Sometimes, while spending hours sitting behind a computer screen, the only sight of nature we come into contact with is the odd pot plant on the window sill. If you’re yearning for nights spent camping out under a sky full of stars, filling those lungs with fresh forest air, or getting active in a natural setting, allow us to introduce you to Monique Farmer. The founder, CEO and thrill seeker behind Women Want Adventure is helping gals get outdoors – and make new mates while doing so. Can we get a ‘heyell yeah’? *Up-ends desk and escapes out window*
Tell us, what is Women Want Adventure all about, and what do you hope you’ll inspire women to do?
Think hiking up mountains. Toasting marshmallows. Sleeping under the stars and laughing around the campfire on a starry night. We’re a women’s adventure community that bonds over pitching a tent for the weekend and feeling inspired by the outdoors. Through women-only trips we aim to create opportunities for women to learn new skills from one inspiring woman to the next. Our trips are inclusive and led by female outdoor experts in a supportive environment where every female is valued and feels comfortable to have a go. We host day trips, multi-day trips and women’s weekends such as hiking, kayaking, camping, climbing and sailing.
What do you think are the greatest benefits of adventuring and being outdoors?
Being outdoors creates a safe solace to be ourselves. To meet new friends for the first time and have a laugh amongst a group of women who connect over outdoor experiences, some which are challenging too. Being outdoors also has amazing life changing benefits. Hiking, kayaking, camping and generally being outside help us to forget about everyday problems, or simplify them. One of the main reasons we started Women Want Adventure was to introduce women to the benefits of trying something new, getting fit and to learn lessons from adventure that have a ripple effect in other areas of their lives.
What has the response been like from the women who’ve come along for your adventure?
They love it! Women who attended a trip individually return for multiple trips because they have formed a new friendship and loved the experience. For us, this demonstrates what we stand for – to connect women in outdoor environments, not just over coffee catch ups! This is what makes us unique and special. Women Want Adventure is an exciting and new way to spend time with your girlfriends, and make new ones.
What are your top tips for beginner adventurers?
Say “yes” and go. We have many questions from women feeling they are not ‘fit’ enough to attend trips and they may hold the group back. Our advice is to take a step outside. Maybe you walk about the block. Good start. Maybe you do what you can, when you can. Good start.
What’s most important is that you DO. We encourage all women to attend our trips, even if they feel nervous as a beginner. ‘Hike in your pyjamas’ is one of our favourite phrases. We want to get the message across – it’s okay to start somewhere, most importantly it’s about getting out there in the first place. Adventure means that things might not go to plan. That’s a good thing! The pyjama pants you’re wearing might teach you leaches can get through. The mountain you hike might teach you to walk regularly to build your fitness for the next one. Just begin and learn through adventure.
Of course, there are always safety tips we teach all women. Tell someone where and when you’re heading out on an adventure. Bring plenty of water and always carry a first aid kit.
What have you learnt from your adventures thus far?
- There is so much to see in our Australian backyard, explore it.
- Always check the weather.
- Don’t forget the matches.
What are some of your favourite places to explore in Australia?
We love kayaking up the Shoalhaven Gorge for a trip with the ladies. It feels like you’re in The Kimberleys and is so close to Sydney yet so far. Another favourite is the Blue Mountains. There are endless day and multi-day hikes to enjoy at a variety of different levels. The hike into Blue Gum Forrest is hard on the knees but well worth the serenity and beauty in the valley.
If you could share with the world your best advice about conserving the natural beauty of our planet, what would you say?
Reduce and reuse every way you can. You can always educate yourself and make a difference. In terms of adventure – you hike it in – you hike it out.