Laura Kennington: What Adventures Have Taught Me
Photo credit: David Altabev
Ellis Brigham Ambassador, Laura Kennington talks about how time spent outdoors allowed her to get some life perspective.
In my early twenties, I found myself living in London and in the midst of a minor life crisis. Although things looked great on paper, in truth I was utterly miserable. It infuriated me that being desperately unhappy but “financially responsible” was apparently something I was just supposed to accept.
I impulsively booked myself a flight to California and decided to spend a few days camping in the majestic Yosemite National Park. Instinctively, I think I knew even then that I needed some time in the mountains to gain some fresh perspective and to this day, I maintain that no important decision should ever be made in a place with a ceiling! A literal leap of faith from a 40ft cliff in Yosemite into a glacial lake, surrounded by snowy mountains, unlocked a whole new world for me. I began to redefine the type of person I thought I was and I began carving out a life based on my terms. That initial leap was the spark for all that followed.
Spending time outdoors has been my greatest teacher. Over the years, my challenges have helped me to harness inner mental resilience as well as build up my physical endurance. Learning to persevere through tough times on the road has better equipped me to deal with tough times in life, too. Adventures have taught me that hard times don’t last forever and that the more difficult the struggle is, the more triumphant the finish line feels. I discovered that the important things in life really aren't things at all, they are unforgettable moments and treasured memories.
If we were to listen to magazines and social media, we could think that we're never quite enough. The heavily filtered images of a seemingly perfect life that we’re bombarded with on a daily basis can feel overwhelming - it's a comparison we can never win. But Mother Nature doesn’t care what you look like or how much you earn. I have come to appreciate my body for the incredible things it is capable of, not just what it looks like. In a society that constantly puts us under pressure to look a certain way and to buy things to be happy, spending time in nature and finding joy in the simple things is liberating. It doesn’t have to be an epic 3 month adventure - it can be as simple as switching off and getting outside for an hour. You’ll be glad you did!
Laura’s new book ‘Kairos’ is out now and available from lauraexplorer.com