Did you know that in the UK, women of colour (WOC) are the most underrepresented group when it comes to participating in outdoor activities and adventures?
Isn’t that crazy? That the participation and representation of WOC outdoors are so low that there is a literal adventure gap.
Be it a lack of comfortability, knowledge, feeling of a lack of safety or other reasons, the outdoors is not a place where many WOC are found.
Despite studies showing that being outdoors in green spaces for even just five minutes a day can decrease an individual’s stress level significantly, our existence outdoors is so limited that our rare participation in any outdoor activity is somewhat radical.
We, of course, know this is not how it should be.
The outdoors should be a space that is inclusive to us, and we should feel comfortable and safe venturing out to enjoy and thrive in green spaces. The land we occupy should be welcoming and safe for us to experience.
Spending time outdoors should not be a unique experience for us. It should be open and welcoming to us. Our time spent outdoors should not be unique or a one-off.
For so long, almost all outdoor recreation or sporting activity has been represented by white men and women. The lack of representation and inclusion in outdoor activities and education stops many WOC from venturing outdoors. With a general lack of diversity, being the only WOC in a predominantly white space can create a lot of anxiety and distress. And so, we can certainly understand why our participation outdoors is so low.
With the outdoors having so much to offer us, we should strive to spend as much time there as possible.
There are so many benefits to time spent in outdoor spaces. Access to fresh air and wide-open spaces can be life-changing, grounding and refreshing.
We all know how good we feel after a long walk or a trip to the countryside.
By carving out a space for yourself outdoors, you can grow in your confidence, increase your wellness, reduce anxiety and worry and increase feelings of self-reliance and trust in yourself. Not only this, but increased time spent outdoors is a catalyst for healthy human connections and interactions. You can connect with fellow WOC who enjoy the outdoors and grow a healthy community where you thrive outdoors.
Challenging the status quo and outdated understandings of WOC and our community is necessary. We deserve safe and inclusive access to the outdoors and all of the benefits that come along with it. Here at GirlDreamer, we love spending time outdoors. We know and understand the importance of it and how healthy and confident we feel with time spent outdoors.
We all deserve to thrive outdoors, and we implore you to do so.