for those who love the outdoors

4 February, 2024


How to encourage your kids to have the freedom to explore the outdoors

My key words of encouragement and inspiration to my 13-year-old son, Walter, is – freedom to explore! This is something I didn’t have when I was growing up but that’s ok as I’m fully making up for lost time now.

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Before Walter recently turned 13, he has had the privilege and courage to explore to his heart's content. When he was 5 years old, we made a list together of things to do before he turned into a teenager. So far, as well as fully exploring the outdoors in the UK, he has been very fortunate to explore some of the world's most beautiful places during our road trips, some of which include the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Niagara Falls, Taj Mahal and Table Mountain.

During the last couple of years, as a family we caught up with our outdoor exploring following the standstill of lockdown. Each day, weekend, school break and family vacation involved outdoor adventure from hiking hills and mountains, cold water dips and open water swimming, diving, snorkelling, SUP and off-road biking (day and night). As well as connecting with nature and enjoying the beautiful outdoors, we have loved trying lots of outdoor adrenaline fuelled activities. 

Last year, we tried skydiving, paragliding (tandem), riding the world’s fastest zip wire, plummeting an incredible 100 foot in dark at the world’s first tandem drop experience, screaming our way around a quarry on a high-speed Aero explorer and nervously walking across a 1,000ft suspended high wire bridge above a stunning valley. Our highlights for 2023 were most definitely the skydiving, paragliding, learning to fly and snorkelling in Iceland between two tectonic plates in freezing temperatures.

I love that Walter never says no to anything and tries everything once even if he is nervous and scared. I have a fear of deep water, so at times my husband Ian supports Walter with these activities and Ian has a fear of heights, so I do everything airborne. We encourage, inspire, and support each other all of the time.

2024, is going to be another amazing outdoor adventurous year. The plan includes a hike up Snowdon and tandem paragliding down, exploring Yellowstone National Park and all the fabulous natural beauty and wildlife as well trying as many activities as possible (hiking, biking, white water rafting, open water lake swimming, horseback riding and tandem paragliding between canyons). We also plan to explore the caves and coves in Kefalonia with some cliff jumping, hiking Mount Toubkal, and lots of underwater exploring in Barbados.

As a family of explorers, we always try to explore mindfully and as sustainable as possible. Each year, we plant up to 100 trees to help offset our carbon footprint.

My dream is K2 base one day, maybe Walter will join me. Can’t wait!!!!!!!!

Top 5 tips to parents:

    • We choose activities and adventures together. Each month we each choose places to explore and an activity. It’s important that Walter feels included in the decision-making process.
    • Together we push boundaries and take risks. We love nothing more than going off the beaten track and at times getting lost, which makes the experience even more fun. We encourage Walt to show his emotions when we participate in adrenalin activities. Show him that it’s ok to be scared. I openly show my fear which normally consists of laughing hysterically, at times crying and having multiple visits to the bathroom.
    • We read relevant material and listen to podcasts to help inspire Walter.
    • Attend the National Outdoor Expo who have an amazing line-up of inspirational explorers and adventure speakers. Walter’s school also brings in adventure speakers which helps motivate and inspire children and help reduce fear. 
    • To support Walter with his learning, we try to link our outdoor experiences with the current curriculum whether it’s science, geography, history, Math, Art, English, life skills or emotional wellbeing.

Happy exploring!

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Yasmin Sulaman

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Hi, I’m Yasmin and I absolutely love living in the moment and exploring the great outdoors whenever I can – in water, on land and in the air.

When I was growing up, I didn’t really have the freedom to do simple, normal things like my friends, such as ride a bike, play in the park, or go to the beach.

Now that I have the freedom to roam and explore, boy I am making up for lost time.

As a family, we love to travel and explore the outdoors as much as possible. Most of our free time includes an outdoor adventure (however big or small) allowing us to push our boundaries wherever possible. My teenage son and I are self-proclaimed adrenalin junkies, and we love it!!!!

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