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Friday, April 17, 2015

22,000 Miles Later, Adventurer Prepares For 3,000-Mile Solo Row Across Atlantic

Sarah Outen kayaks off the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, June 2014 (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)Sarah Outen in the Gobi Desert, China, July 2011. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)Sarah Outen bikes in China's Xinjiang Province, July 2011. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)Sarah Outen looks at a navigational chart in Choshi, Japan, April 2013. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)Sarah Outen rows in Choshi, Japan 2013. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)Sarah Outen bikes through snowy Illinois, February 2015. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)A map of Sarah Outen's planned route. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)

For most transatlantic travelers, a trip from London to Cape Cod takes about nine hours, including getting to and from the airport. For 29-year-old Sarah Outen, the journey has lasted nearly four years. But it was hardly a direct route! Outen has so far traveled 22,000 miles on a self-propelled round-the-world voyage.

Sarah Outen in the Gobi Desert, China, July 2011. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)

Sarah Outen in the Gobi Desert, China, July 2011. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)

The trip has included 11,000 miles of biking and kayaking across Europe and Asia; 150 days alone at sea, rowing between Japan and Alaska; 1,500 miles in her kayak through the treacherous Aleutian islands; followed by 5,000 miles across the United States and Canada by bike.

In addition to the sheer challenge of the trip – which she named “London2London: Via the World” (L2L) – Outen is traveling to raise money for four charities: Coppafeel, which raises awareness and funds for breast cancer; the MND Association for research into motor neurone disease; Wateraid, an international organization promoting clean drinking water and the Jubilee Sailing Trust.

Now, Sarah Outen is preparing for her last 3,000 mile solo rowing trip across the Atlantic, to end up in London, where she began her trip in 2011. If she completes the four-month trip, she’ll be the first woman ever to row the route. She joins Here & Now’s Robin Young by Skype from Cape Cod to talk about the journey to come.

Map of Sarah Outen's route. (Courtesy of Sarah Outen)


  • Sarah Outen, British adventurer ready to complete her self-propelled charity voyage around the world. She tweets @SarahOuten.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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