Abbie Barnes is the founder and director of Spend More Time In The WILD, an organisation that seeks to inspire and empower individuals to get outside for the benefit of mental and physical health, whilst building meaningful connections with the natural world and each other.
Through the project she produces weekly videos on YouTube following her adventures and challenges all around the world.
Abbie offers walks and events, talks and workshops, runs the One WILD Life podcast, manages a thriving online community space, and is currently in the throws of preparing to ski solo across Greenland in the spring of 2021.
By sharing her story - Abbie hopes to raise awareness about mental health and chronic pain in the adventure world.
Abbie has hiked many of the worlds greatest trails, loves frothy coffee, wildflowers, and dogs.
*CONTENT WARNING - During this episode, mental health and suicidal feeling are talked about.
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- Meeting Abbie
- The goal of Spend more time in the Wild
- Sharing more bout her mental health journey and dealing with chronic pain
- Wanting to change lives
- Introducing Little Bobby (the dog!)
- Spending time in the outdoors when she was growing up
- Being passionate about the natural world
- Getting into film making at 13
- What palm oil is and why she wants to raise awareness about it
- Her mission to get palm oil labelled on products (which was made the law in the EU in 2015)
- Raising awareness about the damage being done by palm oil
- Producing her first film and speaking in the EU Parliament
- Figuring out her purpose and being propelled forward
- Going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after her A’Levels
- Struggling with her mental health and being in a dark space
- Training up as a Personal Trainer and identifying a passion for working with people
- Picking up the camera again in 2018
- Encouraging people to own who they are and their stories
- Learning new language around mental health
- Using the outdoors to tap into the best version of herself
- “I am not my mental health but it is a part of me”
- Creating “Spend More Time in The Wild” in 2016
- Wanting to backpack all of the UK’s National Trails
- Getting 3 National Trails in and having a realisation
- Identifying that part of her suffering was coming from lack of connection
- There has to be more than just nature
- Talking to the camera about how she was feeling
- Being mentally unwell and needing to pull out of the National Trails Challenge
- Finding it hard to look back and struggling to remember what happened
- Not being able to connect memories to reality
- Going backpacking with her mum
- 2017 - starting the year being in a dark, depressive state
- 2018 - Having a shift in her energy and moving to part time work at the gym
- 2018 was when WILD really happened
- Struggling with her mental health everyday
- Learning to cope and finding her own ways of working with it
- Starting a WILD community challenge during Covid
- 2020 The year of community and connection
- Doing a Million Miles for Mind
- Forest for Hope
- Getting up to speed of where Abbie is now
- Using the tools that she’s learnt
- Why mental health is not a weakness
- An exciting new cycling project!
- Deciding to cycle JOGLE via each National Park and walking to the highest point in each park
- A 2,000+miles journey to highlight the importance of getting outside
- Starting in September and planning to cycle for approx 50 days
- Being supported by Anna while on the road
- Wanting to go on a solo polar expedition
- Spring 2022 - A solo unsupported expedition across Greenland
- Wanting to discover her human potential
- Dealing with chronic pain from nerve damage in her shoulder
- Always being in pain
- You can’t apologise for who you are
- Turning the dark and difficult into something which manifests meaning and purpose
- Seeking help and trying to figure it out
- Planning for the bigger trips
- Having all the ideas!!!
- Having a friend, Craig do the project management for the JOGLE trip
- Number crunching, training and resting
- Paying for JOGLE and wanting to keep the costs down
- Meeting Anna at the beginning of 2020
- The Abbie & Anna Show
- Final words of advice to encourage you to spend more time in the wild