 3,100 miles across the Indian Ocean rowing
her tiny boat ‘Serendipity’ “up to 12 hours a day under a scorching
sun, riding 30ft waves, battling winds and currents, sharks, capsizes
and shipping traffic.”
Just reading those words from Sarah gives
me the tingles. They are just words, but we can try and visualize her
experience. However, set our imaginations free and I am sure we still
have no idea of the intensity of this journey.


Image of Sarah at sea: René Soobaroyen

On Tuesday 3rd August, after
124 days at sea, 24 year old Sarah made her very rough but
successful landing on the island of Mauritius, thus achieving her
goal to enter the record books as well as helping raise money for
charity in memory of her late father.

Following Sarah with her regular chats
on the radio show when she always seemed upbeat and positive despite
her progress, and through her blog, then finally hearing of her
arrival thrills and chills me to such a great level I had to take a
moment and ask myself why.

On a basic level the thought of being
alone in the middle of the ocean at
the mercy of the elements and fellow sea dwellers such as sharks and
beautiful but giant whales sends my head spinning almost as much as
when I try and grasp the concept of the vastness that lies beyond our
galaxy. But on a deeper level I am moved by the challenge she set
herself. It reminds me of the adventures that we all embark on. These
adventures may not be as perhaps as huge or as physically risky as
Sarah’s journey but they probably feel to us just as daunting and
exciting.

To
me, her journey at sea mirrors those times when you are on your
adventure; some days you are smiling up at the blue sky, gazing in
marvel at the things around you, rowing along with the tide almost
effortlessly. A flat sea bringing wafts of foreign and exciting
things. But like Sarah you also experience those times when the sea
is raging, the sky is black and you can’t even try and plod onwards.
Your only option is to just drop anchor to try and not get swept too
far away from your path.

We
are often alone on our own personal adventures, and though sometimes
only we can make the decision (on either a conscious or sub-conscious
level) whether we have the balls to continue with our adventure, the
hero/ine of your story will always have the equivalent of Sarah’s
radio back-up. Though they are not in the boat with you, your support
crew of family and friends – people you have met in person and on
line, and those who you don’t even know exist but are rooting for
your success anyway – will be there for support, motivation and to
send out the search boats should you send up a distress flare. I am
sure that knowing this brought Sarah to those safe shores. Knowing
this maybe even gave her the strength to come up with her personal
challenge, put it into action and to slip in to the ocean in her boat
on the first day of her voyage.

This
was a huge adventure to embark upon but it should not overshadow our
own challenges. What was the biggest adventure you have set sail on?
Does it make you tingle now thinking of your journey: of the unknown,
the actual voyage and the outcome (be it as you planned or not)?

I
am sure that this adventure was just something Sarah had
to do. Perhaps in order to progress in her life and to grow. I would
be very surprised and impressed if I did anything on that level (I am
pretty reserved when it come to physical danger) but my own journeys
have been just as big to me. And the exciting thing is that when one
has journeyed along one adventure and jumped nervously outside of
one’s comfort zone the next adventure is probably even bigger and
perhaps even more awe inspiring.

We may well take time in between
each adventure to appreciate our efforts (regardless of the outcome),
re-assess our lives and our ways of thinking and doing things, and to
gain the inspiration and energy for the next challenge. Sarah will be
writing a book about her experience before she plans her next
challenge, and I for one am looking forward to what can only be an
inspiring and thrilling read.

Wishing
you courage and joy on your journeys, you wonderful spirited
adventurer! Give me a wave when we cross paths out there in the vast
sea of life.

Read
about Sarah’s journey here: http://www.sarahouten.co.uk/