Welcome to my blog!
I’m Andy. Trainee mountain leader, lover of the outdoors, wildlife watcher and work-life balance advocate.
But it wasn’t always like this…
Sure, growing up, you’d probably find me outside. Walking, camping, cycling. Same at university – getting outside was an important part of my downtime.
But then I got a ‘proper’ job as a stressed out lawyer. Something I’d worked hard for and was proud to have achieved. But the reality soon set in as I realised my chosen career was quite different from my expectations. Constantly anxious and dreading going to work. I was never happy and didn’t find time to do anything about it. Just when I needed it the most, I let the outdoors out of my life.
My health suffered, but this is how everyone feels until retirement, right? I looked around at all the unhappy souls in suits on the corporate treadmill. Colleagues dropping like flies; their physical and mental health in pieces. The same was happening to me and the thought of doing this for the next 40+ years filled me with dread. Despite pursuing everything that society told me I needed to be happy, I knew there had to be a better way to live my life.
I wistfully thought back to the things I loved doing. Things I didn’t do anymore. Could it be that simple? And how could I possibly do these things now I was a ‘grown-up’ with responsibilities?
It started with a Brompton folding bicycle and a more active commute. These precious 20 minutes at each end of the day as my legs pedalled furiously on my tiny-wheeled bike made me feel like a 10 year old boy again, full of wonder, enthusiasm and happiness. Emotions my chosen career had sapped from me.
Grinning from ear to ear, I realised that the outdoors is where I feel most alive. And that being true to myself and living life to the fullest would be my measure of success. Not having my name on the letterhead in a law firm and counting down the days until retirement.
So in 2017, I left a high-flying legal career behind for a simpler life. I took on some technology consultancy work to pay the bills while pursuing my love of nature and the outdoors. I’m fitter, healthier and happier than I’ve ever been, just by prioritising the things I enjoy.
I started this blog to shout about my love of the outdoors and show there’s more to life than targets and deadlines. To encourage people to speak up when work’s getting on top of them. And to champion getting outside more to improve our relationships with work and the natural world.
In 2019 I walked around the 18 major lakes in the Lake District, discovered trail running and long distance walking and got the family into camping. 2020 saw me returning to the mountains I love and I’m now working towards becoming a mountain leader.
So whether it’s full-blown mountain highs you are after, or just a little more exercise to combat those low moments, I want to prove that small changes to your routine can make a big difference.
I hope you find something on here that inspires you to sort out your work-life balance too!