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Our 30 Days Wild: Looking back and beyond for a wilder life

In June 2015 the Baker family took part in our first ever 30 Days Wild challenge. They spent June doing something wild every day and here they tell what they learnt during their 'wild' month! 

Last year’s 30 Days Wild couldn’t have been better timed for my family, as we headed into deepest, darkest Cornwall on the 1st June. As the driving rain battered our car’s windows and we wound our way across Bodmin Moor against the wind, I excitedly took blurry photos and planned what our first blog post would look like; a stormy journey on the first day of a holiday may ruin some people’s fun and set the tone for the rest of the break, but not ours!


I couldn’t wait to see what Cornwall had in store for us, or to scribble down every moment for our 30 Days Wild blog. Bring on the rain, wind, hail, and sleet – we’re coming to get you giant waves and muddy puddles; come out, come out, wherever you are all manner of bugs and beasties. As we spotted the spooky, but utterly gorgeous, Jamaica Inn on the horizon through horizontal rain one thing occurred to me; our lives were about to get wilder than we could ever have imagined…


30 Days Wild: Our adventure began


Our family consists of Mummy and Daddy (that’s Louise and Adam to most people), three-year old Toby, and eighteen-month old Alex, and we love the great outdoors. If there’s an excuse to head to the park, explore a corner of a woodland we’ve never been to before, or venture beyond the boundaries of our back garden we’re pretty much there, so 30 Days Wild was an absolute blessing for us.


It can be so easy to allow time to run away altogether, or to delay going to the park in favour of housework, but having the incentive to do something every day without fail – and to blog relentlessly about it – means that the dishes must wait, and that time becomes your own once more. And do you know what? Once you’ve lived like that for a month and realised that the house hasn’t fallen down, and that you’ve actually – gasp – enjoyed spending time as a family, exploring the great outdoors suddenly becomes a lot easier.


So, anyway, there we were heading across Bodmin Moor on Day One…


30 Days Wild 2015: What we learned


One of the most important lessons that we learned during 30 Days Wild was that it actually didn’t matter where we were or what we did – just that single moment spent inhaling the fresh air thirstily was enough.


The first week, having been spent in Cornwall, was amazing of course; we met seals, paddled in the sea, fished for crabs, visited the Eden Project, buried each other in the sand, and admired the world from England’s most Westerly Point. How would we ever top that, though? Having the holiday blues was bad enough, but we had something much worse – the 30 Days Wild blues. Was it possible to be just as wild back home?


Do you want to know something? It was. Because, funny thing, being wild doesn’t have to mean diving into the roughest waves, scaling the highest peaks, or spotting fifty different kinds of bird before breakfast. Being wild is about taking notice of the world around you, embracing wildlife in its natural habitat, and opening your senses to the potential all around.


Some days I felt like we’d achieved nothing at all on our quest to be wild, but then I’d fetch Toby from nursery and we’d find a snail slowly making its way up a wall; evenings became a particularly magical time as we opened the windows as wide as they would go and used the birds’ twilight chorus as a lullaby.


We could be wild without leaving our garden, and regardless of how far (or not) we ventured, we did something new every single day. Our 30 Days Wild involved picnics in the park, cloud-spotting, viewing the world as bugs, standing in the rain, walking around with bare feet so the grass could tickle our toes, writing poetry and doing crafts, taking the time to smell the air after a heavy rainfall, looking for wildlife in the middle of our town, finding out where fruit comes from, and sharing our wild with our friends and family. Being wild came rather naturally, if you’ll excuse the pun, and we’d like to inspire you to take part this year.


30 Days Wild 2016: What we’re most looking forward to


Rather disappointingly for us this year’s 30 Days Wild won’t coincide with our holiday at all, as we’ve been forced to book for later in the year; how will be cope without the Cornish shores on Day One?


I’m actually looking forward to the challenge of doing something different every day without the luxury of having things planned for us already, though. I feel utterly blessed that my biggest worry at the moment is what gorgeous part of the country I want my children to explore first, or what kinds of plants I’ll be collecting for their nature boxes; how lucky we are to live in a country where the freedom to roam is commonplace, and where we’re surrounded by so many amazing sights within a close proximity.


When you think about it, being a little bit wilder takes very little effort – it’s as simple as opening your curtains and having a good nosey at your eight-legged neighbour. We are incredibly excited about getting our new dog, Dug, involved in our adventures this year, introducing Alex to a few new sights now that he’s a year older, and doing something completely different every day.


As my children have grown, so too have their interests, and keeping them enthralled in nature has become something of a hobby – we’re also looking forward to introducing a few of our friends to 30 Days Wild this year, and reading the blogs of those taking part up and down the country. Our blog, adventuresoflexiandtubs.co.uk will have each day carefully catalogued, and we can’t wait to see you there.


Louise Baker



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