I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year. My 2017 resolutions were something vague like ‘read more, write more, explore more’, which I’d say I definitely achieved. But actually 2017 wasn’t the best year for me. A lot of it was spent feeling that mid-twenties lost and lonely feeling; complete with a few failed jobs and relationships, and the general existential crises that inevitably follow. My year started to pick up towards the end when I gradually started to accept the rugged and rocky path that I feel my twenties are set to take; I mounted that path and took my first steps, stumbling a little but laughing as I steadied myself. It was the first time that I had embraced it and I suddenly felt wildly free.
Having accepted that I have absolutely no idea what my life has in store for me over the next year, I decided not to make any solid resolutions. Instead, I’ve made a list of a few outdoorsy (and other) things that I’d love to do this year. I hope they inspire you to make your own adventure lists and get outside into the wild!
Hike Up Mountains
Actually the first mountain I ever climbed was the Old Man of Coniston last year. I did it alone and in the snow, and honestly I didn’t even realise it was classified as a mountain until I’d finished it… Since then I’ve been lucky enough to spend more time in the Lake District and Scotland and my hiking boots have taken me up a few more mountains since then. This year, I want to continue the mountain addiction and take it one step further by heading up some mountains beyond the U.K. I’d love to get more into mountaineering and alpinism, and maybe take steps towards climbing some mountains in the Alps. First to invest in my first pair of mountaineering boots and crampons, then we're good to go!
Check out my awesome friend Mollie for some mountain-climbing inspiration from spending the summer in the Alps last year.
Complete a 6C Climb
I started climbing really recently (around Christmas-time) but I have one of those obsessive personalities that mean that I get really into certain things if I let myself… I want that thing to be climbing this year. I have been absolutely loving heading to Manchester Climbing Centre and getting to grips with the technique, skills and strength required for the sport. I like to push myself, and I’d love to be able to complete a 6C climb indoors by the end of this year (I'm currently on around a 6A+). I’d also love to start climbing outdoors and try get over a few fears of heights that I feel I may have…!
Travel to New Countries
I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled to a lot of countries in the world… though I’m still far off seeing them all! Last year I got to head out snowboarding in the Italian Alps, on a city-break in Berlin, cycling and hiking in Mallorca and to explore the beauties of Iceland. I love visiting new countries that I’ve never been to before, so I’d love to do more travelling this year and see more of our wonderful world. In fact, my first trip is already planned, with a month trekking in Nepal at the end of February with both my sisters.
Go on a Bike-Tour
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that my first big adventure was cycling around parts of the USA and New Zealand. I absolutely loved everything about that trip and using the bike as a means of travel, but since getting back I haven’t bike-toured or even cycled nearly as much as I used to. This year I want to head out on some little bike-tours over the Spring, and indeed plans may be brewing for a longer tour in the summer… watch this space!
Live More Sustainably
Over the past year, I’ve become a lot more aware of how we can live more sustainably; in a way that protects our planet - the plants, animals, environments and people in it. I think that there are easy ways that you can make small changes to live more sustainably; don’t take plastic bags from supermarkets, recycle, turn off taps and lights, resell and donate items instead of throwing them away. I drive a lot which I know is terrible for the environment, but I try to counteract that by cycling and walking everywhere locally. Being more sustainable and responsible is also something I’ve become more aware of with outdoor gear. I’d always rather spend more money on an item that is more sustainable, ethical, good quality and multi-use than buying something cheap and cheerful that will break or fall apart within a couple of months. It’s not always easy, but being aware of the decisions you’re making with outdoor kit is a start! I’m going to write a full blog post on this soon.
Be More Productive
A lot of the work I do is freelance, which sometimes makes it difficult to motivate yourself. I know I can work hard when I want to, but I’m also guilty of wasting days doing nothing or things I shouldn’t do. This year I plan to manage my time better to be more productive with my personal projects, ROAM and Ramble, and other freelance writing and work. I also think it’s important as a freelancer to take days off. I almost never have a day when I don’t do any work - whether it be replying to emails, posting on Instagram or writing - but I’ve started to realise that it’s important to take days where you don’t do any work and switch off completely in order to feel more motivated and inspired when you then get back to the desk.
Plan Some Girls' Adventure Trips
I’m lucky to have a growing group of adventurous girl friends who are always keen to head out on day-trips in the hills, wild camps, mountain hikes and any other kind of outdoorsy adventure. These trips always make me so inspired to do more; be stronger, fitter and more confident in what I’m doing, so this year I am super keen to do more of them! There have already been talks of a scrambling and wild-camping adventures with Anna and Mollie, a weekend in the Peak District with my uni rowing friends and a Scottish surf trip in the summer.
Write on My Blog More
And finally I’m really motivated to use my blog more as a platform for sharing stories from outside, and hopefully inspiring more people to get into outdoor/adventure sports. I’m already planning weekly, monthly and more regular blog posts but please let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see more of - gear lists, write-ups from walks, inspirational posts, how-to guides, etc. I’d like to make this blog unique to my style while also catering for what you guys want! Let me know in the comments below.
Whatever is inspiring you for 2018, I think the important thing is not to put pressure on yourself to be always achieving. As long as you're taking every day as it comes and doing what makes you happy, you're on the right track.
Happy New Year everyone and keep adventuring!