Solo adventurer takes on the Pacific Ocean and shares all on-line

The other day, surfing through Leo Laporte's popular This Week in Technology site, I stumbled across his archive of weekly web conversations with Roz Savage. Who is Roz Savage? As I discovered, she is a remarkable woman who is rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean. (Think about that for a minute: the Pacific Ocean, alone!)

Her story is one of self discovery. In the year 200o she decided to change her life and embrace one based on adventure and discovery. She left her home and job in England and gradually shed her possessions, keeping only the things that had real value to her. She adopted a new philosophy and later decided she wanted to try something very unusual: row across the Atlantic. Despite her lack of experience, she overcame many obstacles and accomplished that feat. And now she's taking on an even greater challenge, attempting to row from the United States to Australia.

Roz is baring her soul, her ups and downs (literally and metaphorically), daily on the Internet. Roz's boat bobbing out there in the Pacific is equipped with devices that permit her to send e-mails and write a blog. The entries are startling for their honesty and for what they reveal of a psyche experiencing this type of physical and mental test. You can read her comments and see her photos at her site here.

One of Roz's objectives is to raise awareness about environmental issues like plastic pollution, climate change and the destruction of wildlife habitats. She has inspired many with her courageous spirit. She's also become a motivational writer and speaker. Here are some of her life lessons, as she explains on her site:

[Sunday Times, 23 April 2006]

  • Don’t waste mental energy asking yourself if you CAN do something. Just do it. You’ll surprise yourself. I did.
  • Be clear about your objectives. Ignore others, stay true to yourself and measure success only against your own criteria. I was last to finish the race – big deal. I went out there to learn about myself, and I did.
  • The only constant in life is change. So don’t get depressed by the bad times, and don’t get over-excited by good ones. Accept that things are exactly as they are, and even bad times have something to teach us.
  • Life can be magical, but magic only gets you so far. Then you need discipline, determination and dedication to see it through.
  • Hope can hurt. The danger is that you hope for too much and set yourself up for disappointment. Be optimistic but realistic. Nothing is ever as good or as bad as you expect it to be.
  • Be mindful of the link between present action and desired future outcome. Ask yourself: if I repeat today’s actions 365 times, will I be where I want to be in a year?
  • Decision-making: act in faith, not fear, and don’t worry about making a ‘wrong’ decision – the way you implement it is more important than the decision itself.
  • Be your own best friend. The more you rely on other people, the less control you have over your destiny.
  • Be proud of your own obituary: a few years ago I wrote two versions of my obituary, the one I wanted and the one I was heading for. They were very different. I realized I needed to make some big changes if I was going to look back and be proud of my life. I am making those changes, and now I have a life worth living.

Photo of Roz arriving off Hawaii is made available by her and is used with permission.

If you'd like to listen to her weekly conversations with Leo Laporte, you can find them at Leo's site here.

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