I am so excited to share this conversation with you.
Darcy Gaechter is the first and only woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. She is considered one of the world’s best female kayakers and one of the most accomplished expedition kayakers.
Darcy’s brilliant book Amazon Woman: Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and My Quest to Kayak the Largest River from Source to Sea, shares the phenomenal 148-day journey made with two companions, her long time boyfriend (Don Beveridge) and their client, computer programmer David Midgley (“Midge”), who was not a kayaker prior to dreaming up this Amazon idea and employing Darcy and Don as his guides.
For a little back story, the expedition began on Darcy’s 35th birthday. She sold her successful outdoor adventure business, upsetting partner Don and getting them both fired in the process. Not the best start to a journey that would see the group of three deal with zero personal space and emotional waters often more challenging to navigate than the mighty river itself.
The trio would tackle raging Class Five whitewater for twenty-five days straight and barely survive a dynamite-filled canyon being prepared for a new hydroelectric plan. They encountered illegal loggers, narco-traffickers, murderous Shining Path rebels, and ruthless poachers in the black market trade in endangered species.
The number of times I exclaimed out loud, “never!” thinking “I would never attempt a fraction of this!” during my devouring of Darcy’s book… well it was a lot. Might I add, Darcy made this trip as a vegan and the food that sustained her during these near unfathomable challenges… well it was NOT a lot.
Amazon Woman is a story of finding the courage and strength to challenge nature, cultures, social norms, and oneself. And Darcy is a powerful example of the extraordinary feats women are capable of, while also being a passionate advocate for the animals and the environment.
In this conversation we cover:
- Darcy, wondered: “Would kayaking the entire length of Amazon change me?” So: Did it, at all or in the ways she was perhaps hoping?
- Darcy had been vegan nearly 13 years before the expedition began. How did she manage and what were some of the things she had to survive on?
- Pushing back against the American ideal. Did someone or a specific event in Darcy’s life teach her to have this attitude.
- Darcy’s book, Amazon Woman: Facing Fears, Chasing Dreams, and My Quest to Kayak the Largest River from Source to Sea.
- They were regularly: “one mistake or one stick of dynamite away from death” Darcy shares one such terrifying experience.
- Some of the interactions with locals and take aways on contentment, happiness, what is truly important.
- Darcy’s goodbye note.
- The emotional frictions – that would fester and erupt on the journey. Would did Darcy learn about herself and was there growth / lessons gleaned?
- Darcy is actively volunteering for the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute.
- What is the next adventure?
As well as a thrilling read – or listen on Audible – Amazon Woman and Darcy’s approach to life illustrates the importance of learning what drives YOU and having the trust in yourself to follow that path even when it might not be the more travelled path society is pushing you towards.
Darcy hinted at it, however, regarding the business Darcy sold and got herself and Don fired from prior to the expedition they bought it back in 2016 and currently spend half the year in Ecuador running Small World Adventures.On the Amazon, I learned little changes in my mindset could make such a difference. @GaechterDarcy Click To Tweet
Learn more about Darcy via her website: darcygaechter.com
Learn more about Small World Adventures via the website: www.smallworldadventures.com
Finally, Darcy mentioned Backpackers Pantry (they joyfully have more vegan choices now).
That’s it for this week in Healthification.
However, have you checked out my Plant Positive Journal yet?
I am so very proud of this stunning journal. There is now also a fillable PDF version available for immediate download so wherever you are in the world you can still get Plant Positive with me!
If you are plant-based curious. Or already vegan and need a healthier approach to the lifestyle.
In this daily journal you will learn how to consistently prioritise food, exercise and other healthy habits that build on each other to have a compounding and lasting effect.
To help you create a BODY and LIFE you LOVE by successfully managing your TIME and your MIND.
It makes a great gift to YOU!
Or, for the loved one who is plant-based curious or who has been a valuable vegan ally to you.
You can check out the printed version HERE:
Plus, the fillable PDF HERE:
Importantly, the journal follows a twelve month format however is not dated so it is perfect to use at ANY time of the year.
With love and gratitude plant friends.
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