Catching Up with Anna Wood of WanderWomen Scotland
WanderWomen Scotland was inspired by so many different aspects of my life. My upbringing in a politically very closed and strict country has instilled the idea of being outside in nature meaning freedom from a very early age. Escaping from rules and laws and enjoying the lawless perfection of nature, stilling the mind and moving the body.
When my 2 boys were younger I flexi-schooled them for 5 years, meaning that they didn't go to school on mondays - instead we would climb trees, make fires, do conservation work with the local rangers, set up forest school type family groups - learning by playing! 3 years ago I got into winter swimming, and have been hooked on swimming in the North Sea ever since. To me it's not about exercise, but more about meditation, stilling the mind and being submersed in nature.
Within my busy life as a working mum, those moments are my daily micro adventures, which taught me so much about myself, values, and natural rhythms. Being surrounded by inspiring people, and a desire to share my passions with like-minded women has led me to WanderWomen Scotland. We don't need to go far to find exploration and adventure. It's more a mindset, an attitude for me." - Anna Wood
Anna is the founder of WanderWomen Scotland, whose mission is to encourage more women to get into the outdoors. The experiences she offers gives the ultimate ‘nature reset’ - they will find you sharing wonderful vegetarian food, snacks and hot drinks, hiking, meditation, yoga, wild swimming, and wild camping.
The best adventure of 2018?
Oh so many: Impromptu beach camps with various friends and my boys, the discovery of Scapa Fest, kayaking the width of Scotland from Glasgow to Edinburgh, champagne lunch on top of Ben Vrackie for my birthday, and one particular family camping trip in the Lake District.
Hopes and dreams for 2019?
Swimming in as many lakes, rivers, oceans and waterfalls as possible, sharing WanderWomen experiences with some adventurous women, getting my family to join me on wild swims, hill tops, boats and islands!
One of Anna's trips inspired her to write the following poem:
When the cake turns out well,
And after days of November rain and
the weather forecast to go with it,
I wake up to starry skies,
After a surprisingly good night’s sleep,
When the women turn up and even bring
Along a bicycle,
When the group rises to challenges I set them,
And explore in silence,
Leaving behind sleepy swans and
A fast asleep city below us and
The day to day worries:
Colourful bobble hats bobbing up the hill,
With the stars aligned:
The full moon to the north, and the sunrise in the east.
Kestrels watching over us, hovering,
When we gratefully greet the dawn and
Happy tears roll down my cheeks, wind-induced.
Flint and steel light the fire at first strike,
Bonds are made over cups of tea.
With the sun breaking through the clouds,
Dipping our beloved city into the
gorgeous light that only exists
In wintry Scottish lands.
When we salute the sun,
willing the threatening drizzle away,
And we collect colours like the introvert mouse Frederick,
With the blackbird sending us on our way,
Down to the seaside in Portobello.
Time flies when you are having fun!
As the rucksacks get heavy and we reach the sea,
To be greeted by screaming gulls, a low tide and dancing waves, frolicking, beckoning us in,
to play underneath a rainbow.
Getting cold, making us feel alive,
shocking us into happiness to be
carried into the rest of the day.
Then these are unmistakably all signs,
And we are off to a good start.
Find out how to join one of Anna’s trips here!
Photo credit: Anna Deacon photography