['Life life more adventurously.']
I decided that I am going to start saying yes to all the opportunities that fly my way, even if it means stepping outside my comfort zone and putting myself out there. I'm done with letting fears or worry hold me back from doing things that could turn out to be incredible experiences and wonderful opportunities. I'm taking the yes man approach. So, when my lovely friend Charlene invited me to go along to Go Ape with her I kinda had to say yes, even though inside I was screaming 'no way on earth are you getting me up there'.
Go Ape is an outdoor forest adventure experience. An adventure that encourages you to take risks, challenge yourself and inject some excitement into your life. It's something totally different and unlike anything I have ever done before. It was also something I, at one point, said I would never ever do.
We went to the site in Aberfoyle, which is home to two of Britain's longest zip wires, each stretching over 400m across stunning forest and a river. Nestled in among the Trossachs National Park, the setting was beautiful, especially at this time of year when the leaves are golden and everything looks so autumnal.
Once we were all harnessed up and had done the safety demonstration we found ourselves standing on a tiny platform high above the forest with a guy standing beside us saying 'yup, just step right off and enjoy it'. Wondering why on earth I had agreed to it, I somehow managed to jump off and found myself flying through the air across the most lovely forest and waterfall, trying so hard to appreciate the wonderful scenery around me while also holding on for dear life, praying that I'd make it across in one piece.
The course is filled with lots of obstacles up in the treetops and a whole lot of zip wires. Some are really easy and others are pretty damn hard but that's all part of the fun. You definitely get a good workout from your day out and you might get a little muddy if you are as bad as I was at landing off the zip line. There are pictures at every obstacle showing you what to do and reminding you where your clips need to go to ensure you don't fall off!
So, having been something I never thought I would do, I am so happy I did it and took a step outside of my comfort zone. I do think you need to try everything at least once. I'm not sure you'll find me swinging from the trees again anytime soon but if you are looking for a bit of adventure then Go Ape is most definitely the place for you.
After we finished the course, we headed back towards Stirling in search of some vegan cake to satisfy our sugar cravings. A Google search later and we came across Simply Nood, a little cafe in Bridge of Allan just outside of Stirling that serves up vegan options. Outside the big cities it can be pretty hard to find vegan food so we were really happy we found somewhere to go.
We both had avocado and pesto bagels and then split two vegan cakes between us - a gingerbread cupcake and a raw truffle brownie - to go with our hot chocolates. Everything was incredible. The avocado bagel was so yummy and filling, the cakes were delicious and the hot chocolate was the perfect mix of sweet and rich. I really couldn't recommend this little spot more if you find yourself in Stirling, vegan or not! It isn't a vegan cafe so they do have lots of other options too. I was seriously impressed and also gutted that this little gem wasn't open when I was a student at Stirling.
Doing something different can be scary (especially when it involves literally throwing yourself off trees!) but it can also be wonderful and exciting. Take a step outside of your comfort zone and do something that scares you, just make sure there's a bit slice of cake waiting for you at the other end!
A massive thank you to Go Ape for having us along. I was invited as Charlene's guest as part of their Autumn Adventures campaign but all views, thoughts, and fears expressed in this post as completely my own.