Meet the Adventure Queens

I’m staring at a picture of a girl on her first bicycle tour. Her wayward hair is kept only slightly in check by a helmet perched awkwardly on her head. Her arms, now sun-kissed after a few months on the road lead down to legs muscles, now slightly tighter than they once were. As she moves to pose for the photo, her jersey shifts to reveal a small white area on her upper arms that the sun has yet to reach.

She is brimming with enthusiasm. She has dreams that seem too big for her head. She has no clue what’s she’s doing and a bundle of fears to face up to on a daily basis. She isn’t quite sure where to start, but start she has. And by goodness she’s happy that she did. 

FROM ROOKIE TO REALITY

The UK adventure community is a wonderfully supportive place. I’ll never forget the first email I sent to Dave Cornthwaite announcing that I wanted to head off on a 50 state cycle, but I had no idea where to start. I was scared of wild camping (which I had never done) and terrified I would buy all the wrong things. His reply was swift, funny and reassuring. As was Alastair Humphrey’s the first time I reached out to him. Continue reading

From Dutch-Land to Deutschland

In the 14 days that have passed since clambering over my back fence-gate in Brixton, London I have learnt, loved and lost. Mostly I have lost a pair of gloves and the skin on the souls of my feet, but I have lost all the same. Sympathy please.

WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING?!

In the heat of the moment, many of life’s decisions seem as if they are the most important thing in the world. And then you look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. Welcome to the first two days of this adventure.  

Pre-fence scaling, my mind had been largely consumed with thoughts of starting the trip. Then, all of a sudden, I didn’t have to think about that anymore (because I had started). And that left a whole lot of space for my thoughts to run wild. Given that my brain is a living breathing fun fair on an average day, with added freedom it became a full-blown Six Flags Magic Mountain. Everything just felt… odd.  Continue reading

Beyond My Back Gate: Part Deux

The small hand is on the backpack, the big hand is on the sleeping bag, and by my reckoning that makes it a quarter to Adventure O’ Clock. Now that the groundwork’s been laid, it’s time to get on down to the nitty gritty. If you’ve no idea what in the name of Shackleton this post is about, you can start at the very beginning (a very good place to
start) by reading the original post here.

HOW IT WORKS (a recap)

Not that you’ll have forgotten, but I know that there’s a lot going on in your life. And although the (non)plan for this journey (sort of) makes sense in my head, I’d be a fool to assume that the same were true for everyone. So. Just so we’re clear… Every day or two I’ll post three options on Facebook and Twitter. They won’t always be about direction, I’m sure I’ll find a million and one decisions to share along the way, but here’s an example using direction: Continue reading

Beyond My Back Gate

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Gandalf the Grey wasn’t messing when he laid down those words to our man Frodo at the shire. Sometimes there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. And I’m here to officially declare that’s half the fun. Or I hope to goodness it is.

Phase I – Europe calling

Travel and adventure can be a tricky business. Planning leads to procrastination, procrastination to wavers in confidence, to delayed plans and life contorting itself into a sticky spiders web of reasons why we shouldn’t just pack up and go. Before you know it, it’s ten years down the line and you’re still saying ‘I’ve always wanted to… [insert fabulous location]’. I too am guilty of such a heinous crime. The victim? Europe. Continue reading