Posts tagged trip
Life is all about the journey. This has been my mantra for a long time. It is something I believe. Something I strive to remember daily. Something that prompts me to focus on things and enjoy them to the full. I wear it on my blog. I wear it on my wrist. It’s on my iPad case. If I had a tattoo it I would wear it on my skin (it’s ok mum, I’m not going to do that!).
I’ve written about it a few times on here before, naturally. And I really hope that it comes across to people who know me in real life too. It’s the whole point of my things to do list. And it’s the reason I get up every morning. Because life is made up of every day, every moment, every step.
Recently a couple of people I know have embarked on massive adventures. They are very different kinds of adventures, but for both they have taken over their every moment and will with no doubt whatsoever change their lives forever. Both have commented that they think about pretty much nothing else. And both have inspired me.
One has become a mummy. You remember Michelle from Operation Threadbare? I was partly responsible for her year long challenge to stop buying clothes and shoes. A self-confessed fashion lover and shopaholic she didn’t find it easy at all. But one thing made it a whole lot harder than anticipated… during Operation Threadbare Michelle became pregnant with her first child (and no, we didn’t even let her buy maternity clothes!). She gave birth to a baby girl nearly two weeks ago now, and her adventure as a mother is well underway. She has evolved her Operation Threadbare blog into “It’s All Normal” and I can recommend her posts – if you want an insight into what kind of adventure becoming a mum is, you should read what she has to say.
The other is about to embark on a round the world trip of a lifetime. Tara has handed in her notice at work and booked round the world air tickets to take her to some amazing places. She’s going to start in Africa and is planning to visit China and South East Asia later this year and early next year. She’s been and had some injections already, and has been researching endlessly. As part of her trip she is going to do some volunteer work – her first project will be as an Education and Community Development intern in Zambia. Fabulous. Oh and she’s also going to run in every country she visits and take a travel photo a day while she’s away – you can follow what she’s up to on Rise and Shine, Paps.
There is no other way to describe what my friends are doing than adventure. I guess I’ve got a bit of the green eyed monster about me when I look at them and when I read their blogs. I am so pleased for them both, and I want some of what they’re having. It’s not the specific adventure I crave; I’m not ready for motherhood and I am in no position to give up my house and car and job and jet off around the world, but I see in them real motivation and real spirit. They are both facing their chosen adventure with elegance and grace, and most importantly they are going for it with everything they’ve got. That is the key I think; they have chosen their path and are following it with their head and their heart. I love that about them.
In my day job I have the absolute pleasure of being allowed to help encourage and advise young people on what they might want to do in the next step of their lives. When I’m given the opportunity I always tell them to choose their next step based on something they love. We always do better when we put everything into what we’re doing, and we only put everything into what we’re doing when we are doing something we love. My problem, and I’m well aware of my downfall, is that I want to do everything. And in fact I know I can’t. I can’t put everything I have into everything I want to do, that is simply impossible. So I have to start choosing my adventures more carefully. I can (and will) continue to have lots and lots of experiences (that things to do list is not going anywhere!), but I must spend time and effort on fewer things in order to get more out of them. There are never enough hours – choosing what to spend mine on has to be done wisely.
So Michelle and Tara, I hope you don’t mind me using you as the subject of this blog post. Thank you for inspiring me with your attitude to adventure. Keep writing those blogs and enjoy every moment of the path in life you are taking. Here’s to adventure!
The Graham Homes Memorial Ride will be 2,000+ miles of Great British roads over a week at the end of May 2013, raising money for two cancer charities. It will be our biking tribute to Graham, my father in law, recreating something of our John O’Groats to Land’s End trip in 2009, while hopefully making a difference to someone else (and their family) by fundraising.
LincsGeek and I will be joined by four friends, there will five bikes in total, and all of us are keen to raise a decent sum of money for charity. We have chosen Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support as the beneficiaries of our ride. They say cancer affects everyone in some way. Well it affected us in a massive way last summer, and it seems only right that we use this trip to do at least something to try and make a difference to other people who find themselves going through anything like this.
The challenge will take us to the furthest points east, south, west and north of Great Britain (in that order – we’ve decided to go clockwise). We’ve not set our route quite yet, but we like to think we will be able to see a little of the best scenery Great Britain has to offer on our journey (life is all about the journey, after all) and create some new memories on the way.
I have set up a blog that will include everything associated with the bike trip – updates, photographs, profiles, fundraising, information and so on – it will be the place to go for everything GVH Ride focussed. We would love it if you went over to the Graham Homes Memorial Ride blog, subscribe either by email or by putting us in your reader, and share what we’re doing with your friends and family. There’s a link in my side bar too just in case you need it. And of course, most of all, we would appreciate it an awful lot if you’d get out fundraising off the ground by donating. We’ve set up a page on Virgin Money Giving to make it really easy to give money. Thanks!
Remember THIS POST where I spoke about being too old and too sensible for the adventure that was becoming Visit England’s “Fan in a Van”?
It turns out I was wrong. Yes, I know! Visit England weren’t looking for a student. They chose a 30-year-old who has put her life on hold to take part in the trip of a lifetime. Fantastic! I love that they chose someone a little bit like me to do this thing – I am obviously a teeny bit jealous it isn’t actually be but I can’t complain as I didn’t submit an application! But genuinely, I am pleased that the lovely Rachel Kershaw from Lancashire was deemed England’s biggest fan and is now a little way into her trip.
Quite simply, Rachel, 30, wowed the judges with her passion for England and her zest for life. She was plucked from a shortlist of 12 wannabe Fan in a Vans. The judging panel, which included Lady Cobham,VisitEngland’s chairman, Martin Dorey, author of The Camper Van Coast Book, and Sally Shalam, brit-centric travel journalist, chose Rachel after viewing her entry video, photograph and reading her description of favourite place in England (Newcastle upon Tyne, if you’re interested).
Rachel seems to be having loads of fun already – she’s been walking, cycling, surfing, eating, creating, visiting – experiencing some of the best things England has to offer. She is vaguely following the route of the Olympic torch relay (when it’s in England!).
We’re off for a motorbike adventure soon and spent this evening packing. So stressful! We can take the bare minimum – I’ve one one pair of converse, one pair of jeans, a few tshirts, a wash kit, a jumper, some underwear, and that’s pretty much it. It’s a good job it’s gonna be fun (and it really will be, especially once I pick up my ride for the week), regardless of me looking like a scruff bag!
25/08/11: Oxford Sports Humpback Panniers
Ever since I was about eight I have wanted to ride a motorbike. And ever since I could ride a motorbike I have wanted to tour the USA on one. And thankfully Allister is also as keen.
The dream is to ride through San Fransisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas – you know the sort of places, all around California and Arizona and so on… it would be such an amazing trip.
Ideally we want to do a trip as part of a group – make it a real adventure without the stress of organising bike hire, the route and the accommodation ourselves. That way we’d also get to meet other people at the same time too. There are loads of tours out there, but the one that really sticks out at the moment as covering where we want to go, and that is the Best of the West Tour run by Toursareus. I would of course want to ride a Harley.
The itinerary for that tour is like this:
Day 1 – San Francisco
Day 2 – San Francisco – Yosemite National Park
Day 3 – Buck Meadows – Sequoia National Park
Day 4 – Sequoia National Park – Lake Isabella
Day 5 – Lake Isabella – Death Valley
Day 6 – Death Valley – Grand Canyon
Day 7 – Grand Canyon Free Day
Day 8 – Grand Canyon – Blanding
Day 9 - Blanding – Bryce National Park
Day 10 – Bryce National Park – Las Vegas
Day 11 – Las Vegas – Bishop
Day 12 – Bishop – San Francisco
Day 13 – Home
In 2011 the tour runs from 5th – 17th June and we want to go! Only trouble is the money… the tour price is enough on its own but it doesn’t include flights, fuel or excursions. We look every year and every year don’t have quite (or anywhere near) enough… now where is that money win I’ve been hoping for?!
One day. One day.
EDITED May 2011 to add:
The 2012 tour dates are now online… and still there isn’t enough in the pot… who’s gonna sponsor me to go?! I’d give it a good write up on here!!