Introducing Donna Marie Ashton
Author, Beardless Adventurer, Knowledge Junkie & Mum
“When the kids left home and the dog died, we felt the need to firstly push ourselves just that little bit further out of our comfort zone and also to fill a bit of a void. We would do something a bit different. So with no prior cycling experience, or an inkling of what that might actually entail, we decided, on the spur of the moment to announce to family and friends, that we would be riding from The Atlantic to The Black Sea”.
Donna’s first book is about that epic attempt at the 5,000km journey, the scrapes, dilemma’s and the laughter instigated mainly (but not exclusively) by her occasionally rather obstreperous husband and subject matter, also known as her inconvenience or sometimes Iain.
Before writing professionally Donna dabbled in at least 30 different careers (at different levels of commitment, qualification and interest!) including Acupuncture, mentoring troubled kids, teaching, cooking for 80, phlebotomy, instructing Zumba, the obligatory café and shop work and an entrepreneur. Above anything else, she relishes in the unexpected experiences associated with new places, especially the food and the people. Her natural curiosity has instilled in her an insatiable appetite for learning and sharing and has found her studying, teaching and qualifying in subjects as diverse as Ancient Eastern Medicine, human biology, environmental science, English language, Midwifery, Nordic walking and Bushcraft skills.
The catalyst of her un-boundless positive life outlook was leaving a secure albeit hectic and unpredictable career in the emergency ambulance service, Donna, her husband Iain and two young children planned on a complete change, a nice, normal, quiet life in Devon. The problem was, it would appear that being normal just simply didn’t suit them. With a case of serious wanderlust combined with the knowledge and experience that life can be snuffed out at any minute, they actively decided to live life to the full, take as many opportunities for new experiences that they could find
“I can confirm, I never met anyone who was dying who expressed the desire to have spent more time at work, or wish they had accumulated more wealth, watched more TV or had less experiential memories.”
And so followed an interesting and varied life for a young family, from living in Switzerland, running an international school ski hotel, to ski medics, accidently becoming involved in the outdoor education industry from France, to Spain, Italy and the UK.
Along with penning her next book, Donna and her handy obstreperous subject matter (aka husband Iain) now have their sights set on another cycling challenge, this time from The Arctic Circle to Athens. Or maybe something further afield.
If you’d like to suggest something, they’d certainly consider it. Feel free to drop them a line.