Since the age of 18, Bridget Kruger has been living an incredible life of adventure. She nannied for worldwide champions in Austria, hiked the Alps multiple times, volunteered in Africa and got a Masters in Adventure Recreation and Outdoor Education in New Zealand. Now, she’s using that degree to improve the lives of women all over the world through her job as an Adventure Therapist.
Being an Adventure Therapist sounds incredible – but it’s natural to wonder what this eclectic job entails. Bridget filled us in.
“Basically, I use adventure – and adventure doesn’t have to be extreme sports – to challenge a person to get outside their comfort zone,” Bridget says. “So I basically create a space that’s safe emotionally and physically but still has that element of perceived risk so that it pushes people to change. This way they understand who they are, what their reactions are and how they can better themselves.”
To create these safe environments, Bridget uses counselling, psychology and the seclusion of nature to help clients improve a range of things. From quality of life, behavioural issues, mental health problems and more. The response has been so overwhelmingly positive response that she’s even decided to move to Norway and create a retreat centre for women there.
“We want to create a space where women can come and connect back to who they are as a person and sort of re-wild themselves.”
“I think some women are scared or they get into that place where they’re not feeling their strongest anymore, so to be able to connect a whole tribe of women together from all over the world and bring them on an adventure trip together will be such an amazing adventure experience,” she says passionately.
Bridget hopes to bring women on retreats to Mt Everest Basecamp, Mount Kilimanjaro and other breathtakingly natural places in order to help them. However, whilst she adores her job, Bridget says the journey towards it wasn’t always easy.
“It’s been very difficult for me – especially when I come home to such a standardized place,” Bridget says, as she talks about the pressure to undertake a more regular degree and the challenges she faced trying a “normal” job. However, she says that taking the job was ultimately what pushed her to make the leap.
“I felt like I had lost my magic and I wanted to get back to my strongest and most powerful self, which I knew I could do through adventure,” she says. “It’s such a powerful concept to create connections for women and forge that journey and process for them and I wanted to be able to that. It’s about living, not just existing.”
Being an Adventure Therapist is incredibly exciting but so is swimming next to dwarf minke whales, which is what these Townsville researchers do for their job.