This approach stood me in good stead once a quarter-life crisis presented me with a skateboard and the idea of riding it across Australia. To many, this was a bizarre notion even to consider, let alone practice, but personally I had never been faced with a larger opportunity. It wasn’t crazy, it couldn’t have felt more sane. For the first time in my life, I felt I had purpose.
Encountering strangers was always an ‘interesting’ experience. Brain injuries are invisible with no outwardly signs, so how could people know? Because I couldn’t respond quickly enough to sentences thrown at me I was branded as ‘rude’ or ‘ignorant’ and on several occasions I was given abuse for being drunk in the morning – it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t walk in straight lines!
At heart it’s a simple, natural idea; to circumnavigate the globe under human power, but to consider doing so by multiple means and in such a way that makes you shake your head at the audacity of it all, well, it takes someone special to pull it off. Sarah Outen has never just been a talker. From the moment she conceived the idea of kayaking, rowing, and cycling around the world her poor Mum was resigned to the fact that not only would her daughter leave when she promised, but she’d never waiver from a commitment to taking on a continuous journey that is likely to keep her away from home for two and a half years.