Proudly dragging my tyre while wearing my Indian suit.
When I was younger, I don’t know how much time I spent denying my culture and roots…why it took me so long to realise I should be proud of my background. Part of me didn’t like standing out at the time but now I love it.
Dancing to my own rhythm
Embracing my skin colour
Embracing my background
That doesn’t mean I don’t embrace my British side too. It just took me longer to appreciate where I’m from and to wear my brown skin with pride.
I am proud to be a Punjabi girl.
It was Vaisakhi this week and it brought back memories of Nagar Kirtan with the family. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn any Indian clothing and I really enjoyed this tyre drag.
This month has many celebrations, Vaisakhi, Navratri, Ramadan, Easter, being able to see friends and family. Take a moment to appreciate that, it has been a special month. Wishing everyone love and happiness 💜
This all began with an idea, this idea that I could achieve something incredible. Something beyond what I could’ve expected from myself. I didn’t really know where to start and then I started reading blogs and contacting polar explorers.
I didn’t have any winter or polar training experience and I wanted some experience before I approached companies for sponsorship. I waited until I had been to Norway on a Polar Training Course and then I waited until I had been to Greenland for further training. I wanted to be as prepared as I possibly could and I wanted companies to know that I was serious about this expedition. I wanted them to know that I was determined and that I was going to do anything I possibly could to get there.
I emailed 100s of companies, I went through the enquiry pages of most of them. A lot wouldn’t respond, and a lot came back to say they couldn’t support my expedition at this time. It is understandable, companies receive a lot of emails, and with Covid it was even more difficult.
I would tell myself ‘Don’t give up, keep trying and I did’. I kept emailing companies, after work, before I went to bed, before work, whenever I had time!
I have done a lot of different challenges and raised money for charities but this was the first time I was pitching to corporate supporters. I was so happy when I got my first yes, it was a huge step forward.
I’ve never been one to give up, I’m determined and stubborn and I know that I will get there. It started as one person with an idea, this is a solo expedition but I have so many people supporting me behind the scenes.
I want to say a huge thank you to Team Army for all of your support and to all of the companies supporting me.
I look forward to working with you on this journey and meeting you in person.
I also want to thank the many individuals that have contacted me through my website or helped me in some way along the way. Your encouragement and belief in me has helped me get to this point and has played a part in how much I believe in myself. Thank you.
My mum always told me that she wanted me to have opportunities that she didn’t have.
She had an arranged marriage by 17. She got divorced aged 37 when there was still a lot of stigma around divorce in our culture. So many people stood against her but she remained brave and I’m so glad she did. Thank you for showing me that we don’t have to listen to others. That we shouldn’t live our lives based on what other people might say. Thank you for teaching me to break barriers.
You’ve always told me you wished that you could’ve given me more. I hope you know how much you have given me. Love you mum, thank you for inspiring me.
A lot of people are quick to tell me how lucky I am, to have this opportunity. I’m lucky that I was born in the UK but nothing comes easy, I have faced many barriers along the way.
I’ve been asked how I got the opportunity to go to Antarctica? I had an idea, I wanted to do something so far out of my comfort zone and I decided on Antarctica. I had no polar experience at the time.
I was starting from the beginning. I went onto google to look at different expeditions that had been done. Would I run, ski? I started following people on Instagram, reading their blogs and I learnt more and more.
I booked annual leave and completed a polar training course. It was not cheap and I was paying for the first year of my MSc at the same time so most of it went onto my credit card.
During summer leave, I was determined to get to Greenland. I had about 2 weeks to find a guide and borrow the kit and equipment I needed. As well as using all of my savings, it took me 6 months to pay off that expedition but it was worth it. It was a challenging trip but I learnt so much from it.
To find sponsors and supporters, I emailed 100’s of companies. I went through so many enquiry pages and don’t know how many were read. Most companies don’t reply, a lot say no and then eventually one company said yes. I was so happy, none of this would be possible without supporters.
It has been hard work to get this far and I’m so grateful for everybody that has come on board to support me. More information to follow on my supporters next week.
At every stage, I’ve had people look at me like I’m crazy, told me I can’t do it. But there are also the people that find it amazing and are inspired ❤️
These are only a few examples of my training for Antarctica. I have been using my annual leave to train, used all of my savings to get there because when you want something so much, you will do anything to get there.
Opportunities don’t come to your door step. Go out and find them. Take that first step
We went into lockdown at the start of the year and I wanted to do something to bring people together. So I decided to create a challenge, the aim was to complete 1000 miles together. Anyone could join in and complete as many miles as they wanted over the month. Together we completed 1311.5 miles! Thank you so much to everybody that got involved, I love the videos and photos. As you can see from the video, people got creative, we have people running, walking, horse riding, skiing, kayaking and some fancy dress too.
I hope this challenge helped you as it definitely kept me motivated and shows how much we can achieve together. It may have just been a few miles to you, but you all contributed to this 1311.5 miles, well done everyone!
Lockdown has been tough and putting this video together took me ages (not one of my skills!) but also made me smile.
I love birthdays and love to celebrate them. Training continued as normal but today I wanted to train in style therefore wore one of my gifts (the crown and sash). It was snowing today but I refused to substitute my crown for a hat.. priorities in order!
I was asked if I feel self conscious wearing the crown, with people staring etc. I think that boat has passed, considering I drag a tyre around most of the time 😂
It also made me think about how many things we don’t do because we’re worried about what other people might think. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, I’m sure I look crazy to some people but within that, there are the people that may be inspired. Maybe they see me and think about all the crazy things they can do too!
Don’t let other people’s opinions hold you back and don’t be afraid to stand out.
Thank you to everyone that made my birthday weekend special ❤️
It’s not always easy to see the light but it is there. I was feeling overloaded at the start of the year (MSc, work, buying a house, Exped planning etc) so I decided to create a challenge..
Why would I overload myself more might be the question you ask but I find myself more motivated when bringing people together.
I decided to do 1000 miles together because I wanted to bring people together no matter where you are in the world, you can do as many miles as you want. I’ve had people send me some brilliant videos and photo and we’re already over 300 miles together.
Sometimes, just feeling like you’re contributing to something keeps you motivated. It does for me.
Here is to being brave and taking one day at a time, together ❤️
I love this message (see image at the bottom of post). Emily is 10 yrs old and this message warmed my heart, thank you ❤️ kids really do say it how it is!
Why does representation matter, why does it matter that I’m brown? These are questions I used to ask myself all the time. And then over time I’ve seen how people react to me, seeing an Indian female, either on my adventures or in uniform. I just think it’s normal but it’s really not to a lot of people.
The power of seeing someone that looks like you can change or shape how you view yourself. I want to show and tell you that the world is your oyster. There is so much you can do, let’s break down those barriers!