“I don’t have a bean…But my life now is one long adventure. Instead of waking up and knowing what will happen today, I have no idea what that could be. I don’t own designer clothes, or a sports car, or a huge house, but I am seeing the world, experiencing amazing things, and I have become an environmental campaigner.”

I bumped into Roz Savage during her radio interview. She is the first woman to row solo across three oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian. She has a 23-foot rowboat. Most interestingly to me is that she was a successful management consultant, married, affluent…but something was missing. So she started rowing and bringing more awareness about the environment. The video above is more a pitch to take care of the planet, but she points out that she rowed 15,000 miles with 5 million oar strokes…one stroke at a time…and we can make a difference one decision at at a time. Not sure I agree with her strategy for stopping corporate and national pollution, but it’s her story and passion. You can read some of her advice here about how to live your own life. She is very supportive in helping people make changes they are afraid of. Here are some of her suggestions:

Don’t waste mental energy asking yourself if you CAN do something. Just do it. You’ll surprise yourself. I did.

Be clear about your objectives. Ignore others, stay true to yourself and measure success only against your own criteria. I was last to finish the race – big deal. I went out there to learn about myself, and I did.

The only constant in life is change. So don’t get depressed by the bad times, and don’t get over-excited by good ones. Accept that things are exactly as they are, and even bad times have something to teach us.

You used to be a management consultant. Why the change?

“I’ve been fortunate enough to find out through personal experience that money and material possessions don’t make you happy. I used to think that they would, but instead found that the materialistic lifestyle left me feeling empty and unfulfilled.

Roz starts rowing to Hawaii

Roz starts rowing to Hawaii

I did an interesting exercise one day – I sat down and wrote two versions of my obituary. The first was the one I was heading for if I carried on in my present lifestyle, and the other was the one I dreamed of having. They were very different.

So it was time for a change. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and look back with regret on all the things I hadn’t done. It was time to stop dreaming, and start doing.”

Isn’t it dangerous?

To an extent – anything to do with the ocean is dangerous. But equally I could get on the London Underground and get blown up, or go to cross the street and get hit by a bus. You can’t wrap yourself in cotton wool if you want to really live life. And I do all I can to reduce the risks. And I seem to go into a different mindset when I am on the ocean. I am extra-vigilant, and more sensible and practical than on dry land. I’m very aware that when you’re on your own in the middle of an ocean, there are no second chances.

You can read more about her here and here.

On the youtube page that showed this different, earlier video below, Roz disclosed that she rows completely naked, except for her baseball cap. No fear of sunburn and skin damage either. What a woman!


I DO understand the environmental issues Roz is promoting (I’ve worked in environmental policy)… so I’m a tad embarrassed to be asking this trivial question: Roz, While rowing, you are always wearing singlet-tops. Aren’t you worried about getting skin cancer? Sunscreen can only protect you to a certain extent – especially when you’re sweating.

Roz Savage in reply to thumpaholden:

Thanks for your concern! I use organic sun cream to protect my skin. Actually I don’t usually wear even a singlet top – I’m usually wearing nothing but a baseball cap, but I put clothes on for filming!


You are entering my life just at the right time…I have 8 summers left, doing a lot of self awareness work and at 64 still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Roz Savage:

So why don’t you break free? It might not be as hard as you think–and once you get to the other side, life can be amazing!!

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