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Soraya Abdel-Hadi - Award-winning writer, artist, and advocate for women and diversity in UK outdoor

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Soraya believes in taking a holistic approach to making the world a better place, and writes about sustainability, nature and adventure travel. Soraya is Lonely Planet Sustainable Storyteller 2021 and founder of the All The Elements – a community working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors.

Soraya in her own words:

In 2014, I left my ‘dream job’ to make a difference. I kickstarted my new career by studying sustainability for business. As a reward to myself for handing in my dissertation, I went wild camping and canoeing on the Mississippi river. This trip was far more than an adventure holiday – it was a re-connection to nature. I want to help you to be more mindful in what you do and to understand that individual decisions can make a positive impact on our planet. When I'm not travelling, writing or creating net-positive artwork, you'll find me tackling diversity in the UK outdoors, organising all-women sailing trips exploring plastics and toxics in our ocean and walking my labradoodle Rory.

Listen to Soraya on the Tough Girl Podcast - New episodes go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.

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Listen to Soraya Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Soraya

  • What her childhood was like

  • Having a passion for horses

  • Going to university to study law

  • Pivoting her career into sustainability

  • Not being happy in her dream job

  • Figuring out her purpose

  • Wanting to study sustainability for business

  • What does sustainability mean to Soraya

  • The One Planet MBA - University of Exeter

  • Adventure and sustainability

  • Why adventure has to have a purpose

  • Why are we going to these places?

  • How are we communicating what we are seeing?

  • Travel with a lower impact

  • Getting involved in the adventure community

  • Being inspired by Ben Keene

  • Rebel Book club

  • Love Her Wild

  • The Yes Tribe

  • Adventure Uncovered

  • Explore at the RGS

  • Starting to travel on her own in 2016

  • Taking a trip to the Sahara desert

  • Canoeing on the Mississippi with Dave Cornthwaite and Emily Penn

  • Liking to have shared experiences while adventuring

  • Losing the fear

  • The Sail Britain Voyage

  • Not always being artistic, but always being creative

  • Wanting to be able to paint and draw

  • Drawing while on expedition

  • Heading to Vancouver in 2018

  • The challenges to tacking plastic

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Breaking the challenge down

  • Black Lives Matter

  • How can we create change?

  • What are you most passionate about?

  • Making informed decisions

  • All the elements which was set up in August 2020

  • The importance of role modelling

  • Stepping into the light

  • The many aspects to diversity

  • Bringing everyone together

  • Sharing her story online and feeling uncomfortable at the start

  • Taking on a new project with her mum and dog (Rory)

  • Deciding to walk the South West Coast Path

  • Final words of advice

  • Working out what is important to you

  • Not worrying about what other people are doing


Social Media

Personal Website -

All The Elements - A network to support everyone working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors #diversifyoutdoorsuk.


Facebook @sorayaearth

Twitter @sorayaearth


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