SOPHIE ANNOUNCED AS A FACE OF THE NORTH FACE: NEW EXPLORER PROJECT

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I am so stoked to share that I have been announced as a face of the new The North Face “New Explorer” campaign. What is especially exciting is that through this campaign, we have announced now that I will be taking 6 women on a very special retreat to explore Putsborough, a surfer’s paradise and location very close to my heart.


It was out here, on many a trip, as a teenager, young adult, the woman I am now, seeds were sown for my vision of pursuing creating Mad To Live, and opening this up to women around the world.

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Check out the campaign video below, and enter the competition HERE to win a place on this very special retreat…

PRESS: MAD TO LIVE RETREATS REVIEW IN LONDON ON THE INSIDE

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We recently had the pleasure of having the awesome journalist Daniela Marchesi come join us in Portugal for a Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience camp.  Check out what Daniela made of her trip for her piece in London On The Inside below!

Book on to a Mad To Live Retreat here, Portugal September & October dates available!

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MY TAKE ON THE NORTH FACE: SHE MOVES MOUNTAINS MOVEMENT

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I was stoked to ask to be a part of a movement by The North Face spearheaded by their phenomenal athletes including climbing prodigy the incredible Ashima Shiraishi and ultra runner Fernanada Maciel (who recently ran up and down Kilimanjaro in just over 10 hours...) amongst other ground-breaking women.  The campaign isn't just celebrating female explorers, but so to speak putting it's money where it's mouth is, supporting equal marketing spend between the sexes at the brand, product development for women, closing the gender pay gap amongst their athletes, and grants and charity partnerships to foster female exploration.

Spurred on by attending a panel discussion chaired by the extraordinary Bonita Norris (at the time the youngest British woman to ascend Everest), DJ Carly Wilford, Fernanda Maciel, and women I am proud to know, the formidable Editor of Cosmopolitan Farrah Storr, and Editor of Cooler Magazine, Lou Boyd, got me thinking about my own mission, and what my work has meant to me over the years.  

My wildest dream had been and continues to be aiding more women getting into nature, surfing, running, getting out on bikes, horses, out on the climbing wall, playing in our Great Outdoors.  

"The foundation of Mad To Live Retreats and of indeed the Mad To Live platform itself to tell stories in support of that mission has been my greatest motivation in both my career and personal life.   I am passionate about more women experiencing the physical and mental benefits of a life rooted in sport, exploration, play and adventure, and how in a female-based retreat, fostering female friendships in this environment can lead to incredibly meaningful relationships and experiences in these outdoor settings."

The retreats are my way to help break down any barriers, encumbrances or fears women may have in any of these sports we play in, particularly if they are classically more male-dominated environments, like surfing.  When I see our hoard out running the trails, tearing down beaches on horseback, opening their hearts to sun salute the sky, paddling into the lineup, a crew of women who are feeling more confident just from either having positive constructive coaching, by being with a troop of other women who have their backs, every second of hard work, of doors that have been shut, of doors that have been opened, is worth it.

I am constantly invigorated by my work, by working on stories that are woven into this mission, of creating more retreats to give more women access to an experience where they can try these sports, be themselves, forge new passions, travel and be enriched by a world taking in more movement, more culture, more life.  I'll continue to push for more, for more women to partake, to run a little wilder, and feel stronger, and to never stop playing. 

Check out my shots which are from the awesome book She Moves Mountains by The North Face I am delighted to be included in.  

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BLOG FOR BILLABONG WOMEN'S: STARTING A BUSINESS IN SURF - HOW TO BE A FREELANCE BUSINESS OWNER & RUN A BUSINESS FROM THE BEACH

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My next blog for Billabong Women's hot off the heels of my debut piece on top road trips to do with your girlfriends the summer is now live now on the Billabong website.  I chatted to the Billabong crew about how I started my business and went from being office based to being toes-in-the-sand beach based most of the time!  Check out the full piece below.

 

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AWESOME SUMMER ROAD TRIPS TO DO WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS WITH BILLABONG WOMENS

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Summer is finally beginning to cast it's glow across what has been an unfathomably long and cold winter.  Buoyed up by sunny vibes and a road trip to California, I've penned a piece for my fav women's all-time rock n' roll surf brand, Billabong Womens, hot off the back of the launch of their New Wave collection inspired by Billabong's long-time heritage in surf and the wild and rad bonds of a badass crew of friends.  

If you've seen me on the beach and in the waves you know I have a penchant for all the 80s high cut bathers, and I love this heritage blast collection and all the radical girl power vibes around it, the campaign featuring powerhouse surfer Laura Enever, Josie Prendergast, Alissia Quizon and golden girl Flick Palameeter.

Check out my guide to awesome summer trips to do with your girlfriends over the summer!

 

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Book now on Mad To Live Retreats

All photos by Alan Krespan

A SALCOMBE SEAFOLLY MAD TO LIVE RETREAT

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The first budding blossoms of spring bring with it a taste of a summer to come, and with a hot spell stretching it’s giving touch across Europe to the UK, we were blessed with the hottest April on record for a Mad To Live hosted Seafolly Australia Retreat in Devon.  Devon has long been one of my favourite places in the world to explore and adventure in, it’s clean waters, rambling expanses of lush green lands and vast unparalleled beauty.     

Our retreat home for the weekend in the near-mystically beautiful Salcombe, our own Seafolly babe palace, perched on the beach overlooking the crystal green waters of the West Coast.  It wasn't hard to imagine that Tennyson was so inspired by this very place that he penned poems such was the inspiration the otherwordly scenery inspired him with.

 

With Seafolly beach vibes in abundance and a brilliant crew of women for the weekend, we tucked into a hearty spread by the Potency Team, a vegetarian menu over the weekend fueling us for our endless hours of fun.

Dawn’s golden fingers creeping through our curtains on Saturday, my surf-fitness high intensity class kicked off our first day, introducing the ladies to pop-ups and getting sweaty whilst tesing out the new season Seafolly fitness gear.  

I love the detail of the products, and radical bright coloured designs.

Chowing down some of Potency's award-winning energy balls, we headed beach-way for our stand up paddle boarding adventure.  

 

All aboard the SeaFolly Express!

 

Exploring the beautiful bays and breathtaking waters of the bay with our girl gang was an all-time adventure, the endless smiles, team-ditch into the fresh waters and post-SUP beach play with Gracie the puppy leaving us sun-kissed and stoked.

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A quick stop of at the local pub The Winking Prawn for fresh grilled prawns slathered in garlic butter and we headed back to our girl-gang abode, ready for a restorative, candle lit stretch.

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Toasting the day with cocktails courtesy of Potency and a generous feast, a dance-off as we checked out next season collection of Seafolly (it’s off the chart awesome), and we cosied up for a viewing of the all-time classic chicks surfer movie.  Yup you guessed it, Blue Crush.  

Waking up to another blue-bird morning and a generous serving of poached eggs with crisped coconut flakes over rye with avo, we took the workout outdoors, for an energising conditioning session underneath the sunny skies.

An incredible weekend with the Seafolly girl gang.

To find out more and book on to Mad To Live Retreats, cruise here

Enquire about corporate and brand Mad To Live Retreats at sophie@madtoliveblog.com

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PRESS: SURFGIRL MAGAZINE FEATURE MAD TO LIVE RETREATS

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We are stoked to feature in the latest issue of SurfGirl Magazine's Travel Special roundup of top summer destinations for Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience in Portugal.  Pick up a copy & check it out, SurfGirl rules #printisntdead, or else keep reading to scope the full piece, with an interview from yours truly.

The Portugal weeks are nearly sold out, snag your spot whilst you can to the ULTIMATE Women's Surf, Fitness & Adventure Retreat now on one of our 6 dates over summer, book here.

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PRESS: FEATURE IN SURF GIRL MAGAZINE

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SurfGirl Magazine are a staple read and favourite at Mad To Live HQ, and we were stoked to feature in their latest Sofa To Surf Travel Guide, where they take a look at Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience epic dates in Portugal.  

Check out the feature below and book a spot to Mad To Live Retreats here!

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PRESS: FEATURE IN WOMEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE

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So excited to find Mad To Live Retreats included in our favourite bible of all that is health, wellness, travel & awesomeness, Women's Health UK's run down of the Top 21 Fitness Holidays of 2018!

Check out the feature below, and thanks to Women's Health UK. You rule!

Book a spot on Mad To Live Retreats here!

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HOW TO BE A DIGITAL NOMAD ARTICLE IN SURFGIRL MAGAZINE

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Hot off the back of a recent trip to The Nomads Camp with The Action Academy, a co-working retreat where interjected between workshops and talks to help transition you to be a digital nomad/run your own business we tore down the mountains of Morzine on mountain bikes, wakeboarded Lake Annecy and packed more adventure into a week than you can shake a stick at, is my article in SurfGirl Magazine outlining how you, too, can be a digital nomad.

A daunting prospect for me some years back now, but a few years down the line now, I reflect on this transition, and how you can achieve this yourself too in my favourite bible of all that is women's surf and adventure, Surf Girl.

Check out the full piece below!

With Thanks To The Action Academy
 

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MAD TO LIVE RETREATS FEATURED IN THE TELEGRAPH BY VICTORIA PENDLETON

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Long-time friend of Mad To Live the legendary Double Olympic Champion Victoria Pendleton (CBE) was spotted discussing her love surfing and Mad To Live Retreats in The Telegraph recently.

Check it out below, and cruise over to the retreat page to nab your space on one of our legendary retreats.

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BLOGGER YOI DOCHI'S TAKE ON MAD TO LIVE RETREATS

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"One of those tales I'll be telling my grand kids one day...."

How I love running women's surf retreats.  It could be selfish but sheez, I am just getting to meet the MOST radical awesome ladies doing this, and making incredible new friends.  So from a selfish perspective, I LOVE IT as I am making so many brilliant new friends, women that are inspiring me in turn to be creative and do epic things.

"Over the week every single one of us progressed so much. It was an awesome personal achievement, we really turned into a little community and felt stoked for each other improving and catching some great waves. I never thought I'd meet a group of strangers and immediately get on so well with them."

Our most recent leg of retreats in Portugal with our homies at the Surf Experience had all-round legend, founder of the kick-ass blog YOI DACHI (check it out.  It is EPICNESS on another level) join us for our week of surf, shred adventure and general bad-assing.  Hanging out with Bec, a martial arts, surfing, wolf-owning, fellow metalhead enthusiast was a highlight of my trip and I loved seeing her throw herself at everything on offer, a true Mad To Live-er if there every was one.

"Sophie and the SE guys and girls put in a hell of a lot of effort to give you the best week of your life. And no, I'm not exaggerating. It literally was that for me."

Check out what this radical soul made of the trip below, and stay TUNED for all the retreats landing in 2018, book here!

"I made some friends in the space of a week that I hope will last a lifetime — people that have made me think differently about my own life, given me a fresh outlook..."

 

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MAD TO LIVE RETREATS REVIEW IN SURFGIRL MAGAZINE

On the recently wrapped leg of Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience in the epicentre of all that is surf and adventure in Europe, Portugal, we had the pleasure of welcoming the warming ray of radness that is SurfGirl journalist Carly Truss as a guest.

Straight off the bat, Carly was a total pleasure to have join the crew.  I am stoked that she really got involved with everything that Mad To Live is about, and delighted she had a great experience.  Check out what she made of the retreat in her write-up for SurfGirl magazine, the most awesome purveyors of all that is women's surfing. 

SURFGIRL ARTICLE ON MAD TO LIVE RETREATS & TRAINING

The recent leg of Mad To Live Retreats hit epic Lagos, Portugal for our annual collaboration with the righteous The Surf Experience,  bringing together all-time crews of women for the ultimate surf & fitness adventure.

We were psyched to have the brilliant Carly Truss, surfer, warm-hearted soul, badass, and journalist from our favourite women's surf journal, SurfGirl Magazine, along for the ride.

We love this piece Carly detailed on why the retreats are put together the way they are.  Want to know why I put together surfing with horse-riding, boxing, yoga, trail running and mountain biking?  Read on...

With thanks to the brilliant Carly and SurfGirl Magazine.

Like what you see?  Book on to the next Mad To Live Retreats x The Surf Experience adventure this September HERE!  Only a few spaces left!