Sarah Outen is an adventurer by land and sea, bestselling author and motivational speaker.
On 1 April 2011, she set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. It was the start of her London2London:Via the World expedition — an attempt to circle the globe entirely under her own steam by cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home.
A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean amid tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so. But that wasn’t the end. Despite ill health and depression, giving up was not an option. So Sarah set off once more to finish what she had started, becoming the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, as well as the first woman to row the mid-Pacific from West to East. She kayaked the treacherous Aleutian chain and cycled North America, before setting out on the Atlantic, despite the risk of another row-ending storm. She finally completed the expedition in 2015, after 4.5 years. The experience became the basis for her book, Dare To Do (2016), which was shortlisted for the Wanderlust Adventure Travel Book of the Year 2016
This wasn’t her first expedition. In 2009, when she was twenty-three-year-old, Sarah embarked on an ambitious solo voyage across the Indian Ocean in her rowing boat, Dippers. Powered by the grief of the sudden loss of her father and the determination to live life to the full, Sarah and her tiny boat successfully negotiated wild ocean storms, unexpected encounters with whales and the continuous threat of being capsized by passing container ships. Along the way she broke two oars and lost 20 kg of bodyweight before arriving in Mauritius. She became the first woman and the youngest person to row solo across the Indian Ocean. She recounted these experiences in her book, A Dip In The Ocean (2011).
Sarah’s stories are of turning dreams into goals, of facing fear and embracing failures, of pushing on through impossibles and going back for another try. Her trademark energy, enthusiasm and humour, coupled with her insight and bravery to share make her highly sought after.
Since proposing to her girlfriend while alone on the Pacific Ocean in 2013, Sarah has become a role model for LGBT issues and is admired beyond her expeditioning for her openness at sharing her inner struggles and mental crashes, as well as the excitement and triumphs.