Polar Girl – This is me!

Profile photoThe ship that collected me from my first real ‘polar wilderness expedition’ in Svalbard was called ‘Polargirl’…and the name just stuck.

I was brought up on a ‘diet’ of hillwalking and being ‘in the great outdoors’ almost from the point when I first learnt to walk, however I only put on skis for the first time in 2001. Since then, working and exploring in the polar regions has become my passion in life. I love nothing more than to head off on a ski expedition, living a self-sufficient lifestyle with everything I need to survive in my pulk (sledge)….and then return home to share my personal, and often humorous experiences from my wilderness explorations – inspiring, encouraging and motivating others to believe in their dreams, whatever those dreams might be!

I am a qualified teacher, worked in the outdoor industry for over 25 years running outdoor centres, fulfilled the role of an outdoor education advisor, and have led on adult and young people’s expeditions around the world. I’m proud to be the manager of the UK office of our Norwegian polar guiding company called Newland. I hold the Winter Mountain Leader certificate. I’m also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), First Aid trainer, Off Site Safety management trainer, qualified BASI Nordic ski instructor, and a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award accredited assessor. I was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship in 2009, researching leadership lessons that can be learnt from extreme environments.

I have a strong commitment towards encouraging people to enjoy, understand and  respect the amazing life-changing opportunities and experiences that the outdoor environment can offer, whether it be physical challenges or educational ones, such as learning more about the culture, geography and the language of the country I am visiting. I have a personal belief in the message that ‘you get out of life what you put into it’ – developing  a ‘can do’ attitude to life is just as essential a life-skill as having a flexible approach, a cheerful disposition and a sense of humour in all situations. No one hands these kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to you on a plate. You really have to work hard to make them happen!

Hope to meet you on a polar expedition one day!

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