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Womens Adventure Expo 2017

On Saturday 7th October 2017 my alarm went off at 5am - yes you heard right 5am on a Saturday! I had to catch an early train to Bristol for the Womens Adventure Expo, which turned out to be the most uplifting and rewarding day I have had for a while.

My adventure started off in Southampton, where I dragged myself out of bed, showered to try and wake up and then into the car to drive to the train station. I had decided to leave early, so I could park the car at work and then walk to the coffee shop to get a good doze of caffeine...but to my shock the were shut! They didn't open until 7am and that was after my train departure, this now left we lots of time to kill before the train. I was about to start my day of good luck when the coffee shop within the train station opened. Perfect! I boarded the train and settled down to my Spotify play list which would help get me through the next hour and forty minutes.

I arrived at Bristol Temple Meads, just ahead of my niece who I dragged along with me for some company because I was a bit nervous about going to the event on my own and not knowing anyone. Bristol has always been a place I have passed through by train but have never really had a chance to visit, so was excited to finally see some of the city on my walk to the expo. We departed the train station and started the walk in the morning drizzle, to We The Curious where it was being held. As we arrive we collected our name lanyards and were shown the lift to the expo.

As we entered the room to our surprise there were already several people here and you could hear the happy chatter of women getting to know each other and sharing stories already - we thought we were early! Feeling a little out of my depth, we collected our free Boundless Betty water bottle and went to find a seat to read the booklet handed out at reception. The next difficult task was to pick who you wanted to see during the day, luckily I had already had a bit of a sneak peak on the website so had a good idea of who I wanted to see.

To start the day off there was a welcome by Squash Falconer, she spoke about herself and some of her adventures. The section of her talk that sticks with me the most, and what gave me a flavour of what was ahead, was watching the video of her climb up Mont Blanc. Understanding what it took to get herself there and how much she wanted to do it. When I watched her make it to the top and jump, I got goose bumps. The feeling of joy, satisfaction and accomplishing something you have wanted to do for so long. It put a big smile on my face and gave me a hunger for adventure.

My choices for the day were Bex Band (The Ordinary Adventurer), Anna Blackman, Sian Lewis (The Girl Outdoors), Antonia Bolingbroke and finally Anoushe Husain. I did manage to catch the end of Anna McNuff's talk and I loved how she told her adventure with so much enthusiasm and especial when she spoke about her inner chimp. Anyone who has read Chimp Paradox will understand. There were so many more amazing women there and so wish I was able to see them all.

My entry
Around the room there were several different exhibitors and in our free time we took a wander around them all, collecting some inspiration as we went. Not only was the day about women and adventures, there was also a strong message around waste and reducing the amount of plastic we use. To close the day off there was an Adventure with Purpose Panel, where Bex Band, Cal Major, Jes Hirons and Gwen Frost shared their message along with some of the things they have been working on recently.

There was a stand by Another World Adventures who were running a completion for Rab kit bag and I thought I would have a go. All you had to do was tell them about a time when I felt like the most adventurous me. I didn't have to think for long, the adventure that came to mind first was the delivery trip I did down to Las Palmas when I was 18...and believe it or not, I won! Thank you again! I was amazed that I didn't trip or something on my way up to the stage to collect the bag. My niece had to run off for the train just before this moment so there is no embarrassing photo to show, she was gutted she missed it and also had really wanted the bag. There after I was known for winning the bag, there could be worst things.

Love her Wild, run by Bex Band was having a networking event at a local pub. Being worked up with excitement from the day and just winning the bag, I decided to go to meet for like minded women. I spent an enjoyable evening chatting to others and hearing their stories. I have always thought that my stories weren't that exciting but there were several people interested in the story about the delievery trip. I was having such a good time that I didn't realise the time and ended up running for my train home, otherwise I wasn't going to get back at a reasonable time and I needed to find dinner from somewhere.

I learned a lot from my day in Bristol and came away with so many ideas of what I wanted to do next year. I also came away with a great network of people I could now relate to, and actually found it is not that scary to put myself out there and meet new people because I have never been the greatest at small talk and mingling.

I am already looking forward to next year and hope that when I go back I will have more adventures under my belt and have a fully working blog with some interesting stories to share.

Remember that adventures do not have to be large expeditions, taking you all over the world. They can be small day trips and somewhere close to home.


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