Hey, can you tell everybody where are you based and what you do!
Hellooo! I am based in Traquair and I am a student at the University of St. Andrews studying Sustainable Development and International Relations. Although I spend a lot of my time at St. Andrews for Uni, I am always bouncing back and forth to Traquair and Innerleithen. Over the summer, I have been working as the communications officer at Beyond Borders Scotland and I’m working on engaging young people at the Beyond Borders Festival which is held at Traquair house at the end of August. However, I will soon be leaving for Pennsylvania where I will be participating in a year long study abroad programme
How long has the outdoors been a part of your life?
The outdoors has always been a huge part of my life. In fact, I think this is one of the main reasons that I have gone on to study Sustainable Development and become involved in climate activism. My home is immersed in a woodland and my childhood was filled with climbing trees and playing outside, making mud pies or flower crowns. Only now I’m older do I realise how special and lucky I am to have had that environment to grow up in and I wouldn’t be who I am today without it.
What’s been your favourite trip or adventure?
Hard question… I’m not sure if I have an all time favourite trip/ adventure but I do strongly remember climbing my first Munroe with my best friend Kira when I was around 13 and feeling like we would never reach the top and when it finally came, the combination of exhaustion and adrenaline was so fun.
How do you make find a balance between being active and life’s other responsibilities i.e. work and family?
Although there are definitely phases which I can’t help when I fall into a slump or caught up at work or uni and find myself not prioritising time to be outside and active, there are equally other times when I do find that balance. I think it's an ongoing practice of trying to find that balance and accepting that sometimes I get caught up. Yet, I do try my hardest to prioritise being outdoors as it is a necessity for my mental and physical wellbeing.
Is there anyone who inspired your love of the outdoors?
I would probably say animals and wildlife! From walks with my dogs to spotting red squirrels and king fishers, animals have always made the outdoors exciting, fun, and wild!I particularly love spotting deers walking through the forest, it feels special to get a glimpse of something so magical.
Do you find that being outside has a positive impact on your wellbeing and mental health?
Definitely. I have learnt to be introspective and aware in nature and able to think and feel things. I find it comforting to relate to nature and see my emotions reflected in the outdoors. I also find that being active, going on walks, or doing sport outside just makes you feel better physically and mentally.
What is it about walking specifically that you love?
I specifically enjoy walking outdoors because it helps me feel more grounded and less caught up in my thoughts. It is also a simple activity that you can do at anytime and at any rate – whether it is a gentle stroll along the river or a hike up a hill, either way walking outdoors makes me feel alive. Living around Innerleithen makes it quite easy to find a track to walk down and lose yourself in the journey!
When did you discover FINDRA?
I discovered FINDRA through my sister who is an avid supporter and promoter of the company and its sustainable principles as well as its classy design. Since then I’ve been wearing a fern stripe for weeks on end! I love it and it’s perfect for the Scottish summer we’ve been having.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
What’s for you will never pass you and what passes you was never for you – Aimee Logue’s Granny.
On writing this blog, what do you feel is the key motivational or inspirational message you would like to highlight to our followers that would inspire them to get outdoors more.
Spending time in nature is bound to make you feel better even if it is for 5 minutes. There are no pressures or expectations when you spend time outdoors, it is a time to think things through, become more grounded and just chill out. It’s nature’s gift to us and to return the favour we should make sure to look after it as best we can.
A few of Charlotte's favourite things
Highway Blue by Erin Durant
The Blind-Boy Podcast is an educational, and thought-provoking podcast that I love listening to! It covers a range of topics, my favourites are about Irish history.