Book Review: Dare to Do: Taking on the Planet by Bike and Boat by Sarah Outen
Sarah Outen is a British adventurer. After rowing across the Indian Ocean, she decided to circumnavigate the globe under her own power. In other words, she wanted to go for a little jaunt – cycling, kayaking, and rowing a mere 25,000 miles. Starting from London- she kayaked the Channel, biked Europe and Asia- kayaked down the coast of Japan – rowed the PACIFIC ocean – biked North America – rowed the ATLANTIC ocean – and biked/kayaked back to London. Are you exhausted yet? She also encountered 2 hurricanes- one in each ocean.
As far as the craziness of Sarah’s adventure, she had me at the subtitle: Taking on the planet by bike and boat. Definitely a must read. I love the idea of cycling across the US, or even better, across Europe, but across both Europe and Asia, in addition to kayaking and rowing both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, well, that’s a bit out of my league.
Sarah’s writing is very well done. It was compelling; she mixed the adventure with the mental and emotional stresses that come with being alone, on an adventure of epic proportions, sometimes scared for her life, and physically exhausted and strained. I had a hard time sleeping after reading about her staying in her rowing boat during a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean. My heart rate was up after reading how she strapped herself into her bunk, and her poor boat kept capsizing (it’s meant to right itself) in the storm. And oh the anguish of calling for a rescue and leaving her boat in the Pacific!
Tenacity and relentless are two words that come to mind when thinking about this book. After dealing with the emotional letdown,depression, and PTSD from the Pacific hurricane, Sarah decided to finish her journey. Let me tell you, I think I would have moved on to something else. I love finishing a project, but hello! Hurricanes!!
I love ‘behind the scenes’ looks into people’s lives, and into how things look. Sarah did a lovely job of filling me in on how she funded her adventure, how her team operated, and how though she was physically alone for most of this adventure, she was not doing this alone. Financial struggles to keep the project going were very real, and she and her team worked hard to make it happen. Her support team played a huge role, and it was fun to have a peek at how an epic adventure like this gets put together.
Overall, this is probably one of my favorite travel and adventure memoirs of the year. It’s fast paced, and inspirational. Since her journey is done, Sarah Outen has been working on other projects, including making a documentary of her journey. You can find more information on it at her website: Sarah Outen’s website.
After reading this book, I discovered that she had also written a book on her journey rowing across the Indian Ocean! And here is a link to her TED Talk. Also, the documentary Losing Sight of the Shore is on Netflix as of (11/2017), and documents 6 women rowing across the Pacific Ocean. I watched it earlier in the year, and was a great introduction to ocean rowing, as I didn’t know it was a thing before. It’s a great watch; the kids and I really enjoyed it.
This review is my own, I did not receive any compensation for it. The links to Amazon are affiliate links, and I may make a few cents if you use them, they help keep this site running.