Going Out More Often is pretty much my mantra for 2016. I'm not one to hide away inside when the sun is shining, my feet are itchy and the puppy is running around the house with her lead in her mouth begging to be walked, but I am guilty of spending entire afternoons writing at my desk or curling up on the sofa at night to binge-watch a series on Netflix. Back in January, when I outlined my resolutions for the year, they all pretty much included spending more time outdoors, creating everyday adventures and visiting new places.
Being the ridiculously organised person that I am, I like to plan ahead, especially when it comes to GOMO. This summer is shaping up to be filled with adventures, both little and large, and I'm planning to squeeze in as much outdoor time as possible. From mid-afternoon adventures to break up hours of writing, to after-work soirees in the sunshine, I'll be going out more often as often as possible!
I love to explore new places, and made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year that I will visit at least one new place every month in 2016. So far, this is shaping up great, even if I have allowed for a little creative licence in what I deem a new place. This summer's holidays kick off with a ten day drive around Iceland's Ring Road in June (see my loose itinerary here), taking in as much as possible in the time that we have there. Only a week later, we're heading to Greece on a family holiday, taking a boat from Crete to Santorini to spend a week relaxing and exploring in the sun. Later in the summer, I'm also planning a camping trip to Dorset or Cornwall, where we can take the puppy with us and spend our days running along beaches and our evenings beside a camp fire eating freshly caught seafood.
Music festivals are always the highlight of my summer, and I try to attend at least one each year. This summer, I'm hoping to take in at least three (aided partially by the fact that my boyfriend is in a couple of bands). Mid-June, we'll be heading to Shropshire to relax on the grass listening to some of my friends and favourite artists at Sin Eater. In August, I'll be returning to the Brecon Beacons for my 5th Greenman festival. And September will hopefully bring a trip down south for fun and frolics with friends at End of the Road. Yes, festivals can be expensive, but is there really anything better than camping in a field and listening to music all day with your loved ones?
You can't beat a good road trip! Although long road trips are few and far between (with the exceptions of Iceland and Cornwall this year!), it's still great just to jump in the car and drive off for the day or a weekend to discover someplace new. One of my best friends recently passed her test and purchased her first car, and the two of us love nothing better than taking a road trip. We're constantly adding to a list of possible destinations, that has already seen us drive around the Peak District with puppy in tow. The next two day trips on our list are to Abbey Brook cacti nursery and Sizergh Castle. Speaking of the puppy, she's the perfect excuse for my boyfriend and I to hop into the car and drive off to find the perfect place to take her for a walk. Last Sunday we ventured to the seaside and ran barefoot through the waves, just an hours drive from home.
Did I mention that I love being outdoors? There's nothing better than heading into the hills for a good hike, and I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by a selection of excellent walking destinations. The Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire Dales are all within easy reach, and I have already clocked in several day-long hikes this year. Whilst it can be difficult to plan in epic walks across mountains and hills, it is incredibly easy to just walk out of your front door and head wherever your feet take you. We take the puppy on a walk twice a day every single day, whether that's just around the block, around the local lake or off into the countryside. Even if I'm only out for twenty minutes, I'm still outdoors and not sat in front of the TV.
Something I'm incredibly passionate about is embracing everyday adventures. GOMO isn't just about planning holidays, purchasing festival tickets and dragging your friends on ten mile walks. It's easy to create your own adventures in the morning, in your lunch break, in the evening and at weekends. Rather than sitting inside all night, decamp to the back garden and light a fire. Better still, light a fire on the beach or in the woods and invite your friends to sit around it whilst enjoying a drink and great conversation. Drive to the countryside and lie on the floor on a blanket, watching for shooting stars. Head outside during your lunch hour and wander around the city that you live in, exploring alleyways and side streets that you've never noticed before. Climb up to the top floor of the tallest building and admire the view. Take a picnic to the park rather than sitting up to the dinner table. Eat your breakfast in the garden. Organise a treasure hunt in your local area. Play sardines with friends in the park. Ride your bike along a river. Jump into a lake for a wild swim on a humid afternoon. Adventures don't have to be big, expensive and require tons of organisation.
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All photos are my own.