Episode 34

Running Across Europe with Tish Joyce

Published on: 6th July, 2022

In 2017, while working for an international company in the north of England, Tish Joyce took the bold decision to attend a meeting in Germany by flying to Amsterdam and travelling the rest of the way on foot. Thus began Tish’s marathon trip across northern Europe with just a backpack, a tent and a pair of running shoes. In this somewhat jaw-dropping interview, Tish explains:

  • what motivated her to run an average of a marathon a day across northern Europe
  • how she overcame adversity through positive thinking and being gentle on herself
  • what she learned during hundreds of meditative hours spent running alone
  • how she learned to slow down, live in the moment and be her own authentic self
  • how she has achieved life balance and a solid grounding through self-love 

Tish is now based in the Scottish Highlands, where she runs an Ayurveda practice. She can be contacted at www.highlandayurveda.com

The desert marathon Tish mentioned in this interview is the Marathon des Sables, also known as ‘The Toughest Footrace on Earth’.

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Music: Pablito's Way by Paolo Pavan

Transcript
Helen:

Welcome, Tish, and thank you very much for speaking to us for our podcast AudaciousNess. Let's get straight into it. Let's kick off with you telling our listeners a little bit about yourself, a little bit about your background, and then specifically, something about the audacious goal that we've invited you to talk about.

Tish:

Hi Helen, lovely to meet you, and you, Maribel. Yes, so I'm Tish Joyce, I live up in Nairn, in the Highlands of Scotland. I've been here for a couple of years. Prior to that I lived, well all over actually. Twenty years in Yorkshire, Cardiff, different places in England and also in Africa for a while. And what I'm here to talk about, more importantly, is my goal to actually run the world, of which I completed the first chapter ‘Run Europe’, which was pretty good fun. At the time I was working in the corporate world, I was flying all over Europe, and I decided one day to run to work, which was from Yorkshire to Germany and then that spurred it on to run the world.

Helen:

Wow, so you ran from Yorkshire to Germany? Yorkshire in the north of England to Germany?

Tish:

Well, I got on a plane, because I lived quite near the airport, so I ran to the airport, got on the plane, and I got off the plane at Schiphol in Amsterdam. And my work was in Essen at the time, in the middle of Germany. And so I did a run to work for charity, basically. I ran across the Netherlands to Germany. It was great because crossing that first border was quite an amazing feeling.

Helen:

Wow. So how many kilometres was that in total?

Tish:

Are you asking me now! But basically, I did it in five days. I think it was about 235 kilometres, which was pretty cool. The challenge I had that time, that was a bit of a pre-run, but the challenge I had was I tend to be quite spontaneous, so I didn't plan it as well as I could and I've got no sense of direction, I should add. Zero sense of direction. If I'm in a shopping centre, I come out of a shop and go the wrong way. So nobody could quite believe I was even doing that. And I planned the route and was completely self-sufficient. But my idea was to run along the Rhine for most of the journey, because I assumed it would be like canals here or rivers here and you can run along. The Rhine isn't like that and there was nowhere to run along unfortunately. So instead of running offroad, which I'm used to, I ended up running along the roads predominantly, which was pretty tough going and I ended up getting really bad shin splints and quite a few problems. But it was a good lesson learned. So I learned a lot about how much to carry my pack and the rest of it. So that was where it all started, I suppose.

Helen:

Okay, and then you continued. So you told me about the rest of Europe that you ran around?

Tish:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, that was the first part and that was, as I say, a mad run to work which got quite a bit of publicity because it was a bit more than your usual 10k run to work, kind of a concept. And that was October 2017. And then in December, I decided to do another test, so I ran from Essen to Eversburg. And my idea there was to run through this gorgeous forest, again because I didn't have much of a sense of direction, the idea was to run along these lovely trails and I wouldn’t need to have much of a sense of direction. The night before I left, so I left the office, literally ran from the office to continue with the journey, so I didn't want to leave one step walked or in any other form of transport, there was major snowfall. So that was like a real disaster. So when I got to the forest, you literally couldn't see the paths, you couldn't see the signs, it was minus 16 degrees, it was a really really severe freeze. It was completely crazy. But it was an experience and that was quite severe, it was constant rain or snow and really horrendous everything. But those two trips basically helped me to prepare and learn all the lessons. Everything failed on those trips — my pack was wrong, my food was wrong, my navigation was wrong. It didn't work in the freezing cold in Germany. And I also I’d arrive at some of my destinations, because I had to plan where I was going to stay because there's no support, and they were locked up and some guy wouldn't turn up and there was no food there. So it was all quite crazy because you're in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't like in populated areas particularly. So then I planned to kick off in the following year and do the full Run Europe and the idea was to then basically, literally run across Europe, that was the plan. And I was also going to take in Russia. So I kicked off again from where I stopped. So I got back to literally the stop — I’d taken a photograph of where I’d stopped and picked up at that sign again, which was quite cool. And then I spent six weeks basically running, which was a main run across Europe, continuing across Germany, and then I went north up to Poland. My idea before was to carry on through Kalingrad and go along that way, but I was running too much on tarmac. I'll go into it in a bit more detail now rather than just focusing on the route, but one of the biggest lessons I learned was actually having to just throw away all my planning, because essentially, I'd planned this for about a year and a half and detailed each route for every day. I got little cards for every day, I’d got food packages, I’d got people to drop food off for me every week and new trainers, and after two weeks the whole thing failed completely. Because you couldn’t rely on the Postal Service or what it said on the Google maps was wrong. So I had to throw it all away, just go with the flow. And actually, going with the flow is the best thing in the universe — it took a lot of tears to get through because by my nature, I was Programme Director at the time, so all I did in my life is planning and getting strategies together and making people deliver them. So this is a micro managed plan that I’d done for myself. So to throw away the plan and have no plan and just run was severe for me. But anyway, to finish the route, I got to Poland, jumped on a ferry, got off in Sweden and then ran across Sweden. And the idea now was to stay around the Baltic Sea, again I didn't have navigation. I mean, I did have navigation but my brain doesn't work with navigation. So all along I was trying to simplify it, to have the sea on my right or my left and as long as that was going on, I was fine. And once I got through Germany, however lovely Germany was, it wasn't the best really for running because a lot of it was on road or through forest. And the forests are great but this was a heatwave, I don’t know if you remember that year? It was 36, 37, 38 degrees. And some of the time you just couldn't find water, you were in really unpopulated places. So when I got to the sea that was much nicer, it was still tough going to try and find water some of the time. But it was actually like running in Nairn, it was gorgeous seaside, deserted beaches, deserted forests, historical ancient forests and hardly anybody there. Often you wouldn't see a person, you may see one or two people in the day. So it was pretty gorgeous. It was like a long meditation. So I carried on across Sweden, jumped on a ferry back to Lithuania, and then around the coast of Lithuania, and then all along the coast of Latvia, which was quite cool as well. And I finished at the border with Estonia. One of my best moments was actually when I got to the Polish border and I had one foot in Germany and one foot in Poland and I was like wow, I've just run across Germany. That's pretty cool. So yeah, that was a really good feeling.

Helen:

Fantastic. Wow, what a mammoth tour! And what inspired you to do it? Why did you do this? This is the big question — why does one do something like this?

Tish:

Well, I'd been on a kind of a journey for about five years. That was my 50th year, so it was my 50th challenge as well. So that was a bit of it. But I'd been on a journey up and down for some time healthwise. I like big challenges and I like the process of getting fit really through that process. It’s not so much the run at the end of it. I've done a number of runs, a number of marathons, maybe four or five. I'd started at my 40th birthday, I did my first marathon, I did the Inca Trail Marathon, which again wasn't a normal kind of thing to do. Most people will go and run a normal marathon. I decided to get a huge mountain marathon in Peru which was quite cool. It’s the adventure of it as much as anything else. And it was never about the speed. It was really just pushing yourself to the limits and probably 90% as much about the process of getting fit. It's kept me on the straight and narrow because I've always been someone who, or in the past anyway, did everything to excess. So I worked to excess, I partied to excess, I ran to excess. I thought that was what balance basically was. I genuinely thought that was balance — if you did everything to the extreme, then surely this was a balanced life. So that was the starting point. I then ran the Marathon des Sables. That's a seven day run in the desert, which is a bit of a midlife crisis run that a lot of people in their 40s tend to do, corporate type people, it's that kind of a thing. And, to be honest, what I loved about that was a week before, I didn’t really enjoy MDS as much because it was so hyped and there were so many people there, but the week before, I went to stay at the desert with this chap and it was literally an attempt to be by myself in the desert. He’d run the Marathon des Sables a few times and I'm here to camp there, but there's nobody at the camp. So just being by myself in the desert was a huge, huge, incredible feeling for me that I'd never spent so much time on my own and it was like therapy, actually. Huge therapy and lots of emotional stuff came out that week, which was great. And then I found actually Marathon des Sables quite challenging because there was so many people there, and I was really needing time by myself. But when we came back from Marathon des Sables I got in with the ultra running community through this process, and everybody was running for the next big run, and it was somewhere here or there. And I really wasn't that interested. But I didn't quite know what to do. And I knew it wasn't an organised run, I knew it needed to be something solitary and I knew I loved that process of staying healthy and fit. And then one day, I was just walking the dogs and I looked down at my T shirt, and it literally said ‘Run the World’ and I was just like, that's it. That's what I’m gonna do. I’m going to run the world. And it was literally that and I knew that day that that would change my life. I actually started a blog that day because I just knew that that was the thing that was going to be life-changing.

Maribel:

I haven’t been able to close my mouth since you started telling your story. I’m just amazed at this, I’m just thinking, This woman is crazy. She must be!

Tish:

Yeah, probably. But it seemed quite a normal thing to do. Seriously. To me, once I make a decision to do something, it's just like, “Okay, yeah.” I mean, the first thing I did then was Google it, ‘Could you run the world? How do you run the world? And like, can you run the world?’ And all these kinds of things. And then from that it just evolved. I think I've always taken things step by step. So anything that's come to me in life, any challenges, of which there's been many, I've never seen them as hurdles. I've always seen them as a challenge, break it down. So how do you break that problem down? What's the next step? Etc, etc. So that's exactly what I did with the Run the World thing. I broke it down into chunks. I said, “Okay, what's the first step? Okay. I need to figure out a route. Okay, what's the second step? I need to figure out what I'm gonna carry.” It was almost like programme managing, the whole thing, really just breaking everything down into soluble chunks. And that's life really, I think.

Maribel:

Okay, there are several questions coming up, but I am curious about some technicalities. How do I imagine you when you were doing that run from Germany to Poland to Sweden? First of all, how many trainers did you use?

Tish:

I think I got through three pairs of trainers on that run.

Maribel:

Only?

Tish:

Yeah, but they were good trainers. I've never worn any other trainers, Lone Peak. They're fabulous. And I didn't get, by the way, one injury on the road. After that first week where I said it was a bit of a trial, I didn't get any injuries at all.

Maribel:

Wow. So you run with a backpack? What do you take with you? I'm assuming it has to be very minimalistic. What are the things that you need?

Tish:

It was like military precision, the backpack was. So every night, literally, I went through a process of checking what was in my bag and did I need this and did I not need that? Because I’d learned through some of the pre-runs that I’d mentioned, too big a bag caused problems. So I kept my weight to 8kg, and that included a microtent, it included one change of clothes, like running clothes, some tiny little leggings. Luckily I was quite slim at the time, but everything was ultra lightweight, a T-shirt, one micro sweatshirt and a waterproof and food and water. Water was the biggest weight actually, but I had to be able to carry enough water because there was often not places to get water. And a navigation device and that was it, a Garmin inReach Explorer, and that was quite heavy, actually. But nothing else. The first few weeks I carried a bit of medicines and things. I chucked all those out after two weeks because I realised I didn't need them. And then I had coconut oil and one other oil for my legs. That was it.

Maribel:

Wow. And you said in the first two runs, you said so quietly and calmly, “Well, everything failed.” And the way you said it, I thought, “Oh, that sounds like it was good.” How did you deal with that, with everything failing and moving on? How do you deal with failure?

Tish:

Well, I remember two instances. One on the first trip when I got really bad shin splints and every single step was so painful and my legs were really swollen and I was crying in pain and I was thinking I was going to have to fail and give up. A lot at that stage was still about me proving to other people that I could do something and I’d said I was going to do this. I remember talking to my granddaughter briefly on the phone and she said, “You can do it Granny!” And that was all I needed and I just kept those words in my head. And that was it. And it just changed completely. So I stopped the negative thinking and went to positive thinking. It’s amazing how much you can overcome. And similarly, there was one time in Germany, when I was doing the main run, when it was pouring down with rain that day and I was so exhausted and I'd done about 70 kms, on average it came to a marathon a day. I had one day off a week, but some days was 70-80. I think the most I did was about 85k, some days less. But this day was about 70+ km and I was really tired and it was pouring down with rain and it just seemed to be this never ending road. And I just felt really rubbish and was crying and beating myself up and walking and beating myself up because I wasn't running. And then I just said to myself, “Just be kind to yourself, Tish.” And that was it. And as soon as I said be kind to yourself and I started saying to myself, “Just do one step. That’s all you need to do. Okay, run for five minutes or walk for five minutes.” And I managed to finish it and got myself into a better state. The next day I got up and did a really cool marathon and and there was no problems whatsoever, because I changed my mental attitude into just being kind to myself instead of beating myself up, basically. It’s simple actually, it's all in your head. It wasn't about the physical strength, I would say it was 95% about the mental approach. And that doesn't mean being strong mentally. It actually means being gentle to yourself.

Maribel:

I love that. Thank you for that. I have another question from what you said already. You mentioned that you used to do things to extreme, whatever it is that you did, and that you thought that was balanced. So what is balance for you now? And how were you able to change that?

Tish:

Yeah, that's an interesting question indeed. So I think I've been searching for balance all my life. I can remember it's always a word I've used quite a lot actually, that search for balance. And I'll answer the last part first, how did I change that, or when did I change that? That run changed a huge amount. So it simplified my life so much. So I'd always been on this career path. I’d always gone off the path, you know, I got pregnant young, I did a lot of wrong things as well. But I'd always studied hard, did a degree, two degrees, worked hard, always trying to prove to people that I could be great in whatever I was doing. Without going into all the details of why that was, that's why I was on a plan to prove to people I was good enough for most of my life. And I've got this gorgeous house, I've got this great job, nice lifestyle, international career. Life was great. Financial independence, all good. But on this run, I had nothing. I carried nothing with me. I didn't need any of those things. And when I got back, after seven weeks, I felt healthier than I'd ever felt in my life. And I got back to my six bedroom home and I was like, “What is this?” I couldn't understand why I had got so much stuff. I went into the bathroom cupboard and I was like, “What is all this stuff?” The first day I came home within 24 hours I took so many boxes to charity. And I knew then as I got home that I needed to sell my house because it was too big. I didn't need it anymore. The children had grown up and it was just excessive. It was gorgeous. I’d spent all my time creating this lovely Yorkshire home, but it was not what I needed. I needed something far less than that. So that was a big part of that. I also had a vision for what I wanted in my life on that run and it was quite weird. Helen, you've been here, but it was actually a house like this, which is really quite weird, almost like a chocolate box house. And it was a dream that I didn't know that I would achieve, but I knew I wanted to live by the sea. I knew I needed to live by the forest. I made a decision I wanted to be in relationship because I'd been single for some time after a bad marriage. And so it was just such clarity during that run really about what I wanted in my life. I also knew I wanted to get out of the corporate world but didn't quite know how or what. So the run helped me to find that clarity and then I started to create that. But along the process, about 10 years before then I'd also discovered Ayurveda. I had gone to get some help myself and I'd been reading about it. And it's quite weird, but all the stepping stones have all just kind of merged and come to be in my moving here, etc. And then recently in the last two years I've been studying Ayurveda and now I practice Ayurveda and I understand what true balance is and it's not any of the things I was looking for. It's about looking inside yourself and just being authentic and being yourself and be balanced, looking after yourself on all levels.

Maribel:

Thank you. That's a beautiful answer.

Helen:

It’s lovely and thank you for sharing that journey with us, Tish. I just want to clarify for our listeners that this goal of running across Europe is not something you did when you were in your twenties. You were already a granny when you did it.

Tish:

It was actually called Granny Runs the World. My granddaughter wanted me to call it that. So I had a little blog at the time called Granny Runs the World. I was 50. I really wasn't a marathon runner. I mean, I'd done some runs, but I wasn't particularly a super runner or anything.

Maribel:

Well you certainly became one, doing 70 kms a day! Wow.

Helen:

I want to touch on the subject of role models because I'm sure you've become a role model for many people now when you explain this story. And you've got your blog, and I'm sure people are reading that too. But you said when you wanted to embark on this journey and you weren't sure. You read your own t-shirt, Run the World, and then you Googled, can it be done? Is it even possible? My question is, did you find anybody who had done this before? Did you contact anybody? Were there any role models or did you just go out on your own and do this?

Tish:

To be honest there weren't. I did know people in the running community. I knew one particular lady that had run Marathon des Sables a few times and I vaguely knew her through doing it myself, so I was connected on social media. And I made contact with her and she was quite famous in that world. But she said, “Tish I don't know. I haven't done anything like that and I don't know anyone who has.” So, there hadn't been anyone who's done it. Probably if I recorded and done everything, it might have been some kind of a record, but I really wasn't interested in all of that, to be quite frank. So there weren't really any role models, I suppose. Role models for me are just authentic people that I meet. I don't have role models in my life really. I like to be able to look people in the eye and you know that people are being authentic and that's really my role models, to be honest.

Helen:

And if anybody listening to this is thinking about doing anything remotely like this, what advice would you give before embarking on something like this?

Tish:

Well, the best advice I can give them actually, if you really want to do any running is actually learn to run. And most people get injured when they're running and they don't need to. So a long time ago I learned to do Chi running and if you look up Chi running, it’s invented by a chap called Danny Dreyer, and basically it's about using natural energy to run properly and using gravity. So you lean forward, which sounds like a silly thing, but actually most people who start running get injured and stop. So actually start properly and really learn how to run. That's what I did and it was the best thing. But, other than that, just do it and enjoy it. Don't try and prove things to people which it's hard not to. You get caught up in, “I want to get this time” or “This time I’ll run this big race”, telling people what you're doing, but actually just enjoy it. Running to me is meditation. It's a fantastic thing. It's my own meditation.

Helen:

And then you said earlier that probably one of the main things that you've learned at this part of your life now is what balance is, what true balance is. Is there anything else that you'd say you've learned from this experience?

Tish:

Not to prove to people that… it comes back to being your authentic self. I think if we can be our authentic selves, that's the best we can be in life and it takes so much stress away. We spend so much of our lives trying to live a life that other people have told us is the way to live our lives, or living up to other people's expectations. And when we can be our authentic selves, then life is so much simpler. It’s just happiness. Everyday.

Maribel:

What is the best way to achieve that? Because somehow we all start there, thinking that we need to prove something or, like you said, beating ourselves, “Oh, you should have done this” or “That wasn't good enough.” Are there any tricks, Tish?

Tish:

Well, the simplest trick for me actually, and by the way I've gone through all sorts of chaos and dramas and low times too and major disasters in life, so life has definitely had its peaks and troughs. At one of my lowest times, I actually took time off work with depression, I remember I actually finally stopped. I sat in my garden in Yorkshire and I stopped and it was luckily quite sunny, and I just didn't do anything. And that was quite a hard thing for me actually to stop because I was always busy doing this or busy doing that. But I literally just stopped and literally that was it. And I suddenly had this realisation, all the things I was scared of or thinking I hadn't achieved or had achieved, for the moment had passed. So once you stop and realise actually all these things you may be scared and worried about, the fear just goes away once you can actually look inside yourself. So I'd always been seeking things outside of me to make me happy. And when I realised actually it was all inside me and I could be happy if I just accepted me and looked inside and just realised in this minute now, I'm okay. I'm good enough. And it's that simple really. And it sounds weird. It's not about going off meditating, but it's literally just being present in this moment and accepting yourself and once you can do that life is really easy.

Maribel:

Thank you. Are you planning on running again?

Tish:

Probably this evening. I mean I only do 5kms and things now, to be honest. It was quite strange, after you've done something like that, it puts you off running to some extent for a little while because that was just so momentous and you were lost and it completely, it took me a long time to be able to just purely run for pleasure. And now I do about 5k, maybe a 10k, each day but that's about it. I don't want to do any more because I realised…

Maribel:

(Laughing) Sorry, each day?!

Helen:

Repeat that again, Tish.

Tish:

5k, just 5k.

Helen:

“I just do 10 kms a day. That’s all.”

Maribel:

Oh my goodness.

Tish:

No, that’s normal. I mean I literally only do about 5k at the minute. I'm not particularly fit but I wouldn't want to do more than five or 10k a day. Do you not think that’s normal?

Maribel:

No! I'm just thinking okay, maybe she trains a little bit and every couple of months she runs a 5k.

Tish:

Well, as long as there’s enough for my body. I mean, I'm not particularly super fit, compared to how I used to be but that's another important point. So I've got to the point now in my life where I’m happy with my body as it is. I'm not trying to be a slim skinny person anymore. I'm not running to be fit in that sense because I know that's not what health is anymore. So now it's running for enjoyment and, again, it comes back to not trying to prove you’re this image of somebody that you were told that we’re all meant to be. That's not even my aim in life anymore.

Maribel:

Now, thinking about it and trying to see it from your perspective, obviously if you were able to run 70 kms a day then 5 kms is nothing compared to that.

Tish:

Even last year, I was running half a marathon a couple of times a week, so this is quite low level.

Maribel:

Yes, well, I’m just really impressed. Wow.

Tish:

Other people do different things. I don't think running is for everybody. As I say, if you do it wrong, a lot of people can get some very bad injuries from running.

Maribel:

You obviously have a passion. When did you find that passion for running? How did it come about?

Tish:

My father died when I was very young and he was a runner. So I think that was always in my blood, I suppose. But when I was young, we were a big family and I find running was a nice way to get away from people. So I was running away a lot of the time. And we lived in the country, so it's always been about being on my own and having space, to be honest. It's been my release. Now I don't need the release and maybe that's why I'm not so motivated to run so much because I'm happy with myself and I'm not running away from anything anymore.

Helen:

I'm curious as to what your next aim is in life. So you've shifted your life completely, moved to a different place, you've become an Ayurveda practitioner, you're not in the corporate hectic lifestyle anymore. What’s next for you, Tish?

Tish:

This is it. I remember a long time ago, I wrote down a little note which is, “What if this was enough?” And because this was never enough for me, there was always another goal, there was always another thing, there's always something to strive for. But I'm content, I’m happy. I love life. I really truly love life now. I couldn't be doing anything better to be helping people. It's just so lovely. And I'm just grateful every day because I live in a beautiful place, I have lovely people around me, I feel like I'm part of the community, which I've never felt before. And I think that's because I've slowed right down, I've connected with so many people, which is just lovely. So I think I've found my dharma, I’ve found my reason for being. So this is it. Whatever evolves, it may well be fantastic. I mean, I want to reach more people with Ayurveda. I want to help people to understand how to heal themselves and do some teaching of that. That's probably the only other goal, to reach communities of people that wouldn't normally seek Ayurveda out. So that’s a little goal there, but other than that, it's just to be.

Helen:

Lovely. I think that probably brings us to our final question, Maribel? So our final question to you, Tish, has to do with the name of our podcast, which is AudaciousNess. And the audacious part refers to having the audacity to do the thing that you did in the first place, run across Europe, run the world. And the ‘ness’ refers to, it's an archaic word, which means a spit of land, which juts out into the sea and remains standing no matter what the elements are throwing at it. So our final question to you is, what is it that gives you the solid grounding to keep going, no matter what life is throwing at you?

Tish:

What gives me the solid grounding now is the fact that I am grounded and I love myself, if I’m quite honest. That's really what it is. And I don't feel bad about saying I love myself, but I love myself. And I could never say I love myself before. So that's a fantastic feeling. When I was doing Run Europe, I probably didn't love myself, to be honest. And what gave me the grounding to keep going then was the fact that I always knew I could overcome the next hurdle. So it was a fight in me to overcome those hurdles. But my advice to anyone else is to love themselves.

Helen:

That's lovely, fantastic advice. Thank you so much, Tish.

Maribel:

Amazing. Thank you very much. What an amazing woman. Wow.

Tish:

Thank you. Lovely to chat to you both.

Helen:

It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much.

Tish:

Thank you.

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About the Podcast

AudaciousNess
A solid grounding on which to practice your audacity.
AudaciousNess showcases individuals who have set themselves bold, audacious goals and have worked to achieve them. Our purpose is to inspire people to act with the courage to create a positive impact in the world.

Through interviewing 'regular people' about their audacious goals, we highlight the fact that role models are everywhere. Each and every one of us can have an impact in some way. Our goal is to enable a courageous community that honours their genius and lives their calling.

The name 'AudaciousNess' has two components: audacious, meaning 'bold', and ness, meaning 'a strip of land projecting into a body of water'. We believe having a solid grounding on which to practice your audacity is crucial, or, in the words of the great philosopher king Marcus Aurelius (Meditations, 4.49):

"Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it."

About your hosts

Maribel Ortega

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I help women find their worth and be confident so that they can use their voice, speak up, take new opportunities and ultimately lead fulfilled lives.

Helen Strong

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I run an eco-friendly, vegan B&B in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. This is just one of the many audacious goals I've pursued in my lifetime.