Scorching deserts, remote coastlines and mountain ranges are just a regular day in the life of Sarah Outen MBE. When she's not busy hopping around the globe, she's a bestselling author and an acclaimed speaker.

Hi Sarah, thanks for somehow finding the time to chat to us! How did you become part of the adventure world?

I was always outside growing up - riding my bike, exploring in the fields, making dens and climbing trees. I played a lot of sport, learned to kayak with a local club and did my Duke of Edinburgh Awards through school. So it feels like it started as a youngster. I have just always loved exploring and adventuring.

An early starter then! Why has it been so important to you?

To explore and be curious is part of human instinct, it's primal. It's also fun and interesting and enriching - these are the reasons I love it.

My first major journey in 2009 was my solo row across the Indian Ocean. It was inspiring and empowering.

And when you have the time to reflect, do you feel like your adventures have changed you in any way?

I'm more patient, more open minded and kinder to myself. I think I am a better team leader too.

I love the jigsaw nature of my life at the moment - I choose to be freelance and enjoy the blend of journeys and sharing them and enabling others to have adventures.

Time and again my journeys show me the importance of embracing change and letting plans evolve. My most recent big journey 'London2London:Via the World' taught me to let go.

Is there anything you know now that you wish you'd known sooner?

I wish I had stretched more on the way round the world - I was pretty stiff by the time I came home.

What other advice have you been given which you still swear by?

To take your time!

Not always easy with modern life the way it is, but you're absolutely right. What about your proudest achievement?

Coming home alive from my journeys - that's a pretty good one. I am also really proud of the work my journeys have leveraged with young people, hundreds of school visits and thousands and thousands of youngsters inspired and ready to adventure or take on their own challenges.

It is a very special thing to be considered a role model by youngsters, hopefully inspiring a change of thinking or a belief in themselves.

Is there an experience you think everyone, adventurer or not, should have?

We are never really that far away from the sea in the UK, so I would put a trip by the coast high up on the list. A blustery clifftop walk, a skinny dip or kayak or surf, even a campfire and sleeping out on the beach. We have a beautiful coastline and it makes me sad that not everyone gets a chance to see it.

Get outside, sleep outside in different places, be spontaneous, jump in rivers and lakes and be challenged physically. All experience adds up to more knowledge, more confidence and, importantly, more fun!

What other tips do you have to help people get started?

Join a club and meet likeminded people who can help get you started. Then read about other peoples' trips for tips and ideas.

Most of all - just get out and start doing. You learn from doing.

It's so easy to take it all for granted isn't it. What about books to inspire the adventurer in us?

Winnie the Pooh - those stories are full of gentle, profound wisdom and good energy.

A heartwarming choice Sarah! How do you plan your bigger trips?

I love big sheets of paper and love plotting in a brainstorm session. Throw in some maps or Google Earth, books or web reviews and I'm there (assuming it is something that requires this much planning!)

Do you have any favourite places here in the UK?

I love the West Coast of Wales and Scotland, especially the Hebrides. It feels so remote and raw up there and I also love the marine wildlife. I don't have a favourite island as such, but I have spent the most time on Mull.

Presumably you've had the occasional moment of camping hell in amongst all of the fun?

My worst might be the time I spilled our porridge all over the floor on one frosty morning on our Gold DofE. My friend Claire has never let me forget it.

Classic! And better camping memories?

I have so many special memories from camping - with friends, with family, or solo - at home and abroad - from the back garden to remote expeditions! A really treasured one is the last time I camped with my Dad when I was 15. He had taken my brother and I away for a week in Wales. My Dad had rheumatoid arthritis for all my life up until his untimely death in 2006 when I was 21. I remember him saying how refreshed and energised he was that week in Wales.

That's a lovely story. Some quickfire questions to finish then. What gadget can't you live without on your travels?

My Leatherman Wave - full of useful tools.

And the strangest thing that you always pack?

On my rowing trips I always take a small bottle of perfume - a little spritz can make the cabin smell so good when it generally smells pretty rotten. A friend once gave me a bottle of nail polish too - so that has become a ritual on the ocean.

Brightly painted toes make me smile.

There's travelling in style for you! Favourite campfire meal?

Pancakes, but you have to be careful not to burn them. I also love, love, love sweetcorn and potatoes cooked in the coals. Freshly caught fish is hard to beat too.

Tell us something we wouldn't know about you?

I am scared of deep water and of cats - all those claws that might shoot out in an instant!

Well, who'd have guessed that?! What makes an ideal travelling partner?

I have spent more time soloing than journeying with others, but the person needs to be fun, dependable, easy going but determined, and have different skills to me.

You've certainly got it all figured out. Thanks Sarah!

Visit Sarah's website for up to date info on her latest adventures. Or read her best selling book Dare to Do, which is the perfect gift for any budding explorer.