Yannick Schutz: communing with nature, connecting with family
To get the inside line on the outdoor lives of our Adventurous Ink subscriber community, we caught up with Yannick who subscribes from Brittany. Follow Yannick's outings and family adventures on this wild coastline over on instagram, or via his neat blog.
Why do you enjoy spending time outdoors?
Wandering around brings me so much joy. I have a job that makes me sit in front of a computer for most of my day. Being outdoors allows me to disconnect. Hiking allows us to have a good time as a family. It definitively allows me to reconnect with myself. I feel at peace when I get at least an hour of outdoor time.
Also we should not forget all the beauty that Nature can provide. From huge trees to miniature insects. Pausing and watching is an amazing mindful moment. That beauty allows you to be fully present.
What was your route into the outdoors? Is it a lifelong thing, or more recent?
Actually a few years ago, I wouldn’t have envisioned living outside of a city. Now I can’t stand a city for more than a day or two. At some point while living in Belgium, we started to get out and discover all the beautiful trails we had. I didn’t even know we had a national park until recently.
But when you think back, I grew up in a small village with fields just behind our place. You could find me in the trees or walking in the small stream when the weather allowed it. I think I just lost that connection along the way, but now, it is back for good.
What are your go-to outdoor activities?
I love wandering around and discovering new places. Now that we moved to the country side and close to the sea, I plan to take some surf lessons, always wanted to start that. I want to kayak more around here also. I never did some sea kayak, but it will happen soon I guess. Trail running is also something I want to do more. I used to run from time to time but never enjoyed running in cities.
We get out most of the week-ends for a good hike around here. We have tons of trails in Brittany.
How does your outdoor life fit with everything else in your day to day routine?
I guess when we were living in Belgium, we had to get off the city to enjoy some outdoor time. Now it is far easier, we have a big garden, Fruit trees and vegetables to take care of. But also trails passing by our place. When it is not raining to hard, we love to get a good walk out around here.
With a 5 years old kid, I tend to prefer micro adventures. I guess larger ones will come with time. This is great to learn all that with him. He loves learning things about nature and I must say, I don’t know all the sort of trees, plants and mushrooms around here yet. So this is beneficial for both of us.
Tell us about your most special outdoor moment last year
I think it wasn’t the craziest, but it will stay with me for a while. Adding some context first. I lost my glasses in the ocean the day before. Yes, I thought it would be fine swimming with my glasses, don’t ask. And, also, my father was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and after being cured, it came back harder.
We were out camping by the coast and I got that video call with my dad where he tells me he wanna stop fighting that stupid cancer. I needed to clear my mind after that and went hiking along the GR34 which is running along the coast in Brittany, 1700km of amazing trails. It was just a few hours of hike, without glasses, but I think it sets the tone of how Nature is helping me.
Do you have any adventure ambitions?
That trail, the GR34, I would love to hike most of it in multiple parts. I might go and try multi days hikes on it. I think this is one of my goal.
We are planning a road trip in the Pyrenees this summer and will turn this into an adventure for our son and us. I think every trip is an adventure and we love having unplanned trips so that we can live and discover.
Where’s your preferred outdoor playground, and why?
The Brittany coast is amazing, I love the cliffs and ocean there. It has that amazing feel around Crozon. This is a small part of Finistere and one of the wildest coasts around here. I really enjoy getting lost around there.
Do you like to share your adventures on social media, or prefer to enjoy them purely in the moment?
I am not really good at things like stories, I must admit. But I enjoy sharing pictures after a good hike. I still have a lot to share from last year and want to blog more also. But I don’t find the time to write stuff down. Still need to get better at planning.
Who’s in your adventure crew?
What motivated you to sign up to Adventurous Ink?
I clearly remember finding the website and loving the idea of random adventure stories coming to my door.
Which was your favourite Adventurous Ink publication, and why?
I think Floating was one of my favourite. I loved most of the books but the story in Floating resonated in myself. That goal of more outdoors, that therapy through wild swimming. It actually made me want to wild swim more. I still need to get my hands on Waterlog.
The pull of the river had a similar impact on me. And Landmarks in a totally different way made me discover so many new words. As a non native English speaker, this was an amazing read
Have we inspired any memorable adventures or moments?
Adventurous Ink brings me a fix of adventure when I cannot get outside. But it also reminds me all the time about the things I wanna do or try outdoors. Also, just the postal service is a full adventure to get the subscription in France! Thanks Tim for your help in all of that.
If like Yannick you want to strengthen your connection with others by sharing time outdoors together, check out Adventurous Ink for a monthly dose of wild inspiration. Stop scrolling and start leafing...