Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes and this week I have been thinking about how we can all become adventurers by pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone and trying something new.
I was on a real downer last weekend when my weekly adventure fix with Levison Wood and his epic journey through the Himalayas came to an end, so this week I have been following various other adventurers that have been making the news including Scots Explorer, Luke Robertson, who recently became the youngest Briton and only Scot to journey solo to the South Pole, unassisted and unsupported. His frostbitten features telling a story of their own. Meanwhile The Coxless Crew, a team of British women, were celebrating their achievement of becoming the first female crew to row across the Pacific Ocean, spending a total of 257 days at sea and breaking two world records.
However, while some were reliving their tales of endurance, there was a sad reminder that not all expeditions end so well and the very real dangers involved, after experienced explorer Henry Worsley died as he tried to cross Antartica unaided. I'll admit these were all pretty huge adventures and there are only certain types of people that have the physical and mental stamina to attempt them (I'm certainly not one of them!) but that doesn't mean we can't all be mini adventurers, it just takes a little effort and imagination.
The definition of adventure according to the Oxford Dictionary is simply -
'An unusual and exciting or daring experience'.
If you dream of going on a mini adventure but don't know where to start or wonder how you can fit it in to your 9 -5 routine then I highly recommend popping over to Alastair Humphreys website. He is another hero of mine, his blog is awesome, he practically provides step by step guides on how anyone can add a little adventure to their life, his photography is fantastic and his Microadventures are amazingly inspirational. I especially like his blogs on a 'Commuter Adventure' and 'A Journey Around your Home' which made me think about ways to turn everyday experiences in to unique adventures. He does embark on plenty of bigger challenges too but if being an adventurer seems all very glamorous and tough then you must read 'I'm an Adventurer. My Job is Awesome. Here's What a Day Looks Like...' which really made me laugh.
Incidentally, if you are in the Edinburgh area next weekend (6/7 Feb) then you can enjoy your own outdoor adventure fix while sitting comfortably indoors at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival. With lectures from leading mountaineers, adventurers and explorers, many short films and various exhibitions, this should be an inspiring weekend.
Although I can't make that event I am looking forward to going to The Fort William Mountain Festival later in February and even though I'm not a mountaineer, the programme still has lots to offer anyone that just enjoys mountain and outdoor scenery or hearing adventure stories.
I may have mentioned once or twice that I am seriously excited about heading to The Destinations Show in London and can't believe it is finally happening this week. While some people stalk pop stars and celebrities, I stalk travel writers and adventurers and as all my favourites are handily in one building next week, stalking them will be that bit easier! If I don't explode with excitement I will be back to tell you all about my fangirl exploits in my next weekly blether...
One thing I have discovered since I started blogging is that it can be a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. If you really care about your blog and treat it as more than a hobby it becomes a big part of your life and it's success, or lack of it, is all down to you which can become a heavy burden at times.
Some days/weeks you wonder why you spend so much time on it, especially when your e-mail inbox is full of spam, junk and requests to give your time or talent away for free and you can't help but feel disheartened and console yourself with a pity party for one. Then you have weeks like I did this week when all your recent blog posts take off, your readership quickly grows, lovely comments appear like missing buses and your e-mail is full of nice surprises. You feel your hard-work has been noticed and appreciated and the fact that someone has taken the time to send you a nice message is more than enough to reignite any waning motivation.
Among the many positive things that happened was this mention by West Coast Tours in their post about '3 Great Blogs about Scotland and the West Coast', I felt really honoured to be included, especially among such good company.
Just in case you missed my latest blog post about Polphail, an eerie and fascinating 40 year old Scottish ghost village you can read it here
Even though I spend the majority of my time typing on a keyboard, I much prefer the dying art of writing with a pen, usually in one of many colourful notebooks that I have an obsession with buying everywhere I go! I'm also one of those strange old fashioned folk who prefers reading a printed book rather than a digital one and balk at the mere mention of a Kindle.
Last weekend I did a tour of Argyll's Secret Coast and stopped to explore three of the historical churches that line the route at Colintraive, Kilmodan and Kilfinan. I was delighted to find an assortment of notelets and bookmarks in each to take away for a suggested donation towards their printing. With my love of books and writing, I was so pleased to find these simple but pretty mementos of my trip and before I put them to good use I just had to share them with you,
Until next week safe and happy travels!