Like thousands of others I am preparing to leave Glasgow with a backpack full of memories and my life enriched by the experiences I have enjoyed over the last few weeks.
My own journey began several months ago when I was chosen as one of the #Team14 official bloggers for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Over the past few weeks this blog has chronicled by own personal experiences before and during the Games and the many events I have been lucky enough to attend.
While I have been blogging away the rest of #Team14 have been busy telling their own Games inspired stories, some of which we have shared together.
An important part of this journey has been the team of bloggers that have travelled along with me. They have provided me support, inspiration, laughs, memories and company. We all started out as strangers and through this one event our paths have crossed and our lives connected for what seems like the briefest of moments before we all head off in our own directions again. I found myself inspired by the individual journeys and quality of blogs of those I met. Each person was genuinely lovely and I'm sure many of us will continue to stay in touch and some of us are already getting involved in a future challenge together,
As someone who loves to travel I know it is the people that you meet that make your journey memorable and in no particular order here are some of the people that have made mine.
Paula McGuire - http://www.paulamusttryharder.co.uk/
Paula was a one woman Commonwealth Games, literally! Being far from sporty, Paula was inspired by the 2012 Olympics and wanted to find out if there was a sport out there for her. She bravely gave herself the challenge of trying all 17 Commonwealth events before the start of Glasgow2014. She succeeded with tears and laughter along the way. During the Games she was on radio, tv, newspapers and magazines and when she wasn't doing that she was abseiling for charity, running with the baton and appearing in one of my favourite bits of the Opening Ceremony! It is starting to sound like a cliche to say her story is inspiring but head over to her blog and no doubt you will feel inspired too!
Stephen Morrison - http://howmanymiles.co.uk/
Stephen has also transformed his life through sport. Describing himself as morbidly obese in 2011, a mere 3 years later he has not only lost a huge amount of weight and turned his life around he has become a fitness fanatic. He is also an ambassador for getting active and hopes to inspire others. Among other things he writes for Man v Fat, is a lay adviser to the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine and blogs for Great Run
He now seems to run everywhere (sometimes for fun, sometimes with a purpose!) and when not running is setting himself new sporting goals and calls himself a try athlete. To read another inspiring story head over to his blog.
John MacPhee - http://longstraightwalk.co.uk/
John was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in his 40s, at present there is no cure and symptoms get worse over time. John is currently raising money for Parkinson's UK through various charity events including a walk from Lands End to John O'Groats. If you read my previous blog you will know that I will be joining him very briefly but I hope that I can do my little bit to raise awareness and funds for him. I have found John particularly inspiring, he has a condition that currently has no cure, he already has obvious shaking which must be very frustrating, yet he chooses to joke about it and get on with life. I already know my path will cross again with John and I will be honoured to walk with him and hopefully some other #Team14 members. You can follow his journey and donate to his charity walk through his blog and I will of course be blogging about it again nearer the time.
Alan Partridge - http://glasgowdaybyday.com/ and http://glasgowonfilm.com/
Alan's blog is one of my favourites, he has been and will continue to blog about all the exciting things taking place in Glasgow during 2014. His blog looks very professional, his articles are well written full of interesting facts and information and as a blogger I can appreciate how much work he puts into his blog and writing. On top of all that he takes excellent photographs and made a great video of Glasgow for his #Team14 challenge. I don't know much about Alan personally but I do know his blog is one to aspire to. He also has another blog about Glasgow and it's role in films. For excellent resources about all things Glasgow have a look at Alan's blogs.
Lauren Humphreys - http://glasgowtheatreblog.com/
Lauren is the cultured member of #Team14, with her own theatre blog which is brimming with reviews, interviews, what's on and features. Her blog is just one of the many places she writes and it was recently voted the No.1 theatre blog in the UK in the Cision Media Rankings, quite an achievement. She is also the Scottish editor for The Public Reviews and has an accomplished history as a writer and music journalist and has interviewed and met many famous faces. If you are looking for a bit of theatre culture in Glasgow Lauren's blog will keep you right.
Sarah Connolly - http://www.glasgowmummy.blogspot.co.uk/
Sarah blogs about life as a single mum with an eclectic blog of lifestyle posts. She has a fun 35 at 35 list which she is working through and her blog was recently short-listed for the Brilliance in Blogging Award in the family category of BritMums. She is especially good at vlogging, something I haven't been brave enough to try yet. Some of her vlogs are hilarious and well worth watching, look out for the flying banana! She was my partner in lawn bowls and despite us both starting off quite badly we both managed to start hitting targets although we also gave our coach a few laughs with our disastrous misses. For a mixture of articles about family and life and some amusing vlogs pop over to Sarah's blog.
Jen Salter - http://www.eclecticcake.blogspot.co.uk/
I met Jen very briefly at the VIP shop opening. She had travelled all the way from London to explore Glasgow for the day and tweet about the city. Although most of what I know about Jen is from her blog and Twitter updates she is a real lover of fitness and always seems to be participating in some form of challenge or race including duatholons and triathalons and somehow finds the time to write for several fitness sites. Despite being based pretty far from Glasgow she has been an active member of #Team14 online and has done a great deal to positively promote the city and the Commonwealth Games. You can follow her many sporting challenges on her blog.
Steven Oldham - http://spoldham.blogspot.co.uk/
Again I only met Steven very briefly when he travelled to Glasgow for the Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal. He actually spent more time sitting on a coach than in the city itself which is real dedication! Steven is a trained journalist and writes for his own sports blog. He also writes for other publications and the work he did covering the sport for the Commonwealth Games was tremendous. From guides to the sports, athletes to look out for and daily highlights his blog is a brilliant resource. I personally found his quick guides to each sport really helpful. If you want to look back at the sporting highlights of the last 11 days then Stephen's blog is a must read.
I may not have been competing in a sport but I still had my own Commonwealth team full of inspiring winners.
Thank you #Team14 you were great!
At the beginning of June I was chosen as one of the official bloggers for the XX Commonwealth Games that will be held in Glasgow from 23rd July to 3rd August 2014.