How a Free Weekend Changed My Life

In 2014 I had a weekend to myself. Instead of going to a spa, I went to a hiking shop, bought a pair of boots, some waterproof clothes and a map, then headed off for the North Yorkshire coast. Even though there were amber warnings for gale force winds and rain, I decided to walk from Whitby to Ravenscar and back again.

I loved it. I had the path to myself, the rain in my face and I felt alive.  I stayed in a hostel overnight and it felt like a mini adventure. From then on, I was hooked.

I started asking friends to walk with me. We arranged a few walking weekends, where we walked about 9 to 12 miles a day, always ending each one with a nice glass of wine at a pub. We jokingly called ourselves the Glamoraks, because although we wore anoraks, we liked to believe we were a little bit glamorous (at least in our heads).

I pushed myself, taking on bigger challenges, like walking the Coast to Coast, the circumference of the Isle of Wight, climbed Snowden and most recently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Heading out into the countryside has so many benefits – physical, mental and emotional. I decided to use my experiences to get more women out walking. I set up Glamoraks, a free group for women from around the world who like to walk.

So if you want to feel alive too, try this:

  • Get a decent pair of hiking boots and a waterproof jacket
  • Search online for walks in your area or buy an OS map for an area near you
  • Start off tackling shorter walks of 3 to 5 miles while your fitness and confidence builds
  • Don’t worry about walking on your own – that is part of the pleasure of it. Just let someone know where you are going

If you’d like to join the Glamoraks for free, join here.



Melissa Talago is the founder of Glamoraks and Chief Firestarter at Campfire Communications, helping small business owners tell their brand story better. Melissa takes her outdoor philosophy into business too and runs a Campfire Storytelling Retreat for small business owners.

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