We caught up with travel journalist, poet and presenter Pip Stewart to hear about the essential items you need in the Amazon jungle, her love of dried mango and career advice inspired by Steve Jobs.
Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
I’m Pip Stewart, I’m a travel journalist, poet and presenter and I love nature and the outdoors.
You wear many hats from journalist, to presenter and poet, what does an average day look like for you and how do you manage to juggle it all?
There’s no such thing as a normal day, last year I spent most of my time in the amazon jungle, this year I’ve been at home a lot. Essentially I earn a living from speaking or writing, so I’m often at gigs or writing stories.
What objects, books and materials can we find on your ‘desk’? On the same token, when you are travelling, what will we always find in your suitcase?
Well, when you’re in the amazon, a machete is pretty useful, mosquito repellent essential, especially for me after having experienced being bitten by a flesh eating parasite and consequently suffering from Leishmaniasis disease. Then I think light, long-sleeved clothes are necessary too, I am an ambassador for Craghoppers as I really rate their gear.
When I’m at my actual desk definitely a lot more technical equipment like my laptop and mobile. When I’m walking I often get ideas for stories or poems, so I have to quickly jot it down. Therefore, I like to make sure I’ve always got my phone or laptop to make a little note.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find the perfect job, but I think you should just do what you’re interested in.” Photo credit: Reza Pakravan.
What keeps you inspired? Do you have any creative rituals to help you to write?
Nature and the outdoors definitely keep me inspired. I can feel quite stagnant at my desk so movement of any sort can help the flow of my writing. Even when I worked in an office in a past life, I would try to get up every twenty minutes to make a cup of tea.
How did you come to hear about Real Handful?
I met Joe when we both worked at innocent. It wasn’t the right job for me but I made some great friends and met my partner there. I was attracted to innocent for the copywriting as I’ve always loved writing, but I ended up in sales, so was a square peg in a round hole.
When you are travelling and on the go, what do you snack on?
I love nuts, I’m a big fan of dried fruit, especially dried mango. Banana chips are great too.
Can you share any advice that has shaped your career to date?
Some advice I’d like to pass on is don’t get het up about what you’re going to do, just do what you’re interested in. Steve Jobs said something along the lines of, in hindsight all the dots join up – we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find the perfect job, but I think you should just do what you’re interested in.
“On Easter Day, we put presents in each others our kayaks and I got loads of mangos in mine of course it was amazing!” Photo credit: David Bain
You’ve travelled to lots of amazing places, where can’t you wait to go back to and why? And where is next on your hit list?
The amazon jungle would definitely be the place I’d go back to, it just has such a magic about it, the raw majesty of the jungle is captivating. I really want to do Madagascar, apparently the music scene there is insane, so I’m intrigued by it.
What snack can you not live without?
I think more mango, dried or otherwise. When we were in the jungle, we would ration our food and we’d end up swapping foods, I was always the first to ask for any spare mango. On Easter Day, we put presents in each others our kayaks and I got loads of mangos in mine of course it was amazing!