Sarah: No Matter How Hard 'Survivor' Was, It Wasn't Going To Be As Hard As Surviving A Tsunami

Having lived through the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka, Sarah said that essentially, nothing 'Australian Survivor' threw at her was going to be that difficult.

Chatting to 10 Daily, she explained how surviving the disaster affected her mindset throughout 'Survivor', for better and worse.

"I've been hungry before, I've been cold before, I've just been to the bottom of bottom," she shared, "and I knew that basically, it wasn't going to be anywhere near that bad, no matter how hungry or cold I got. I knew that essentially, I was safe."

Worried that she was going to be "hyper-vigilant" having to live on a beach, she said that while things "cropped up here and there", she found herself surprised that she was more capable than she expected.

Expecting to be "lying on the beach at night, listening to the waves", worrying about having to "protect" her tribe mates if the waves came in, Sarah was happy to report that she was okay with the camp situation.

"At the end of the day, I lived it, and I had the flashbacks and the nightmares and all of that," she said, noting that she "definitely had PTSD symptoms".

While Sarah acknowledged that it was "really, really hard at the time", she went on to say that she managed to get through it, adding, "it just goes to show that anyone is capable of anything".

In fact, one of the reasons she applied for 'Survivor' was the desire to see what she was made of, "with basically nothing but your wits and the clothes on your back".

Nervous about her place as one of the older Contenders on her tribe, Sarah said she worked extra hard to prove herself.

Throwing herself into challenges with everything she had, Sarah said that she worked extra hard around camp to earn her spot by being "valuable" and "useful, and not be annoying or stand out for any bad reason".

"I knew that I was going to be probably the old chook of the tribe," she said. "I was really nervous that if I let them down in those early challenges it would be like, 'straight out, old lady!'." 

She  continued: "I just told myself, 'Sarah, we are not gonna lose. No matter who I'm up against, I'm gonna win'". 

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Of course, winning challenges is easier said than done, especially when confronted by the "sheer scale" of them.

"When you watch them on TV, you think 'oh, well, they look big'," Sarah said. "But when you actually rock up to a challenge, it is massive -- the sheer scale of those challenges was just epic."

Still, Sarah said that they were "so much fun", exclaiming that they were "a hoot".

She laughed. "It's like being a big kid at a new playground. I don't know if anyone else says that!"

Calling her 'Survivor' experience "fabulous in so many ways", Sarah said that aside from having to prove herself physically, she found the social game the hardest part, "at least initially".

Explaining that the game "reaffirms what you already know about yourself", and for her, that meant having to work with the fact that she's "a shy bunny".

"I went in hoping that maybe my introvert nature wouldn't affect the gameplay, but I think you know, at the end of the day, initially, it did," she explained.

Calling her tribe mates "articulate, intelligent, gorgeous people", Sarah said that she found it "confronting to start with".

"I guess I just found myself a little bit intimidated," she said.

A fan of 'Survivor' -- but not a "mega fan", she clarified -- Sarah said that her favourite past players are American Survivors Sandra and Cirie, two Survivors who are "bigger and older and amazing".

"Sandra's such a tough cookie. She's just so awesome. Yeah, she's mean! And I'm not like that, I'd love to be like that," she laughed.

"And Cirie, she actually cracks me up," Sarah continued. "And I love how she sees humour in things. I sort of saw the humour in a lot of things, as well, while I was out there -- I think that's partly being older.  You see things slightly differently, and you can laugh at yourself."

Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders' premieres Wednesday, 24 July at 7.30pm, only on 10 and WIN Network.

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