Growing up by the coast in Brighton and having lived in Cornwall for a few years, I'm an outdoors girl. I crave wide-open spaces, nature and water.
I spent years enjoying surfing, kite-surfing, wild swimming and coasteering - OK, so I wasn't quite as cool as I'm making it sound, as I spent a lot of that time flailing around in the white water, while my surf-board donked me on the head or I found myself 'speed-snorkling', as my kite dragged me along the shoreline! LOL!
Even though I looked more like shark bait, being dragged behind a wind-powered fishing-line - I loved it! I loved being totally immersed in nature and the elements, having child-like fun with good friends and getting fit without having to step inside a gym.
When I'm near water I come alive and playing in or on water is where I unplug, reconnect, re-energise and get some headspace.
So when Piers and I first moved to London for work it was a bit of a shock to the system. We still get to the coast of my hometown in Sussex and Piers' home in Cornwall regularly but sadly there are no waves on Clapham Common.
However, we did bring all our toys and Piers relocated Back of Beyond Adventures from the Atlantic and rivers of the South West, to the Thames and I have since swapped my wind-powered fishing line for a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard).
SUP's are great in surf, they are also great for journeying calmer waters of rivers and lakes.
SUPing has fast become my activity of choice when I'm craving some time in nature and on the water. It's easily accessible and once you've got used to the board and paddle strokes you can be up on your feet and off down the river, exploring the waterways.
I recommend going with a company, instructor or experienced friend, who knows the area, water and conditions you will be paddling in...
If you're in or near London, Piers and his team at Back of Beyond Adventures will be running SUP lessons, social trips and SUP yoga throughout the summer from as little as £25. Book via their website and join us for some fun on the water.