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Anna Mitchell - Fat Chick Goes AWOL: 2,600 Miles in an Armchair on Wheels (with a 600-mile Detour on

“Fat chick goes AWOL” - 30-something accountant who dreamed of cycling, hiking and paddling her way around the world & how it all went wrong!

Anna was a 30-something accountant who dreamed of cycling, hiking and paddling her way around the world, she decided to start with her own country, Australia. But weighing in at 130kgs (285lbs), she’s would say herself that she’s not exactly the poster child for human-powered travel.

During the podcast we talk to Anna about her 3 different challenges, a 1,100-kilometre (700-mile) solo, self-supported cycle tour of the south west of Western Australia, a 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) solo thru-hike of the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, and a 3,100-kilometre (1,000 -mile) solo, self-supported cycle tour through the Northern Territory.

After these practice run throughs, Anna end up in Melbourne, which is where she has been ever since.

Due to a series of mistakes and bad decisions her life takes a turn and not in the direction she wants to go. Anna ends up being a 40 something single women, who is now living below the poverty line, with no family to rely on and no way out, she end up being homeless and going dumpster diving for food and survival.

Anna shares more about how she views adventure and why she is still living her most adventurous life.


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Show notes

  • Living 3 lifetimes in one

  • Planning to travel around the world

  • Life and living in Perth, Australia

  • Hating being sat behind a desk

  • Trying to figure out what she wanted to do

  • Loving to travel….

  • Wanting to make a change to her life

  • Not knowing what planning is….

  • 3 separate trips - “AWOL” (Away With Out Leave)

  • Deciding to get a recumbent bike/trike

  • What family and friends though

  • What the first day was like

  • Almost stopping before she started

  • “It’s too hard, it’s too scary”

  • Meeting road angels

  • Grey Nomads

  • Getting on the road for the first time

  • Knowing she had made the right decision and was on the right track

  • Not believing she would ever make it to the end

  • Dealing with her biggest challenge - Hills

  • Daily routine while out cycling

  • 8 weeks on the road and doing her trip her whole way

  • The negative voices in her head

  • Her weight

  • How completing her first challenge impacted on her self confidence

  • Changing her next challenge to a hike

  • Starting to work with a personal trainer

  • The challenges of hiking

  • “I’m not doing that”

  • What kept her going when she wanted to quit

  • Positive or negative? How she changed her mindset.

  • Training or practice trips….

  • The 3rd AWOL - Getting the train up to Darwin and cycling from Darwin to Porthedland (3100Km / 2000 miles)

  • Dealing with remoteness and why the challenge wasn’t easier

  • Things just kind of workout…

  • Ending up homeless in Melbourne and dumpster diving for food

  • What adventure means now

  • Having an interesting life even though she isn’t travelling

  • Dealing with stress?

  • Not being desperate to leave

  • Advice for other women who may be in a challenging situation


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