Kindred Tales Interview | Anna and Bilbo
Tell us a bit about what you do?
This is a surprisingly hard question to answer! Currently, I work remotely doing marketing for a law firm part-time, plus content creation (I’ve somewhat unintentionally become an influencer over the past year). However, my main passion is in being an adventurer, so when travel is easier, I go on solo expeditions, often to Arctic Scandinavia for months at a time. I film, photograph and write about those adventures for various platforms and audiences. Over the last six years or so, I’ve trekked 1,000km across Arctic and Northern Scandinavia by myself, kayaked 4,000km across Europe with a friend, walked 1,600km across France and Spain solo… Plus heaps of other little and large escapades!
What inspires your adventures?
I like being in environments that make me feel small and therefore appreciate the enormity of our planet. I’ve also discovered that I quite enjoy being a bit uncomfortable, pushing myself physically and mentally, and being self-sufficient, so I often find myself taking on rather long solo treks in the wilderness of Northern Scandinavia! This is definitely also inspired by the fact that I’m part Swedish and have a particular affinity with that part of the world.
What’s your first memory of dogs being in your life?
Growing up I remember it feeling like everyone had a dog - apart from my family. Finally, after years of begging and trying to prove that we were responsible enough to take care of a dog, my parents agreed to get me and my brothers a dog. We’d even gone on daily walks carrying a lead and collar to show we’d pull our weight! So, when I was 11, we welcomed a beautiful, loyal flat-coated retriever into our life who we named Oslo, and she was the best family dog you could ever imagine. She set the bar so high it took me almost a decade to finally get my own dog after she died!
Tell us about Bilbo and how he came into your life?
Bilbo is a collie kelpie cross, currently only 10 months old. He’s from a working farm here in Cornwall so he likes lots of mental stimulation and activity, but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised to discover he’s equally happy being a couch potato! When Bilbo is old enough the plan is for him to become my adventure/expedition companion.
I’ve been desperate for my own dog for years but have never been in a position to bring one into my life, be that because I’ve been on the move too much and off on adventures, or living somewhere I wasn’t allowed pets, or even just not being able to afford it! But like so many people, 2020 forced me to slow down and stay put - and I realised the time had finally come. I knew I wanted a dog with golden eyebrows, preferably a cross-breed who would have enough energy to join me on adventures one day… Bilbo met all the criteria and was on a working farm close to me in Cornwall, which I took as a sign so within two weeks of deciding to get a dog… I had one!
How does having a dog fit into your general working day?
I’m incredibly lucky to both work from home and have flexible hours, so there’s no trying to squeeze in a dog walk or worrying about him being left at home alone (although I’ve made sure he does get left sometimes so he’s used to it). I live in a very rural part of Cornwall, so Bilbo has a lot of freedom to roam around fields or tear around the beach when I go for swims. He lives a life that most humans dream of!
If you could be a breed of dog for the day which breed would you be and why?
I think I’d be a collie kelpie cross like Bilbo - he’s got this boundless enthusiasm, curiosity and energy for life which I’d love to experience. I think I’ve also got quite a few overlapping personality traits with the breed, like independence, stubbornness, cuddles only on my terms, thinking I know the best way for things to be done…
You can follow Anna & Bilbo's adventures together on instagram and check out Anna's work here