The Women’s Adventure Expo is the first adventure and travel expo in the UK dedicated to women. It was our first year attending this expo, and needless to say, with both of us being keen kayakers & hikers, we were a tad excited!
Attending an expo in itself can be an adventure, a lot of planning and preparation goes on behind-the-scenes. For us, this adventure started at an ungodly hour of 4 AM!! After changing out of our jim-jams me and my ‘partnering crime’ piled into the car for a two-hour drive to Bristol.
Upon arrival, it was all systems go! I put up our booth praying that assembly would be straightforward… I was concerned that it would be like trying to put together IKEA furniture and that I would end up on the floor crying over the instruction manual. Luckily, I managed to set up our booth in good time, and reassuringly should I have needed help, there was plenty of friendly volunteers around to assist the exhibitors.
Doors opened at 9 AM and a steady flow of ladies walked in – here come the girls! After a welcome speech from our wonderfully funny host Squash Falconer, everyone dispersed across the hall and us and our fellow exhibitors got to work. It was great to see so many menstrual cup fans! Think we can safely say that when your climbing Everest, biking across India or going on a scuba diving trip, a menstrual cup is definitely a girl’s best friend!
Menstruation can be a massive obstacle to women adventurers, or more precisely how to manage it when you have no access to shops, clean water, toilets, or the means to dispose of used pads & tampons. The Women’s Adventure Expo was running a survey on managing menstruation in extreme environments. If you were there then I hope you’ve took the time to share your experiences and fill out the survey.
It was great to be able to educate women on the menstrual care options they never heard about in school. Many women knew about menstrual cups but weren’t familiar with the concept of modern cloth pads, and how they could be a great option too!
As we were exhibiting in the main hall we also got to listen to some truly amazing talks, by the likes of Anna McNuff, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, Mollie Hughes and Beth French. I particularly connected with Beth’s talk, as we have had to learn to overcome some shared obstacles. I also wondered if she did swimming lessons – as I am a truly rubbish swimmer!
She does by the way….
The positive period talk at this event was really amazing! It was so great to hear everyone’s stories and experiences. One of the biggest reasons we do these Expo’s is to give women a place where they can talk about their periods and have open and honest discussions with other women. We loved chatting to all of you!
The day came to an end and it was time for breakdown, once we had the booth packed up I waited in the storeroom whilst Justine (my partner in crime) did some interesting manoeuvres to try to get our car into the loading bay. Her lack of experience was showing at this point!
We both left the event thoroughly inspired, and plotting our next adventures.
A huge thank you goes out to the organisers, volunteers, speakers, technical crew, and everyone who attended, this was a truly amazing event! And we will definitely be back!!!