Meet Kiko – World record holding adventurer, environmental champion, social entrepreneur and IGO Ambassador.

How would you describe yourself?

I have been trying to escape boxes all my life and I don’t want to be in one… ever! So I’m not really sure how I describe myself… but if I had to choose I would say “World record holder, environmental champion, educator and a social entrepreneur.”

Before adventure what did you do?

I was teaching science at a range of secondary schools. I left teaching because I hated the bells and the structure – they were boring and teaching was really hard work! But then I found paddle boarding, so I started a business coaching on the Thames!

If you had to describe yourself in one 3 words what would they be?

(Too) honest; Wise; Cheeky

How did you start in this course of life?

We had a tree house when I was young and I used to love staying there. My parents didn’t have a TV and if I had misbehaved, they used to send me to the downstairs toilet where I would have to sleep. I enjoyed the adventure of sleeping in the toilet so much that I would ask to sleep in there on my own accord because it was fun! I think this adventure thing has been in my bones for a long time!

What do your friends and family think of what you are doing?

I think they quite like it. I think they struggled to understand it to begin with but now I hope they think I am doing some “inspiring stuff”.

How has your health impacted the way you live your life?

I have always been a little bit off the wall. However, when I was 28 years old I found a tumour on my pituitary gland (Cushing Disease). This totally changed my perspective on life and made me realise that you should do what makes you happy instead of doing what people think you should be doing.

What is your biggest adventure to date?

I rowed solo 3,284 miles across the Atlantic from Grand Canarias to Barbados. I happened to break the speed record by one week, along the way, and raised £110K for King’s College Hospital intensive care unit who saved my life in 2009. Now that I have done, it I don’t think I would do it again in a rush unless there was a really good reason for it.

What would you say to someone who is on the cusp of doing an adventure?

Why are you on the cusp… what are you waiting for…? You aren’t getting any younger! It is never going to be any easier so you might as well get on with it now.

Which IGO are you doing? What would you say to someone thinking about joining you?

I am doing the England weekend; you should definitely come as I’m way better in real life!

What have you found to be the hardest thing about your lifestyle?

I have found working at home to be super hard. I used to find the lack of money a problem but if you are passionate about something you just get on with it and the money issue disappears.

If you could pick one person to do an IGO with, who would you chose?

Tom Hardy, because he’s hot!

What city based training do you do for you adventures?

I like adventure with a purpose; I would always cycle to my meetings or paddle boarding on the Thames. I also fancied my gym instructor which was useful so I would spend a lot of time in the gym! Having said all that, I always make sure there is a pub or a cider at the end!

What is your next project?

Speaking of purpose, my next project is called Kik Plastic. Starting on May 5th  I will be cycling 7,200km around the coast of the UK doing beach cleans – please get involved through the website.

Follow Kiko’s journey on her social feeds below –

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kikomatthews/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kikomatthews/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kikomatthews?lang=en

Website: https://www.kikomatthews.co.uk/