In case you missed it over on instagram the other day (go follow me if you haven’t already; loads of lovely views), I have been chosen as an Ordnance Survey’s GetOutside Champion for 2017, something I am rather happy about.

Enjoying the seals at Donna Nook.

A GetOutside Champion, as I’m sure you’re wondering, is someone tasked by Ordnance Survey, the very British mapping company, with encouraging others to get outside. The group, a team of outdoors enthusiasts who love to write about their adventures, aren’t employed by OS, but rather work with the company to spread the word about how awesome spending time having little (and big) adventures in the British countryside is.

It is a real honour to have been chosen. It is an acknowledgement of my aim to encourage you (yes, you) to get outside whenever you get an hour, and for demonstrating that the outdoors is for everyone. When I consider my place in the group of champions this year I wonder what OS are thinking picking little me, a full-time office-worker who has to fit in tiny adventures in-between everything else life brings. But the fact that they have makes me think that, maybe, this whole life is all about the journey thing, and my desire to make the most of my days on this planet, is worth something.

It’s also incredibly touching that so many of you commented on my announcement on social media saying you thought this was pretty cool and you felt I would be great at being a GetOutside Champion. I think it’s pretty cool too, and I thank you for your confidence in me.

Yep, the face (and feet) of a GetOutside Champion. And?! Photo credit: Allysse.

I know I have a “no yearly goals until the end of January” rule, but I thought I would start my twelve month term as a GetOutside Champion by listing a few of the outdoors related things I want to achieve this year…

Stop making excuses and just get outside more. On my lunch breaks, on a Saturday morning, when I’m tired, when it’s raining. I’m not terribly lazy, but you know, I could do much better. And with that in mind, I will bring back One Hour Outside in February as a challenge for me and all of you to spend time outdoors every single day in February. Like November, February is not an easy month of the year to feel motivated, so let’s give it a go.

Get up and hike (or cycle, but probably hike) to the sunrise at least twice… once on a beach so I can see the sunrise over the sea, and once to the top of a hill so I can see the sunrise below me. I’m not bad at getting up in the morning, but this would take some extra effort and I know it will be worth it.

Walk the West Highland Way. I’m planning this week-long adventure with Jenni and Allysse, who I did the Lyke Wake Walk with just over a year ago, and am already excited about it even though it’s not until October! This will be my longest hike to date, a little over 100 miles as I am planning to finish by hiking up Ben Nevis (it almost seems rude not to).

Combine all my road trips with walks to get to know the UK a little better. I absolutely love a good road trip, by car and motorcycle, and have some plans for a handful over the next few months. I’ve already started; last weekend I went to Southampton for tea (sometimes you cannot rely on the internet and you just have to visit friends), and travelled down early so I could wander through the New Forest for a few hours before dinner. It was wonderful.

There will be other things, there are bits and bobs already in the diary, but this little list should give some grounding to this GetOutside Champion thing as it applies to me.

Lost in the ferns. Photo credit: Allysse.

I’ll learn loads more about what being a GetOutside Champion will mean when I head down to meet Ordnance Survey and the rest of the group the end of the month. It means another trip to the New Forest, twice in one month, which pleases me greatly. Apparently OS are planning a photo shoot, which is both worrying an incredibly exciting; I’ll do my best to not be the one hiding in the corner or looking the wrong way! But in the mean time I am simply being grateful for the opportunity I have been given and wanted to let you know I plan on making the most of it. I guess 2017 is my year to #GetOutside!

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