Lindsey Cole is one of those people who fortuitously- for me- pedalled into my life. It was the eve of International Women’s Day this year: 7th of March as she cycled into Edinburgh and splashed in the sea. She was heading to the winter swimming championships in Loch Tay and stopping to 'dip’ with wild swimming groups throughout the UK on the way.
Lindsey has a long list of ‘adventuring’ feats - cycling to the South African World Cup from London, walking the length of the Rabbit Proof Fence, hitch-hiking with truckers around Australia… and … swimming the length of the Thames as a mermaid, collecting the plastic rubbish she found en route.
I’m fascinated about where adventure begins for us all and where we can find adventure when we feel like we’ve slightly lost our way… This is what Lindsey had to say…
What does adventure mean to you?
Adventure can be anything. An ordinary thing you do everyday can be turned into an adventure by doing it in a new and exciting way.
Adventure to me is when I dream something up, get excited thinking about it and then give it a go, not knowing how it will turn out.
Sometimes they don’t always turn out as I’d planned and that’s all part of the adventure.
What is your first/best memory of an adventure?
I had a map of the world atlas as my duvet cover growing up. I always remember wondering what it’d be like in all those far flung places.
I remember being really excited about being allowed to walk to school.
When I got rejected from a job I really wanted, I decided to cycle the the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and loved that feeling of nervous anxiety and excitement.
What is on your adventure bucket list?
I don’t really do bucket lists. I stumble across journeys. I like to feel inspired by something, a place or a person.
I’m currently cycling around Britain and connecting with wild swimmers. It was only meant to be 2 weeks long, but I’m already over 5 months into it which happened accidentally. I like to be open and free and see what opportunities arise. Sometimes it’s scary and I wonder what the hell I’m doing. But then that’s where the true excitement and adventures are born because I’m able to dive straight into them without much planning.
Is there any advice you could give to someone who would like to begin having adventures but hasn’t yet begun? Where should they start?
Don’t ever be scared of failing or not completing something. I think my superpower is that I’m not particularly good at anything so I’m not scared of trying.
If you don’t give it a go, you never know.
One of my most wonderful adventures has been walking the Rabbit Proof Fence which I’d wanted to do for 8 years- since reading the book. I didn’t know if the fence was still there, if it’d be physically possible, or if it’d be deemed culturally insensitive if I did do it. So, I just decided to get a one way ticket out to Perth and find my answers. I made contact with the family to ask their permission to retrace the girls journey. And I said to friends and family I’d pull out if it got too difficult. Each day was better than the last as I kept exceeding my expectations- and I made it to Jigaling. I was taken in by Molly’s family, and even met Daisy who made the journey in 1931. She sadly passed away last year aged 98. I’d never have been able to experience any of that if I was too scared to give it a go.
You can read more about Lindsey ‘s adventures here.