Meet the incredible Soraya Abdel-Hadi. I had the joy of interviewing Soraya last month and walked away with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. Huge thank you to Soraya for sharing her time so generously and her ideas so toughtfully.
Soraya leads Operations at eXXpedition, an organisation that leads all female sailing voyages investigating ocean plastic pollution and helping people use their skills to solve it. She also founded ‘All the Elements‘, a network to support everyone working to increase diversity in the outdoors. Both awesome, purpose-filled organisations that revolve around adventure, conservation and sustainability – another theme that is becoming common in these interviews.
Soraya began by letting me know how she became adventurous and what were the barriers to this in her life? We talked a bit about the mantra, ‘Nobody will die’ and the connotations this can have for some people!
I then asked Soraya about her parents and their influence on her adventurous side. We discovered that seeing travel and aspirational actions as normal and a bit ‘everyday’ can help you become more adventurous.
We continued chatting about childhood and discovered we had both had momentous moments with a teacher (or in Soraya’s case a librarian!) that have stayed with us forever. I wonder how we can create those moments for our children?
Things I am taking way from this awesome interview:
- Momentous moments where an adult says something life affirming to a child can stay with them forever; Soraya’s moment was when a librarian told her, ‘You are going to be a writer’.
- ‘Seeing’ adventure, travel or high aspirations daily can lead to these becoming part of your life as you become an adult.
- Finding your tribe can allow you to be ‘you’. Soraya found her tribe at the stables and hasn’t looked back.
- Sustainability and conservation is becoming a theme with adventurous women. Is it a calling to nurture? Are they deeply grateful for our planet, the adventures it offers and therefore want to protect it? Questions I need answers to!