18–19 March 2023 173 days to go! Tickets

El Ventures

My name is El and I share my experiences, insight and adventures on social media. I work a regular 9 to 5 job but have no intention of leading a regular life. Where most people are saving for a deposit on a house, I am saving to buy a bluewater sailboat and live out my dreams of travelling the world.
Inspiring others do exciting things outside of their comfort zone and get outside more often is what I love about social media. It feels like I can have a positive impact on others whilst helping to drive my own sense of adventure. Rather than calling myself a climber or mountaineer, I think I am a sort of adventurous jack of all trades (and a master of fun).
I thought it would be fun to break down five of my favourite hobbies and activities, although I could have included so many more, by what I feel I gain most from them. If you haven’t tried one of the below, maybe this is your sign to give it a go!
Climbing: I found regular gyms a bit dull so I never managed to maintain my visits for long. But, when I discovered climbing gyms, exercise really began to feel more like fun. It has everything: you get a full body workout, people are really sociable at the gym, the mental gymnastics of trying to figure out problems on the wall… I think climbing is a sport for everyone. That being said, I have a (quite intense) fear of falling. I stuck to bouldering and indoors for a long time, but I have been working on fall drills and began climbing outdoors during the pandemic. It feels so satisfying and fulfilling to be working on beating a fear.
Slacklining: Another hobby I started during the pandemic, you can slackline anywhere that you can find trees. The benefits for me are similar to yoga in that you get a gentle body workout, improved balance, and great focus. As soon as I lose focus I tend to fall off the line, so it works really well as a meditative practise for me. If you like yoga or calisthenics, slackline would be a really fun way for you to branch out.
Wild Swimming: We all know that swimming is good for you. We all know that going outside has a positive effect on our mental health. But have you ever heard of cold water therapy? Being from the UK, almost every time I get in wild water is a cold water experience. While the studies on the benefits of cold water are limited, many people report an easing of their depressive or anxious symptoms as well as natural and exhilarating highs. Either way, there is no doubt that swimming outdoors is great for your mind and body. Just take care to choose safe spots and swim with others present.
Kayaking: You can kayak in rivers, lakes, harbours, canals, and the ocean. It is a beautiful way to explore a country. Personally, sea kayaking is my favourite. Nothing beats paddling around the coast to discovering the beautiful wildlife and coastline in the UK. You can explore caves and lagoons and see wildlife up close that you normally wouldn’t, like porpoises or seals and incredible seabirds.
Foraging: If you enjoy hiking, foraging is a beautiful way to interact with your surroundings. It is legal in the UK as long as you do not dig up any plants. There are many common and easily identifiable plants that are delicious and simple to cook with. Woodlands, estuaries and meadows with hedgerows are my favourite spots to forage. It gives you a totally different eye when you are hiking; you get to know your local trees and gain a different understanding of the local flora and fauna. Plus, you get to cook with some exciting new ingredients!