I seem to spend my life planning at the moment. Work, life, family adventures. Much as I love all that excel spreadsheeting, I’m hoping most of these family adventures will come to something this year. That said we’re already a third of the way through 2019 – how did that happen?!
When I look back on the past year and all the positive things I remember and am pleased about, they are all related to memories about stuff I’ve done with the family. Trips we’ve taken, places we’ve visited, new things we’ve tried. Obviously seeing friends and family too. It’s a great reminder that a) it’s experiences that count rather than bought stuff (although I probably wouldn’t say no to a solo clothes shopping trip right at this minute) and b) mini family adventures count just as much as big family adventures.
My list of last year’s memorable family adventure memories included:
seeing giant tortoises in Mauritius
taking my youngest son on the London Eye for a special storytelling session
camping by the beach on the Isle of Wight then going orienteering
hiking up our first mountain in Wales as a family
going glamping in Dorset and trying out kayaking and sailing
taking the ferry to France for a day trip
spending a week in the wilds of Northumberland
I’ll be honest I became a bit obsessed about travelling abroad. I do have a bad case of wanderlust, but I actually feel a little differently at the moment. I’m much more keen to get back into UK adventures and doing something a little challenging for myself too. Hello ultra running. So, drumroll please, here are my adventure plans for 2019:-
South Downs Way cycle with the family
We’re hoping to do half of the route at the end of May, staying at a bunkhouse overnight. Twenty five miles on day one and twenty five miles on day two. One son each on the back plus all our stuff. How hard could it be?
Bothy stay with my five year old
I’m not sure if I’ll manage this this year, though we’re hoping to get up to the Lake District and there are a few bothies there. Scotland has the most bothies but I don’t think we’ll get up that far in 2019.
Weekend escape hiking solo on the Offa’s Dyke or Ridgeway Trail
In my dreams I would like to copy Anna McNuff and run the length of New Zealand, but, you know, kids, bills, yada yada, plus I just said up there that microadventures are just as memorable as big adventures, so a two day solo hike somewhere sounds pretty cool to me at the moment. I’m based in the southeast so I chose a couple of trails that looked a little wild and interesting but weren’t too far away, but also weren’t too near. If I’m brave enough I’m going to wild camp.
Desert camping in Jordan
Yippee already done this. We’ve taken our amazing overseas holiday to Jordan with kids now. We spent a night camping out in the Wadi Rum desert, which you can read about in my next post.
Wild camping by the beach
Technically you’re not allowed to wild camp anywhere in England (apart from Dartmoor) but I really want to try a wild camp on a beach. Not sure where yet, maybe Suffolk, maybe Devon. I need to do a bit more research into this (planning again).
Wild swimming and paddleboarding
I’m not actually that massive a water fan, but this is from years ago, when I was forced into a cold and wet kayak on some girl guides trip and had to do one of those death rolls. So I should try again. I’ve recently read The Lido by Libby Page and I loved it and I loved the idea of wild outdoor swimming, so I’m game. Paddleboarding also looks really good fun and should be quite easy to organise somewhere nearby. One for the summer.
Overnight train ride to Europe
Hoping we can squeeze in a short weekend somewhere in Europe – Bruges, Copenhagen or Amsterdam are top of the list. Two words – inset days! (Though I’m supposed to keep one of those spare for a trip to Legoland. There is no way I can cope with Legoland at the weekend or in school holidays).
Weekend trip in the UK in campervan
OMGGG. #vanlife Currently lusting after an inbetweener – larger than a small VW with pop top but smaller than a huge motorhome. We’re going to hire one for the weekend and see how we get on. They are so expensive to buy though, so it would be a massive investment if we decide to save up and get one (and really we’d love to buy and kit one out ourselves). Anyway, getting ahead of myself as we may HATE IT after a couple of days in it, so renting one first.
Climb Snowdon or another mountain suitable for young children
Pen y Fan was a hit with our kids, so we’re up for another big climb. Maybe Snowdon, as although it’s big, there is an easy (ish) route up that kids can do.
Take part in a beach clean
I’ve signed up to help out in Kiko Matthews beach cleans. She’s just started on a UK cycle tour and is doing a beach clean at each coastal stop along the way. Inspirational, and urgently needed. I’m actually terrified of the rapid destruction of our planet, which is, thankfully, being highlighted much more in the media. Just doing my little bit but I want to do much much more.
Start running again
Possibly saving the best until last. I used to run marathons and ultras. I want to get back in tune with all that and get into trail running now I live out of London. I’m currently obsessed with Skyrunning, though a little limited down in the southeast! Maybe one to work towards for next year. Small steps first, 10km, then go further. Right, where are my trainers?