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Ellen “Magellan” Falterman - full-time professional voyager, currently on her biggest expedition

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.

Ellen is a 27-year-old pilot, flight instructor, and adventure traveler, with a background in writing, acting, and modeling. She grew up on a farm in rural Texas. In her short adult life, she’s been on five expeditions by bicycle, paddle, and oars, both domestic and international. Those journeys add up to a total of 18 months and roughly 10,000 miles - nearly all of which were human-powered and half of which were solo.

In 2017, Ellen, then 22, completed a solo descent of the Missouri from Three Forks to St. Louis. Ellen had previously paddled a tributary of the Amazon and cycled from England to Greece. Ellen is the youngest person to solo paddle the Missouri River from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis.

In September 2022, Ellen Falterman paddled her 18-foot Grumman canoe to her family's Trinity River home in East Texas, completing a full descent of the Mississippi River and then some.

Her motivation and mentor for these trips have always been her brother Patrick, who died suddenly in 2016. She dedicates all of her expeditions to him, and even when she’s traveling by herself, she never feels as if she’s traveling alone.

***This episode was recorded at the end of 2021 to be released in early 2022. Ellen lost her fiancé in 2022 so we decided to delay the release of the episode until now. Our hearts and hugs go out to Ellen.***

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Show notes

  • Who is Ellen

  • Her trail name

  • Being based out of East Texas

  • The big challenge - gong around the world by rowboat

  • Being inspired by her brother

  • Her family

  • Wanting to make her own way in life

  • Thinking of becoming an actor

  • Losing her brother suddenly in September 2016

  • Starting to live life like there is no tomorrow

  • Dealing with the dark and tragic situations that happens in life

  • Going to Brazil with her brother in 2014

  • Talking about her grief

  • Hitching around Brazil and making money while on the road

  • Learning from her brother while travelling together

  • Doing a river trip after he died

  • Her first solo expedition on the Missouri River, the longest river in North America

  • Planning verses going with the flow

  • Daily life while on travelling on rivers

  • River time and working with tides and rowing in open water

  • Figuring out resupply and knowing what rations you have

  • The lessons from her first solo expedition

  • Why everyone should do a solo challenge at some point

  • Dealing with loneliness

  • Funding and paying for challenges

  • Working as a flight instructor to self fund challenges

  • Learning to fly and getting her pilot license at 17

  • Deciding to row the length of The Mississippi River

  • How her expeditions have tied together

  • Naming her boat after her grandma

  • Gaining ocean rowing experience

  • Doing a sea school course in the UK and gaining qualifications

  • Handling concerns before the journey

  • Creating a non-profit and how it works

  • Documenting and sharing the challenge

  • Working with UK non-profit IMMAs

  • Keeping stuff in storage

  • Creating a cozy cabin

  • Wanting to be in Panama in 12 months

  • Launching on September 4th 2022

  • Falling in love and the challenge of leaving

  • Wanting to be the captain of her ship and being alone for the first year

  • How you can support Ellen

  • How to connect with Ellen on the socials

  • Final words advice - The 3Ds - Desire, Decision, Details


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