There is no certainty, there is only adventure!

As the new year looms, I look back at the myriad of adventures I’ve experienced so far. To date, I’ve wanted to do every nail biting and shrieking activity all over again!

Adventure has many faces. For me, it involves plenty of fresh air and stunning scenery. In fact it’s those two factors which have coaxed me into whatever crazy thing I’ve got myself into…

I’ll let you into a little secret. I’m no GI Jane! Being in the outdoors was never natural to me. Going without Wifi, getting muddy nails and participating in things that shook me to the core, seemed unnatural in the beginning.

I’m not the most sportiest, fastest, strongest or even the most daring. I never grew up wild camping, kayaking, mountain biking or stand up paddle boarding etc. These are things I’ve only discovered as an adult. My favourite phrases included ‘I wish I could do that’ or ‘ No I’d never have the guts to do that!’

And then something life changing happened. I decided to stop shutting myself off to what could actually be good for me! For the past 4 years, I’ve participated in as much outdoors action as I could get my hands on.

It wasn’t that scary was it? Maybe in parts! But the sense of achievement is too great to deny (and somewhat addictive)!

My 4 Top Adventure Tips

1. Ease yourself into it gently

Adventures don’t have to involve jumping off cliffs or out of planes. I adopted the motto ‘find an adventure in the back garden’ - mine just happens to be North Wales. I simply began walking in the woods with my camera and a friend. I found my curiosity grew and I soon started to crave longer walks and mountain views.

2. Try most things 3 times

The first time you’re distracted by fear. The second time you have a bit more awareness of what’s going on. The third time you know what’s coming, you can prepare, start to learn and access whether it’s really for you. Remember, you don’t have to like everything to be classed as the ‘outdoorsy type.’

3. Find someone who does it better than you

I’ve spent this year alongside instructors. They are worth their weight in gold. I’d advise anyone new to outdoor adventure to seek instruction. Not only do they save lives but you’ll learn a lot more than out of a book or a YouTube video. And their knowledge will come in handy sooner than you think. I had the privilege of staying with Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer one weekend situated in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons - what a surreal experience! You can read all about my climbing, gorge walking and stand up paddle boarding over on Loving Life in Wellies.

4 . Combat the phobias

For some of us, they stop us from truly living and I was one of them. The best thing I ever did for myself was to use the aid of outdoor adventure to help me overcome them. It ain't been easy but more importantly it’s been fun! My new found attitude has spiraled out into everyday life. I feel much more mentally resilient, confident, creative and encouraged to say yes.

‘ If it scares you, it may be a good thing to try it…’

By Chelsea Louise Haden

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About Us

Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer is an activity centre based in the south of the Brecon Beacons, just a 15 minute drive from Merthyr Tydfil. We offer a fantastic range of activities suitable for all ages and abilities

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Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer Pontsticill Merthyr Tydfil CF48 2UR