EPISODE ONE - FRIT SARITA TAM - ADVENTURE FILM MAKER - JUST DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT
Frankie Dewar 0:32
Hello, and welcome to the extraordinary ordinary women podcast sharing life's adventures. My name is Frankie. And this is a podcast where I interview extraordinary ordinary women and non binary folk, as part of a 300 kilometer cycle around England, Wales and Scotland, interviewing people out there myself, to show you that you don't just have to do it last year. You'll hear all about their adventures, and what they get up to, as well as their answers to my big life questions. Like what does authenticity mean?
Did you have a clear sense of direction through life? And what advice would you give to your younger self? This is the very first episode, five days before the start of my trip, where I have the pleasure of interviewing the incredible adventure filmmaker, photographer Frit Sarita Tam. It's a big first episode. And just the context, for those of you who don't know, Frit is my girlfriend. Say we really go in on the tough stuff. Is this podcast develops I think I'll need to let you know we're on the road. It's recorded. So you can excuse the background noise. This one was recorded at friend's house. So I think it's fine. I've managed to remove the sounds the phone ringing, and her dad singing. But if any noises do pop up, I hope they deter from Frit's incredible stories. Hi, Frit Welcome!
Frit Sarita Tam 2:09
Thank you. Hi.
Frankie Dewar 2:11
Thanks so much for giving me the time to come on, do an interview.
Frit Sarita Tam 2:14
Thank you for having me.
Frankie Dewar 2:15
I know who you are. But for people who haven't heard of you? Could you give me a bit of a snapshot overview of who you are and what you do.
Frit Sarita Tam 2:26
So hi, my name is Frit. I am an adventure filmmaker and photographer. I run a film studio called passionfruit Pictures. And the sole mission of that is to share stories from underrepresented groups in the outdoors is a belief that the stories are out there that people are out there, but they're just not getting their fair share of the spotlight. So you know, underrepresented groups is a whole spectrum of people of different ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations. And what I'm finding and what a lot of people are finding is that only a small sliver of society are being shown within adventure films. And I would like to contribute to the change of that. Other than that, outside of sort of work stuff. I predominantly like to hike, climb. Just recently learned to ski. Frankie taught me how to ski in the previous winter season. And I love to paddleboard and Frankie and I've also been while swimming or while dipping as I like to call it Frankie swims. I did. Yeah, I guess like the other thing to mention is about mine and our part time band. I think. I've got a van called john Claude Van Damme. Jc for sure. And just getting out in him is just pure joy. I raised it.
Is there anything you don't do?
Yes. As long as things don't do like mountaineering? No, yeah, no, yeah, we've got those in the plans are
Frankie Dewar 4:05
amazing. It sounds like you've really incorporated your love of the outdoors and adventure into what you do professionally. Is that how it's been?
Frit Sarita Tam 4:13
No, it hasn't. So I've been filming for about 10 years. But that was predominantly sort of in corporate settings. So I'd make a lot of like promo videos film a lot of like, CEOs and MDs on green screens, and that paid really well. And when you start off as a freelancer in sort of some kind of filming or videography, that's usually where you might go because that's where the money is. And then you might then sort of move off into something that maybe has your heart a bit more, and that's the typical journey for me. So I gradually started to try and involve the outdoors in around 20 1617. But it's been like a long time coming. It hasn't happened super quickly. And considering that it's now 2020, and I think Like, I'm only just starting to lift off with things. And but I think I think for me that was like the, the right trajectory and the right timeline.
Frankie Dewar 5:08
Do you find there are many challenges moving away from the corporate stuff and wanting to adventure?
Frit Sarita Tam 5:15
Oh, good question. There's challenges in both. And they're sort of, there's highs and lows of both. So there were internal and external challenges, I think, and internal were things like imposter syndrome, and not feeling confident enough to be able to really pursue what it was that I wanted to do, I guess something that sort of straddles across both internal and external sort of financial concerns. So I knew that I could make money from the corporate side. And there's, there's sort of, and I don't know whether it's true or not, because it's something that you hear that you don't get paid very well in the adventure industry. But I know the money is out there. So I'm sure that I can make a living out of it. And but I sort of I really hesitated during those years, because I wanted to make sure that I was financially secure. But a lot of people would say, I don't know if that pays very well, how are you going to make your money? And inevitably, that just sort of sow seeds of doubt?
Frankie Dewar 6:24
sitive. It's not a career path that necessarily everyone can get their head around, is it, it's not that you've just turned up is that Oh, yeah, I'm gonna go back in this office, and then become a manager, and then a managing director,
Frit Sarita Tam 6:37
and then whatever else people do.
Yeah, there's not really an official ladder that you can climb, I guess, when you go self employed, you are every rung of that ladder. So you are the tea maker. And all the way up to you are the CEO. And so there's kind of no traditional ladder that you climb with no sort of traditional promotional system, with no traditional mentor. I want to tell you what, to do what to do, which is kind of the benefit do, I think in terms of the transition between the two. And the skill, the skill set itself was exactly the same. And the biggest thing that I found has helped is just people skills, being able to speak to the MD or a CEO of a company about the video that they want to promote their company is exactly the same as speaking to an athlete, or an adventurer about the challenge that they're about to embark on, is exactly the same. But I guess what's different is my approach to it, because I care more about the adventures and the athletes.
Frankie Dewar 7:54
And may that and I want to talk to you about some of the people that you found already, and that you're planning to film in the future. But just before I do, when you're talking about the challenges, you mentioned, imposter syndrome. And I think that's a big one for a lot of people. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you might have overcome some of these challenges.
Frit Sarita Tam 8:13
So I'd say some of it was just sheer determination. Some of it was just spending time trying to push, push, push. And I really feel like there was a lot of pushing in terms of being taken seriously by some people that you know, as, sometimes as a woman, or sometimes as a Chinese person, that, that this is what I wanted to do. And you know, it wouldn't just be, for example, sort of acquaintances, or you know, sometimes it might be family who they genuinely care, it will come from a place of care, I felt that I was always pushing to really create a place that I could see myself in. But because I didn't feel like I could see myself there. That's where imposter syndrome kicked in. And if I let myself run away with that, then I just asked all the typical questions like, you know, who am I to think that I can do this? Who am I to tell these people stories, but then also just say, like, I'm sure someone else is telling these stories already. Like, I'd excuse myself out of it. And you know, and if I don't do this, and there's not going to be a biggie because you know, who's really gonna lose out? I guess the answer to that is the other people probably won't, but I will. So then that's the biggest reason to do something is if I lose out, then, you know, what kind of service Am I doing for myself?
Frankie Dewar 9:42
Yeah, so much showing up for yourself as much as you're showing up for everyone who you're helping and support it.
Frit Sarita Tam 9:48
Yeah. And but I guess like to answer your question more fully. I couldn't have gotten to this place without the help of other people too. And so meeting people has been really useful. People who will support you and cheerlead you, people who appears within your industries and that you can sort of trade experiences. And, and so I think it's a combination of surrounding yourself with the right people. And then hopefully that helping to offset the moments when you're sort of questioning whether you're doing the right thing or not. At the end, can
Frankie Dewar 10:25
you tell me a little bit about some of the people that you've found, or that you're hoping to have?
Frit Sarita Tam 10:30
I filmed last year with Jo Mosley, who is a 55 year old paddle boarder. And she last year was the first woman to complete the Coast to Coast Trail from Liverpool to go. And that's 162 miles, it took her 11 days. And she hadn't done anything like that before, when she first came up with the idea, she first came up with it in 2016. And people basically told her, it was a terrible idea. And they sort of almost talked her out of it. So she's sort of part of the idea, until 2019. And her thing is that she wants to prove that, that women in their 40s 50s 60s are not past it, that they can still have adventures. And what she's found is that, you know, particularly this sort of age in their life, when maybe kids have gone off to university or moved out, this is the perfect time for them to sort of either delve into delve into adventure, or restart being adventurous again, because maybe they were adventurous when they were younger. And then they sort of lost it and amongst sort of family life. And so filming with her has been amazing in terms of just her being amazing. We're now really close friends, which I'm hugely lucky for, but also just the experience of learning from her has been really great, because I'm 31. So I have no idea about what it's like to be, you know, middle aged, and going through the menopause. And being on sort of that side of family life, like I've got no idea what that's like. And so that's been really cool. That's been a really great experience. I've got three really incredible women lined up for the sort of from now until the end of this year. They are Zahra and who is a Scottish Muslim HillWalker. There's a woman called Fredi chohan, who is an Indian female football coach, and then an ad called a mirror. And her mom who basically they just sound like the most incredible outdoors, the people who do everything. Why love, isn't it, her mom obviously sort of grew up in a time when it was really unusual for Asian women to be getting into the outdoors. And she persisted with that. And then pass that on to her daughter a mirror. And I love that. So hopefully, if everything goes well for this year, then yeah, I should be able to film with them.
Frankie Dewar 12:50
I mean, there's just so many things that I want to ask you about everyone and everything. So it's really exciting, because I'm going to be hopefully speaking to Jo, when I'm up in Yorkshire, and that will be amazing and talking to her about a challenge. But you sort of talked about in that the fact that, you know, there's different perceptions on different women and from different parts of society. And that's kind of a lot about what these interviews are about, I guess, speaking to different women of different ages and from different places and from different backgrounds, to hear about their experiences, and how then that relates to being in the outdoors and being adventurous and completing these challenges. I'm going to move away from more of the professional side, and I want to come back into the outdoors
a little bit.
So tell me more. You said, a brief overview at the start about everything you do. Tell me a little bit more about what you love about the outdoors?
Frit Sarita Tam 13:57
Ah, such a big question. I guess my answer is really multifaceted, because the outdoors is really multifaceted. So you know, you've got so many different types of outdoors. There's just, you know, just the park down the road. And then there's also, you know what you introduced me to the mountains of Chamonix. And then everything in between. And I guess, I guess part of that is that I love how diverse is which only sort of brings me back I suppose to the point of diversity in the outdoors, if the outdoors is if the outdoors hosts a whole range of diversity, then really it's the home for for a full diversity to be represented to and it's not. But personally, I guess yeah, for me, I love that. It just gives you an opportunity to basically just play to basically be a kid. But ultimately, and I don't know if this really answered your question. What I really love about the outdoors is the outdoors community. So if you want to, if you want to start a new activity There will be people who are more than happy, who would absolutely love to show you the outdoors, who'd love to show you how to start that activity. Because sometimes these activities can seem really intimidating. Like, I wouldn't have started skiing, if it wasn't for you. And it quite literally required you to take me out, hold my hand, be super patient with me. And literally hold your hand, literally hold my hand and then like, and like the patience is unreal. And I think that's what puts people off that certainly put me off in the past, I've thought I'd really love to do that. But I don't want to be the person who slows other people down. Or you know, I don't know if other people will have the patience to teach me. But of course, people will. And there was quite literally a time when like, on our very first day when he taught me to ski where you were absolutely freezing, and I'd taken all my layers off because I was sweating so much like you were standing around doing nothing just watching me trying to climb out of like some kind of snow ditch. And then, and I was just sweating, because like just out of just sheer exertion and also embarrassment. And and when you think of things like that, you're like, ah, God, I don't, I don't want to be that person. But then everyone has to be that person to start.
Frankie Dewar 16:15
Yeah, absolutely. And I think on the flip side of that is that there's this thing you love doing and it brings you so much joy. And you just want to share that with everybody. And at some point in that everybody started somewhere, so that at some point in your life, you've been that person falling in ditches, and there's someone else that's helped you. So you always got to pay that back at some point in your life.
Frit Sarita Tam 16:39
I think so. But when you're sort of at the bottom of the mountain looking up, you kind of Yeah, it can be really intimidating. But that's what I do you love the outdoors community is that if you're willing to just reach out a little bit and just ask for help, there will be so many people who will want to help you. And I guess actually what I found is that, because I'm definitely someone who sort of sort of lets my ego get in the way a bit. And I'm like, No, no, I really don't want to be that person. I'm just better off lately by myself. And then when I'm better are like spend time with other people do this activity. But what I found is that if you are just enthusiastic, then people were just more than happy to spend time with you. It doesn't matter how good or bad you are. If you seem like you're enjoying it, then that that's all that seems to matter that
Frankie Dewar 17:27
brings joy to everybody.
Frit Sarita Tam 17:28
Yeah, I think so.
Frankie Dewar 17:30
And so is that that you recently that escape apart from skiing? Is the outdoors always been a part of your life? Or how have you gotten into
Frit Sarita Tam 17:40
the outdoors has always been a part of my life in the sense that I've always been sporty. And I know that's not everyone's story. But for me, I was a sporty kid. And so I played football, hockey, tennis, badminton, and I just just loved being active. I remember when I was a kid actually in school, one like I think one of my I think it was like a swimming lesson or something got moved to different days I was doing to sports on one day. And I was counting through the week. And I was like, ah, but that leaves Wednesday with like no activity. As a Monday I do this Tuesday do this. And then there's nothing on Wednesday. I was like maybe I need to fill that with something. So I've always been like, I've always been pretty active until I was about well until I went to uni. And then it was a different kind of active I suppose, like, going out active. The party kind of active, the party active. So I basically just stopped and any kind of sporting activity at all. And I've probably lost it for probably the best part of a decade, I think. And I kept thinking about it. I kept thinking about my childhood and being a sporty kid. But just sort of caveat that I never I never hiked. I never can't. I never climb trees or kids. Like it just wasn't something that was sort of encouraged when I was younger. You know, sports was a really sort of well contained outdoors activity and things like camping just opened up a whole host of uncertainties that yeah, it just wasn't a thing that that my family or my friends did.
Frankie Dewar 19:16
It sounds like it was maybe more like competitive sports rather than non competitive physical activity. Is that true?
Frit Sarita Tam 19:25
That's probably a pretty good description. Yeah. Which explains why I'm so festive. Yes, so then I stopped being active in my 20s and found it really difficult to get back into. I kept trying things I kept looking at tennis clubs, and I joined a Hockey Club for a little bit and I was just trying to find my way back into being active but I just couldn't find ways that really sort of felt right or suited me until I randomly signed up to 50 kilometer hike along southdowns way. And I thought that would be easy.
Frankie Dewar 20:05
How do you randomly sign up to a 50 kilometer hike?
Frit Sarita Tam 20:11
you basically get asked at a networking event by a friend, if you were to sign up to the 100 kilometer, you realize you're not gonna have time to train for the 100 kilometers. So you sign up to the 50 kilometer instead, that could be way easier because it's half the distance. And then you do it and realize it's not that
Frankie Dewar 20:26
I see what your friend was doing.
Frit Sarita Tam 20:29
Oh, yeah, stretch mindset I see yes, I did that hike. And up until that point, I didn't really get hiking. I kind of was like, Oh, yeah, like the views are cool. And I don't know, I kind of hadn't really considered hiking as a thing. I don't think up until that point. But when me and my friend Beau were hiking, and the southdowns way, we just had the most incredible time, we probably did the slowest 50 kilometers known to man, because we stopped for everything, we stopped to take photos, we had really long rest breaks while we were eating. And then I think around, I don't know, 4pm, we realize we've only gone like a third of the way and we were like, this could take us forever. So I remember we like plugged into our podcasts and stuff. And we just tried to learn and it was still like, unbelievably beautiful. And I remember finishing that hike at one 1am or something, I sat down to eat and I thought as soon as I stand up, my buddy's gonna feel really stiff. And but mentally, I felt really good. I think that was the first time in probably all of my 20s that mentally I felt really good. I hadn't had that clarity. For ages, I just got really sucked into work, work work, striving for some kind of definition of success, and never gave my brain that space to just breathe. And then after that I just, I just hiked all the time. So I think that was probably the way that I got into it.
Frankie Dewar 22:08
Amazing What a great story. Oh, Grace, pinpoint for it. And after that hike when you were then getting into more hiking, did you find that journey relatively easy? Or what steps did you take to get into hiking?
Frit Sarita Tam 22:26
I actually didn't find it too troublesome. Because Because I signed up to an event, they gave you a kit list. So then I knew that I just had to get everything on that list. And I just got myself a cheap pair of hiking boots, and I bought bag a backpack that I knew that I could then use sort of just in regular life too. And at the time I was doing cycling too. So I bought a backpack which from Osprey, which had like a helmet attachment. And I thought that would be really useful to just being able to use it across several different things. And I would recommend that if people want to get into hiking, the signing up to an event might not be a bad idea. And he definitely the 50 kilometers, you know, they do sort of 2025 kilometers or even shorter than that action challenge around the event that I did the 50 kilometers worth, they also do training hikes. So you can join them just as a regular person not having signed up to any event. And there'll be more like 1015 kilometers. And essentially their training heights for people who are going to do the longer distances during their events.
Frankie Dewar 23:30
And then they all around the country or they
Frit Sarita Tam 23:32
think so the ones that I did at the time were based in the south because I was based down in Brighton at the time, I think the farthest I went was up to the Cotswolds be I think so. But then sort of getting into hiking more after the event. I attended more of those training heights actually with action challenge the next year because that was just an easy way to get hikes in.
Frankie Dewar 23:54
I guess. Once you've done it once you get out you're doing you could do it again.
Frit Sarita Tam 23:59
Yeah, exactly. So I do that but then I started to like explore the local area, sort of around Sussex more. And I was really fortunate to have access to a car so I could just sort of drive myself off to places and Sussex is really beautiful. I mean southdowns ways isn't Sussex So? So yeah, it's just there's beautiful, beautiful landscapes and all over that county. So it was a started Googling basically hikes in Sussex.
Frankie Dewar 24:30
And I think that's really interesting because from an outside looking in, I mean definitely for me, I didn't really start hiking mentors in my 20s I wasn't really outdoors into my 20s and from sort of the outside, it seems like you don't hike unless you're hiking in Peru or Bali or
China or to know that you have to
go on a long haul flight type and I never even realized when I was living in Brighton that there were hikes and walks that I could have just done.
Frit Sarita Tam 25:06
That's a really interesting point. Yeah, I don't know, I don't know whether I was just being super stingy and not wanting to go abroad. But I remember that year, it was like 2017, I think, maybe 2016. I just didn't want to go abroad. And I just found myself driving around the country. And that was the first time that went up to the Lake District and was just like, Whoa, like, this place is insane. I could see why people really love it here. I can't even remember, I can't really remember sort of finding out about the lakes. But I do remember thinking, Oh, like, people seem to go here a lot. And it keeps coming up on Google. So maybe I should go. And it just yeah, it's it kind of seems silly to say now, because like, now, I've been several times that we've been together. And every time I go, I'm just like, Ah, this is like, the best place. So it's so magical here. So it seems like silly to say it now that at one point in my life, I had no idea about the lakes. But for a large chunk of my life, I had no idea existed. I had no idea what it was.
Frankie Dewar 26:15
But neither did I. I've been to Chamonix before I'd been to the lakes.
Frit Sarita Tam 26:20
Was it was that a bit of a downgrade. or was that Okay.
Frankie Dewar 26:25
It was Okay, it was a 8/10 no joking 10.10
Frit Sarita Tam 26:30
eight out of 10 room for improvement.
Frankie Dewar 26:34
So I want to go a little bit deeper into your journey. So you've sort of said that you were super sporty, and then had a period where you're maybe not so sporty, not so outdoorsy, and then really found more sort of hiking and trekking. And that
took you into all sorts of other outdoor
areas. How do you think this journey has shaped who you are now?
Frit Sarita Tam 26:59
Ha, big questions. And just for everyone who's listening, we started recording at 830. These are big questions for this time.
Frankie Dewar 27:09
Frit Sarita Tam 27:11
All right. I've had 15 minutes to warm up. I mean, I just kind of want to say yes. Which is not really the answer to your question.
Frankie Dewar 27:21
Not a yes or no question. I learned that when I YouTubed to ask a good question.
Frit Sarita Tam 27:31
How has it shaped me as a person? Okay, so I feel it's gonna be a really long rambling answer. Okay. So I guess one of the ways that it shaped me is that it's opened my eyes up to a whole load of I was gonna say issues, but just stories might be a better word, or there they are issues, but just a lot of the stories and issues around other people that maybe I hadn't realized before.
It really sort of I remember realizing that the outdoors wasn't for everyone in the sense that stiles are really inaccessible for the disabled. And I love a stile. I love a beautiful, rickety wooden stile that goes over a beautiful stone wall. But then when I realized that, not everyone would appreciate that. I think that that sort of was the start of me realizing that there's something that I find really beautiful, that someone else might find an obstacle.
I think over the past few years, and it might just be in tandem with getting older. But I've certainly felt as if my blinkered view of the world has expanded quite a bit. But I think the outdoors has really aided that because not only do you get a sense of headspace in the outdoors, and do you in general just get a sense of space, and to develop a bigger perspective with but also just through meeting other people and hearing their experiences of the outdoors. And when you go on a hike with one person or with a group, and particularly if it's a longer hike, you get a really big opportunity to be able to hear their stories. And you realize that either someone's got a similar story to you or they've got a really different story to you and either way it opens your eyes up to to either I'm not the only one. Or I've never experienced that Tell me more.
And in other ways, I suppose the outdoors has impacted me in terms of developing my confidence and really stretching my comfort zone. And now things like sleeping in the van isn't a thing. It's something that I end up looking forward to. Whereas, you know, there's definitely a period of time where I thought, what, why did I buy a van? Like, what what am I doing? Why am I doing this? This is crazy. But now it's just, it's nothing. It's not, you know, it's just a way of life. It's just a habit, or routine or part of our routine to just schedule time to be in the van. And then you know, those, there's things like Do you mind if I tell like, personal anecdotes of our stuff?
Frankie Dewar 30:32
Frit Sarita Tam 30:32
Okay. So there's things like yesterday when we were driving back from seeing your friends, and, and it was super hot. At the minute when we're recording this, we're in like a heatwave in the UK, and we're in the high 20s. And, and it was so hot. And both of us were getting a little bit laggy because the AC and the van is to know what you mean, we're driving in Frankie's out, although the AC in my van is also in need of some gas. And but you suggested that we just stop off somewhere and maybe go for a dip somewhere to try and cool off. And that was so easy for us to do, we, you know, managed to find a really nice spot on the Thames. And we just kind of got in, didn't we, and then went for a little paddle and then came out and we were way cooler and feeling way nicer. And,
Frankie Dewar 31:30
and the sun was setting go to now and there were families having fun. And then
Frit Sarita Tam 31:37
we came and ruined it for everyone. But there's things like that, where I just wouldn't have done that. A year ago, a couple years ago, you know, that would have been way outside of my comfort zone
Frankie Dewar 31:50
and say when you have these doubts, or when you're stretching your comfort zone limit, how do you do that?
Frit Sarita Tam 31:58
One small step at a time. And it definitely helps to have somebody else who you can do it with. So doing things with you, is really easy. And, and just having friends and you know, people who want to do the same things as you particularly also if they haven't done it before, is really nice, because then you get to have the same experience of like, what are we doing? This is crazy. Okay, you ready to do it? Okay, let's go. That I think is just a massive helper for being able to get yourself to take the next step outside of your comfort zone. And once you've done it once, then you know, you know how to do it. You've you've experienced every step of being able to do something. And it's perhaps just a case of then repeating it. Until hopefully, it just it just becomes a part of your comfort zone.
Frankie Dewar 32:55
You did talk a little bit at the start about how going into filming was maybe difficult because it was a little bit of outside of the standard career path. But I wanted to ask sort of in your life in general in the outdoors. Is there any time where you've sort of felt like you're going against the grain? And could you tell me a little bit more about that and various how you overcame it.
Frit Sarita Tam 33:21
I think one of the biggest things I've experienced that with is getting the van there were lots of people who were really bemused by the idea of me getting a van I didn't know anyone who I didn't know anyone who was living van life.
Frankie Dewar 33:39
So what was it that inspired you to get a van
Frit Sarita Tam 33:42
If i'm being brutally honest, that well known inspira Mr. Instagram might be Mrs. Mrs. Instantly might be me. Might just be ms don't want to assume her marital status
Frankie Dewar 33:54
And so how did you go about if you didn't know anyone else with one
Frit Sarita Tam 34:01
just googled vans, I was just on the internet all the time looking at bands and I kept it really quiet actually. And for a while, but I do remember at the time. And at the time when I was really considering it. I was working at Cotswold outdoor store, which really helped because I had two really good friends called ash and Sam there. And when I started talking to them first about considering getting a band, it would always be like a flippant comment of like, value because up circles get around, wouldn't it and they'd be like, yeah, be so cool. But it was never like a serious I'm going to get a ban. But I think those really sort of those really casual conversations really helped because I was already getting sort of positive feedback from somebody that it was a good idea.
And then yeah, I just eventually it just got so stuck in my head. I was basically just through exposure therapy, I suppose. I was just exposing myself to it every day, just looking at it, thinking about it, wondering what it would be like. And then I mean, I'm a terrible window shopper because I just buy stuff. And I don't window shop at all, actually. I'll buy the pane of glass as well. You're an actual shopper, we'd like to go into it thinking window shopping, but i'm not i'm actually shopping, eventually actually got really fed up of looking
impatients kicked in, and I was like, I'm just going to buy this one. I'm actually, but luckily, it didn't. Okay, but could have turned out really badly.
Frankie Dewar 35:39
I mean, I feel like that's most I most van buying for most people is, I really want a van, I really want a bad Look, there's 3000 bands, and I'm going to pick this one,
Frit Sarita Tam 35:52
close your eyes, scroll down,
Frankie Dewar 35:57
amazing and still sort of looking around your journey. And what's one thing that you know about yourself now that you wish you'd known earlier?
Frit Sarita Tam 36:13
I wish that I had known that if something feels right to me to just pursue it. And to not to sort of let others express their concerns, that's fine, they could do that. And it might pop up something that I hadn't considered. But chances are with me anyway, because I spend spend a lot of time thinking about stuff, I won't.
I'm not a super spontaneous person in the sense of just coming up with an idea. And then just going with it anyway, I'll usually I come up with an idea, and then I'll mull over it for quite a while. And so usually, I think I would have considered most of the elements that I need to consider. And if it still feels right, then to just go with it anyway. And I've put off ideas for years, like, for example, becoming an adventure filmmaker just committing to it. When I knew that it was right back in 20 1617.
Frankie Dewar 37:11
My next question for you was gonna be so is there a time when you've not followed that advice? But then you asked him the same question. So I can't whip that one out. And then my next question aswell, what's one thing you wish you'd done that you didn't
Frit Sarita Tam 37:26
Frankie Dewar 37:26
Answered that one too
Frit Sarita Tam 37:27
Frankie Dewar 37:30
And I've got some questions that I'd really like to ask and some topics that I'd really like to talk about. But I don't really know how they fit into the interview yet. And that's kind of why I definitely - stop reading them!
Frit Sarita Tam 37:43
I can't I literally can't, I'm just using it as place to focus Sorry, I can let you see a capital W and
Frankie Dewar 37:48
Stop Cheating you'll see the answers.
Frit Sarita Tam 37:51
The answers, No, that's
not the correct answer. Could you supply me with this one?
Frankie Dewar 37:57
So were gunna go for
them. And then depending on how they work out today, my pressure depends on whether or not I continue to last three months. And
I'd really like to talk about
your authentic self. Yeah. And I think this is something that will be really interesting talk to, to lots of different women in lots of different ages. My personal experience is that every year older, I get, I feel like I get a year closer to my authentic self. And I look back and I'm like, oh, wow, how a year ago did not
Could you talk to me a little bit about what authentic self might mean to you?
Frit Sarita Tam 38:42
I really hope you prep your interviews for big questions. You're not going to because these are big questions. On a hot day too,
Frankie Dewar 38:53
I think prep time makes it worse. I think I did. I think I want your authentic answer, not your preped answer.
Frit Sarita Tam 39:00
I mean, yes, I can understand why but also as the subject of the interrogation. So chat. If you say interrogation quickly enough. It sounds like the word chat.
What does the authentic self mean to me? I guess like the previous answer I gave, it just means going along with and pursuing what feels right for you. And I think where that's come about for me is that, at the moment, are really lucky to work with a guy called Dan, Abraham's, who is a coach and therapist. And through working with him, I've, Pete you know, he'll always ask, how does you know what feels right? Stay with what feels right. I think and that's really resonated with me. Because if I do stay with what feels right, and I can see in hindsight, that if I had stayed with what felt right at the time, I would have stayed true to my authentic self. I wouldn't have I was gonna say I wouldn't have strayed away from the path. And I guess it's, I don't know, I don't really want to say, because straying from the path has connotations that maybe aren't quite right, because ultimately, it's all led me to here anyway. But I do feel as if I sort of imagined it as a path that you a path that sort of is right for you. And you can deviate from the path, but ultimately, you kind of want to be either in tandem with or on that path. And I think, you know, when you're on that path, there's a feeling is a, there's a really sort of strong overall feeling that you are on the right trajectory. And then I also do question, what I what does it mean to me? Yeah, and, yeah, I think it's about that. I think it's about staying with what's right, with what feels right.
Frankie Dewar 40:58
Amazing, and how do you feel that that's fluctuated or been incorporated into your life journey so far?
Frit Sarita Tam 41:12
It's been heavily incorporated in me not following it. For many years, and we were talking about this yesterday, weren't we about how like, I might quite like a struggle in my life. And how sometimes I might make a bit of a mountain out of a molehill. And I think that's from years of somewhat struggling, or at least sort of butting heads with a direction that I was going with in my life, because it wasn't right. And I knew it wasn't right. But I felt, but how I sort of framed it was that this is just a period of hard work, I need to work hard in order to get to this point. But what I'm realizing is I don't, I don't, I don't need to struggle, I don't need to work hard in the sense of battling against the odds, if something is right for me, and so quite obviously, and now that, you know, now that I've got hindsight, I can see that just those parts, were maybe not right for me, and that therefore, I was sort of wading through tall grass or thick mud. And now that I feel like I'm on a much better track. For me, it's just a way clear a path.
Frankie Dewar 42:35
That's so beautiful, I'm gonna use as an Instagram quote,
Frit Sarita Tam 42:38
I think you say you're gonna cry. And I was like, wasn't that good.
Frankie Dewar 42:44
And so when you found that you've not been on your path, how have you got gotten back onto your path,
Frit Sarita Tam 42:51
it's usually taken a shake up, usually something will have fallen apart. So that might have been mental health, relationships. And then often there will be a big change following that. So one of them was moving back in with my parents. And at the time, what I found really helpful was there's a woman called Gretchen Rubin, who studies happiness. And she has a podcast talking about habits. And the thing that I really loved about that was that she, she sort of reframed a situation, like, for example, moving back in with my parents, or you know, a big change moving houses is one that she often comes back to, as a really good opportunity to form new habits, because you're an entirely new environment. So you can create an entirely new schedule. And therefore, you can build entirely new habits. And so the universe basically will look out for me, break something, force, a big life change of some sort. And then through the help of things like podcasts, and friends, talking to friends and self help books and therapy and things like that, I'll be able to try and I guess monopolize on the situation, or just try and make the best of it by trying to form new habits and trying to,
trying to just ask myself what it is that I really want. And journaling really helps do that. Through like through all the bad times is when I journal the most what I'm good at don't journal. So when I come around to writing my autobiography, it would just be filled with bad things, because today, I don't wait, remember,
Frankie Dewar 44:31
I'm absolutely the same. I have two peaks of journaling, either. This is amazing. And I want to tell everybody about it. Or I feel horrific. And all my feelings are impending doom and the world is about to end. Just Just a middle ground. What does bravery mean to you?
Frit Sarita Tam 44:50
I mean, considering what we've just spoken about in terms of the authentic self I think pursuing that can be super brave, because usually it will involve things that no Everybody will understand. And it's really hard to be hard to be your authentic self sometimes, because there are so many external forces that play from culture, and society. And that all that sort of feed into what you think you should be, and what you think you should do, to being able to tune into yourself, I think is super brave, because it takes work. It takes hard work.
Frankie Dewar 45:30
Would you describe yourself as brave?
Frit Sarita Tam 45:32
Oh, for posterity, I'm just going to say yes, but the true answer is no. And I don't know if I necessarily resonate with the word brave, actually.
Which is interesting
Frankie Dewar 45:47
Why do you think that is?
Frit Sarita Tam 45:49
Why do I think that is? The easy answer is to say it's just not in my vocab.
But the harder answer might be, because i don't think i have i don't think i think highly enough of myself to think I'm brave. So I think I'm certain things but I feel like brave is like all the way up there. And I'm not there yet
Frankie Dewar 46:17
But I felt like sometimes bravery. Sort of in similar to what you said in that being your authentic self is brave. I think bravery can sometimes be small act as well as huge acts content agreed. And so maybe even if you don't see yourself as brave, overall all the time, maybe there's still sort of little pockets of bravery that have been played throughout your life.
Frit Sarita Tam 46:43
I would agree. And that's what I would say to someone else.
Frankie Dewar 46:48
Just not to myself, are there any sort of moments in your life that you could tell me about a time that maybe you have been brave?
Frit Sarita Tam 46:58
I remember, it was just after I'd moved back in with my parents. And I was not in a great way, I was still trying to work out what I want to be basically. And I was trying to work out where things that sort of potentially gone wrong in inverted commas before. And I was just doing a lot of working out in terms of mentally trying to work out things about myself. Not like going to the gym working out there was no going to the gym working out. And, and remember, so I was working for the bear grylls survival Academy at the time. And they had a canoe trip. And I, when I signed up to it, I was like, Yeah, like, that's kind of person I want to be who like goes on these trips, and like, learns these new skills and gets new qualification. So I'm gonna say yes.
So, I signed up for that. And that was all good. And that was a feature for it to deal with. Then feature for became president for it. And it was a couple of days before, and I wasn't feeling great. And I was like, Oh, shit, do I want to go on this trip? Do I want to go on a trip with somebody like, nine other guys. And already lovely. But like, I was the only woman there, you know. And it was something like March or April or something. So it was cold. And don't go canoeing for the for the weekend and camp out? Or do I just want to stay here and be cozy and dry
Frankie Dewar 48:33
In bed with the duvet over my head watching Netflix.
Frit Sarita Tam 48:40
And I was packing my bag the night before. And even then I was like, don't want to go do want to go, I can still say no. And as I was driving there the following morning, I was like do I really want to do this, I could just turn background and just be like, I'm sorry, I'm sick. By I went. And I remember that feeling like I've done this. And actually the very first thought about this, actually. But the very first post I did on my Instagram account was from that trip because I remember it was it was I can't remember even whether it was early morning or late evening, but I took myself off to like the other side of our campsite, or where we'd set up camp. And there was just this pebbly beach and just sat looking at the water. And I thought, Ah, look, I've done it. I've like come here and its absolutely fine. I don't know what I was worried about. It is a bit cold, but I'm wearing my thickest down jacket. So it'll be fine. I've got a hat on, you know, and all the guys are really lovely. And it's absolutely fine. And I just remember Yeah, like thinking like that was quite a big step. And it was probably nothing for some of the guys who weren't but for me that at the time was is a really big step for me to say yes and to follow through.
Frankie Dewar 50:04
And what an awesome thing to overcome, you sound pretty brave to me.
Frit Sarita Tam 50:09
Your biased, but thank you.
Frankie Dewar 50:12
We've got like one last big question. And then we get into like, medium in comparison questions.
Frit Sarita Tam 50:20
Stretch mindset, okay?
Frankie Dewar 50:23
I'm talking about joy and happiness. What does happiness mean to you?
Frit Sarita Tam 50:28
Frankie Dewar 50:32
this, this is making you so happy!
Frit Sarita Tam 50:34
I was going to say not big questions, big questions do not bring me joy and happiness, and in a really big sense, and not to keep repeating the same things over and over again, but with what we've talked about, obviously, following things that feel right for you, I think bring endless joy and happiness in terms of something slightly more comical and trivial cake for breakfast. And eating whatever you want, as an adult, whenever you want brings me a hell of a lot of joy and happiness. And then also, I guess, I mean, for me as an extrovert, spending quality time with quality people, is just a guaranteed way for me to experience joy and happiness.
Frankie Dewar 51:29
What does happiness feel like to you?
Frit Sarita Tam 51:33
It either feels like huge amounts of energy, where I'm just really high frequency. And I'm just in a really great flow with something. Or it's just pure exhaustion. Because we've been out and done something amazing all day. And, and I feel really happy that either I've achieved something or that I've just had a really great day out. So yeah, two ends of the spectrum, either loads of energy or just zero energy.
Frankie Dewar 52:06
And can you tell me about a time when you found one of these things?
Frit Sarita Tam 52:09
So often, when I'm shooting? I'll be in a really good state of flow,
Frankie Dewar 52:14
filming, not like,
Frit Sarita Tam 52:16
yeah, often when I'm filming. And I'll get it also with photography, where, but photography is a bit more staggered, because I'll be, it's usually when I've sort of got the camera to my face, and that I'll sort of feel that complete immersion. And that is super high frequency. And so for the whole time that I'm filming, I don't switch off, my brain is just forever, looking for new shots. Thinking about what we've got thinking about whether we've got everything, how's it going to look in the film? Where am I going to put it in the film? Are these things just popped up? Let's just quickly get that, that, you know, the interviewee or the subject will have said something, let's just grab that. But does that look right? Maybe we should move him here when they say this, because the backdrop looks better when they're saying it. If it's someone that I've just met as well, then I'm constantly thinking about making them feel comfortable. If they've never filmed before, then I'm constantly thinking about ensuring that they understand what I'm doing so that they don't feel, again, uncomfortable, awkward, because I've never been filmed before. And I'm just on for the whole time until I'm not in that person's presence anymore. And I'm not filming anymore. And then I experienced the exhaustion afterwards where I'm like, that was like, a big day. And now I need to lie down and not to maybe rehydrate. I mean,
Frankie Dewar 53:39
to me, that's a little bit like torture. But you said that all with a huge smile on your face. I want to move on to talk more about sort of women and women in the outdoors. Just before we close up. What Peceptions of women do you think that are? And how do you think they match up to your reality?
Frit Sarita Tam 54:02
Good question. I would say my perceptions of women in the outdoors. If I was purely to go from what I see from media sources, would just be really limited. I would have this one impression of women in the outdoors as Super athletic, young, able bodied, potentially somewhat privileged. And since I have not to hijack a Hashtag, but since I have diversified my feed, even me someone who spouts on about diversity all the time, my feed was still really quite blinkered and streamlined towards one set of people. But since I have made more of an effort, the impression I have of women in the outdoors is that everyone every type of woman is out doors. But do I get to see her very much? No, I don't.
And, and that is also true for my personal experiences is that I know that these women are doing great things. And when I say great things, I do just even kind of mean like the, you know, the woman who is just starting couch to five K, and also the woman who is completing all Seven Summits and all the women who as a lifelong condition, and can only do her chosen activity of running or climbing when she feels like her body is capable of doing so. I know that they're out there, I still don't see it. And my general impression of women in the outdoors is that I need to seek to find the stories that I want to see, they don't get hand delivered to me, what gets what gets sort of easily delivered through my letterbox every day, is the same kinds of people. And it's much easier to find them. I stumble across them all the time. And I have to stop myself from interacting with their posts as much or following them as much because I'm trying to make a conscious effort to to put in the hard work to find the other people and boost them up so that other people can also hopefully find them as well.
Frankie Dewar 56:33
And do you see yourself represented in outdoors, media, clothing shows films? Those sorts of things? And what impact do you think that has?
Frit Sarita Tam 56:48
A big fat No. When this goes out, there will be an article on Adventure Uncovered that I've just written for them about my experiences of the outdoors and how I start that article by saying I've never seen an East Asian adventurer, as a speaker or on a panel.
Frankie Dewar 57:09
And then I'll make sure I link to that in the show notes. Okay.
Frit Sarita Tam 57:13
Yeah. So in the past few years, when I've really gone to adventure events quite a lot. And I'd be I haven't been to every single one. So, you know, chances are, I've missed someone, specifically, I suppose. And I'm not I caveat by saying I'm not putting any of these people down. But typically when on a panel or when, or as a speaker, if the event organiser is trying to diversify their lineup to cover off Asian though, usually pick a South Asian adventure. I don't know why that is. I mean, it's great, I still really rate it, I still really love it when I see a South Asian speaker or panelist. But I've never seen an East Asian speaker panelists and East Asia, covers countries that look more like me, because again, arguably, maybe I would have done a lot more of the activities that I do now. Had I have seen other people like me doing it, there's something about it, there's something there's something very powerful about seeing a group of people or at least one other person like you doing something that you want to do, and that giving you nonverbal permission to be able to perceive that. And to the point where it was so subconscious I didn't even realize I needed it until now. And now not hit me up. I need an East Asian person to teach me how to go to bed at a regular bedtime.
Frankie Dewar 58:53
Yeah, get out of the outdoors stop, all that nonsense. Can we just start on bedtime? So that actually means a really nicely to my next question, which is Do you have any female role models? And who are they?
Frit Sarita Tam 59:14
I have loads of female role models, and some of which are my friends. There's there's people like for example, I'm going to mispronounce her surname Fran Turauskis. I didn't want to pronounce that last s sorry, Fran. And who produces the seizure adventure podcast and all about people who have ventures with epilepsy to two amazing people that we have met recently. We've known them for a while I say we because you and I did we did meet them together and known for a while online but people like Sarah Gerrish from wonderful world women and Gilly MacArthur and yeah, just like incredible women like that who had just purchased amazing like they incorporate outdoors into their daily lives and really kind of don't make much of a fuss about it. And, and yet they've got incredible stories of how the outdoors has played such a huge part in their lives. And there's, you know, podcasts that they feature on and things like that, where you can sort of listen to more of their stories. And as a women who look like me, there's Bonnie Tu who is the founder of Lyft cycling, and was also a founder investor of giant bicycles. So like, she's big, and yet, I just stumbled across her out of chance online. Like, you know, I haven't I haven't seen any podcasts with her on. I didn't come across her on Instagram because I don't think she's on Instagram. Like I quite literally came across her by chance. But she is a major player in outdoors brands and she's an endurance cyclist herself. And, and then there's always now like, ever since I found out about her Junko Tabei, who is the Japanese woman who first summited Everest. She's the first woman to have summited Everest and the first women have done the Seven Summits and she died. I don't know when she died, I was gonna say in the 90s, but it might have been later than that. But I mean, what an incredible story, like her story is insane that when she first summited Everest, she was caught in an avalanche for three days. Wow. And then recovered on the mountain and just continued, like, I mean, what an incredible woman. But, you know, again, like, Where's her story? Why have I not found out about her? before? Why did I find out about her through a Google search that I was doing myself? There's so many women who do inspire me, and who I constantly constantly think do not get their fair share of the spotlight.
Frankie Dewar 1:02:03
This is it, you've made it. Congratulations. Last question. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Frit Sarita Tam 1:02:10
So much like what we've said, throughout this whole interview, and it's really got me thinking about it, actually, it's just about pursuing what feels right. And when I was reading, Glennon Doyle's book untamed, she talks about something called a deep knowing or just unknowing. And, and that's her name for basically her intuition. And essentially, we've always got it, we've always got our own intuition. We know what our gut feeling feels like. And just pursuing what feels right within my own gut feeling, and within my own intuition, and just following that deep knowing and not being afraid of where that deep knowing is going to take me Because ultimately, it's it's the right way. It's the right path.
Frankie Dewar 1:03:01
Thanks so much for taking the time to have an interview with me.
Frit Sarita Tam 1:03:04
Frankie Dewar 1:03:05
I really appreciate it.
And I can't wait to listen back through it all and cut it all together. And then yeah, put it out. And I mean, hopefully, there's a lot of people that are gonna listen to it, and hopefully resonate and see themselves in your story. And it's going to give them the push to, as you said, Go along with what they feel like is right. And if anyone's interested in finding out more about you and about your story, but it's a good place to go.
Frit Sarita Tam 1:03:38
Instagram is a good place. So my personal account is at frit starting at 30. My film studio You can also find on Instagram, under at passionfruit pictures underscore and then also there's the passionfruit pictures website which is Perfect.
Frankie Dewar 1:03:57
Thank you very much. Thank
Frit Sarita Tam 1:03:58
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