As the end of the year approaches, and before making any New Year’s Resolutions, I always start reflecting on the year behind… all the wonderfully wild things I have done. All the adventures had and the lessons learned. Indeed, I learned a lot this year. I challenged myself to do things I never thought I would; to push my limits, to feel knee-tremblingly afraid and eyes-wide ecstatic. In short, I had a wonderful year, and I’m so grateful to all the people that made that possible.
Last year, I wrote a blogpost all about my Adventures & Motivations for 2018. It was brilliant to re-read that post and think about all that I have achieved in the past year that I wanted to. So before writing a new Adventures & Motivations for 2019, I wanted to go back through my year and remember some of the highlights.
January: Bikepacking in Wales
January was kick-started with my first adventure of the year, and the first time I’d been bike-touring since my long trip around New Zealand in 2015. This time, I was joined by five others on an overnight adventure in mid-Wales with Pannier CC. Mid-Wales completely blew me away with its rugged beauty and the feeling of being far far away from anything at all. Despite seven deep river crossings and one of the coldest descents of my life, this was certainly a trip to remember and my favourite moment from the beginning of the year. I am ever-grateful to Pannier CC for inviting me along!
February: Winter Walking in Scotland
I was lucky enough to spend a good amount of time at the beginning of last year in Scotland, as my boyfriend Harvey was based there until summer this year. One of my highlights was a winter walk in Glen Nevis one particularly snowy day in February. After driving through stunning Glen Coe at sunrise, we hiked through knee-deep snow into white hills, laughing all the way. Though just a day, it was one I won’t forget and the photos bring the biggest smile to my face.
March: Trekking in Nepal
I spent my last days of being 24 on one of my biggest adventures to date; trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal with my two sisters, and crossing a 5,400m pass in -30 degrees and high winds. Type two fun for sure, but a memory that has made me yearn for the mountains and for the Nepali culture evermore. I wrote about this inspiring journey here, and can’t wait to head back to Nepal one day and tackle a 6,000m peak.
April: Trad Climbing and Cabin Living in Devon
In April, Harvey and I headed to Devon for a wonderful few days of climbing, surfing and staying in the beautiful wooden cabin that he helped build 10 years ago. I had my first experience of trad climbing, my first surf in a few years, but mostly I loved going back to basics with no electricity or running water in a little log cabin in the woods. It was a perfect few days that made me fall a little but in love with this part of the world.
May: Bouldering in the Peak District
The weather in May was truly lovely, and I headed out hiking in the Peak District a lot. But one of my favourite moments was an evening bouldering at Stanage Edge with all my friends from work. With food, friends, good vibes and an amazing sunset, it was one of my favourite evenings throughout all of summer and one that had be eagerly anticipating a long, warm summer spent out in the hills.
June: Hiking in Norway
Photography was something I worked on a lot this year and I was thrilled to get my first commission photography job; shooting photos on a hiking trip in Norway for Mpora. Myself and writer and friend, Hugh, headed to the Hardangervidda Plateau for a 3-day hiking and hut mission in the Norwegian hills. It was my first taste of Norway and a trip that had me resolutely wishing to see much more of Scandinavia.
July: Scrambling up Tryfan
My first real taste of scrambling one drizzly day in Wales with Harvey was one to remember. It reminded me how much I love North Wales and being outside in any conditions. The day was overcast and wet, but it just felt so good to be outside. It also made me want to do more scrambling and develop more skills in the outdoors.
August: Family Holiday in Wales
For this year’s family holiday, my mum, sisters, myself and our Trailhound, Oslo, pitched a tent in a farm field in Wales and spent a few days exploring the wild welsh coastline of the Llyn Pensinsula. This corner of Wales is incredibly timeless and beautiful, but mostly it was wonderful to spend some time with my family. Despite the fact our tent blew down on the final day (how all family holidays end… right?), my memories from this trip are only good - cooking dinner outside the tent in the sunshine, watching Oslo sprint along the beach in glee, seeing seals from the coastal path, and teaching my sister to surf in choppy white waves.
September: Learning Alpinism in Chamonix
Ah Chamonix, it was somewhere I had heard many stories about and dreamt of visiting one day. This year, I did. My boyfriend and myself spent two weeks rambling French valleys, and I got my first taste of multi-pitch climbing and Alpinism. This trip was really special to me as it sparked a fire in my heart to learn more about the mountains; to understand them, feel them, and spend more time within them. I’ll definitely be back next year for more mountain-climbing in the Alps.
October: Surfing and Van Living in Cornwall
Harvey bought a van and quickly threw together a bed and shelves in the back. We took it on its inauguratory trip surfing and climbing in Cornwall, on the last warm days of the year. I fell completely in love with van life; the slow pace, being outside all the time, the imperfections, adventures and unpredictability of it. The freedom of vanlife is heaven to me, and I can’t wait for more van missions in 2019.
November: Slowing Down in Devon
Summer felt well and truly over, but it was time for another escape to the south. This time, to slow down a little. I was undeniably exhausted, so Harvey and I escaped to the cabin in slightly precarious weather to do nothing much but curl up in front of the fire, read, ramble (a little) and relax. It was a perfect way to see in the colder months.
December: Sport-climbing in El Chorro, Spain
Winter was getting dreary and Christmas madness was approaching so we decided to escape for some winter sun and climbing in El Chorro, Andalucia, Spain. This month I achieved two climbing goals I set myself - to climb 6a outdoor and following the trip I onsited my first 6c indoor climb. On the 30th December, I celebrate my one year climbaversary and what a year it’s been! Climbing has been a massive part of my life and taken me to some amazing places. But enough of that… Here’s to more in 2019.
So those are my 2018 highlights in a nutshell. Looking back on the year, I feel so lucky to have been able to spend so much time outdoors with loved ones; to develop my photography skills; to travel to new countries; to have my first taste of Alpinism. I think 2018 made me truly realise what I want in life and what I value. Though the path I’m taking may be rocky sometimes, I’m so glad I am on it and I can’t wait to develop myself further in 2019.
I hope some of my adventures have inspired you this year and thank you so much for reading blogposts, liking photos, writing comments and supporting my adventures this year.
Here’s to a wild and adventurous 2019!