Traveller Nicola

We began this sequence of portraits, all featuring ‘Horizon Athletic’ costumes, during the Covid pandemic.  The pandemic had the effect of forcing people to assess their local surroundings and reap the benefits of their direct environment, one phenomenon was how many people turned to cold water swimming as a means to escape, revitalise and meditate.  Focusing on one small French community which has a very international community we created this project of personal interviews along with portraits of local women.  Each photograph was taken in the exact same location but at different times of the day, ranging from sunrise to sunset, and over a period of a few months; the landscape, quality of light, weather, reflections, water conditions and all of the environmental factors were in a state continual flux and change, creating a differing dynamic with each image regardless of the static location. 
Photographs and interviews created by Angela Huntbach-Hertault of AHH Agency. With thanks to all of the wonderful women in the portraits who share their image along with most personal feelings and insights with us.  You are our Horizon Heroes… 
Horizon Hero Profile
13th September 2021


From a very early age I wanted to travel and explore. The journey is as important as the destination. When I’m not at my desk writing, I try to be outside. If I can see the horizon I instantly feel better. This is a reason I love to swim in natural settings – I can always look out at the horizon.

I grew up in North Wales. From our kitchen window you could see the hills.  Every single day the view would be subtly different.

I studied English and Comparative Literature at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and completed my Masters in Islamic Societies and Cultures at SOAS, London. I worked for a year as a trainee journalist at the North Wales Weekly News, after which I desperately wanted to live and work abroad. I lived in Riga, Latvia, for a year, working as Features Editor for the Baltic Times in Latvia, then moved to Vilnius as Editor-in-Chief of the city guide brand In Your Pocket. I travelled far and wide, covering the entire Baltic region as well as Ukraine, Belarus, Kaliningrad, Moldova and pockets of Russia. It was while I was in there that I began my work as a travel writer for Lonely Planet, a global travel publication.

I met my husband in Vilnius and we moved together to France. I didn’t speak French at the time. Once we had children I began working closer to home, always travel writing.

My fundamentals are to always learn, move, never stay still. I’m an active, energetic person and really have to make a conscious effort to find stillness. I get up very early to write. I enjoy the freedom to do what I want when I want.

I am acutely aware of my need for nature – I need natural beauty and space to be my true self.

I have been practicing cold-water swimming for three years. Initially I dipped for the mind challenge – I was such a water wimp.  Cold-water swimming  gives you an inner strength, an ability to override the physical, a knowledge that this can be transferred to anything if you put your mind to it. I love the immersive thrill of cold water.

Running is part of my ongoing lifestyle.  I enjoy trail running more than road running. It connects you with nature. I am there, in the raw elements. 

I feel strongly about women and girls in sport. I do much of what I do – running, tennis, netball, ski touring, hiking, yoga – to be the best example I can to my pre-teen daughter. We cannot expect our daughters to be active, bold, confident team players – precious values sport brings – if we as mothers are not.