For my next entry in my series of GetOutside interviews, I’d like to introduce Lisa to you. Lisa Wells lives on Snowdonia’s doorstep, and loves to adventure with Olive and The Beast… you’ll have to read on to find out who they are!
The GetOutside Interviews | Lisa Wells
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you based? What do you do (the day job)? What’s for dinner tonight?
Hello, my name is Lisa Wells and I live just outside the Snowdonia National Park. I fell in love with Snowdonia nearly 30 years ago and made the move from Worcestershire after travelling over most weekends to explore. I live a few minutes walk away from the Wales Coastal Path; if I’m not on a mountain then I’ll be wandering along the beach.
I share my life with my partner, three children, my granddaughter, two dogs and a cat! The children are all older now so I’ll often take my granddaughter out and we’ve done our best to fill up our memory box with some awesome adventures.
The Beast is a nine year old Lhasa Apso and we’ve recently been joined by Billy the Border Terrier. The Beast has spent her life by my side on our trips and she’s the perfect adventure buddy; she’s very miserable, doesn’t like people or other dogs so the mountains are perfect for her. Billy is a typical naughty little boy who leaves a trail of destruction behind him.
After 15 years, the company I worked for was sold and I was made redundant from my job as HR Manager in February 2018 which was the best thing ever. I’d gradually realised that an office based job didn’t suit me anymore but lacked the guts to do anything about it! The redundancy gave me the kick I needed and I decided to take a gap year to refocus, spend time with my family, go on lots of walks and train towards my Mountain Leader award.
Dinner tonight will be whatever is in the fridge/cupboards that I can throw into a saucepan! I’m no Delia Smith and looking at the weather I can already tell it’s going to be an awesome sunset, so I’ll be heading to the beach with a bottle of beer and maybe a blanket to watch the end of another day fade away.
Where and how did you spend time outdoors today?
My day started on the beach with a dog walk and we had the first signs of frost on the ground (I needed my woolly hat today!). The weather forecast is looking lovely for the next few days now that the storms have disappeared, so I’ve packed up my van Olive, and the dogs and I are headed over to Snowdonia for a few days walking. These mini breaks are fabulous and the dogs have really taken to a travelling life; we spend our days walking over mountains or through forests and our evenings sharing the bed snuggled up. Our ‘home’ for a few days is where we park.
Tell us about your favourite outdoor activities.
Although my main outdoor activity is mountain walking and it’s where I’ve spent most of my life, I’ll give anything a try! The excitement starts as soon as I start packing my rucksack and builds as I check my Ordnance Survey map for ideas of routes I can explore. It’s never about reaching the summit in a record time for me; the enjoyment comes from taking in the views and taking lots of photographs. The dogs and I lose hours of our lives sat on the side of mountains, watching the clouds over our heads and eating Hobnobs (other biscuits are available!).
I bought an inflatable kayak this year and have had a lot of fun over the summer with my family on Llyn Padarn in Llanberis.
I love to scramble and completed my first grade 3 climb in June. Although I have never been so scared in my life, the feeling of accomplishment when I reached the top was incredible.
I was lucky enough to visit the Alps in July; we made it to the summit of Grosvenediger standing at nearly 4000 metres, crossing glaciers and dodging crevices along the way. Next years plans to tackle the Dômes de Miage traverse in Les Contamines-Montjoie are underway.
The remainder of this year will be spent travelling in my campervan to different parts of the UK; walking and exploring along the way.
With all the pressures of normal life, how do you make sure you find the time for outdoors adventure?
During my working years I would always set my alarm early during the week and head out to catch the sunrise. My weekends would be spent driving the short distance to Snowdonia and wild camping on the mountains. Since my redundancy I have found it very easy to find time to spend outdoors and am rarely inside; I spend most days walking along the coastal path, wandering through forests or up high on mountains.
Holidays are very active and usually spent in the UK. I enjoy long distance walks; carrying everything I need in my rucksack and stopping to camp along the way. I have completed Hadrians Wall, the Snowdonia Way, parts of the Anglesey Coastal Path and Wales Coastal Path.
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?
A lot of research has proved that living a life outside improves a persons mental health and I’ve witnessed this first hand with family and friends. The freedom I feel from being outside is incomparable with anything else I’ve experienced. Standing on the summit of a mountain I see things through different eyes; everything has a slower more relaxed pace. I often don’t have a phone signal; I can switch off from the world for just a few hours each day and return refreshed and more motivated.
I’ve made so many friends through my love of the outdoors and I can honestly say that I end each day with a huge smile on my face.
You are so right, Lisa – life really does look different from the top of a mountain hike. Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of my interview series 🙂
To find out more about Lisa and follow her outdoors adventures, follow her on twitter.
And for more information about the Ordnance Survey GetOutside campaign, you need to be here.
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