As a Wasteland Warrior, Faith Roswell is no stranger to the European post-apocalyptic scene. But as an established travel blogger, she’s also no stranger to what the rest of the world has to offer.
Faith hails from the UK and may be best known for her blog “Life Out There” which covers her travels all around the world, specifically at events that focus on the post-apocalyptic side of things.
“I’ve always been interested in the end of the world,” Faith tells me, “especially the ways in which people would relate to each other, and over time my style evolved until I looked as though I’d walked out of a Mad Max film.”
Faith’s interest grew deeper as she found herself wanting to learn more and more about real life experiences with this genre. “There are just so many ways the world can end, so many approaches to the genre in films and books, and the fact that it is such a genuine threat makes it fascinating to discuss!
“For a long time, I thought I was the only strange survivalist-type weirdo walking around in giant boots but as soon as I learned about Wasteland Weekend, I decided I’d go the next year no matter what. So that’s what I did in 2016!”
As a former professional model, Faith knows how to work the camera, as evident by her Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. She says that she started her blog as a “travelling clothes horse” but soon realized that her large following was more interested in her travel stories than her photoshoots.
“So I started a new blog for my adventures and it grew from there! I now write about my adventures around the world – especially urbex (urban exploring aka looking around abandoned places), covering the ‘how to’ of solo exploring, sharing travel tips and pictures… and have a ‘no yoga poses on a mountain’ guarantee.”
Faith considers herself a professional adventurer now, spending all of her time and energy on her craft. “I travel the world visiting abandoned buildings and vehicles, unusual festivals, hidden sculptures, local legends, and interesting communities – and then I come home and write about them. I’ve filmed documentaries and done some public speaking about my experiences and though I’m usually asked about urbex, I’m also a huge fan of anything postapocalyptic – I’ve visited four countries for major events so far, and I’m planning my fifth for 2018.”
Life Out There has evolved into quite an adventure in itself, spanning the gamut from a beginner’s guide to Wasteland Weekend to a week-long log exploring abandoned prisons in Romania to “a visit to one of Belgium’s most notoriously guarded castles.”
Plus, Faith offers more tips and tricks for those looking to live out a similar adventure, including “a full-disclosure guide to how I travel so cheaply, skills to learn in case of an apocalypse, and my ‘Seven Dubious Wonders of the World.’
“I’m planning some giveaways at the moment,” she continues. “I’ll be giving a notebook just like my own journal away, with personal messages from me, extracts from my travel diary, postcards from current tours, and bonus tips for adventurers! Instructions will be on my Facebook and Instagram pages.”
Back in January, I interviewed Chris and Mika from Rad Roach Gear, who are part of the European Wasteland Warrior scene. Faith is also a member of that elite group of costumers, so I asked her how she got involved. Was there an initiation? Did she have to sacrifice anything?
“I introduced myself in a Wasteland Weekend forum and found an email in my inbox the next day, asking me if I’d like to join the Warriors at Wacken Open Air metal festival, as a prospective member. I already followed the team on social media but it didn’t click that it was THE Wasteland Warriors until more of the team started mailing me and I recognised their profile pictures.
“Wacken was my first major music festival and I hadn’t thought to check the line-up. I was on a nine-hour bus journey when I thought I should probably do that. When I saw Iron Maiden, Ministry, Steel Panther, and Twisted Sister listed, my screech woke up half the bus. Whoops…”
Faith also had her first go at cage fighting at Wacken – an experience I’m sure she won’t soon forget. “I was ridiculously nervous but I was fighting against friends and we’re all super supportive of each other – and I happened to win my first one! You’ll definitely see more of my character “The Deathhawk” in the cage…”
Faith’s current ventures have taken her all over the world as she strives to see each and every abandoned corner that lacks the love from mainstream blogs.
“I got to experience Junktown for the first time. It’s a postapocalyptic festival in the Czech Republic. The climate and atmosphere is very different to Wasteland Weekend and I love both! Junktown is based around an abandoned military base with bunkers and permanent structures built by the tribes, which they work on and revisit throughout the year! It’s definitely worth a visit, especially to certain places in the grounds which are home to some very interesting and elaborate legends about the ‘new world.'”
“I visited two ‘free’ communities – Christiania in Denmark and Slab City in California – before heading back to the Mojave for Wasteland Weekend 2017… but you’ll have to visit my blog to see what happened there!”
As for her next adventure, she says that it will be a bit closer to home. “I’m doing a cyberpunk tour of London, and then I’m planning my travels for next year. It’s going to be even more action-packed than this one and might possibly include two new countries for me to explore.”
As I often like to do with these interviews, I had to ask about any advice for those looking to share a similar experience as Faith’s. Since her expertise spans both blogging and costuming, I figured that this would be a good time to get some wise words on both topics.
“Costuming is always a work in progress; I don’t think a single person I know feels their outfit is 100% finished! It will evolve over time. Watch videos on Youtube; Nuclear Snail is excellent and many of the Wasteland Warriors members have their own channels for costuming. Pinterest is full of ideas… and the Wasteland advice is: ‘needs more dirt!’ If you think your outfit is weathered enough, it probably still needs more dirt.
“For bloggers, find a niche and then consistently fill that market. It can take time to build a following which can be really disheartening. Sometimes it feels as though nobody is looking at or caring about what you do but you have to stick with it if it’s your passion!”