A lot of outdoors adventure is perceived as being something you would or should do solo – because for some reason doing something on your own is seen as being way more adventurous. But that is simply not the case. Spending time outdoors is an absolutely brilliant way of getting to know other people, it’s a great place to be when you’re a couple, and sharing adventures and outdoors experiences with friends means you will always have someone to bore with all the stories!
This week’s featured Champions in the GetOutside Interviews are Andy and Gee, the TwoTravlrs. They travel and adventure together – they climb, do acro-yoga, run, camp, and do all kinds of other things. Oh, and they are currently training Kathmandu, their adventure kitten. That’s right – an adventure cat. I mean, they are the coolest couple I know… read on to find out more.
The GetOutside Interviews | Andy and Gee, TwoTravlrs
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? What do you do (the day job)?
We are Andy and Gee, and together we make up 2Travlrs. We met during our final year of university, and have recently purchased our first home together in Derby. We both currently work as engineers, though in different companies – Gee works as a systems engineer in the aerospace industry, and Andy works as a test engineer in the automotive industry. We can’t sit still for long and you can guarantee there is always some kind of project going on in our home, whether that be building benches out of old pallets for our garden, building a climbing wall in our garage for those rainy days, or fixing up our van conversion to make it kitten proof for the new addition to our family. We enjoy watching a movie or a superhero series every now and then, and we love good food – however we can be a bit lazy in cooking it!
Where and how did you spend time outdoors today?
In order to get our OneHourOutside every day, we like to switch up our commutes. Gee will either run or walk the four-mile round trip to the office, whilst Andy enjoys the 60 mile round trip cycle to his office roughly once a week, instead of driving the van. In the evenings we can usually be found in the garden. Although our garden is small, we have filled it with plants – particularly edibles such as tomatoes and strawberries – which means that we have to tend to them regularly. Not only that, but outside in the garden is usually the best place to do things like painting, sawing, drilling and sanding for whichever project we have on the go at the time!
Tell us about your favourite outdoor activities.
We will try our hand at anything and everything! We are in love with exploring – whether that means rock climbing, caving, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, wildcamping, diving, or anything else doesn’t matter. We are big believers in trying new things and constantly doing things that scare you. For us, truly living life involves forever growing and learning, and one of the best ways to do that is to travel and to experience the world around us. Sometimes these can be activities in our local park or back garden when we don’t have much time or don’t want to travel far, such as slacklining or acroyoga, as well as local walks. Other times this means visiting every single national park and going on multi-day hikes, multi-pitch climbs, night navigations and bivvying in all types of weather, and multi-activity trips feature quite heavily in how we like to GetOutside. For example, at the end of August we are taking on the North Coast 500 route, which is a stunning 500 mile route along the north coast of Scotland (funnily enough!) [ed – a very highly recommended road trip!]. We plan to thoroughly drink in the beautiful scenery, explore the hills (neither of us have been to the part of the world yet), climb some classic routes, and take regular dips in the ocean and any lake that we may come across, as well as marvel at the stars in the evenings. Can anything ever sound better than that?!
With all the pressures of normal life, how do you make sure you find the time for outdoors adventure?
With the pressures of normal life and of course the restrictions on our time due to our day-jobs, we definitely try to make the most of any spare time we have. Often this means leaving work as early as possible on a Friday, and having packed the van the night before, shooting off before we hit rush hour traffic to go in search of a full weekend of adventure. Being organised earlier in the week means that we can make the most of the time we actually have at the end of the week to cram in as much adventure and time outside as possible, doing things that we love, before heading back home on a Sunday afternoon or evening ready for the week of work again. In doing this, sometimes a weekend away can feel like an entire week away, as we manage to fit so much in. As well as this, we enjoy going further afield and learning about new cultures, new languages, try new foods, and seeing sights we have dreamed about seeing. To do this, we save up our annual leave and take it in big chunks – normally about two a year – which often coincide with bank holidays so as to really maximize our time away. For example, during the Easter holidays this year, we spent three weeks (almost four!) touring northern Spain and Portugal in our van. The night before Good Friday we left to take the tunnel across to France, and we didn’t come back until 23 days later, having only taken 15 days annual leave.
As you are a GetOutside Champion it goes without saying that you want to encourage others to spend time in the great outdoors. Why do you feel this is important?
We can’t imagine not living a life in the outdoors. There is vast amounts of research and statistics that prove that spending time outdoors is nothing but good for our health – both mentally and physically. This is something that Gee in particular can relate to, as her struggles with mental health such as anxiety and depression are eased massively by spending time outside. There are millions of stunning photographs of our beautiful world which are often the focus of our television screens, social media pages and other electronic devices. But why just leave it at that? Why be satisfied with viewing them electronically when you can view them physically, in all their grandeur and glory? Why not see it through your own experience and have your own story to tell, rather than just viewing it through someone else’s? We think that there are huge misconceptions about how difficult or inaccessible these experiences are. It is so easy to get outside and find beautiful areas, incredible history and fantastic adventures right outside your own front door, and there is so much information readily available in order to help people do that. The more people that get outside, the healthier we are in general, the more well-rounded and experienced we are as people, and the better the effect on the environment as people work harder and do more to conserve our amazing natural world and resources. Educating people about this and encouraging them to spend more time outside not only helps the way we live now, but also preserves the future of our children. For us, there isn’t anything else more important.
What a great message! Thank you to Andy and Gee for taking part in the GetOutside Interviews. “Truly living life involves forever growing and learning” is so true, and I love that you plan carefully to make sure that your life is full of the things you want and need. An unbelievably inspirational couple.
And for more information about the Ordnance Survey GetOutside campaign, you need to be here.
If you are feeling inspired by my friends, please drop us a line to let us know – sharing the love is always good.