“One night, I opened my tent in the middle of the night to find five drunken Mongolian horsemen 50 centimeters away from my face. Some nights they would gallop by one after another trying to catch the top of my tent. They live in this open space. There are no rules. And, suddenly, there was one woman in the middle of it.”
You might think that you’ve just read the opening paragraph of a novel. The words pull you in, tease you, and make you crave more. But these words come from the Swiss adventurer, Sarah Marquis, speaking in an interview about her real-life story.
Marquis is an “epic walker,” literally having walked the circumference of Earth, living more than half of her forty-something years in a small tent alone in the wilderness, experiencing life and nature in ways that most of us can only imagine. This, one of her true-life adventures, began with an idea: to walk 27,000 miles from Siberia to Australia, and to do it alone.
Like the author of any good story, Sarah stretched her idea with solid research. For two years, she prepared not only physically, but also mentally. After spreading aerial maps across her living room, she imagined her walking path, the terrain, the danger, and the people she might meet along the way. She immersed herself in the imagined cultures of the regions she would walk,
and then Sarah did one more thing—
She took her idea and all of her creative thinking to the next level.
She went out and DID it.
“A sublime sensation started growing in me the moment that leaving showed itself to be the only option. I knew deep in my heart that this departure was the only way to be loyal to the fire that burned within me. I could feel it weakening, the flame was shrinking. . . . It was time to go out and collect the wood that would allow me to rediscover life’s flame.”
As authors, we have much in common with adventurers like Sarah Marquis. We might not have real adventures like she did, but with good solid research and preparation before we walk into our stories our creative minds can transport us anywhere in the world.
Think about it. Where will your ideas take you? Are you well prepared to step into your story and stay there alone in the wilderness for as long as it takes?
Build on that tiny idea that haunts you today.
Take your creativity to the next level—
Sarah Marquis is a winner of
National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year award.
Read more about her HERE.
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