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Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.

Emma Timmis

Emma TimmisBritish adventurer Emma Timmis, born on the 19th of February, 1980 considers herself a normal person even though she has run across Africa, almost twice.

When some people want a fitness challenge, they set themselves a small, achievable goal - such as running a 10-kilometer race or working out three times a week. Then there are others who fancy pushing themselves and they go to extreme lengths.

From cycling to hiking, climbing to skating, running, jumping, dancing and prancing. Emma has a passion for travel and tries to make her journeys as active as possible. "I have a desire to see the world but don't want to view it through a car window flying past at 60mph..."

At the age of 27 she became the first female to run the Freedom Trail, a 2,400 kilometer through track from Durban to Cape Town in South Africa. This later led to running West to East across the continent of Africa, from Namibia to Mozambique.

This mammoth run took Emma 89 days, covering the distance equal to 94 marathons, or almost 4,000 kilometers.

Eager to try out all types of adventure challenges and with a passion for physical activity Emma has completed multiple expeditions including rollerskating across the Netherlands and cycling to the Dolomites in northern Italy to tackle long, multi-pitch rock climbing - then cycling back.

Emma TimmisShe has also walked the 670 kilometer Australian Alpine Walking Track solo and unsupported, over 24 days at the beginning of 2016.

Emma has a passion for travel and loves to combine her physical challenges with exploring new countries and cultures. "I love to push my body and my mind" she says of the experience.

"I have also completed many other epic, physical challenges in my life including getting a Guinness World Record for riding an elliptical bike across Australia, hiking the Australian Alpine Walking Track solo and unsupported, cycling from England to the Dolomites in Italy and roller-skating across the Netherlands."

Cycling to the Dolomites in northern Italy waS my favourite adventure to date. I went with my climbing partner Mike. I think the reason I loved this trip so much is that it was so physically hard that I was really tested but at the same time we were in the most beautiful place imaginable. The Dolomites is like an ideal playground for adventure seeking adults.

"I roller-skated across the Netherlands with one of my best friends, Emily Pitts. This was cool as I hadn’t been on a pair of skates for about 20 years. I love trying out something new and challenging myself."

"And also, rolling on wheels is so much easier than running! This was just a fun challenge to show that you can go outside and enjoy an adventure without feeling you have to complete something epic and dangerous, risking life and limb. Adventure can involve having fun and having a giggle and still cost very little!

Emma TimmisKnown for her running challenges - which include being the first woman to run the 1500-mile length of South Africa’s Freedom Trail, British endurance adventurer Emma Timmis switched to an Elliptigo for her big adventure last year.

The goal - which she achieved in just 74 days - was to ride her Elliptigo, self-supported and pulling a trailer, 7,951.9 kilometers across Australia. She smashed a world record in the process. What is an Elliptigo...? It is kind of like a cross-trainer on wheels!

"It was such a fantastic experience and every time I think about it a huge smile appears on my face. I’m over the moon and extremely proud to have achieved a World Record."

"Guinness [World Records] had problems with some of my evidence for a while. It’s definitely harder work submitting all the evidence to Guinness than it is to actually ride across Australia self-supported!"

"Each day was long - way longer than I anticipated! I would wake up about 1.5 hours before sunrise to get everything sorted, breakfast eaten and packed away ready to ride as the sun rose."

"Depending on the wind and my energy levels, I’d ride between 1-3 hours before having a break. A break might be just stopping to stretch my legs and drink water, or could be longer stop for a meal or repairing something."

"I’d stop multiple times throughout the day with my final stop being to look for somewhere to put my tent as the sun was going down. I covered between 100 and 150km per day."

Emma Timmis"I always aimed to have my tent up early and to be able to relax outside the tent, but the reality was that I could never find somewhere appropriate to set up camp early enough, or I would be surrounded by mosquitoes and had to lock myself in the tent!"

"It was never the romantic notion I had of watching the sunset over the ocean as I sipped on wine beside my tent!"

"As always it was so much harder than I had anticipated. I don’t know what goes on in my head when I visualise my adventures. It’s not even like I read lots of books or watch TV a lot and have these unrealistic visions."

"Maybe I’m just a dreamer. I always think I’ll be super-relaxed and soaking up the sun in tropical countries with no wind and no insects! - So wrong! There is always so much more to cram into your day than you expect."

I loved filming and making vlogs every day but it took so much time that I often fell asleep in my tent half-way through making the video and would have to catch up the next day.

Self-supported trips alone are definitely my favourite but I have come to realise they are the most demanding.

"Pretty much all of my lowest points involved wind from some direction or other! The wind is your worst nightmare when you’re on an Elliptigo because you stand so tall and get pushed around."

"The highs were the beautiful scenery, the peace and the unbelievably friendly people I met in Australia. This journey was unsupported but by the end I felt like I’d had the biggest and best support team ever as there was always someone looking out for me."

Emma Timmis"The winds had a huge effect on my day and it would slow my speed so drastically. The first two weeks the weather was so very British! I had days where it rained from beginning to end."

"I can remember as I went through a town called Geraldton hearing on the news that it was the worst weather they’d had in 20 years! But this was evened out with the stunning, summery weather I had for most of the ride."

"I love the sun and heat, and felt completely in my element riding along in 30-plus degree temperatures. The majority of nights I wild camped in my tent. Towards the end when I had less distance to cover and I was in quite built-up areas, I managed to sleep in houses most nights."

"Word spread through social media and friends of friends and I had beds offered to me almost every night for the last two weeks. This was great as I didn’t have to deal with drying out my tent through the day or battling against mosquitoes to cook my food at night, but it came with other challenges."

"I often had late nights socialising but still had to get up at the same time to get on the road. I also became very comfortable in my tent and staying in different beds each night didn’t mean I slept better."

"The thing I found most challenging about the expedition? - have I mentioned the wind already?! The main thing I looked for on the weather forecast each day was the wind as it made such an impact on me."

"One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that I am definitely an introvert. The best definition I’ve found for ‘introvert’ is that they energise from being alone. That is definitely me - I love spending time with people but if I do it too much I feel tired."

Emma Timmis"For me, having all that time alone was a great way to energise, think and reset my mental state. I love having so much time alone with my thoughts. It’s where I feel most empowered. I would think a lot about people I love, goals for the future and how I can make a difference in the world."

"At the same time I had to think about a lot of boring things like when I would arrive in the next town, how much food I had left and where I could get water. At various points in the day I would try to focus on being present, taking in the sights, sounds and smells, and making the most of that very moment."

"Being on expedition is the only time I ever eat porridge. It doesn’t necessarily agree with me but it’s so convenient. Lightweight, quick to cook and full of energy. I carry my own petrol-fuelled stove so it’s very easy to be self-sufficient."

"Most lunches were bread-based, and dinners were pasta or cous cous - often with tuna. When I stayed with local people I had a whole variety of foods."

"I seemed to acquire a bit of an addiction to Monte Carlo biscuits too. It became such a thing that people all across Australia were buying them for me. My trailer was regularly filled with more Monte Carlo biscuits than water!"

"I actually just loved riding the Elliptigo. The way your body moves on it is so natural and free that it makes you feels so good. I had a huge smile on my face the whole time I was riding it and when people see you it makes them smile too which made me even happier."

"Riding it was vastly different from a regular bicycle, running or walking. At the end of a day I did feel tired but it was more related to being out in the elements rather than my muscles being fatigued. Each day I would wake-up and my body would feel fantastic."

Emma Timmis"I think it’s because you aren’t putting any impact through your body so it isn’t too strenuous on your joints. But I was tired each night. I found it very easy to sleep which is something I struggle with normally.

But, towing the trailer was really hard work, especially against a headwind and up hills. I definitely went up some hills that were the very limit I could take the trailer up in terms of steepness. Thankfully, I was on an 11 speed Elliptigo so I would just choose the lowest gear and pedal away.

Being out in the elements and exercising my whole body all day most definitely was tough, but the magic of the Elliptigo is that no matter how hard you work, the next day you just don’t ache.

On the cold, wet, windy, miserable days it was probably 90% mental challenge. There was one day that was so windy I was barely moving anywhere. It took me most of the day to move 50 kilometers."

"I could only struggle for about 3 or 4 kilometers before having to stop and rest. This day was most definitely a mental battle. I wanted to give up but actually I had no choice. I couldn’t have pitched my tent in that wind anyway so I had to keep pushing on slowly. But, if I had any phone signal and got a notification of a donation that always gave me a real boost.

"I’d also been dealing with an injury for some time too which had taken lot of my energy and I needed to get treatment for. I actually haven’t had that much time to reflect over the challenge yet, but hopefully I will one day. And I’d definitely love to do another Elliptigo challenge!"

"Unfortunately, I am still seeking a diagnosis for the injury and so far no one has been able to find it's cause. It’s been a year now since it began and it’s very frustrating. The trouble is that it’s not something you can see from the outside so it seems to be a process of elimination - like testing what it’s not."

Emma Timmis"I also think there has been more than one issue happening. But the best I can say is that there is something going on with my left calf but hopefully it will be sorted out soon. Now I’m back in the UK so hopefully I can get it sorted here. But medical treatment during this pandemic is easier said than done.

"Over the last three years I haven't been able to continue with any physical endeavours as I've struggled with this undiagnosed leg condition. But I've decided to turn adversity into opportunity and recreate my life."

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