FIT HERITAGE
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                                    e fut ents hea n                               Why Women of Action are Ageless!
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                           ssen                                          Jumping out of planes, plummeting at g-force toward the
                                tials                                 ground and running off cliffs in search of adventure, sounds like
                                            .au/                        a lifestyle best suited to those in their 20’s or 30’s. Not so for
                                                 for u
                                                      m/                Marika Martinez, who shows that age is no barrier when it
                                                                     comes to action. All that’s required is a vital attitude and
                                                                                           passion for life!

What excites you about life?
I am excited to learn more about everything and discover new experiences. To learn about different cultures, the way people live and
different perspectives on life.

How do you view challenges?
When a challenge is presented, I weigh up the risks and benefits. If the challenge potentially results in an achievement and
particularly one that is out of the ordinary I will want to tackle it, but I make sure that I have the appropriate knowledge to go
forward. Having belief in your ability to meet the challenge is most of the battle.

What has been the hardest challenge you have faced and how did you tackle it?
My hardest challenge was to conquer my fear.
It was the self-imposed second parachute jump straight after the first that was the biggest challenge. Now that I knew exactly what to
expect I had to force myself to do it again. The first jump was absolutely terrifying; my mind stopped functioning for several seconds
as I vividly recall the fear and the inability to mobilize myself.

Standing on a small piece of metal just big enough for one foot, while the other foot dangled in mid air, holding onto the wing and
waiting for the engine on the small plane to stop. Then the moment of truth when I just let go and started plummeting to earth.
Thankfully my parachute was attached to the plane by a static line, which meant that it opened automatically after 4 seconds. I can
tell you that 4 seconds has never felt so long. While my mind blacked out on the first jump, the second jump was much more
controlled. The flight was beautiful under canopy and the landing was right on target. If you don’t let the fear grip you, the mind
moves into efficiency mode and knows precisely what to do. The key is to have faith in your ability to handle the situation and you

Have you always had an adventurous spirit?
YES! I was definitely the black sheep in my family. A bit of a tomboy really. I have always loved the bush and the great outdoors and
am game to try just about anything. I don’t have much fear about anything.

What is the key to staying young, is it all about attitude?
I do believe that attitude is everything. Of course health is also critical, but attitude has a lot to do with your health. There was a time
when I had actually forgotten how old I was, and when someone asked me I told them that I was 4 years younger than I actually was,
not because I wanted to fib about my age, but because that is what I truly believed at the time. I just plain forgot how old I was; it
only dawned on me later. I do still have that problem at times.
You are really only as old or as young as you think you are.

Tell us about life on an Island, I understand you spent 14 years and raised your two children on one?
My husband and I bought a block of land on Scotland Island, in Pittwater, Sydney. Being water access only, there was a lot to learn
about boats and how to stop them from sinking in the middle of stormy nights. We built our own house and physically carried every
piece of construction material across the water and up a very steep hill to our block of land. It took years to complete, but we moved
in once the exterior walls were erected with our 2-year-old daughter and a baby on the way.
Life was a challenge, but it was never boring. Every day was an adventure and you felt a part of the elements rather than just an
observer. I remember one day coming home in the pouring rain when the dirt roads were washed away, and the only way to get to
my house was to literally crawl on hands and knees with 2 small children on my back.

There were times when it was drought for many long months and water was so very precious and hard to come by, every drop of
water was re-used and when the rain finally came I ran outside with the children, soap in hand, to shower in the pouring rain. There
are so many tales to share of life on the island. It was hard but it was also very rewarding and the friendships made were enduring.
There is nothing like hardship or a challenge to bring people closer together.
                                                               Marika Martinez ~ An Inspiration for Women of Action

You also became so very aware of the weather conditions and the natural environment because it affected every part of your life.
There were no streetlights on the island, you learned to carry a torch at night or else you just learned to see in the dark. If you
forgot to buy the milk, you made do without it, as there were no shops. If it rained you wore a rain jacket and just got on with what
had to be done. In winter you chopped wood from branches that fell onto your block for the fireplace, in summer you jumped off
the jetty for a swim. You learned to be resilient and manage when the tide was so low you had to drag the boat off the sand or
during strong southerly winds you had to turn the boat around or risk it sinking. When the boat did sink during a storm, you just
had to get the motor out of the water as quickly as possible and flush it out with fresh water before it ceased up. We learned to do so
much out of necessity.

Did this lifestyle help shape your children in any way?
My daughter and son are now young adults. They have grown up to become such wonderful and independent people who have an
attitude that they can do anything. They have experienced a healthy and adventurous childhood where the only real rule was to be
home before dark. They spent their days (when not in school) outdoors with other island children, playing in the bush, swimming,
tree climbing and creating their own adventures. Of course it was not without mishaps and accidents, but that is how they learned
to deal with things and learned the bonds of friendships and helping each other.

They also knew what needed to be done and learned to cope with adversity while becoming very competent. I know that my
children value the childhood they had. They also have an adventurous spirit.

Where is your favorite place to travel?
I don’t really have a favorite place to travel, as I love to travel to different destination as much as possible. Each experience and
encounter with the local culture is unique. The diversity of our world is what makes it so special and so worthy of exploring.

Where is the most exotic location you have been?
I am not sure if exotic if the right word, but certainly the most inspiring place has got to be Machu Picchu in Peru. It was a
destination on my to do list for a long time, and the shear beauty and magnitude of the surrounding mountains with the citadel
within them was a spiritual experience.

Why is so important to have a women’s only travel experience?
Women are the natural caregivers and nurturers of the world, and as such they are constantly giving of themselves to their family
and their friends. Often they consider themselves last. When women are together without immediate responsibilities they can relax
and stop worrying for a while about others.

As women, we have focused on our families for the past 20 years, have worked hard and are now ready to meet our own personal
challenges and experience as much as we can. We are fit and healthy and want to explore more.

Many of our friends may not be in a position to travel with us, or have different interests as well, yet we don’t want to travel on our
own. We are searching for something different, but in good company.

In the company of other like-minded women there is a sense of freedom to be just ourselves, to laugh, sing, relax and chat. Women
want to experience the journey and the friendships along the way, not just to conquer the mountain.

Do women make better travelers?
In recent years women have taken on travel experiences in a big way. More women are leaving the men at home. More than 50
percent of adventure travellers are women and most fall between ages 41 and 60, according to a 2006 survey by the ATTA. We used
to think of active holidays for 20-somethings, now it's not unheard of for 50- and 60-year-olds to be going kayaking, mountain
climbing, surfing.

The important aspect is to provide women with a product that will enable them to overcome a range of social, time and societal
barriers, which may otherwise restrict them from participating in Adventure travel.

Is safety a particular problem for women?
Overall, women don’t want to travel on their own. This may be partly due to safety concerns as well as feeling more comfortable in
the company of other travelers.

What are your top tips for an enjoyable journey?
Have an open mind and be prepared for the unexpected. Every moment is an experience to be treasured.

What makes your essential items list when packing for an adventure?
My comfortable day-pack is essential as are well-worn and comfortable walking shoes with good ankle support. Layered clothing
prepares you for all weather conditions and the extremely versatile sarong is an essential. Top that with a good book and a head
torch and I am ready for almost anything.

How do you stay fit for travel?
Walking is a wonderful form of exercise and the weeks leading up to a trip will see me walking longer distances on rough terrain.
                                                         Marika Martinez ~ An Inspiration for Women of Action

What is on your TO DO LIST?
Wildlife safari in Tanzania
Angel Falls and remote areas of Venezuela
Walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain
Paraglide in the Himalayas
Spend 3 months on a deserted island in the Pacific
                                                                                                                    Nothing like a good
Live aboard a yacht and sail the Mediterranean
Rent a small house in the Pyrenees over summer and fly my paraglider                                             Paraglide to start the day!
Do you have a recommended reading list?
Feel the fear and do it anyway, Susan Jeffers
Defying Gravity Defying Fear, Heather Swan
When heaven and earth change places, Le Ly Hayslip
Caravans, James A. Michener
Flying with the condors, Judy Leden

What is your favorite quote?
“Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all”, Helen Keller

Who inspires you?
Amelia Earhart – one of history’s most famous female aviators
Gaby Kennard – first Australian woman to fly solo around the world
Judy Leden – 3 times world hang-gliding and paragliding champion

These women inspire me because they had taken on challenges and in challenges in male dominated arenas.

What is your advice for women who feel too old to pursue their dreams or are fearful of travel?
Remember that life is not a dress rehearsal. Define your dream and go after it, age has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Finally, what would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as an inspiration to my children and a few other people along the way.

                                   My most recent achievement:
                       A 12 hour hike to the peak of Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo.
       The call to climb came at 2:30 am with ropes and headtorches we began the ascent.
       The views from the summit were breathtaking as was the 7.5 hour return journey.
                                      Memories to Treasure!

                                                                                                     Climb to new heights

                                                     Co nnect with the
    Conquer a new challenge

                            “Feel Inspired?”
      Marika not only lives with the Spirit of Adventure, she also
      helps others discover theirs with her unique Women’s Only                             Camp Out under the Stars
        Adventure Company. To learn more or book your own
         adventure visit:

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