Happy International Women’s Day!
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than share two more of my favourite Adventure Women with you. Today and tomorrow, all across Earth, we recognise and embrace what it means to be women. Our strengths and achievements, love and inspiration, courage and vulnerabilities.
This first IWD2018 post is about an incredible Australian whose book i found in an Narooma book shop in 2009.
Me “I’m looking for a book by an inspiration woman, perhaps also a travel story.”
Owner “Ah! This one, Sahara, just came in and i have been told it is a very good read.”
She wasn’t wrong.
Paula’s story of walking from Moroc to Niger was one of the most raw, gnarly and honest adventure tales i have ever read.
It is the second book in Paula’s 12,000km trek on foot from London, through 8 countries and across the Sahara. The first book is Slow Journey South.
In both books Paula opens up her heart and soul, taking us on a physical journey of epic proportions plus the inevitable spiritual, emotional and psychological journey accompanying such a feat of endurance and trust.
I laughed, sobbed, cringed, held my breath in suspense and cried with joy through both books.
One day in 2011, while i was between adventures, i watched an ABC program, Australian Story, about Paula’s life, family, trek and writing. My parents also watched it and rang me in a bit of shock. Apparently it was like watching me.
I felt like i found a long lost friend or soul mate. Paula is my tribe! That night i sent her an email, one adventurer to another. We have been in touch since.
Meeting Paula for the first time in 2014 beginning my walk from Perth to Adelaide was an highlight of my walk around Australia.
In Australia women’s adventure achievements are rarely recognised so it can feel a bit lonely. Meeting an adventure sister, another woman whose motto is “Everywhere is in walking distance, if you have the time” (Steven Wright) was a defining moment for me. We didn’t have nearly enough time together!
Since Paula’s trek across Europe and the Sahara she has been busy writing, helping other writers, creating opportunities for spiritual growth and public speaking.
Before i set off on my 4,100km walk from Perth to Darwin in 2015 Paula gifted me with a beautiful bottle of her personalised blend of essential oil and an indepth guidance session which has been helping me since.
Paula Constant’s friendship, support and inspiration has been an important part of my own journey.
You can listen to her words of experience and insight through the following links.
“When i think back to the Sahara i don’t think of what went wrong.
I think of the tremendous peace i found at sunset.
I think of the magnificence of the dawn every morning i got up and had the privilege of walking another day in that magnificent place.
And i think of endless nights spent around a campfire laughing with Mohammad, some of them wise and some of them not so wise.
I think of endless nights spent lying beneath a swag under an infinite carpet of stars and watching the heavens move above, teaching me what it means to be insignificant”
“But what i think of most is that moment of profound clarity, the moment of awareness, a gift i never would have had had my needs not refused to be silenced and led me on a walk through every one of my own imperfections, too a pot of gold i never knew existed.
And if you take one thing from that pot of gold it is that your imperfections are the most perfect thing about you. They are the greatest treasure for they urge you to seek, seek what your soul needs the most, to find your own missing pieces.”
“If we recognise and accept our own imperfections and those of others and those we see in the world around us then we can create a new definition of success. One based on the understanding that genuine happiness, true power and true fulfillment lie in an awareness that we are all human, we are all perfect and we are all already enough.”