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Shona Macpherson - Taking on new challenges at 40 & her preparation for thru hiking the Pacific

Krystle Wright - Semi-nomadic, adventure sports photographer with a passion for extreme expeditions!

Shona left Inverness when she was 17 years old looking for something, over the years she tried a variety of different careers; a nurse, a counsellor, an aid worker, a charity project manager, a support worker at a women’s refuge and as a personal trainer all while trying to discover what she loved and what she was passionate about.

Shona has gone on to explore more of her passions and interests which includes the mountains and spending time in nature. Four years ago, as she was approaching her 40th birthday, she realised she wasn’t living the life she dreamed of or going on the adventures that she wanted to. Shona had been waiting for her circumstances to change but they weren’t so she decided it was time to stop putting her life on hold and time to start living.

Every year since she has gotten, a little bit bolder and a little bit braver! In 2016 it was the Outer Hebrides cycle followed by the North Coast 500 cycle in 2017 and the Cape Wrath Trail in 2018.

This year, Shona is heading off to America to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT - 2,650 miles stretching from Canada to Mexico). We will be catching up with Shona at the half way point to see how she is getting on and also at the end of the hike.

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Show notes

  • Who is Shona?

  • Living in Inverness, Scotland

  • Reinventing herself many times

  • Retraining as a life coach

  • Being passionate about nature and being in the outdoors

  • Leaving home at 17 and not having any clue about what she wanted to do

  • Discovering herself and what makes her feel alive

  • How the outdoors played a part of her life when she was growing up

  • Working as an Aid Worker in South Sudan

  • The nature connection

  • Moving back to the highlands and wanting to explore the hills more

  • Deciding to go on a big solo adventure to celebrate turning 40 and how this was the starting point

  • The joy and happiness of being outdoors

  • Not caring what people think

  • Heading to the Outer Hebrides to go on a cycle adventure!

  • How it helped to change her life

  • Taking the first step and why it can be the hardest

  • Scared of going back to her old indoor way of living

  • Book - The Living Mountain - By Nan Shepherd

  • Joining the Inverness Mountaineering club

  • Cycling the North Coast 500 on a road bike

  • Not having a car and not being able to get out to the hills

  • Getting help and support to learn new skills

  • The Adventure Syndicate

  • Remembering the nature connection and why we all have it within us

  • The Cape Wrath Trail in preparation for the Pacific Crest Trail

  • Practical advice and tips

“I can do hard things”

  • The fear of the cold

  • The dream to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail

  • Flying to London on the 1st July and starting the trail on the 4th July

  • Planning and preparation for the Trail

  • Figuring out how to take off 6 moths to go and hike the trail

  • How’s she's feeling before the start!

  • The reaction of friends and family

  • What’s going to be happening to the blog?

  • Walking Each Other Home by Ram Dass

  • Final words of advice for other women who want to take on a big challenge


Social Media

Instagram - @walkwildcoach


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