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Guest Blog: Rosie Swale Pope

Heartbroken when she lost her husband to cancer, Rosie Swale-Pope set off from Wales to run round the world. It was her 57th birthday.
After 5 years, 3 packs of wolves and 53 pairs of shoes she arrived back home again. Wow!

Rosie ticks all the boxes for me: a self-confessed “ordinary person” doing an extraordinary adventure, a wonderful positive spirit, and somebody taking action to rediscover their passion for life.

Rosie has answered the questions I put to all guest bloggers and then has kindly allowed me to reproduce an excerpt from her heart-warming book which you can buy here. Finally, Rosie was running for various charities and you can support them here.

– What expedition or journey has inspired you the most?
The Long Walk. This is an extraordinary tale of survival about those who escaped from the gulags.

– What’s your favourite travel or adventure book?
Joshua Slocum’s books – a meeting place between sea and land voyages. All sea journeys are riven with dreams of landfalls. It was my solo voyage in 1983 that inspired me to begin travelling on land. I was at sea alone for 70 days and hungered for the sight of trees/faces/people/wildlife.

– What’s your emergency iPod song when the mojo is failing you?
I did not have an ipod in Siberia, as I was there in the winter and could not carry anything extra. I had a v.v. tough time just keeping sat phone/gps in batteries/charged. BUT I was given one in the USA, which was marvellous at low moments, especially Billy Joel!

– What luxury item do you carry on your expeditions?
No real luxury item, except for my little writer’s notebook.

– What do you miss the most when you are away?
I miss the people I love. That more than ANYTHING.

– What advice do you have for someone contemplating an adventure of their own?
That dreams are made true by a mix of something that catches hold of your mind, drives you wild, makes your spine tingle – and the most careful and intricate preparation and hard work.
To get the right equipment/info…and maybe to have the right mind set.
That problems and obstacles are not barriers to the way one wants to go… The problems are part of the pathway and need to be faced calmly; and can usually be overcome!
Also to view the journey as one step at a time…

Here is an extract from Rosie’s book, ‘Just a Little Run Around the World:

“My run around the world started as a journey of loneliness, grief and heartbreak, and the support of a few close friends and family. It began as a message about cancer awareness and a fierce desire to honour Clive and find my way forward again. Somewhere along the way it became a journey about humanity. It showed me that good is stronger than evil, that hope is stronger than despair, that life is more precious than anything else – for everybody: I was so often alone but I found kindness everywhere I went, even from murderers. My run became so interwoven with the lives of everyone I met that it became their journey too. It was as if I was carrying their hopes and dreams with me too. My run became much bigger than me; it became a metaphor for life. It made me see that everything in life is an adventure and a miracle, whether it’s running across a glacier or boiling water to make a cup of tea. Life is the greatest, happiest and often toughest adventure of all and I’ve fallen in love with it all over again.

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  1. Iain Wiliiams Posted

    This is one of the most amazing journeys I have ever heard about! I am definitely going to read her book…

  2. Sally Johnson Posted

    Alastair, I think I have just found a more impressive journey than your own. Well done Rosie!

  3. Wicked.. it’s on my reading list 🙂

  4. Have read Rosies’ book and loved every second I couldn’t put it down and read it cover to cover in about 4 evenings. Rosie is an amazing person and has given me hope.
    If you have yet to read this book then pick it up it will keep you wanting to read more and more.

  5. Right, its on my reading list. She seems so lovely. and running with that little trailer to sleep in… what an amazing journey!!

  6. She is my hero!

  7. Sarah Cluster Posted

    Wow …. thank you for posting information about her. She has an even stronger mind than her very strong body. An inspiration to all females, and of course everyone . . . but especially wonderful for females to know about. Thank you Rosie.

  8. Matt McD Posted

    Rosie is a truly incredible woman. She was asked what expedition inspired her most, for me it would be her own. Simply breathtaking.

    For anyone who hasnt read her book I cant recommend it highly enough.


  9. She’s an inspiration to most of the people who knew her.



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