Originally from the Netherlands and currently based in London, Kiki Bosch continues to dive deeper into her education, and oceans far, and wide. After studying psychology for three years she realised she was more set out on taking a holistic approach towards studying the mind-body connection. Since then, Kiki completed her studies in nutrition, and qualifications in Thai massage, freediving and scuba diving. Currently Kiki is furthering her education in health sciences, science of the senses, and her training as a Wim Hof Method instructor. Alongside this she has been and continues to go on expeditions and adventures all over the globe, from swimming amongst the icebergs to exploring Malta’s sea life. Kiki’s life mottos are ‘Disturb the comfort’ and ‘The magic is in the doing.’ I met Kiki at a Biohacking event in Berlin this summer and was so intrigued by the eye opening adventures! In the interview below we chat about Kiki, her experiences with the cold, biohacking, and her website ‘disturb the comfort.’ Enjoy!
1) Can you tell us about your concept behind ‘disturb the comfort’
When I read the quote from Cesar A. Cruz “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” I couldn’t let go of that concept. For me it is much more than just art. As humans we should aim to disturb our own comforts. Getting out of that zone where everything is familiar and reach beyond. But we also should be a comfort to each other. When others are in a disturbed state of mind we should make sure to provide them with the comforts to make them feel appreciated and loved. Beside others you obviously need to take care of yourself as well. Learn to recognise when you are not feeling so good mentally or physically and act with compassion towards yourself. So it is not just about extremes and going out to do stuff, it is about finding the balance to disturb and comfort in different ways.
2) What was your path to pursuing biohacking and nutrition studies?
Throughout my youth I wasn’t very healthy. When I was a teenager I wanted that to change. I didn’t really know where to start so I just read all the books on nutrition that I could get my hands on. I consumed the information and tried to put it into action. This even lead me creating a small healthy-take away for other university students because I realised how little actual healthy food was out there. Feeling the change within my own body I wanted that for other people too. This experience lead me towards finding news ways I could improve myself and with that inspire others around me, show them a window into what we can create for ourselves.
3) How was your very first experience with the cold?
I still vividly remember jumping into the winter waters of Adelaide. The sea was 14 degrees and it felt near freezing. There were a few fishermen on the pier asking me if I was crazy and I said confidently that it was very good to jump into the cold water and that they should try it themselves. I spend 20 minutes just swimming around, looking for special marine life under the jetty. Coming out from that swim I felt rejuvenated, I forgot the world around me, I was in a full blow flowstate. I instantly craved for more.
4) What was the most challenging part for you in your practice of making the cold your friend? How did you overcome this?
I think the cold for me was always more of a teacher than a friend. It taught me how to get back to myself, centre myself and create a space where I could be one with nature.
It is only at that moment, when I connected to nature that I saw myself from a different perspective. As being part of something, this lead me to understand that just like the water, I am fluid. Not defined by moments, memories or history. I am capable of changing with the current and let go of things that used to define me.
5) What is the coldest temperature you have swum in and what do you do before entering such cold water?
This was definitely in Greenland, -2°C. Before a dive I always prepare everything I want in place for afterward, I put my dry robe where I will get out of the water so I can wrap it around me if needed. I will make sure there are two warm water bottles ready in case something goes wrong and I can’t get out immediately when I want to I prepare everything for the worst case scenario, hypothermia. After this preparation, I take the time to prepare myself mentally, I go over the dive a few times visualizing how it will feel to my body, where I start to feel the cold and which parts will stay warm longest. Then I just go. In my head I always find reasons not to go at that particular moment, I always think “one more minute” my mind is trying to come up with all sorts of reasons not to jump in. But in the end, it needs to be a mental override. I just go.
6) What was it like swimming next to and Iceberg? For many people this is unimaginable and you make it look so tranquil and majestic, I’m intrigued.
We were traveling on a wooden sailboat from Kangerlussuaq to the Ilulissat Icefjords. Which was a mission on its own. We weren’t sure if the boat would be able to get through the ice. But when we did, I couldn’t wait to jump in. But we had to find the correct place since it was potentially very dangerous. The Icebergs were cracking all around us. When a piece breaks off, not even from the one you are next to. It still can create movement in the water, you can get sucked down into the cold darkness. So, after checking out a few places we finally made up our minds and found a few bergs that were accessible and seemed safe. When I went under a whole new world opened, I never imagined the Ice to have this amazing shapes and forms. What I didn’t expect was the extreme cold they radiate. Being in water of -2°C was nothing compared to swimming next to these giants. It is like swimming through clouds of needles that scrape your skin but don’t fully scratch it.
7) What would your top three tips be to somebody wanting to start activating their biohacking skills?
Slow and steady wins the race. It is most of the time really hard to not immediately apply something you have learned. At least it can be for me. But sometimes changing your life too radically sets you up for failure. It is hard to turn your life around all at once, habits are hard to break. But when you slowly remove bad habits from your life bit by bit, making space for new tricks and habits you can actually create lasting change. Stop looking for a quick fix!
8) What is your morning routine?
I aim to get up before 6am, drink some water and start brewing some coffee. Most of the mornings I start swimming around 6.45 for 30min to an hour. After that I write down what I want to get done during the day. Most of the times I start with some reading of study material and answer work-related emails.
9) Where is your favourite place in the world?
There are so many beautiful places that I would not be able to pick one. But it will definitely be under water, preferably cold water!
10) Tea or coffee?
Coffee until 2pm. After that tea, matcha, chia and liquorish are my favourites.
11) Your favourite meal?
Simple but nourishing! I don’t like having too many ingredients in my food. I like simple salads with some hummus, nuts and seeds and fruit, I love fruit!
12) How do you relax?
I relax most by being active, moving my body. Swimming, walking, freediving are all very relaxing for me. Besides that I love floatation tanks, they definitely get me in the zone!
13) If you could go for dinner with 2 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
There are so many people that inspire me in all different aspects of my life. At this moment I am very inspired by Lewis Pugh and his achievements around the world. I would love to talk to him about logistics of the missions that he did.
The other person I am really inspired by is Jocko Willink. After reading the book Extreme ownership I have made a significant amount of changes in my life. I would love to learn more from him in person!
14) What do you do to stay healthy on the move?
I always have my own healthy powders with me. A mix I make with spinach, spirulina, wheatgrass, hemp, and pea protein powder. This way I am always sure I get my micronutrients in! Besides that, I tend to always make sure that I can cook my own meals when I am at a place for longer than one or two days, I rarely eat out and tend to get my produce from fresh local shops.
15) How you can find Kiki: