November always marks a happy time for Team FINDRA with the Kendal Mountain Festival taking pride of place in our calendar. This year we were back with another Everyday Adventure talk, hosted by Megan Hine with a host of brilliant panel members. These 'Everyday Adventures' sit at the core of FINDRA, and here founder, Alex Feechan, explains why and how it came to be so important in her own life.
Getting outdoors has always been an important part of my life, growing up 10 miles east of Glasgow in a suburban area we didn’t have instant access to the countryside; it had to be planned in advance and was not always easy to achieve.
Big adventures were few and far between, but that didn’t stop me finding ways to enjoy being outdoors. It was the ‘everyday adventures’: the bike rides, the walks, or finding ways to create a space to play tennis or rounders that made me happy. As a group of youngsters living in the same street facing the same challenges and restrictions, getting outside, coming together and creating our own playground was a great way to find joy and happiness in simple outdoor activities.
As I got into my teens my adventures took me slightly further afield and allowed me to try new things, like rock climbing, abseiling and hill walking. My love of getting outdoors was always there; I loved being in nature, taking in the landscape, never really knowing what the weather would throw at you, nor really minding.
In Scotland you can often experience four seasons in one day! I can still vividly remember walking part of the West Highland way on a planned school pilgrimage to Iona (a small Island in the Inner Hebrides on the West Coast of Scotland) it was a pretty ‘dreich day’, as they say in Scotland. The rain was soft and misty and we got soaked, but I distinctly remember it was such a lovely feeling, just being so immersed in nature and all that it gives to us.
To this day if I am out walking or riding my bike and the soft Scottish rain descends, it always takes me back to that trip and wonderful feelings of joy and contentment of being in that moment.
Throughout my life I have always worked hard to build time outdoors into my daily routine. It hasn’t always been easy to achieve and I know only too well from personal experience how challenging this can be. Amidst all the responsibilities and stresses of life finding time to do the things we love and enjoy is not always something we can integrate into our lives readily.
On my journey with FINDRA, I have been fortunate enough to meet several amazing ‘adventurers’; men and women who have done genuinely awesome things, like cycling around the world in record time, or running across the Atlas Mountains unsupported. Listening to these men and women hearing about their achievements really blew my mind.
As a brand, FINDRA would share these stories across our social media platforms with our customers and followers hoping to inspire and motivate them.
Interspersed with these awe inspiring tales, we as a team would also share our own little adventures these were much more low key. We would share what we got up to at the weekend, like bike rides, walks with our dogs or family and friends or having fun trying some new activities.
I started to notice that these ‘everyday adventures’ were receiving far more engagement more comments more likes, and I realised that people found them more relatable. Yes, it was great to read about phenomenal trips and achievements of ‘real adventurers’ but when you have bills to pay, kids or pets to look after and jobs to do heading off for 3 weeks on an unsupported trip was not something you could see yourself doing very easily.
It was the everyday stuff that resonated, the things that people got up to in their spare time, their days off or weekends. Sharing our own experiences about heading off on a bike ride with friends, or trying stand up paddle boarding for the first time with your partner on a summer evening, walking the dog with the family or heading off into the hills for a long trail run to just get away from it all.
Real people getting out doors and finding ways to build these little ‘everyday adventures’ into hectic and often stressful lives. Our followers and customers could see themselves doing this stuff it felt like it was achievable.
With a little bit of effort and some planning maybe, but not always, our followers and customers could genuinely see that they too could achieve some of this in their lives. You don’t have to give up your job, sell the house, the dog and the kids to get outdoors and find some ‘me time’!
You just had to find half an hour, maybe an hour, pull on some decent kit and go, be on a hill side or in a park and just be in the moment. You just have to be committed to building it into your daily routine.
In a fast paced world that never stands still we all need to tune out, let it all wiz past, take time to catch our breath, and take in the view.
It’s essential that we allow ourselves the opportunity to create space and time to give back to ourselves and re-calibrate. There will always be a long ‘to do’ list, always, but with a little bit of outdoor time we might just find that our responsibilities don’t seem nearly as daunting, or that we can gain that all important perspective to take on all that life throws at us.
Big adventures are awesome and I, for sure, would love to get a few done in my lifetime. But it’s the ‘everyday adventures’, the stuff we do everyday, the things we can build into our lives that give us joy and pleasure. The little achievable wins that make a huge difference to our mental well-being that we should all be aiming for.
I truly believe that if we can all allow ourselves at least 30 minutes a day to exercise and get outdoors, then we will improve our mental health and well being dramatically.
Through FINDRA, I hope to achieve a personal goal of encouraging more people to get outdoors on a daily basis, through our own personal stories and sharing the stories of our customers and brand ambassadors all of whom get out there whilst also juggling the many responsibilities that life throws at us. I hope that we can show positive examples of how we can all build little everyday adventures into our daily routines and really reap the enormous benefits that come from that.
If you want to share or find out more about what we and our amazing customers get up to on their everyday adventures, join our community at FINDRA Outdoor Adventures on Facebook.
I look forward to seeing you there and reading about your time outdoors.