Sara Barnes

At 59 I am feeling stronger and more hopeful than ever, in spite of some pretty major life events over the last four years. Living in a quiet corner of rural Cumbria is not always easy, in spite of the beautiful landscape, but I have adapted from being a sociable person into someone who is self reliant, comfortable in her own company, open to opportunity and not ready to settle for second best. Wild swimming has become the key to unlocking physical and emotional pain over the last four years. It has helped me learn to walk again, find my tribe and heal after bereavement. I always feel that if I am brave enough to walk into near freezing water on my own, wearing nothing but a swimsuit, then I am brave enough to face whatever life throws at me. 

I am a freelance writer and my work varies from social media content, academic texts, right through to my own fiction and non-fiction projects. Writing can be a long, lonely road, but it is also a childhood dream to be a published author, so it is a road I feel compelled to travel. 

As my two children grow increasingly independent I look ahead of me and what I see feels scary and uncertain, especially in these difficult times of global turmoil. Choices confront me: be a digital nomad? Stay here in Cumbria? Sell up and move south or to another country?

But, as a wise woman called Bunny once advised me: Let the world turn round a few times before making any decisions. And so, as change draws closer I simply gather information, work hard and enjoy my outdoor life of swimming, hiking and cycling until the stars become aligned.