Hollie & John: capturing and sharing great moments out there
Between them they curate a couple of our favourite instagram accounts, packed with great shots from their Welsh homeland, plus hard earnt bucket list trips to wild places like Svalbard and Canada.
It's not just the towering peaks that leave us in awe. They both have a real knack of getting up close and personal with the local wildlife wherever they are, a special talent that is as rare and precious as some of the creatures they've encountered.
So guys, why do you enjoy spending time outdoors? What benefit do you get from it?
It’s a great big mix of reasons. I think firstly we both do it for the positive effects it has on our health, mental and physical.
The only way to sort out your stresses and worries is to stomp up a mountain together and talk it out.
Spending time amongst nature just makes you feel good and sometimes the only way to sort out your stresses and worries is to stomp up a mountain together and talk it out.
From a creative side we just love to be ‘wowed’ by the natural world, landscapes, wildlife, weather, light. It can be perfect when everything else isn’t.
What was your route into the outdoors? Is it a lifelong thing, or more recent?
Hollie – As a child I loved spending time outdoors, in my family we did a lot of walking and camping. Growing up though that part of life drifted away a bit.
But the call of the outdoors was always there and about 5 years ago me and John made some important lifestyle changes and I suppose that’s when we got hooked to nature. We couldn’t imagine our lives without it now.
What are your go-to outdoor activities? Which do you enjoy most? Which do you spend most time doing?
For us that has to be hiking, the simple action of putting one foot in front of another can lead to the most amazing experiences. Most weekends you’ll find us hiking in the mountains of Snowdonia.
We love to discover new routes and want to cover as many peaks as we can. Not for the glory of saying we did it but for the pure enjoyment of seeing our homeland from new perspectives.
How does your outdoor life fit with everything else in your day to day routine? Do you prefer micro adventures or grand adventures?
We both work full time. John is graphic designer and I run my own video production company. We’ve also just set up a joint photography project called Sightseers…
So extended amounts of free time can be quite rare. We are fans of the micro adventures. We’re lucky living so close to Snowdonia that a weekend wild camping or a summer evening hike and swim is easy to achieve.
We do like to head off on bigger adventures when we can. There’s always some sort of plan on the back burner. But it’s important for us for adventure to always be a part of our lives. Not just once or twice a year.
Tell us about your most special outdoor moment last year
We recently visited Svalbard and have to say hands down that it’s one of the best places we’ve ever been, in terms of being constantly blown away by the scenery.
Hanging out with a little Polar Fox
As far as special moments go, watching Walrus sunbathing on the sea ice and swimming up to our boat has to be up there but I think for both of us the best moment was hanging out with a little Polar Fox. They are hardy creatures and how they survive in such a harsh environment is fascinating. They are also incredibly cute!
Do you have any adventure ambitions?
Next year we hope to mix it up a bit with some new adventure plans. We want to do more at home in Wales and the UK, so a long-distance hike is currently being discussed.
New experiences is our aim, not just travel destinations.
Where’s your preferred outdoor playground, and why?
Snowdonia. We live about 20 mins from the National Park. There is so much variety there, from the really epic and rugged mountain ranges to the mystical and lush Celtic rainforests.
Whatever kind of outdoor day you want you can have it there… and when you get bored of the mountains (what?!) there are the most beautiful coastlines and beaches.
Do you like to share your adventures on social media, or prefer to enjoy them purely in the moment?
Of course, we love to share our adventures, that’s the whole reason this outdoor community is thriving. We aren’t instant sharers though; we’ll enjoy the moment first and there are even a few occasions when the cameras stay at home.
Who’s in your adventure crew?
Our crew is usually just the two of us, but we love meeting up with other folks and sharing the outdoors together.
We thought we’d shout out a few people in our community who genuinely inspire us with their outdoor adventures.
Emma - @wildyouth_wild Emma’s enthusiasm and ‘just do it’ attitude to the outdoors is awesome. She’ll be found on two wheels or swinging from her hammock in the forest.
Finn - @finn.bijornham Our friend Finn is young adventurer, so down to earth and understated whilst he casually sets himself mad challenges. You’ll find him clinging to a big rock somewhere. (Editors note - Finn is an absolute legend, youngest person to circumnavigate Wales in a kayak dont-ya-know?!)
Charly - @callum_wylie_foundation We met Charly through one of Finn’s challenges and she is an incredible woman. Her story deserves a few minutes of your time. Charly can be found swimming in the cool waters of Snowdonia, most recently 1300ft underground in an old welsh slate mine.
How long have you been a subscriber to Adventurous Ink?
From the start, or maybe the second issue.
A constant source of inspiration and escapism.
What motivated you to sign up?
Intrigue, curiosity, and the simple desire to read more.
Which was your favourite Adventurous Ink publication, and why?
The Wild Guide Wales – There was so much in there that we had yet to discover which was awesome.
Also, The Kindness of Strangers, loved reading that one. Every story fills you with warmth and positivity. And it came at the right time.
Have we inspired any memorable adventures or moments?
Adventurous ink has provided us with constant source of inspiration and escapism. When you can’t be outdoors you can pick up a book or a journal and transport yourself somewhere else.
It’s also really helped with developing our story telling in our film and photography work, it’s given us the drive to push this part of our work more.
Wow, we couldn't ask for more than to be helping our community gain some extra inspiration and insight.
If finding yourself outdoors sounds like something you should do, there's nothing stopping you. Get out there!
You don't need a subscription to Adventurous Ink, but it can't hurt.