Earlier this year, Miranda and Molly packed their bags and hopped aboard the bus at Central Station for one of our Wilderness Escapes with Waves Surf School. They were just two twenty-something-year-old single women riding solo, seeking adventure and a tribe of likeminded souls to enjoy it with. They found those souls… in each other!


Let’s cover off the basics. What do you guys do with your days?

Miranda: For work I run a small floristry business from home and work part time in retail. Other than that you’ll generally find me close to large bodies of water or places with lots of trees, chilling in my van.

Molly: I do the rat race life Monday – Friday and work in corporate health as a Dietitian. I stay sane by living on the beach and absolutely living for the weekends. I spend every spare minute at the beach or being creative with photography and writing.

Molly Jones wilderness escapes finding friends tribe camping beach smiling

Creativity seems to be pretty key for both of you. Where do you get your inspiration?

Miranda: It sounds a bit lame but I’m a massive nature nerd and get so much inspiration from the littlest things, like the sun shining on the water, the colours in the sunrise and sunset, shooting stars, rainbows (told you it sounds lame!). I also follow a tonne of awe-inspiring, rad people on Instagram that have opened my eyes to how much there really is to see and do in the world.

Molly: I live for the ‘moments in between’ – those small moments that often go unnoticed, that people are too busy to stop and take in. I’m also a massive creative, so I love anything that is picturesque and feeling-provoking!

Miranda Fitzgerald wilderness escapes making friends camping van lifeIt can be really hard to find the time to slow down and notice those ‘moments in between’ and geek out on nature. How do you both make sure you carve out time for these moments?

Miranda: I feel like it is absolute integral to my mood, my wellbeing and my mental health. I have found that for me, there isn’t much that can’t be cured by going for a walk or sitting on a cliff by the ocean. After a while being immersed in nature becomes an addiction and it’s just something I simply can’t live without. That and coffee! Haha.

Molly: For me it’s about priorities. I prioritise getting outside and just breathing in the fresh air everyday – it’s a non negotiable! Especially living in Sydney, it’s so easy to be really busy and rushed, trying to do everything and be everything to everyone, but when you get to stop and take in a view, or hear the ocean, or be surrounded by bush or dive under a wave – it makes you remember how bloody good the world is!

Miranda Fitzgerald wilderness escapes making friends camping van life

Miranda Fitzgerald wilderness escapes making friends camping van life swimming surfing

Do you prefer adventuring solo or with others?

Miranda: As much as I do enjoy my own time and being independent, I’m an extrovert and love meeting new people. So I guess the answer for me is both! I like traveling alone for the purpose of making new friends but I also love having people to share the adventures with.

Molly: Ooh that’s such a tough one! I’m very independent and a loner at heart, so i adore being by myself and not having to keep up conversation or make an effort to be social. But when you meet similar and aligned people who just get you, it makes such a massive difference! When I met Miranda i was so excited and like a giddy kid in a lolly store! We dig the same things, have similar personalities, dance and sing to the same horrifically fantastic music and having all those things just make adventures so much more fun! So if I get to have 2, 5 or 10 “others” like her then I’ll choose to adventure with others haha.

Molly Jones wilderness escapes finding friends tribe camping beach smiling

Were you expecting to come away from the experience having met a Molly/ a Miranda (aka a rad chick you could adventure with on weekends)?

Miranda: Not at all! It took me by surprise how quickly we clicked. We bonded over hash browns on the mini bus in the first half an hour and the rest is history.

Molly: Definitely wasn’t counting on it. I thought I’d meet likeminded people and have an awesome weekend away, but I didn’t have expectations of creating ongoing friendships. I’m so glad I did though! So many more adventures to be had together!

Did you grow up with adventure or do you consider yourself a “new recruit”?

Miranda: I didn’t necessarily “grow up” with adventure, but I feel like it was in me from the beginning. I was always climbing trees and “going on adventures” (mostly to the front yard) when I was a kid, and when I joined Scouts as a teenager it really cemented the adventurer in me.

Molly: My family was super adventurous and my childhood was full of camping, roadtrips or overseas adventures. It was always non-stop adventure at 100 miles per hour. I grew up on acreage in the beautiful Far North QLD and apparently as a kid I loved just sitting in one spot being creative. I think my desire to explore and experience adventure developed as I got older and realised I could do it in a way that suited me.


Want to join We Are Explorers on a Wilderness Escape? Here’s what we have coming up…

Sydney

21 – 22 October // Wilderness Photography Escape – Sydney

28 October // Wilderness Navigation Course – Sydney

11 –12 November // Wilderness Canoe Escape – Sydney

Brisbane

13 – 15 October // Wilderness Climbing Escape – Brisbane

21 22 October // Wilderness Photography Escape – Brisbane

4 – 5 November // Wilderness Survival Camp – Brisbane

11 – 12 November // Wilderness Navigation Course – Brisbane

Melbourne

14 – 15 October // Wilderness Climbing Escape – Melbourne

28 October // Essentials of Navigation Course – Melbourne

25 November // Essentials of Navigation Course – Melbourne

 

Sign up here!

What were you guys expecting when you signed up for the Wilderness Surf Escape earlier this year?

Miranda: I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had been on one other WAE weekend earlier in the year and met a bunch of really cool people, so I was definitely hoping to meet some more new friends. Other than that I was just hoping we’d get some good waves.

Molly: I expected to meet a whole group of like-minded people! As it was Sydney based, I thought everyone would be doing the 9-5 thing but have a deep-rooted love for the outdoors and adventures.

Liam Hardy Wilderness Surf Escape friends laughing

Wilderness Surf Escape || June 2017 || Photo credit: Liam Hardy

Liam Hardy Wilderness Surf Escape friends laughing party wave surfing

“Party waaaaave!” || Wilderness Surf Escape || June 2017 || Photo credit: Liam Hardy

How did that line up with the experience?

Miranda: It was pretty spot on! I met lots of super nice people, everyone was really different, but we all had a lot in common too-in particular our love for the outdoors! We had so much great banter, enjoyed some singalongs around a bonfire, got some AWESOME waves and we were all besties by the end of the weekend. I am also so stoked that I met Molly who has now become a very dear friend. I feel like she’s my soul sister.

Molly: Ahh the experience was exactly what I thought it would be. The fact that the title of the weekend has the word ‘Escape’ in it gives you a hint that everyone will just be completely themselves, ditching the city vibes and being in the present moment. Everyone was on the same page and we were all so like-minded that we connected within 5 minutes of meeting. It  really was a weekend where everyone was just completely themselves and had the best time!

What made you start searching for a group like this?

Miranda: I had come out of a long term relationship and basically lost my adventure buddy. I didn’t want to give up adventuring just because I no longer had someone who was always available to go with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to go away by myself, but it’s always a lot more fun when you have someone to share the stoke with.

Molly: I got stuck in the rut of city life!I was also getting bored with the same old patterns like seeing the same people, talking about the same things, doing the exact thing every weekend in and out and was ready for a change.

What do you reckon you were lacking in your weekend adventures that drew you seek out a new crew?

Miranda: I was lacking the drive to be pushed out of my comfort zone and make me try new things. It’s easy to get into a routine of going to the same places and doing the same things, even when you’re an adventurer. I really wanted to meet more likeminded people who place importance in the same things that I do. And I guess I wanted reassurance that it’s ok step out of the “normal” life that lots of people tend to get stuck in. Not that “normal” life is bad, it’s just not for me.

Molly: Ditto! I was also searching for a push in the right direction to go live life, to get inspired. Great minds think alike haha.

Molly Jones wilderness escapes finding friends tribe camping beach smiling

Do you have boring friends?

Miranda: Haha my friends definitely aren’t boring! Just as we grow older people move away, get fancy jobs, get married, have babies etc. and I guess I just prioritise getting away and doing different things.

Molly: It depends how you describe boring! People have different priorities and I respect that not everyone likes doing the same things as I do. But I’m in the same boat as Miranda here, I was fast-becoming the only friend that had itchy feet, a desire to escape and was unlimited by  responsibilities.

Ideal adventure trip… go.

Miranda: I am dying to do an around Australia adventure in a decked out Land cruiser. Would love to just pack up and leave for a year or so, stopping wherever there’s a nice view or good waves and meeting interesting people along the way. (Would also love to dodge winter for as long as possible).

Molly: Ooh my current dream is to ditch the city and my belongings and just go wherever the wind takes me. Nomadic lifestyle travelling around the world, having the time to stop and talk to anyone and everyone, visit all the amazing destinations the world has to offer and just be free! How cheesy is that.

 

Miranda Fitzgerald wilderness escapes making friends camping van life sunset

Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?

Miranda: I’m super sentimental, so I would definitely rather lose all my money and valuables. I have spent many, many hours of my life looking back at photos of all the amazing things I have done and precious moments I’ve experienced and would be devastated if I ever lost them.

Molly: Definitely keep the pictures. Being an avid photographer, my photos mean the world to me. I can look back through the photos from any trip I’ve ever done and be transported back there and to lose that ability would break my heart!

Face your fears or forget that you have them?

Miranda: Face my fears. I feel like you learn a lot about yourself and your resilience when you face your fears.

Molly: Forget that I have fears. I’d get out of my own way and live at full capacity and that would produce some amazing outcomes!

 

Images not captioned provided by Miranda (@mirandarosefitz) and Molly (@musingsofmj).

 


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