Yestival 2016 was quite simply incredible. Imagine combining a group of 400 happy and enthusiastic people, over 40 inspiring speakers and a load of stories, smiles and free hugs. Never before has a weekend away provided me with such an appreciation of what life has to offer and how adventure can enrich our lives if we just tweak our mindset.
Taking place on Chichester College’s Brinsbury Campus in East Sussex, a huge emphasis of the weekend was on community and the power of connecting with others around us. With social media and modern society, it’s so simple to keep up with everyone and everything on the surface. Yet talking to people face to face, going on adventures and making memories are so valuable.
With over 40 speakers, there was so much choice as to the kind of stories you could listen to…
I’m so glad I had a notebook on me, as there were so many take-away tips that I can now look back on and implement. I could go on all day about the talks I listened to, so instead I’ll pick a few to give you an insight into why they were all so great.
The one and only Dave Cornthwaite, founder of Say Yes More, the YesTribe and Yestival, described his journey over the past decade and how adventure has affected his outlook on life. Hearing about his approach to trying new things, finding whatever it is you’re passionate about and achieving your goals was inspiring.
Adventure athlete Laura Kennington spoke about her transition from the working world to combining her passions of adventure and sport. Her talk focused on unlocking your potential, playing to your strengths and dealing with adversity. One question Laura asked that really made me think was, ‘Is it the story you’re telling yourself that’s holding you back?’
I also listened to Sarah Williams, founder of the Tough Girl Challenges Podcast, who talked about her journey from a career in banking to taking on new challenges and innovating a project to inspire women and girls into adventure. Sarah shared her insight into how following your passion and facing your fears can enrich your life.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, some fantastic talks and entertainment kept everyone inspired and feeling great. Hearing speakers such as Sean Conway, Sophie Radcliffe and Elise Downing share their stories was nothing short of inspirational.
To add to the weekend’s talks, each morning early risers could get involved with the fabulous Project Awesome, Itchi Feet Yoga sessions or even a silent disco! Not only while camping on a chilly October weekend but EVERY day, waking up with enthusiasm and starting your day positively is totally worth it.
Another amazing moment was cheering Helen Proudfoot, as she began her cycle from Yestival to New Zealand, a journey which will see her travel 11,703 miles!
After two days of sharing stories and ideas, you can’t help but be inspired and go away with a list of future possibilities and plans. These plans don’t have to happen straight away, but if you simply believe that they are achievable, you’re on your way to creating a plan of action. Often all these adventurous ideas we have are seen as ‘too difficult’ or ‘not realistic’, but the challenges we’re afraid of taking on are usually the challenges we should definitely go out and do. Yestival provided me with so many newfound ideas that I aim to use to enrich my life.
If we connect with others, appreciate all that the world has to offer and say yes more to adventure, there’s no limit to how awesome life can be. Thank you to Dave and his fantastic team of volunteers for making Yestival happen. I’m already looking forward to Yestival 2017!