Meet the intrepid adventuress Marika from Women’s Own Adventures (WOA), our favourite “travel agent” Marika shares our love for the great outdoors, experiencing different cultures and making new friends, she is also passionate about making a difference in peoples lives. Marika is an accomplished paraglider pilot with over 10 years of free flight experience. We caught up with her to find out a bit more.
Describe Yourself in 7 Words
Passionate, adventurous, excitable, driven, brimming with ideas.
Tell us about yourself and how WOA came about?
I have always had a thirst for adventure and the outdoors. I took up paragliding about 10 years ago once my children had grown up, and after a lifetime of wanting to fly, free like a bird. Then I looked at my life and my past career and realised that I wanted more travel and adventure, so that led me to work out how I could follow my heart and still keep my family in tact as well as still earn a living.
What advice would you give women about choosing a more active holiday option?
Don’t be afraid to do something you have never done before, or to go somewhere you have never been. Enjoy the challenge and the experience.
Tell us your Top 5 Adventure destinations for women in 2014-15
Alaska, Canadian Wilderness, Antarctica, Vietnam, Peru
How does travel and adventure empower women?
Travel is inspirational and adventure is empowering. When taken out of your comfort zone, you can achieve things you may not have thought possible, that feeling of having done it is simply wonderful. These experiences give us confidence to do more.
Who or what inspired you to create WOA to this point?
My children had grown up and I desperately wanted more from my life than simply going to work to earn money.
I came to realise there were many other women in my age bracket who felt the same way. However, there were no travel companies specialising in adventure travel just for women, where a woman travelling on her own could share the experience in great company with other like-minded women. That knowledge inspired me to create Women’s Own Adventure.
What do you think women travellers want in respect to humanitarian travel holiday options?
We love to give something back. Becoming involved in a humanitarian project where you can see the fruits of your labour is a very fulfilling experience. It enables us to be directly involved with a community in need and to have an authentic cultural exchange.
Tell us your dreams, what does the future hold?
My dream is for Women’s Own Adventure to grow and continue to touch lives and inspire women all over the world to get out and get involved and enjoy adventurous travel experiences with confidence. On a more personal level I look forward to living abroad, such as in Europe and South America for 6 months at a time and really experience a different way of life.
What do you really enjoy when you travel?
Getting on the plane, having said goodbye to everyone and turned off the computer, knowing that I now have time to sleep, watch movies, read and just be me until I land.
Can you share one of your funniest holiday experiences with us?
After a night of too much wine in Cusco, I wanted to visit the church at midnight. The security guard said we could take the secret stairs up to the roof if we slipped him $10. So in our drunken state, laughing uncontrollably we sat on the roof of the church in the middle of the night, with the most magnificent views and no handrails.
Where is your next adventure holiday?
Paragliding in the Alps.
Thank you Markia