It has been quite a year. A quick round-up, in words and pictures….

At Burning Man in September

Countries visited – 12:
United Kingdom
Papua New Guinea
Hong Kong

Presenting for National Geographic in Seattle in March

Presentations given: 47
1 in Vail
3 in Seattle
1 in Ecuador (TED)
3 in Papua New Guinea
1 in Malaysia
4 in Philippines
30 on speaking tour
2 in Istanbul
2 in London

Miles rowed: about 2,000

Friends made: countless


2010 started out at Romy’s farmhouse in Wales, seeing the New Year in with a few good friends.

Then from snowy Wales it was off to Hawaii, for a few meetings in Honolulu followed by a few weeks of peace and calm and productive hard work at Henk Rogers’ ranch on the Big Island.

Greg's boat on Vancouver Islands


My first speaking engagement of the year was at the Vail Symposium in Colorado. I arrived, my luggage didn’t. But with a bit of chauffeuring by David Saunders and a whizz around Denver’s thrift stores, a new outfit was found without undue trouble or expense.

I traveled via San Francisco for a swift round of meetings, then up to Oregon to spend the rest of February and early March at Michelle Slade’s house in Hood River. As with January, a productive time in one of my favourite parts of the world.


Off to Seattle for three presentations as part of the National Geographic Live speaker series, at the 2,500 seat Benaroya Hall. I discovered that I really, really like talking to big audiences. The energy was just fantastic.

Then up into Canada to Vancouver Island to spend a week with adventurers Colin and Julie Angus. Luckily my visit coincided with Greg Kolodziejzyk conducting the sea trials of WiTHiN, his sleek pedal-powered craft. I took it out for a spin and achieved speeds that me and my rowboat can only dream of.

Arrival in Papua New Guinea in June


TED Mission Blue conference in the Galapagos Islands, on board the National Geographic Endeavour. Hobnobbed with the likes of Leonardo diCaprio, Ed Norton, Glenn Close, Chevy Chase, Damien Rice and Jean Michel Cousteau, and became quite possibly the first TED speaker ever to retrieve their notes from their bra in mid-speech (fortunately edited out of the online version).

Then back to “work” – off to Kiribati for the third and final stage of my Pacific row.

19th April to 4th June: row, row, row your boat… to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific.


Spent in Madang, Papua New Guinea, getting boat ready for shipping and giving presentations. And doing as much diving as I could find time for on Madang’s incredible reefs, still largely unspoiled by coral bleaching.

The welcoming committee


Still in PNG, but a change of scenery, joining the crew of Oceanswatch’s Moksha boat to travel around the islands, spreading the word about the importance and practicalities of marine conservation.

July – August:

Talked my way around Asia, in the trip I had promised myself as a reward for finishing the Pacific. As I usually do, I combined business and pleasure.

Campaigning from the top of Mount Kinabalu, highest mountain in southeast Asia

Malaysia: joined forces with local coalition of nonprofits to campaign against plans for a coal-fired power plant in an environmentally sensitive location.

Cambodia: spent 3 days in the capital, Phnom Penh, including a very photogenic boat trip to Silk Island.

Philippines: spent two weeks as the guest of El Nido eco-resort in exchange for doing several presentations. Also presented to WWF-Philippines and the Young Presidents’ Organization in Manila.

Planting a tree in the Philippines

Thailand: retreat on Koh Samui.

Hong Kong: presentations at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Royal Geographical Society.


Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey – a happy reunion with many TED alums – then Burning Man event in the desert of Nevada, thanks to Aleksey and Elena and their crazy Russian photographer friends. Memorable, amazing, unique experience. The counter-culture lives on.

With Angela Hey on the California Climate Ride

September – October:

The Speaking Tour. Santa Monica, Durham, Asheville, Greenville, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington DC, San Francisco, Sacramento, Vancouver, San Diego, Minneapolis and New York – with the California Climate Ride thrown in for good measure. 30 speaking engagements in 5 weeks, plus countless meetings and interviews. Thanks once again to everybody who arranged events and provided hospitality. You were awesome!


Istanbul, Turkey, for the World Coastal Rowing Championships. Promptly came down with a cold, but managed to resurrect myself sufficiently for two more presentations and several interviews.

Campaigning for a plastic bag free Olympics


London. Meetings, interviews, recovery. Launched the campaign for a plastic-bag-free Olympics in association with Greener Upon Thames.

A week in the Lake District with my mother and sister, whom I don’t get to see often enough.


Salcombe, Devon. Went there with three objectives: first draft of Pacific book, get fit, lose weight. Managed the first two, but the coffee shops and delis of Salcombe have a lot to answer for. All that writing (110,000 words in 18 days) did give me a fearsome appetite that outweighed (literally) the great workouts with Sylvia and Becky.

The icing on this very tasty cake of a year was being named as one of the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for 2010.

with Mum

I rounded off December with trips to Cirencester, Leeds, and back to Romy’s in the snow with Mum to celebrate Christmas, bringing the year neatly full circle.

Except that it hasn’t really been a circle. It feels more like an upwards spiral. As time passes, I am learning so many things, and meeting so many people, and as a result am becoming more effective in my role as a campaigner. But still so much more to learn, and so very much more to do…

A huge thanks to all who have made 2010 so special in so many ways. Here’s hoping that 2011 is the best year yet for ALL of us.

Onwards and upwards!

[I’ve created a slideshow with more pics of the year. I very much doubt I have the bandwidth here to upload it, so will post this blog while I can – and hopefully the slideshow to appear in due course.]


  • Just reading it left me breathless!

    Well done, Roz; very well done, and let’s hope that your influence increases as does your experience. Here’s to an even more influential and enjoyable 2011.

  • Roz~ Happy Happy New Year! You have been such a motivation and inspiration to me. Seriously!

    I met you at your book signing in Laguna Beach. Not only was I practically star struck and in awe, but I was so amazed that you actually spent more time asking me about myself than telling me about yourself! Very cool. Thank you!

    I walk with a cane, so I waited till the very end to have you sign my book. My husband and I still chuckle that one of the first things you said to me was “What’s with the stick?!” (referring to my cane) We now still often refer to my cane as “the stick.” Yes, that kind of thing makes us smile…we’re silly like that!

    Cheers to all your next adventures! Can’t wait to read your next book.

    a.k.a: DogsDontPurr

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