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Sarah Outen MBE Adventurer

by Alexandra Parren
Sarah Outen MBE Adventurer Running

Sarah Outen MBE is an adventurer and British athlete, she was the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean and also the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Alaska. She completed a round-the-world journey, under her own power, by rowing boat, bicycle and kayak, on 3 November 2015. We find out more about our new ambassador.

Tell us how you came to be an adventurer:

I have always been curious and loved being outside and journeying, one way or another. As a child I spent hours playing outside, exploring and climbing trees and riding my bike. Through school I had the chance to try some small expeditions and I kayaked with a local canoe club. That curiosity and journeying love has always been there.

What has been your toughest challenge to date:

My London2London journey was physically, emotionally, and financially challenging. It took 6 years from the first idea to returning home. Even now, over a year on, I am still processing it and hope to produce a film on it next year.

How did you motivate yourself through your 4.5 year journey?

Curiosity about what lies around the next corner and what lies within are good motivators. So too is the idea that if I don't carry on I won't get home! I have various tricks which work for me when the chips are down.

What was your favourite ration whilst you were away?

I loved the smoked salmon from Alaska. We were given lots of locally harvested and smoked fish while we paddled through Alaska  - that was some of my favourite food.

Favorite place you’ve visited?

Alaska and the ocean - for their wilderness, beauty, energy, and wildlife.

Sarah Outen Outdoor Jumping Mountain

How seasick do you get?

I am a terrible seafarer for seasickness. I always spend a few weeks being sick at the start of the voyage. Except on my Atlantic row where I was given some different drugs to try and they worked a treat - no sickness at all.

What was your scariest moment rowing?

I have had some really frightening times at sea. From being capsized while out of my cabin, to going under the bows of a container ship, to experiencing the power of a tropical storm. Falling in the water as I climbed from my tiny boat to a 200-metre long cargo boat which was picking me up ahead of a hurricane was pretty terrifying too.

How does it feel to have an MBE?

I'm proud to have been awarded the MBE and like to think it is in fact for all the people who have helped make my journeys and projects a reality.

Will you do it again?

I will always journey and wander but I will probably never do anything quite like London2London again. At least not on my own. I am married now and my life is with my partner Lucy. We would like to sail around the world together one day.

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