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travel

Europe travel

Leaving Switzerland

August 30, 2020

I’m going to miss the view from this window. These three weeks staying with my sister and her wife in Switzerland have been the best of days. It’s difficult to explain how much living a minimalist, nomadic life has changed us, but I notice it more when I return to the familiarity of family, and I’m discovering that the more time and energy invested in #radicalselflove and #radicalselfacceptance, the better I am at being a partner, mother, sister, friend… and…

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Fire in the mountain

August 10, 2020

An old tattoo reminding me I have fire in my belly, and that sometimes I’ve allowed these flames to be near-extinguished. Mountain energy here is magnificent, and this time I’ve brought all the right things. As for my fears? Well, it doesn’t matter how big the mountain – when multiplying thoughts by 0 fear, you still get 0 fear. Feeling ready to think big and throw down some attitude. Nature always gives us what we need if we’re prepared to…

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travelling from your sofa in times of quarantine

April 3, 2020

If you’re fed up with the four walls this weekend, I’ve removed the paywall on two beautiful photodiaries by Andy Garside of some of our travels in autumn last year. I know we can’t get out much or travel just now but I’m finding the nature photos and blogs online a great source of inspiration and a reminder of just how wild and beautiful this planet is. I love Andy’s take on the world, the way he focusses on the…

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The sun continues to set

March 5, 2020

Just a sunset. Just because life is so beautiful. The sun sets. And then rises again every morning. This simple truth is something I hold to in times of acute grief at the state of the world. I haven’t immersed in as many sunsets in my life as I have these past two+ years in the van. I believe this is what imbues this life more and more with a deep sense of peace. Nature evolves. Whether we choose to…

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When the land calls, take time to listen

December 27, 2019

Living a permanently travelling lifestyle isn’t exhausting as long as you tune into both yourself and the place you’re in. Sometimes we stay just one night and move on, but this is pretty seldom these days unless we’re stuck. In the beginning this need to keep moving was ingrained in us – that desire for progress, to be doing something: miles on the clock, new towns ticked off the list, keep on keeping on. But, as we let go of…

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Lessons from our hounds

December 24, 2019

I have to share this story of these two: ever since we adopted Bonnie (the black whippetx) 4yrs ago (at just under 1yr old) she’s been terrified of dogs she doesn’t know. This manifests in her shouting at them Very Loudly when on walks and if she’s off the lead she does a sort of fly-by shouting a them At Great Speed. We’ve tried everything, taken various advice from trainers, even a muzzle (which we all hated so that didn’t…

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Advent calendar

December 2, 2019

// parked between the sun and a new moon the world has shifted within / days are not counted like beans / time is not spent like money / energy roils from the Atlantic into my heart where dreams of adventure are beginning to take shape in the pale grey formlessness / imaginings are fishes flashing in depths / I cast no nets / will not catch them so young / instead, I will gift them to the dolphins //…

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Managing your moon

November 28, 2019

I feel there’s not enough easily accessible information about being in the outdoors and women’s periods/moons/cycles. A recent exchange made me realise that instead of expecting male writers to include words detailing it, outdoor women could write more openly about it all. I was inspired to write this after reading an article ‘How To Shit in the Woods’ on the Gather Outdoors website, which I highly recommend for its practical, environmental approach to, well, shitting in the woods. If you…

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the blue whale is the water’s auteur

November 26, 2019

I wanted to say hello to all the new people who’ve followed this account on the blog, email and Instagram recently. Instagram is a place I love for its sharing, creative community so I’m grateful that you’ve decided to join this OUTSIDER journey. My name’s Sophie McKeand, an award-winning poet, and nature writer from north Wales. For the past two years I’ve been slow-travelling across Europe in a self-converted Mercedes Sprinter hi-top LWB van with my partner @andyrgarside (a freelance…

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