Sue Hile describes herself as a happy go lucky, 'gypsy in my soul' type of girl and in the time we have known her it's obvious she is a woman passionate about sharing the 'thrills of an active & travelling lifestyle' with all who she comes in contact with. We asked Sue about Adventurous Women and its origins. Her story is one of familiarity to many women, with snippets of'Eat, Pray, Love' & 'Wild' coming to mind.
Sue is the owner of one of Australia's longest running and very popular Women's Only Travel & Adventure Clubs, Adventurous Women, located in Western Australia. Her experience in understanding what women want when it comes to Adventure Travel is second to none here in Australia. She has successfully led many adventure trips of all levels around the country and overseas, so she knows a bit about making a trip a 'once in a lifetime experience'. This is partly why her business has been a success, especially as it was established in a time when 'adventure travel for women' seemed like a small niche.
SUE: Long story cut short, I started losing that 'gypsy' soul at age 43, became restless and unhappy. Some may say a mid-life crisis. I decided to do something about it and backpacked alone in South East Asia for 3 months, leaving behind a job, all comforts, hubby & kids. My intention was never to leave for good, but to find myself again; have time to think about what I wanted to do for the next phase of my life, really 'feel' what it was like to miss those close to me and come back a much happier and healthier person.
It occurred to me, that if I was feeling this way, surely other women may also be. So when I returned from overseas I decided to start a business where I could travel frequently to keep that 'gypsy soul' alive and share my passion with other women who may feel the same.
TPL: What resonates with women when it comes to adventure and travel?
SUE: We are a real mix. Somelike 'hard core' adventure travel where they can really challenge themselves in the outdoors and test themselves against nature. While others like a 'softer experience' combining travel where they are immersing themselves more in the cultural experiences, taken a little out of their comfort zone - still active, but with some comforts.
Sue having been in the industry for a long while now, has noticed as a adventure/tour operator who caters specifically to women that there is a need for women to feel that they are safe and supported when stepping out of their comfort zone. For some travelling to new countries with strangers is daunting, so it's important to have groups like Adventurous Women who are like-minded women with an adventurous spirit to share 'adventures' with and not feel judged. A place where they can be empowered, supported have a bit of fun in a chilled out atmosphere with newly made, but soon enough, long time friends.
TPL: Why do you think Adventurous Women has been such a success?
We provide a safe, supportive and friendly environment where women from all backgrounds are made to feel part of the group immediately and we tread new ground, do some great things we probably wouldn't have the opportunity to do unless in this type of group. The women involved in Adventurous Women are from all different backgrounds, marital status, lifestyles and vary in age from around 30 through to 70 (and a small number either side of that). The common denominator is that they are looking for something other than the singles or couples scene, being herded like cattle through tourist attractions and spending money on material things like luxury accommodation, shopping & coach tours. They want experiences to remember.
Sue confirms that the women on her trips are the same women we speak with on a daily basis. Women from all walks of life with varying backgrounds and interesting stories, looking for something more out of life.
Thank you Sue