Refresh Your Values

Family time doing what I love best

At this time of year, I’m usually looking forward to snowboarding and organising trips away for the forthcoming year. My values and things that are important to me include being outside, particularly in the mountains, and pursuing adventure. Although, my options are limited at the moment, it doesn’t stop me planning, and at this time of the year, it’s good to take stock.

Do you know your personal values? Do you know that these change over time? Do you know why they’re important, and how you can harness their power? Read on….


Why are values important?

Off-piste adventures

Help you reach your goals: those goals aligned to your values are more likely to be achieved. A goal, by its very nature, will stretch and challenge you, so it needs commitment and motivation. If this goal is something you think you ought to do, or is imposed by others, but, crucially, doesn’t align with your values, the chances of you achieving it are less. Your goals should align with your values. 

Help you find your purpose: values show you what is important, so this can lead you much closer to discovering your purpose.  

Girls morning cycle to Souter Lighthouse


Help you to be more confident: when you know what is important and what you value, it provides a sense of grounding and stability. Because of that connection to your own values, what others think becomes less important. This gives a stronger sense of confidence.

Help you prioritise: once you know what’s important to you, you can identify where to spend your time. Get rid of the energy-zapping ‘things’ that are not important. If two people ask me to spend precious weekend time; one to go out boozing for the evening; and the other to cycle along the coast, I find it easy to say, “Thanks for the invite, but no,” to the former, and, “Hell yeah,” to the later!


How do you know your values?

Think about what’s important to you: this is in relation to what you actually think, not what you think should be important. Disregard expectations from society, family or friends. It’s what you think, that counts.

Top tips: if you have 30 spare minutes and you’re surfing the net what would you be looking at?

                                                                       A good read!

What do you read? Any themes?

If you could do anything as a career, where the pay was irrelevant and you knew you would succeed, what would it be?

List or brainstorm: just write, or type, whatever comes to mind, do not make any judgement about whether it should be there. Some personal values include: learning, growth, honesty, love, wealth, success, fun, challenge and creativity to name but a few.

Look for similarities and group items together: brainstorming can produce a long list, so it’s useful to put several items together if they are similar. This will help with the next point.

Aim for a list of 6-7 things: the aim is to narrow down to a smaller list, so you can focus on the things that are important to you.

Prioritise: once you have your list of 6-7 values, prioritise them with the first item being the most important.

How to refresh your values?

2020 riding at Snozone, Cas

Values change over time: Life experiences, good and bad, influence what we consider important in our lives. In my twenties, building my career was a strong value, but nowadays this is less important than my health. The challenges of this last year may make you think differently about what’s really important to you. Doing what makes you happy may take precedence over financial wealth.

Go through the stages of How do you know your values? This will help you to see if these have changed.

Enlist help:  a trusted friend, coach or mentor can support

Northumberland Hills before heading into Lockdown 3.0

you, in teasing out your values. Sometimes, just having someone who can listen and ask pertinent questions, can help you work through what is important to you.

Start 2021 refreshing your values to help you find your purpose, achieve your goals and be more confident. Even though I cannot snowboard, I can be outside, spending time in mountainous terrain and hoping it snows! Whatever 2021 brings, I hope you refresh your values and spend time doing what’s important to you.

Ta ta for now,


Should we take a motorhome holiday in the UK? Part II – Top Tips

In my last blog post, I debated the pros and cons of taking a motorhome holiday in the UK. If you decided it was for you and your family here are some top tips and things we wish we had known before our first trip to the west coast of Scotland.

Top Tips:

Buy a detailed map of the area: do not rely on your smart device, signals can be intermittent, particularly in more isolated areas. Not only will it aid navigation, you can also annotate the map marking your favourite spots.

Wild camping is illegal in England and Wales, but checkout this website for wild camping in Scotland. One of the joys travelling north of the border is being able to camp wherever you want and having a real chance to get away from folk. For several nights we were the only ones around; at first our daughter was a bit frightened, particularly after dark, but she soon got used to the solitude, peace and the sounds of nature.

Take a portable charger if you’re planning to go off-grid for several days. On our first trip our mobiles ran out of charge so we couldn’t have made a call, even in an emergency.

Take dry shampoo/ wet wipes for extended wild camping. There’s nothing like being a bit feral for a few days!

Book into a campsite every 2/3 nights to refill the water tank and take a shower. Occasionally, you can find a water tap. We found one at a petrol station in Fort William and another in Skerray, a tiny fishing village between Bettyhill and Durness in the far north.

Book into a campsite the night before you return the motorhome as they will require an empty toilet (grey waste).

Bring basics with you – tea, bread, loo roll, kitchen roll, bin bags, teatowels and breakfast, cleaning products. Oh and a good, sharp kitchen knife – there are never any decent ones.

Stock up at a supermarket before heading beyond towns and into more remote areas. We ate nearly all our meals in the motorhome and stocked up in the large Morrisons in Fort William before heading up the west coast. There are more shops on the east coast, but once you leave Thurso to head west, shopping opportunities become sparse.

If travelling to Scotland in the summer, take midge spray: Avon ‘Oh So Soft’ moisturiser seems to work a treat or Smidge. If it’s windy, the little bleeders aren’t around, but on a still day they can be a nightmare. Despite two weeks north of the border, we only had trouble one evening in Applecross. I was pleased to be in a motorhome rather than a tent.

Dog stake is useful for campsites as most expect the dog to be on a lead at all times.

Take a wetsuit for splashing in the sea, rockpool jumping and canyoning. The water is cooler than down south. Brrrrrr.

An inflatable SUP is a good idea and gives you more options for water fun.

Take a wide selection of clothes from shorts and flip flops to winter jackets plus hats and gloves (yes, really) and waterproofs.

And most importantly, pack your sense of adventure with a good dose of humour and prepare to enjoy yourself more than you expected. Have fun!

Ta ta for now,


Should we take a motorhome holiday in the UK: Part I?

I’ve not written a blogpost in a while, as it felt inappropriate at the start of the pandemic; most people were in survival mode thinking about jobs, their health and family. But with lockdown easing in the UK and media highlighting the possibility of holidays, it got me thinking about the potential for time away. Some people always travel abroad for their summertime break, and they’ve never considered that the UK could be exciting and adventurous. As a family, we have had two one-week trips to Scotland in a motorhome with one heading up the west coast, as far north as Applecross, and the other touring up the east coast and completing the Scottish 500 via John O’Groats and Durness. We combined wild camping with campsite stays. So what can you expect and is it for you and your family?

Yes, this is definitely for you….

We have a dog: it’s ideal, although campsites often require a dog to be on a lead.

Changeable weather doesn’t bother you: you can often have four seasons in one day, particularly in Scotland, with hail, rain, sunshine, fog and wind. No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!

We love wild places: you can access remote places even in a motorhome which can be considerably larger than a campervan. In Scotland, the further north you venture the more wild the scenery. Wild camping is permitted, so you can pull up almost anywhere (check there are no signs prohibiting overnight camping.) We camped overnight at the back of the Cuillin Hills, Skye; famously busy, we arrived at teatime, squeezing into the car park, but by 9pm everyone had disappeared. After an evening hike up the paths beside the Fairy Pools we noticed the storm clouds gathering and spent a noisy, wind-battered, rain-lashed night before emerging to find the pools swollen and too dangerous for swimming. It was certainly a wild experience.

We’re on a budget: our first holiday cost £1300 for 3 people in the kids’ summer holidays and that included motorhome hire, petrol, food and eating out. Prices have gone up a bit over the last 3 years, but it’s still very affordable.

Like driving and discovering new places: you can drive as much or as little as you want. We usually moved every day and found new places to wild camp overnight. If you’re staying in camp sites then these would need to be booked in busier periods. With many people opting to stay in the UK, this summer, beauty spots are likely to be more crowded, so think ahead.

We want adventure in the UK: what does adventure mean to you? Often it’s about going to new places or trying new things. The UK has lots to delight everyone from high octane outdoor sports through to roaming the hills or strolling along a deserted beach.

The kids need to get off their devices! Depending upon your chosen travel plans you can get off-grid and away from wifi, the devices will be redundant. It might be a time to encourage outdoor photo ops which they can post on the gram when back online. Or, if you’re brave and optimistic, pack a board game and some playing cards!

No, this isn’t your thing……

We love shopping: hmmm, have you ever tried to park a large motorhome in a city centre car park? No? There’s a reason for that. Tourist hotspots often have shops selling arts and crafts such as the BalnaKeil Craft Village in Durness, but serious clothes shopping isn’t an activity on the agenda for this type of holiday.

We eat out loads: depending upon where you go there can be some wonderful high end restaurants – think Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall – but these are not plentiful. Often, there are small, artisan restaurants using local produce such as the Applecross Walled Garden, but the more remote you wander the less fine dining there will be.

We want wall to wall sunshine and heat: see changeable weather doesn’t bother you, above…..

Wifi is everything: if being contactable, and online, 24/7 is important then this probably isn’t your type of holiday. The more isolated you travel the less chance of connectivity. In some parts of Scotland, we didn’t even have a phone signal let alone wifi. But, if you do need to electronically check in, you can often find a coffee shop with free wifi or the reception area of a campsite/ caravan park will have a signal.

Getting dressed up is all part of the holiday: if your definition means high heels, designer handbag and full face of make-up then you’ll be disappointed. On the other hand, if you’re talking walking boots, waterproofs and rucksack you’re in for a treat!

If you have answered yes, this is definitely for you and your family, then checkout Part II of my blogpost which I’ll release later on this week. It will be full of top tips. In the meantime, keep an eye on the media. England opened campsites and caravan parks on 4th July, and Wales and Scotland are expected to open in mid-July. If you have decided to bite the bullet and travel abroad, good luck and stay safe.