Abbie Barnes is the founder and director of Spend More Time In The WILD, an organisation that seeks to inspire and empower individuals to get outside for the benefit of mental and physical health, whilst building meaningful connections with the natural world and each other.
Through the project she produces weekly videos on YouTube following her adventures and challenges all around the world.
Abbie offers walks and events, talks and workshops, runs the One WILD Life podcast, manages a thriving online community space, and is currently in the throws of preparing to ski solo across Greenland in the spring of 2021.
By sharing her story - Abbie hopes to raise awareness about mental health and chronic pain in the adventure world.
Abbie has hiked many of the worlds greatest trails, loves frothy coffee, wildflowers, and dogs.
*CONTENT WARNING - During this episode, mental health and suicidal feeling are talked about.
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The goal of Spend more time in the Wild
Sharing more bout her mental health journey and dealing with chronic pain
Wanting to change lives
Introducing Little Bobby (the dog!)
Spending time in the outdoors when she was growing up
Being passionate about the natural world
Getting into film making at 13
What palm oil is and why she wants to raise awareness about it
Her mission to get palm oil labelled on products (which was made the law in the EU in 2015)
Raising awareness about the damage being done by palm oil
Producing her first film and speaking in the EU Parliament
Figuring out her purpose and being propelled forward
Going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after her A’Levels
Struggling with her mental health and being in a dark space
Training up as a Personal Trainer and identifying a passion for working with people
Picking up the camera again in 2018
Encouraging people to own who they are and their stories
Learning new language around mental health
Using the outdoors to tap into the best version of herself
“I am not my mental health but it is a part of me”
Creating “Spend More Time in The Wild” in 2016
Wanting to backpack all of the UK’s National Trails
Getting 3 National Trails in and having a realisation
Identifying that part of her suffering was coming from lack of connection
There has to be more than just nature
Talking to the camera about how she was feeling
Being mentally unwell and needing to pull out of the National Trails Challenge
Finding it hard to look back and struggling to remember what happened
Not being able to connect memories to reality
Going backpacking with her mum
2017 - starting the year being in a dark, depressive state
2018 - Having a shift in her energy and moving to part time work at the gym
2018 was when WILD really happened
Struggling with her mental health everyday
Learning to cope and finding her own ways of working with it
Starting a WILD community challenge during Covid
2020 The year of community and connection
Doing a Million Miles for Mind
Forest for Hope
Getting up to speed of where Abbie is now
Using the tools that she’s learnt
Why mental health is not a weakness
An exciting new cycling project!
Deciding to cycle JOGLE via each National Park and walking to the highest point in each park
A 2,000+miles journey to highlight the importance of getting outside
Starting in September and planning to cycle for approx 50 days
Being supported by Anna while on the road
Wanting to go on a solo polar expedition
Spring 2022 - A solo unsupported expedition across Greenland
Wanting to discover her human potential
Dealing with chronic pain from nerve damage in her shoulder
Always being in pain
You can’t apologise for who you are
Turning the dark and difficult into something which manifests meaning and purpose
Seeking help and trying to figure it out
Planning for the bigger trips
Having all the ideas!!!
Having a friend, Craig do the project management for the JOGLE trip
Number crunching, training and resting
Paying for JOGLE and wanting to keep the costs down
Meeting Anna at the beginning of 2020
Final words of advice to encourage you to spend more time in the wild
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