With my new-to-me van, Bimble, well and truly in the family now and Bumble - The Subtle Bus, up for sale it's time to tell you what I have in store for my humble and currently white blank canvas of another Ford Transit.
Getting a new van wasn't all about getting a new set of wheels for me. I've had Bumble for 8 years and she has served me well, starting off my career as a freelance outdoor instructor and expedition leader, but it was time for her to head off to adventures new. I have big plans for Bimble, plans which will push me out of my comfort zone, see us doing different and new things, wandering around the country meeting amazing people and going to places we have never been.
My idea of the 'van with a plan' came out of another idea I had of 'a walk in the woods with...' and as plans go, this one has grown long legs! My plan, which is still being worked on and worked up, is to meet up with amazing people who do totally different things to me but all with a theme of the outdoors, mental health, and spending a day in the life of.....
I'm keen to push my limits and learn new skills, to highlight outdoor adventures that you can get involved in and promote just how easy it is to simply get outside. The outdoors is so good for your mental health and as I am fundraising and supporting children's mental health charity Place2Be, mental health is so important to me.
I've managed to persuade (not that there was much persuading needed!) the following bunch of amazing adventure makers to agree to my social plan and have many more to contact and schedule in. Here are the first few who have said YES:
Beth French - ocean swimmer extraordinaire. We've chatted about going open water swimming at night - eeek! Check out Beth at www.bethfrench.co.uk
Andy Bartlett - long distance adventurer, film maker, DofE advocate and paddle board enthusiast. Andy has taken on the challenge of teaching me to stand up paddle board and even mentioned a 5 day expedition with rapids.....again...eeeek! Check Andy out at www.followandy.co.uk
David Willis - bush craft and wilderness expert who teaches adults and children the wonders of the woods. He'll be teaching me how to make bread on a camp fire, how to whittle my own cutlery and how to eat safely in nature. I can't wait! Check David out at www.davidwillis.info
David Love - as an adventurer, mountaineer another DofE advocate, David and I twirl in similar circles but he has so much to teach me. He'll be taking me through the more extreme areas of wilderness survival. I see dodgy things on the dinner plate coming up! Check this David out at www.loveadventure.co.uk
The Yes Bus - 'a day in the life' at this fabulous SayYesMore base at Brinsbury College, Pulborough. This is a haven for peace and quiet, of learning and sharing. So much goes on here and I'll learn all about it one day soon. Check it all out at www.sayyesmore.com
Now, before anyone says anything I know this amazing line up is a tad male heavy but that's because these are people that I've just been in touch with so far. I have a long list of uber ladies who I want to get to know more and for you to get to know them too. I'll be asking people who you may know well and those who may be new to you but that's the joy of this project!
Now, back to Adventure Van Bimble. A great friend is decking her out whilst I am on a school's expedition in Bolivia with True Adventure in July however I need to use her as a camper before then for work and play so I thought I would buy some apple crates, use them in the van and when they are no longer needed on my wheels, then they will become shelving and planting boxes.
Bimble will be taking her first real adventure at the inaugural Top of the Gorge festival from 22-24 June. Check out the weekend here and come along if you have the weekend free. There will be so much to do and so many amazing adventurers to listen to including Anna McNuff, Dave Cornthwaite, Sian Anna Lewis, David Love and Mel Nicholls to name just a few fabulous speakers. Daisy and Lily will be there too and I'm sure will be happy for a few cuddles and the odd throw of a tennis ball!
Onto the van plan....this is going to be some project! If you have a skill in the outdoors which you would like to be part of this project then please do get in touch with me - firstname.lastname@example.org