Living Simply

Living Simply, Outdoor Education, Travel Tips & Ideas

15 Proven Benefits of Outdoor Education – Part 1

Snorkelling off Pink Beach, Flores (near Komodo Island), Indonesia

This is the first part of a three-part post on the benefits of outdoor education.

With classrooms being  ‘classes in rooms’, it can often mean that a young person spends the majority of their day surrounded by four walls, desks, chairs and screens. Time outside of this may be sport, music, dance, drama but apart from sport the rest are indoors, and even sport can be indoors (albeit active). What a young person loses is the time to be outdoors – to smell, to walk, to play, to touch, to climb, to stumble, to jump, to swing, to fall over and get up. In other words, to soak up being outdoors and just ‘being’ in the space and time of the outdoors.

So what are the benefits of outdoor education?

1. Better grades

Real life chess in Marostica, Italy

This is probably the number one sticking point for parents is that their child is spending less time learning and they are just ‘on camp’. Fortunately, the science shows that outdoor education in fact improves a students grades. Research from Dennis Eaton the author of Cognitive and Effective Learning in Outdoor Education finds that the cognitive abilities of students develop better outside the classroom rather than in. In fact, the science suggests that students who are regularly involved in outdoor education have marked improvements in the basic skills of reading, writing and math.

2. Increased motivation

Learning to scuba drive (aged 12 on the left) of Mengangan Island, Indonesia.

After spending time outdoors, science has shown that students’ motivation levels carry over into indoor learning. Being in the outdoors is a powerful as it tugs at a young persons senses. They can focus on detail and describe something far better when outdoors than indoors. However, this also carries over into the classroom after time spent on an outdoor education program.

The physical change of pace and place that happens when outdoors is motivating in itself. Everyone needs variety.


Explore & Inspire, Living Simply, Outdoor Education

If not now, when?

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Care a little more.

Show up.

Embrace possibility.

Tell the truth.

Dive deeper.

Seek the truth behind the story.

Ask the difficult question.

Lend a hand.

Dance with fear.

Play the long game.

Say ‘no’ to hate.

Look for opportunities, especially when it seems like there aren’t any left.

Risk a bigger dream.

Take care of the little guy.

Offer a personal insight.

Build something magical.

Keep your promises.

Do work that matters.

Expect more.

Sign your work.

Be generous for no reason.

Give the benefit of the doubt.

Develop empathy.

Make your mom proud.

Take responsibility.

Give credit.

Play by a better set of rules.

Choose your customers.

Choose your reputation.

Choose your future.

Thank the ref.

Reward patience.



Because we can.

It really is up to us. Which is great, because we’re capable of changing everything if we choose.

All we can do is all we can do, but maybe, all we can do is enough.

Credit to Seth Godin. You can find this on his blog here

Explore & Inspire, Living Simply, Outdoor Education

We are so busy giving our kids what we didn’t have, we forget to give them what we did have!


As adults, most of us have fond memories from childhood: intently watching ants on the march, building a cubby house, collecting tadpoles from the creek, making mud pies or daisy chains, grabbing the rope swing and swinging out over the river and letting go, exploring the neighbourhood and stopping for a Sunny Boy at the milk bar. Whether we realise it or not, those moments in the outdoors helped shape our view on the world around us. As I speak with parents, we all have fond memories of our childhood being one of freedom and exploration and yet these days, we are reluctant to allow our own children have that same experience. Here some worthwhile reading about the ‘Me Generation‘. (more…)

Explore & Inspire, Living Simply, Outdoor Education

Kids travelling vs staying at school: Part 1

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Ta Prohm in Cambodia

Clearly I love to travel but do my kids? They’ve travelled to Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia including climbing Mt. Kinabalu, climbing in Vietnam, volunteering at orphanages in several countries, crossing Sumbawa and seeing only three westerners, exploring Komodo Island for dragons, snorkelling with giant manta rays and hanging out with orangutans. Not a bad list by the time they were 13.


Explore & Inspire, Living Simply

15 Signs You’re An Adventurer, An Explorer, A Traveller


I’m always so glad to home to my own bed and the next morning, I’m thinking about my next trip. What’s it like for you? How do you know if you’re an Adventurer or an Explorer or a Traveller? I know because of the list below. You may have more to add. Some of these might not fit with you. But I guarantee that some of these will sit with you deeply and connect with you.

So here goes:

1. Planning the trip is gets you excited and revved up for travelling

Whether you make it up as you go along, go through a travel agent to book it all or are part of a tour, it’s all in the pre trip stuff that gets the juices flowing. What route will I take, where will I stay, who will I meet, will there be toilets and so on. The exploring of what is ahead of you is so much fun. I remember travelling to Burma on an Intrepid Trip and was buddied up with another woman of a similar age. We got along well without living in each others pockets. When you fart on the en suite and know your new travel buddy heard it – the barriers are dropped and a different friendship begins. (more…)

Explore & Inspire, Living Simply, Travel Tips & Ideas

Top 10 life lessons from travelling

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Having travelled to…..well lots of countries, I know the benefits of unravelling your life amongst strangers and unusual locations. It definitely puts me outside my comfort zone which means I learn more about myself and the world around me. As I get older I get braver, but in some ways more conservative as I’m no spring chicken anymore.

St Marks Square Venice 2016

Every trip is an adventure and I learn more about myself sometimes than the country I’m visiting. What I do know is that travelling is the best way to expand your view of the world, take you out of the bubble that is your home town and explore different food, cultures, traditions, religions, celebrations and more.

Here are some of the reasons I believe travelling will bring your some wonderful life lessons.


Living Simply, Travel Tips & Ideas

Why you should take your kids camping

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Yes, I know I work in the outdoors and it’s my profession but I see everyday the benefits of spending time outside of the confines of four walls, particularly looking at a screen (which yes, I have to do like most people too). 

More importantly, I recent went through a traumatic experience and the event that got my head back into a good space was a day in the outdoors with some colleagues. We drove, we walked, we talked, we walked some more, chatted with locals, explored, had a lovely toasted cheese and tomato sandwich and latte for lunch and picked some pine cones from under a large tree. It was the best tonic anyone could have prescribed. Time in the outdoors. (more…)