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Tatty Pettigrew's Inspiring Journey from Corporate Life to Outdoor Adventure. Explore. Challenge.

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.

In today's fast-paced world, many of us dream of breaking free from the shackles of the corporate world and embracing a life filled with adventure, purpose, and personal fulfilment. Meet Tatty Pettigrew, a courageous woman who made that dream a reality. With an unwavering spirit and a thirst for spending time outdoors, Tatty escaped the confines of her corporate career in London and embarked on a remarkable journey that combines people, education, adventure, and the great outdoors.

Growing up, Tatty was sporty but never considered herself particularly outdoorsy. It was during her teenage years that she discovered the transformative power of outdoor adventures while participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE). This experience ignited a spark within her, and she became an advocate for the program, recognising its ability to shape young minds and in-still a love for the outdoors.

Her journey into the outdoor world began with thorough research and introspection. Tatty wanted to ensure she was making the right decision, and her meticulous nature led her to spend two years weighing her options and considering the potential risks and rewards. Supported and encouraged by her family, she finally found her path.

Committing to the Outdoor Instructor Training Course offered by Land & Wave. This intensive 15-week residential program immersed her in the world of outdoor instruction. From coasteering to climbing, she pushed herself outside her comfort zone, developing not only her skills but also her self-confidence.

Building a career in the outdoors wasn't without its challenges, but Tatty persevered. Starting as a seasonal instructor, she gained valuable experience in various locations, including New Zealand, where she volunteered for a children's charity. Over time, she transitioned into freelance work, relishing the flexibility it provided. Through dedication and hard work, she built a strong portfolio of clients and established herself in the industry.

Tatty Pettigrew's story serves as a powerful reminder that we all have the ability to break free from the ordinary and pursue a life filled with passion and purpose. Her unwavering spirit, determination, and love for the great outdoors exemplify the essence of the Tough Girl Podcast. Join us in celebrating Tatty's remarkable journey and be inspired to create your own path of exploration, challenge, and transformation.


Get ready for an exciting month of July on the Tough Girl Podcast, as we shine a spotlight on women working in the outdoors. Sponsored by Land & Wave - join us as we delve into their stories, gain insights, and discover valuable tips from their incredible experiences.

Don't miss out on these empowering episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - hit the subscribe button and be part of the adventure!


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Show notes

  • Who is Tatty

  • Living in Dartmouth, Devon for the past 3 years

  • Working as an outdoor instructor

  • Growing up, being sporty but not outdoorsy

  • Doing Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) in her teenage years and why she’s a massive advocate for it now

  • Deciding to give up her corporate career in London and retrain as an outdoor instructor

  • Experiencing the outdoors during a team building day at work

  • Finding out about Outdoor Instructor Training Course

  • Attending an Open Day with Land & Wave

  • The questions and concerns before making the decision

  • The fear of making a mistake and doing the wrong thing

  • Researching and thinking for about 2 years before making the final decision.

  • Doing the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

  • Exploring all of her options for getting into the outdoors

  • Her process for making decisions

  • Trying to figure out what the right option is

  • Being an over thinker and suffering from ‘analysis paralysis’

  • Being supported and encouraged by her family

  • How the pandemic impacted on her decision making

  • What the Outdoor Instructor Training Course looked like

  • 15 weeks, full time residential (including food & accommodation), kit package, and training Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm

  • Building up experience during the summer months

  • Enjoying all the waterspouts especially coasteering

  • The challenges of climbing and being pushed outside her comfort zone

  • The challenges of training over the cold winter months (Oct - Feb) and being lucky with the weather

  • Working as a volunteer for a children’s charity in New Zealand (food and accommodation covered)

  • Not being able to move to New Zealand due to lockdown.

  • Building up a career in the outdoors and what that looks like

  • Starting off as a seasonal instructor and doing seasonal work in New Zealand

  • Branching out into the freelance work and being able to get plenty of work

  • Enjoying the flexibility of freelance work

  • Building up her portfolio of clients over the past few years

  • Working hard during the season April - October

  • Using the winter time to work on gaining new skills and focusing on Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • What it’s like being a woman in the outdoors

  • Being surrounded by good female role models in the industry

  • The women who’ve inspired Tatty on her journey

  • Sue Barrett - Adventure Queen Mother follow on IG @adventurequeenmother

  • Getting the balance right between work and personal time

  • Working towards her Mountain Leader Qualification

  • Sea Kayaking Leader Qualification

  • Volunteering with the Lifeboat Crew for The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

  • Discussing, the potential for injury, the wear and tear on your body as you get older, and the potential impact of motherhood on your outdoor career

  • Moving from the steady pay check from the corporate world to being freelance and being self employed

  • Financial stress? Especially during the winter months when there isn’t as much work.

  • Keeping track of finances, being planned and organised.

  • Doing the last two legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

  • Spending 3 months sailing from Seattle to London

  • Making friends for life and why the people made the challenge

  • How to connect with Tatty on Instagram

  • The 3 words which resonate - Explore. Challenge. Transform.


Social Media

Instagram: @tatti.pettigrew


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