Meet Jenny Troeber, founder of Boundless Betty. Her mission is to encourage, inspire, empower and ease accessibility for all women into outdoor adventure sports.
Where did your passion for action sports begin?
I think that I have mostly my dad to blame for this! He’s never really been one for holding back. Fear doesn’t often appear to be on his radar. He got us second hand, taking on one 14 year old and 9 year old twins. That’s enough to scare the living daylights out of most normal people. From that point on, he taught us all his tricks. From climbing trees, making dens and old-school bodyboarding, to sailing and skiing. He was always willing to have us along for the ride no matter what the conditions were. Sometimes this worked out better than others- I’m not going to lie, there were a few hairy moments!
“what’s the worst that can happen? You might get wet!”
Mummy also played a huge role in feeding my adventurous fire. In allowing all of us free rein to choose the sports we wanted pursue and supporting us all the way. I raced dinghies quite a bit when I was younger. Her go-to phrase, said in a way only mums can, as she pushed us off the dock in gale force winds was always: “what’s the worst that can happen? You might get wet!”
What inspired you to start BB? How long did it take to bring the idea from inspiration to fruition?
Ohhhh.. that’s a big question and there are many reasons. I guess, here is one of them:
My now husband and I, had been talking about running away and escaping the “real” world since our first date. We wanted to buy a yacht, call it Barracuda and sail around the world. It was always a pipe dream and never one that came to fruition. However, in 2014 we did decide to get married, quit our jobs and go travelling for a little bit.
During this time, I began to realise how lucky I was to have a buddy that would go on adventures and do all the sports I loved or even just wanted to try with me. But I did start to notice how differently we approached these things and it got me thinking…
The best example I can think of was probably when we travelled to some particularly sharkey surf spots on the west cost of Australia.
My husband had no issues jumping in and getting beaten up by the waves and bashed on the reef. He ignored the “so-and-so was eaten here” signs on the walk there: all in his mission to become a better surfer. I, on the other hand, held back. I opted to take a few lessons, believing in the safety in numbers (on the getting eaten front) and liking the comfort of having an instructor close by, to point me in the right direction. The result of this was my husband surfed every day for a month and got super ripped. Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time alone on the beach worrying about him getting eaten.
“My husband surfed every day for a month. I spent a lot of time alone on the beach worrying about him getting eaten.”
From this experience I started to understand something. Quite often women* can feel intimidated and lack the confidence to just ‘dive in and go for it’ when trying a new sport. Especially when there are risks/ perceived risks involved. They want a little more guidance and maybe someone else at their level to share concerns and celebrate breakthroughs with. Instead of a husband or boyfriend that paddles into the line-up, leaving you getitng nailed by the beach break. Or skis off into the distance while you’re stuck upside down in the snow – I know I’ve been there!
“Quite often women can feel intimidated and lack the confidence to just dive in and go for it when trying a new sport or one they’re not an expert in…”
So, this is where the idea for Boundless Betty arose. I thought, what if I could find epic solo-female-traveller-friendly, trips, retreats and holidays around the world? What if this platform would cover a variety of all the most awesome sports and adventures and put them all in one spot?! Basically, I wanted to create a hub of inspiration, and a place where you can book an adventure and know you’re not going to be the only woman.
You’ll know that there’ll be a kick-ass community of likeminded ladies there to share the fun. So that’s what I have done!
In terms of bringing the idea from inspiration to fruition, well that took some time! Who knew website were quite so complicated to build, are fraught with issues all in a very weird language and that they cost so much money!?
“Who knew website were quite so complicated to build, are fraught with issues all in a very weird language and that they cost so much money!?”
How do you maintain work/life balance?
Ummmm…. Balance? Not something that’s ever really ever been a strong point. I’m learning to work on this and trying to get my (not always willing) brain around daily mediation as well as lots of yoga to aid the process. In fact, I hope to qualify as a yoga teacher in a few months.
What is one big way you see other women get in their own way, and what would you like to tell them?
I guess there isn’t a “one fits all’ answer to this question. A lot of us are guilty of standing in our own way female, male, animal or alien (ok, maybe I’m making some assumptions with the aliens and animals here.) But I’m not sure I have any solutions to that, I’m as guilty as the next person.
Maybe one thing I have noticed that perhaps women do more often than men, is they don’t take enough time to look after their own wellbeing or pursue their dreams. Often, they run around looking after everyone else in their lives before they make time for themselves. So, if I was going to say one thing I’d want to say; it’s ok to take time out, be selfish from time to time and do what makes your heart happy. You can’t truly look after the ones you love if you don’t look after yourself.
“It’s ok to take time out, be selfish from time to time and do what makes your heart happy. You can’t truly look after the ones you love if you don’t look after yourself.”
What is the one book, movie or documentary you think every action woman needs to watch/read?
Man, my answer to this is super cheesy please don’t judge me! Most people have probably seen the movie but I find the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed a must read! It’s such an amazing story of love, loss, lessons and how nature is a great teacher as well as healer. It probably resonates with me as I also lost (I really hate that word, it sounds kind of careless, however I can’t think of a better one!) my Mum to cancer.
Was combining your passion with your job what you thought it would be? Why or why not?
It’s great to be passionate about what you do (sometimes I do wish my passions lay in something a little more mundane and profitable!), and it sure does make going to the “office” each morning way easier. But I am not going to sugar coat this; going alone has been bloody tough. I wasn’t under any illusion that this was going to be an easy ride but I hadn’t realised quite how tricky it would really be – it turns out making a living is way harder than I had anticipated!
There are big plus sides too, I really don’t want to sound crazy negative, I have met some incredible people who’ve given me huge amounts of support and drive, I got a puppy to keep me company/distract me at home, I have learnt more than I could have ever anticipated and I get to work on something I built every day and that’s a pretty good feeling.
“I am not going to sugar coat this; going alone has been bloody tough.”
Where would you like to see BB in the next 5 years, and what kind of impact would you like it to have on the world?
In the next five years I would love to see Boundless Betty grow to be the number one point of inspiration and easy booking of epic sport-based adventures, retreats and weekend escapes for women (also some trips including guys too) worldwide. Offering authentic, real experiences provided by passionate people around the world in amazing locations (just like the Salty Souls).
I hope it can inspire people to get outside and pursue adventure in whatever format that might be. I hope that and that by doing this they become more connected to nature and are encouraged to protect their playground and our beautiful planet. This is why I have made a start to give a little back and currently plant 10 trees for very booking made on Boundless Betty. So, check us out, find an adventure, get booking and let’s plant some tress!
“I hope it can inspire people to get outside and pursue adventure in whatever format that might be and that by doing this they become more connected to nature and are encouraged to protect their playground and our beautiful planet.”
*please understand this is a generalisation, for sure there are some bad ass ladies out there that don’t have these issues