Soo... 2019. How did that happen?!
As I've already mentioned (here), 2018 was a good year. About a year ago I wrote about my plans for the year ahead (click here). I didn't really stick too closely to those, but it gave me some targets and set me up at the beginning of the year to try and use the time wisely. So this is take 2 - another years worth of plans to be changed as needed, but to set the tone for the year.
Before I get into the exciting plans, something I would like to plan on is putting more conservation themed content into my pictures and blog posts - it's there in my day to day life, but perhaps because it is such a big part of my routine I often end up writing about other things. To me 'adventure' is really just a way to increase my enthusiasm and experience of the natural world around me, and a desire to conserve it is the natural result. I can't visit a mountain or a river or a wetland and appreciate it's natural beauty, or harshness, or diversity without in turn thinking "other people need to see / learn about / experience this for themselves" and "I need to make sure this is looked after". So I need to reflect that more in what I am sharing. A bit more of that sort of thing later on.
Adventure plans then. Pretty tame compared to many peoples; no international travel, no really high cost, long duration trips, just old school, relatively low cost, low complexity fun.
- March (probably) will contain a 'boys adventure' with my brothers, all 6 of them (including my brother-in-law) to mid Wales. To replace in part our delayed Three Peaks attempt last year. Mid Wales is an area I visited often last year, and an area I will keeping going back to - I love it over there.
- April: Extended family reunion in southern Scotland. We try to hold these every other year, and I've been looking forward to this since the last one finished!
- May: Re-scheduled family trip to the Isle of Skye. When we looked into it for last summer we were put off by all the accounts of how touristy it gets in the peak season. I am very excited about this, it will be my first trip to the Isle of Skye and will tick off a bucket list destination for me.
- June: Hopefully the full Hadrian's Wall path. 85 ish miles across the UK from coast to coast. This is another 'wanted-to-do-it-for-years' item. I haven't really looked into the plans for this yet, so I will need to figure out the specifics but I am looking forward to making it work somehow.
- Maybe another Snowdonia trip at some point later in the year, but that is TBC.
Is that it? I think it is at present. There are gaps through the year which can be filled with other bits and pieces. 'Micro-adventures' will be sprinkled throughout. Beach trips with the children, early morning wanderings round Cannock Chase before work, family walks, cycling to work instead of driving, sledging (if we get any decent snow), maybe even canoeing to work once or twice, plenty of options. In many ways these smaller, day to day 'adventures' will be more important. I fully subscribe to the thinking of Alastair Humphreys (look him up if you've never heard of him) that living adventurously is more about little things on a regular basis, than one off big trips or exotic travel. But also because these will be where my children learn about living adventurously, and appreciating the beautiful world around them. Those trips are where that desire to protect what they have come to appreciate, which stems from a love of what they have seen, will develop.
There is learning to be done too.
- I'm hoping to do some more water based stuff this year, possibly a canoeing / kayaking course of some sort to increase my current (very low) skill level to match my (pretty high) enthusiasm level.
- I have shelves of books to read which I would like to make more time for this year, leaving Youtube and social media behind for a bit and focusing on more tangible 'content' (does anyone else not like that word very much?). I'll try and increase the number of 'The Best Book' reviews I post on here.
- I'd like to do more with my website, share more through it, expand it a bit, make more use of it generally.
There is also the back ground stuff. For example, the home office (not THAT Home Office you understand) and / or Man Cave which I have been talking about since we moved into our current home nearly 7 years ago. This year needs to be the year that I make some progress on that. Rhino, my adventure wagon and workhorse needs a little bit of TLC - on an adventure trip last year I managed to kill the alternator with ( I assume) some water which was a little on the deep side for him. He is fixed, but I need to make sure that doesn't happen again - I will write about the story of that at some point.
In fact, he really needs to feature on this blog more often than he currently does.
Finally, I would really like to be a bit more proactive on getting these messages out to people. I don't really know how that is going to take shape yet, but I need to pull my finger out and figure it out this year. Maybe offering to talk in schools or help out on Duke of Edinburgh Awards or something like that. Who knows.
In any event, I intend it to be a full year, and going by the fact that a whole month of it has already passed me by that side of things is well on track
A highlight of the year - our family holiday to the Isle of Skye. This was at Loch Coruisk Each New Year is an opportunity to consid...
A return to exploring as it was, in the good old days. Or as close to it as you get in our modern jet-shrunk, digitally mapped, satellite ...
Last week marked one year since I started working for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on the ERDF SUNRISE Project. Its been a full and busy ye...