Tell us a little about yourself, your background and your career
Sian: “I’ve been writing about the outdoors for the last seven years now. I started my blog, The Girl Outdoors, when I was at university because it felt like a natural outlet for what I really love to do – getting outside and exploring Britain and the wider world. Now I also write about adventure travel for newspapers and magazines.”
Did you do a relevant degree in journalism or creative writing?
S: “I studied modern languages and then completed a masters in magazine journalism. I then worked for a photography magazine and for BBC Countryfile Magazine before going freelance.”
How did you become an influential blogger and do you have any key advice for anyone looking to do it themselves?
S: “I like seeing someone’s passion for travel and the outdoors shining through in their blog – I think that’s the key to a successful blog and to making sure you enjoy writing one. If you’re just starting out, it makes sense to find a niche, such as camping. Then it’s just a case of plugging away and creating lots of content. Beautiful photos of your adventures really help.”
Do you get a lot of blog readers getting in touch?
S: “I get a lot of emails from readers with questions, which is great – I love hearing from them. I hear from a lot of younger women and girls who are really keen to do more in the outdoors but are a bit nervous or don’t really have the confidence to go and try something like surfing or climbing. And sometimes readers just want a bit of inspiration when planning an adventurous weekend.”
What has been your biggest adventure?
S: “A few years ago I travelled to South America to take a job working for a charity. It felt like a big challenge to go alone and build a new life in a strange new city, but like most of life’s scariest experiences, it was also hugely rewarding. I think a ‘big adventure’ can be anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone. Some people might think climbing Everest is a big challenge but others might feel the same about going camping on their own – both are just as valid.
Climbing Mount Kenya was my biggest physical challenge. The exertion and the altitude put a massive strain on my body, but summiting at dawn after a week of trekking felt absolutely incredible. It’s very rewarding to smash a big goal like that.”
We love your blog, The Girl Outdoors. Why should new readers go and have a look at it?
S: “Because there is something for everyone! I cover travel, photography, adventures big and small and kit reviews. I also interview inspiring women who are out exploring or creating in the great outdoors. If you feel like a little adventure this weekend then the blog might inspire you.”
Do you have any recommendations for other websites or blogs that outdoor enthusiasts should check out?
S: “I like Camping with Style (campingwithstyle.co.uk) for camping and glamping inspiration, Wild Bounds (wild-bounds.com) for wonderful travel stories and cool outdoor brands in one place and Wild Swimming (wildswimming.co.uk), a guide to Britain’s most beautiful rivers, pools and coast.”
You recently spent some time at Quality Unearthed’s property Mrs Higgs Lodge. Can you sum up your experience in three words?
S: “That’s really hard! I’ll go with cosy, remote and peaceful.”
What did you do when you were there?
S: “It was a wonderful escape from real life. The lodge is tucked away in the woods and is so remote that you don’t have a connection with the outer world, so you can completely recharge. We spent our days walking among the trees, sitting by the fire and reading books. Oh, and hanging out in the wood-fired hot tub with a glass of wine – heaven!”
Would you recommend anyone else to go on off-the-grid holidays?
S: “Absolutely. It’s the perfect antidote to the stressful world we live in. It gives your mind and body a break, and you come back with a calmer perspective on the world. Staying somewhere as beautiful as Mrs Higgs Lodge you can’t help but relax.”
Why do you love the Quality Unearthed brand?
S: “Quality Unearthed’s selection of quirky glamping properties all combine the joys of sleeping in the natural world with the creature comforts of a cosy cottage. Wherever you fancy staying, from gorgeous eco-pods to a treehouse or a safari tent, you get a real escape in the peace of the countryside. All of Quality Unearthed’s curated picks are beautiful – you’re guaranteed a really special weekend.”
Thank you, Sian, for a lovely catch-up! To read more of her adventures, head over to her blog, The Girl Outdoors.
Images created for Quality Unearthed or supplied by Sian Lewis.