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Making the leap: 3 inspiring women in business

Here at Inspired Adventures, we love hearing empowering stories of women (and men!) who took a leap of faith and reached for their goals, no matter how crazy or difficult it seemed. We’ve found three particularly inspiring ladies who are doing amazing things in their own business and had the opportunity to ask them the hard-hitting questions (like where they are planning their next holiday!) Check it out!

Holly Woodhouse, Founder of 'Say Yes to Adventure' Magazine

1 – Tell us about yourself. What’s your professional background?

I studied a Bachelor of Design in Wellington and have worked in the creative industry for the last ten years. Sport and adventure are a huge passion of mine; I’m always heading outdoors for a weekend in the mountains and competing in new events, which have included the Coast to Coast, Red Bull Defiance and Marathon des Sables. Next on the list is a 230-kilometre ultra through Peru’s Amazon Jungle in June.

2 – What is Say Yes to Adventure all about? How did you come up with the concept?

Say Yes to Adventure was created for the adventurous person in all of us. Someone who loves the outdoors and the opportunities that arise from this.

But not only do they love adventure, they appreciate good design and a high-quality magazine when they see one. Say Yes to Adventure is designed for the coffee table, to be enjoyed by people of all ages for years to come.

I was searching for a creative way to raise funds for Running for Rangers, an organisation which supports the ranger’s welfare across the private wildlife conservancies in Kenya. I always wanted to create a high-quality adventure magazine, so this seemed like the perfect time and reason to start one and the perfect way to combine my love of adventure and design.

3 – What can we expect to see in a SYTA mag?

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Each contribution, whether a story, image or illustration, explores the emotion that comes from having an adventure. It doesn’t have to be someone who is running across the world, or diving to the depths of the ocean (although these are amazing), it’s more about getting outside and pushing your boundaries. It’s also not full of clutter; no product reviews, no race reports, just well-written stories that inspire the adventurer in all of us.

4 – What’s it like running your own business?

Amazing. Stressful. Rewarding. It’s a tough gig starting out, and there is no way I could have done this without the support of my family. I have to be so organised. Currently, I am still working another job so at least I know the bills are paid, training for an ultra-marathon and publishing a magazine all on my own. But I’m not complaining; I’ve chosen this path and soon it will be my full-time job.

5 – Any cool plans you can let us in on for the future?

There are so many plans! I’m a bit of a dreamer, what I’m not going to do! After a year of being in business and it going well, I’ve decided to take it further afield and it available for purchase in stores in Australia, the UK and Europe, not just online as it is now, within the next six months.

6 – Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Just go for it. Dive straight in and don’t think about the negative. Obviously, having a plan is a great idea, but let the natural process take over. If you worry too much about the nitty gritty, you’ll lose the passion. Starting a business is hard work, and if you don’t have passion and believe in it 100%, then it’s a hard road. Also, not everyone is going to be nice to you (a huge reality check for me). But I love the saying “When you encounter resistance… When you strike a nerve… It means you’re onto something.”

7 – Which country is on your travel bucket list?

Which country isn’t on my bucket list! Being the publisher and editor of an adventure magazine, I am continually inspired by the amazing people out there. I want to go and do all the things that my contributors are doing!

To subscribe to SYTA or read more, visit their website 

Emma Walker, Founder of 'She Went Wild'

1 – Tell us about yourself. What’s your professional background?

I’m from Wales in the UK and have been living in Sydney for the last 3 years. I started in marketing after doing my degree, but never felt completely happy in the position. After I met my partner we started a glamping company that we ran for 2 years before moving here. This is where my love for events came in, as we were heavily involved with local events. When we moved to Australia I spent two years working for a creative event company as their national event co-ordinator.

Our passion for the great outdoors and adventure sports led us to create She Went Wild. I’m hugely excited about meeting women who are as interested in the outdoors as we are, and hope that She Went Wild and the exhibition in November will help inspire more women to get outdoors.

2 – What is She Went Wild all about? How did you come up with the concept?

We hope that women – or anyone who visits – whatever their age or background, take a sense of adventure away with them. The feeling that they are part of a community, and are capable of achieving whatever they want. I want women to have found inspiration and the tools that will empower them – whether they be certain products, services or simple reassurance to get outdoors, meet new people and experience new things.

The concept developed through my own experiences really. Noticing how the sports that I was taking an interest in were all marketed heavily towards men. I find it difficult to find certain equipment for my size sometimes, and yet all the courses I’ve been involved with lately are full of women. I also visited a number of other outdoor exhibitions, but again there wasn’t much focus on women, and I struggled to feel inspired. So I decided to take what I knew, and what I loved, and combine the two to create something new and exciting. That’s how She Went Wild was born.

3 – What can we expect to see at She Went Wild?

You can expect to see equipment and courses for various sports and hobbies, companies who can help you book your next big adventure, keep you warm and secure with clothing and apparel as well as interactive activities and workshops for women of all ages.

You’ll be able to hear talks from Australia’s most inspirational women, enjoy food from the best food trucks in town, all whilst listening to some really great live music. Basically an awesome day out! We’re also proudly donating $5 of each ticket to our chosen charity One Girl, who work really hard to give girls in Uganda and Sierra Leone access to an education.

4 – What’s it like running your own business?

It’s always been a dream of mine to work for myself. It’s incredibly challenging but really rewarding. You need to be strict with yourself and get into a routine and keep motivated. I’ve been overwhelmed with the incredible support I’ve received since going live and it’s pushing me to work harder.

5 – Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Do it! We had a very challenging time in our life a couple of years ago when my partner was pretty sick, and the one thing I am thankful for is it really gave us a wake-up call, you make your life how you want it. There’s always obstacles in the way, or sometimes feels it’s not the right time, but just bite the bullet and give it ago. You don’t always have to give up everything to try it, ease your way into it if that makes you feel more comfortable. If you’re passionate, dedicated and keen to make a change in your life there really is no better time.

6 – Any cool plans you can let us in on for the future?

We have loads! Some a crazier than others, but I’d love to take the event to the UK where I’m from and of course NZ the adventure capital of the world. We’re hoping to work collectively with local businesses to create some really cool workshops where we can all learn new things, meet new people and engage more with the outdoors.

7 – Which country is on your travel bucket list?

I have two; India and Patagonia! I speak Welsh fluently, and strangely Patagonia is one of the few places in the world where the Welsh language is still spoken, so combined with the sheer beauty of the country, it’s always been high on my bucket list. I have always been fascinated by India, the diversity of the landscapes, the music, food and the many cultures of the country. We have some friends getting married there next year and I cannot wait to visit, hopefully to head up North towards the Himalayas.

Read more about the event here

Kaylene Langford, Founder of 'StartUp Creative'

1 – Tell us about yourself. How did you get to where you are?

My name is Kaylene and I am the founder and director of StartUp Creative and StartUp Creative Magazine. When I finished school I went to work as an outdoor education officer, running adventured based outdoor school camps, it was my dream job. From there I continued my working as a youth worker and later went on to work with the Queensland Government Youth Sector reforms.

I thought my career was on track to influencing the way youth work was rolled out across the state and soon realised that it was a very rigid industry that was very slow to change. I was commuting 3-6 hours a day to the job at the time and noticed that my work was compromising my general health and wellbeing. I started reading a book on the train, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and found the quote ‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve’. I knew I had to be the one to create my dream job and that sitting around complaining about my job and long commute wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

That same morning on the train, I designed the business model for StartUp Creative. Four months later I finished in my full time role, took on contract work and built StartUp Creative.

2 – What is StartUp Creative all about? How did you come up with the concept?

When I first heard about the ‘startup’ scene, I was excited by the non-traditional style of launching a business. I knew I wanted to be a part of the fast paced world that was making serious noise in the way business was being done.

From my previous experience of working with young people, I knew that the startup style would suit the ‘millennial generation’ that are known for being tech savvy, risk takers and full of ideas. Whilst the startup scene was attractive it was also very full of lingo and tech talk, which went straight over my head. I decided to learn everything I could about launching a successful business along the way and then offer my learnings to other young people who wanted to rune their passion into a viable business. I strive to keep our content catchy, relatable and easy to digest because I truly believe anyone can start and run their own business if they are deeply passionate about what they are doing.

3 – What’s it like running your own business?

 Absolute FREEDOM! Which can be good and bad. Most of the time I am gobsmacked at the fact that I don’t have to answer to anyone. I think after 8 years of working as an employee, I am so conditioned to being accountable to someone. Now, I am accountable directly to my customers, who inspire me to be better everyday so it doesn’t feel like work. I love the feeling of being able to set my own schedule and design my business in the most innovative and creative ways I know how.

Whilst it is amazing to be able to start work at 11am and take Mondays off, there is also a huge responsibility to keep it all together. A business never stops and I believe it should never stop growing and that overall responsibility lands wholly on me. It can be quite stressful to manage magazine deadlines, budgets and events all by yourself and there have been times when I think ‘what the hell have I done’, but I would say the good out weighs the bad a lot of the time. I am a highly competitive person and am always challenging myself to improve so I think I am probably my own biggest critic. 

4 – How does it feel to know you’re helping young people achieve their dreams every day?

This is my favourite thing about running StartUp Creative! A week after we launched Issue #1 of the StartUp Creative Magazine I started receiving emails from people who had read the magazine front to back and were so inspired to start their own business. It’s exactly what we were aiming for but it still blew my mind that it was working. I love hearing peoples startup stories and I love even more being able to stand in someone’s corner with them and help make their dreams a reality.

I am so deeply passionate about people living the best most enjoyable life they can and I will do anything to help make that a reality for them. I know what it was like to be going through the motions of a mundane life that lacks excitement and opportunities to grow and I also know the pure joy and relief that comes when you hear that life doesn’t have to be like that. I look at the way I used to live my life, hustling everyday for my 9-5 job to make enough money so that I could enjoy my ‘real life’ on the weekend and am inspired by the new life I have created for myself, I only want that for everyone, it is possible!

5 – Any cool plans you can let us in on for the future?

So many plans! My head is always racing with ideas of what to do next. Ultimately I would love to use my skills from my youth workdays to build a high school for year 11 & 12 students who want to graduate as a founder of their very own startup. 

6 – Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Get out there and start! There is always a way to make it happen today! If you’ve got a list of things that you need to do before you start, write them all down on a piece of paper and throw them in the bin! They are just excuses that you’ve told yourself because it is a scary thing to do. Starting a business is the best way to learn how to start a business, surround yourself with good people who believe in you and tell yourself ‘you can do it’ every single day. Eventually, you’ll put you’re head up and realise, it’s done!

For more info, visit Kaylene’s website

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Do you have a healthy relationship with technology?

This year, I’m turning the big 3-0, and it’s safe to say I am part of what they call “the online generation”. Throughout my years, I’ve been able to see firsthand how technology has changed our lives, for better and worse. 

I remember so clearly getting our first computer when I was eight years old and we were the first family at my school to get “The Internet”. Back in those days, you couldn’t talk on the phone and be on the Internet, but it didn’t even matter. You’d be online, chatting with your friends and your mum would yell, “get off the computer, I need to use the phone!” You’d groan but comply.

After 10 minutes when your mum was done, you’d jump back on the computer only to hear the most exciting news ever: “You’ve got mail!” Does anybody else remember that voice?! How times have changed. These days, I get an absolute feeling of dread as my inbox floods with emails and my iPhone automatically sends me push notifications. I now long for the days of postal correspondence from a pen pal; envelopes filled with magical and fun things like glitter and drawings, not work-related business and credit card statements.

I first realised something needed to change when my partner recently decided we’d be having “no phone” nights. What’s that, you ask? The rule is that we don’t play on our phones (or iPads) so that we can spend more quality time together. I mean, we still watch TV… but at least we are only distracted by one piece of technology, right?

Technology has changed the world in so many ways, and not always for the better. If you aren’t one of the 56 million people who has viewed the Gary Turk video called ‘Look Up’, then you really should check it out. The video, which is recited as a poem, has lines like:

“This media we call social is anything but.”


“Stop watching this video, live life the real way.”

It’s powerful stuff, guys.

So how can we live a life where we benefit from technology, without letting it take over our lives, making us miss out on all the good stuff? Luckily I’ve done the research so you don’t have to! I call it:

“How to have a healthy relationship with technology”

1. Go tech-free on weekends

I often leave my phone at home and go to the beach with a book or go for a walk. I also like to leave my phone at home when I travel so I can really enjoy the destination without distractions (or I take it and leave it in my bag for just in case moments).

2. No phones in the bedroom

Checking your phone before bed is a big no-no and will negatively impact your ability to fall asleep. The light from the screen goes right into your eyes and essentially tells your brain not to secrete melatonin ­– the hormone that makes you feel tired.

3. Schedule time to check emails

So rather than letting your emails be “pushed” automatically to your phone, you make a set time to check your emails. This practice allows you to work through your tasks more systematically rather than hopping from one thing to another without ticking anything off. Also, avoid checking work emails at night and on weekends. If you’re in the bad habit of doing that, it means you never really switch off, so you won’t be refreshed for the week or days ahead.

4. Make real memories

Rather than making it your mission to get the perfect snap for insta, just enjoy it and savour the moment. I love this photo below (even though it makes me sob on the inside). Look how happy Nanna is! She’s enjoying the moment sans technology and living in the moment.

John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Image

5. Challenge yourself to try things the old fashioned way

Why not try to find a location without Google map? Wander around, use your eyes or ask people in the real world people where the place you’re looking for is. You might even make new friends or meet interesting people, imagine that!

6. Make a list of activities or projects you want to work on

When I’m bored my go-to is to trawl my Facebook newsfeed and waste away my spare time. So one idea I came up with was to have a list of activities or projects that I wanted to do. Now when I’m bored/have spare time, I check out my list and pick something on it that I can achieve or start working on. I’ve even heard of people who have jars filled with activity ideas that they pull out at random–how cool! Some of my ideas were: paint a feature wall, bake brownies, read a new book, paint my toenails or go for a walk.

See? It’s not so hard to have a healthy relationship with technology. As with almost everything, it’s all about balance, people. Now go forth and give it a go!

Related articles:

Feeling inspired?

Detox from technology and take on an amazing adventure outdoors. Find your challenge

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Understanding the UN Climate Council Conference

What a huge month it’s been for action on climate! For the first time, world leaders from almost 200 countries gathered at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (also known as COP 21). With 2015 on track to be the hottest year ever recorded, it’s about time climate change got the attention it deserves!

Together the world leaders agreed climate change is a real threat to humanity and penned the first universal agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming.

After 13 days of negotiations, commitments were made to keep global warming well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to aim for a temperature increase closer 1.5°C. The ambitious agreement was welcomed news for our friends in the Pacific who are already feeling the effects of climate change on a daily basis with the seas rising around the small islands.

Highlights of the deal include the requirement of nations to review their emissions every five years, and for wealthier countries to contribute $100 billion by 2020 to help poorer countries transition to clean energy economies. One of the biggest points of difference? For the first time, we saw both developed and developing countries sign up and make legal obligations to do their part to reduce man-made emissions.

All the credit for the new climate accord shouldn’t go to politicians. As the talks in Paris kicked off at the beginning of the month, regular Australian’s showed up to take part in the People’s Climate March. Worldwide the number of participants was 785,000 across 175 countries (more than three-quarters of a million). Pressure on governments from everyday climate activists made a huge difference to reaching this landmark agreement.  

If you are looking for practical ways to make sure your 2016 promotes a clean climate, while staying involved in the fight to reduce our warming planet check out our handy tips.  


Consider moving your money and superannuation away from banks that lend finance to fossil fuel projects. Better banking options include Bendigo Bank and Bank Australia. For a cleaner super fund join Future Super in minutes, it’s the only 100% fossil fuel free super fund in Australia.

Switch your energy provider

Make the move to better energy and use your consumer dollar to boycott AGL, Origin and Energy Australia. Switching is easy and affordable through Powershop (your new carbon neutral energy service).  

Use your political voice

Is your local member prioritising a clean climate? Consider voting for a party who is focused on achieving a cleaner, greener future. 


Get behind environmental organisations which prioritise First Nations people and their connection to country, wisdom & leadership. Why not check out the work of Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network?

Feeling Inspired?

Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar to find an environmental cause to get behind!