To celebrate International Women’s Day, we spoke with Grace Kelly (or Grace’s Adventures as you might know her) on her outdoor journey and what challenges she has faced, as a solo female adventurer in the great outdoors.
Who is Grace Kelly?
“I’m a passionate adventurer, I love the outdoors and travel and seeing the world. I love my dog and my family and friends and living life to the fullest.”
What have been some moments you are most proud of along your journey?
“Completing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, the Welsh 3 Peaks and a 35mile long-distance walk – all extremely challenging endeavours which tested my endurance and self-belief but which I pushed through and am super proud of achieving. As painful as they were!”
What has been your biggest challenge along your journey?
“Keeping myself going when things get hard. It’s so easy and tempting to throw the towel in sometimes when you’re tired or cold or soaked through or exhausted. At times it’s been a challenge to push through those moments.”
What are the biggest issues currently facing women in the outdoors?
“I’ve only recently been exposed to the bias against women in the outdoors, especially women hiking solo which I often do. Recently having my choices and hiking practices judged, and my competency bought into question for a certain route I chose to take on when I highly doubt a male would receive the same criticism. I have overcome that by raising the issue publicly, proving my competency, owning my decisions, and continuing to do what I do, regardless of anyone’s judgment.”
What advice would you give to women thinking about exploring the world and embarking on solo adventure trips?
“I would encourage them to do it! If you don’t want to go solo, go with a friend or book onto a group trip where you’ll meet like-minded people – there are so many out there.”
What three tips could you give women looking to start in the outdoors?
“My 3 tips are:
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone! It might seem scary but you’ll never know how many possibilities can come from you taking that first step.
- Stay safe – always make sure someone knows where you are, download an app like Life360 where someone can track your location, or keep in touch via phone and always take a power bank with you so you can always be contactable.
- Nothing worth having comes easy – sometimes you’ll have to get up at 4 am or drive a pretty long way or the hike might hurt or you may have to sacrifice a social event to save money for a trip. Life is all about decisions – make good ones that will impact you positively in the long run.”
How can we encourage more women to head outdoors?
“Sharing great stories and experiences – offering the advice that people need to get started such as great navigation apps or what kit to wear or how to stay safe. Also hosting or promoting group meet-ups to allow people to meet like-minded individuals and build their confidence.”
What’s your International Women’s Day message?
“Be proud. Be your own biggest fan. Live YOUR life for YOU and just do what makes you happy.”
Keep up with Grace’s Adventures:
Instagram – @graces_adventures
YouTube – Graces Adventures