By Cally Brooks
A teacher quit her job to travel the world and have a new adventure every day for a whole year.
Jen George, 27, decided she needed to make a change when she was going to and from work in the dark. As an outdoors lover, Jen was desperate to get outside and make the most of the daylight.
Jen, who is originally from Exeter, quit her job in December of 2018 and made a promise to herself that she would make the most out of 2019 and have a new adventure every single day for 365 days.
In January 2019, Jen made an Instagram page to document her journey which amassed over 1000 followers. For 365 days, Jen would travel to 7 different countries, cycle over 1000 miles, ski surrounded by stunning scenery and meet people from all over the world.
Jen said: “I was spending a lot of time going to work and coming back from work in the dark. I just wanted to be outside. Encouraging people to get outside is my passion.
“The most difficult part was living out of my car for the year. I was travelling so much that I never had the chance to settle somewhere.
“I’ve travelled to France, Iceland, Croatia, India, Nepal and more. I actually met someone in Covent Garden whilst at the pub and we went for a quick drink and somehow I ended up in Iceland.
I went to the pub on my break for a quick drink and ended up chatting to this man who was by himself. We got on really well and I felt like I had known him for a long time. The next thing I knew, we were in a taxi on our way to the airport but he had work commitments so he couldn’t come with me. I bought the plane ticket and ended up in Iceland.”
Not everyday was a big adventure for Jen. Everyone needs bit of downtime and on day 142, she decided to sit by the River Thames and eat a picnic whilst reading a book.
“I was exhausted by the end of it but in the nicest possible way. The places I had been, the people I had met, the experiences I had… it’s just fantastic. My world has completely changed.”
Jen’s favourite memory was cycling with her father along the Isle of Harris in Scotland.
“I’m extremely lucky that my family will either encourage me and support me or they always want to come with me!”
Jen loved her job as a Science teacher but knew it was time for a change when she was fed up of seeing the same four walls every day.
She began 2019 by abseiling down a cliff in Cornwall, hiking in the Lake District and kayaking along the River Thames. Jen documented her adventure on her Instagram, posting every single day for 365 days.
To fund her adventures, Jen continued with her teaching by freelancing in various places throughout the year. She worked for both World Challenge and The Duke of Edinburgh which are programmes aimed at encouraging students to get outside and give back to the community.
Jen was also given the opportunity to become a ‘SayYesMore’ ambassador which encourages people to take risks and step out of their comfort zones more.
Jen said, “I encourage everyone to get outside more. Integrate it into you day. Get up half an hour earlier, cycle to work, make it a routine and you will start doing it more”.
For 2020 Jen is setting herself the same challenge but she is taking a step back from social media.
“2019 really showed me the positive side to social media but this year I want to do it on the down-low. Social media is great but it’s also exhausting when you have to find something new to post every single day”.
TOP 20 ADVENTURES JEN HAD:
– Cycling with her father on the Hebridean Way in Scotland
– Travelling to Nepal with her ‘World Challenge’ group
– Abseiling down Carn Burra cliff in Cornwall
– Kayaking along the River Thames
– Skiing in Les Tours
– Abseilling in Pembrokeshire
– Exploring Croatia
– Camping in New Forest with the Duke of Edinburgh team
– Cycling in Dartmoor
– Swimming in the River Thames
– Kayaking along the River Dart in Exeter
– Paddle boarding in the Peak District
– Hiking in Iceland
– Cycling in Oxford
– Taking her ‘World Challenge’ students to Ennerdale in Cumbria
– Teaching her students to cook on a stove and put up a tent
– Quad-biking in Shaftesbury
– Camping in Dartmoor
– Walking with her family in Castle An Dinas
– Becoming a SayYes ambassador