I’ve been spending more time in Fort William recently, having not visited it since I was a little girl. Each time I arrive I'm just in awe at the dramatic surroundings and the changing light, and of course the imposing Ben Nevis which commands the landscape.
The last weekend in February was the mountain festival there, albeit with unseasonably warm weather and a lack of snow on the hills. My main festival activities were going to talks and film screenings, but there were practical workshops running over the weekend too. My top three highlights included:
I'm particulalry interested in how experiences are reflected in creative outlets like film, writing, presentations and talks. All of these women were positive and relatable role models who were funny, engaging and open about the full spectrum of experiences and emotions during their adventures. I can't imagine ever doing anything like as adventurous as they have, and I did have comparison over the whole weekend about not feeling 'outdoorsy' enough, but I liked that the message that really came across to me over the festival was about having an 'adventure mindset'. Challenges are amazing and can be a good focus to work towards, and I do want to do some, including the national Three Peaks Challenge in May - when I'll be starting back in Fort William to do my first climb of Ben Nevis. But, I fully believe that things don’t have to be epic, record breaking or world firsts to be adventurous.
On the Sunday afternoon of the mountain festival weekend, I went mountain biking for the first time in many years, at the Nevis Range. We went on the fairly beginner (but still hilly) track and I equally enjoyed it and found it tough and a little nervewracking. I guess we all have to start somewhere when we're trying something new or its been a long time, and if I keep going with it I know I'll feel more confident in time. I'm trying to incorporate more microadventures into my travels and my day-to-day life, and looking at so many things with an adventure mindset - from stopping off on my way to work and visiting a stone circle to saying yes more when opportunities arise. Basically, I'm following my curiosity.
I love going to inspirational talks and learning from others, but also putting my own spin on things, relating it to my life and what is realistic for me, and checking with myself as to why I’m doing something. This blog is called ‘the adventure tonic’ after all, and I want my experiences to help my wellbeing and challenge me in a positive way, without stressing me out or making me feel bad.
So, I think microadventures will be featuring in my spare time a lot this year, and I hope they might for you too. As Alastair said at the conference, "just go, go somewhere - adventure will happen on the way."
The stone circle pictured is Cullerlie in Aberdeenshire. You can download the Stone Circle Trail here.
I'm Kelly. A thirty-something year old adventurer from Aberdeenshire. Read more about me in the ABOUT ME section.