It’s 5:30am on a freezing cold Saturday morning in early January, and I’m driving a people carrier full of my favourite people out of London and in search of adventure.
“Is it too early for this?” I ask, as I put one of my favourite songs on the car stereo. It’s a dance floor filler kind of song, but they love it. In the car with me I have four of my female cousins; Martha aged 9, Ella age 14, Georgia age 17, and Alex age 25. All of them said YES to waking up in - what felt like - the middle of the night and coming on an adventure with me. I love it when people say yes.
I wonder how many things are as special as sharing what you love with the people you love. Today, we're going to find out.
Our mission is simple. We’re here to experience something new, to spend time outside in nature and leave everything from our city lives behind by kicking off the weekend with a sunny adventure!
At 7am we park up on the edge of a forest in the South Downs National Park. We pull our bags out of the boot, wrap up warm and put our head torches on.
The girls are giggling and sprits are high as we walk down the path to the top of the hill where we plan to watch the sunrise. It’s still pretty dark, although now we can see the first signs of dawn on the horizon.
The hillside is completely covered in snow, so we vow to have a snowball fight later. First up, breakfast!
I’m a big believer that if you are going to ask people to do something with you that’s a ‘first-time’ for them and something a little out of the ordinary, you have to make it awesome so they love it and want to come back and do it again. Planning how I’m going to make it awesome and thinking about what they love is actually one of my favourite parts.
For this adventure, I knew we were going to be cold and hungry by the time we got to the hill, so I brought camping chairs, blankets, a flask of hot chocolate and everything to make bacon sandwiches with! I also bought cupcakes but I’ll save those for the journey home.
We set to work and it’s a team effort! As I get the stove going and the bacon sizzling, Alex and Ella butter the bread and Georgia entertains us with her jokes.
By this time, the sunrise is well and truly exploding across the horizon giving us the best view in the world to eat breakfast to.
After breakfast we decide to warm up with a hike along the South Downs Way. It’s a National Trail that runs for 160km from Winchester to Eastbourne. We are exploring a very small part of it today, and can see for miles on this beautiful, fresh, January day. It’s pretty cool to be able to share this with my cousins!
This adventure may be different to some of my others, but at its core are exactly the same key elements. Getting outside and trying something new. Sharing something simple and awesome; and, most of all, creating memories.
On the drive back to London, the sky covers with dark, heavy clouds and it starts to pour with rain. Everyone sleeps in the car, apart from me. I’m happy knowing we made the most of the good weather this weekend. I drop them off at their houses at 12pm, I promised them a great adventure and to be home by lunchtime. My goal was to share what I love and show the benefits of jumping in a car and heading out of town for a date with Mother Nature. All boxes ticked!
Thanks to Enterprise Rent-a-Car for making this little adventure possible.