I’m not going to pretend that I came up with the idea for this post by myself. I didn’t. I read a post by Lauren Juliff on www.nomadicmatt.com which brilliantly encapsulated some of the fears I have about travelling – especially travelling alone. You can read the post here.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to prove to myself that I can do things on my own. That I can pack up, travel to another country, talk to people I don’t know and join trips on my own. For all the travelling that I’ve done, I’ve always been with friends, a partner or family. There has always been someone else to double check my travel plans or help me plan a route from A to B.
I’m a big fan of the ‘Into the Wild‘ movie which covers the true story of Christopher McCandless – I was first introduced to his story in a tent one night in Yosemite and it had a profound affect on me. Whilst there are different views on McCandless’s story, the quote of ‘happiness only real when shared‘ really stuck with me. I’ve always thought that travelling is something to be shared. That being said, I’ve spoken to friends who have experiences of travelling alone and have found it to be life-changing; really helping them to build confidence and self resilience. It got me thinking that ‘happiness only real when shared‘ could still be true – but that sharing might also include sharing an experience with yourself or a group of strangers.
So, after much consideration and in a moment of recklessness / bravado, I booked a trip. I wanted it to have a focus so I chose to book something that allows me to raise money for a charity. I picked Mind, the mental health charity because mental health is important to everyone. I have my own experiences of anxiety and depression and in my working life, I’m involved in the commissioning of mental health services – so I understand how much they can help someone who is struggling. The trip is organised so I have some structure to fall back on, but I will be travelling with a group of people I don’t know, so I will have to rely on myself.
I’ll be camping for four nights in Transylvania, walking 5-8 hours a day in the Transylvanian Alps and reaching peaks of 2,400 metres. It’s a challenge, and a big one at that. I’ll need to train. I have to fundraise a minimum of £2,000 – on that note, please donate what you can and share the link as widely as possible!! I’ll need to face my fear of heights and my anxiety of new people, but I’ll be doing it for a brilliant cause. I’ll get to see somewhere new and I’ll be spending my time with like-minded people. I’m hoping that this will be amazing experience that will help build confidence and really show me what I’m made of.
I’ll be sharing some of my training hike locations through this blog, along with stories from the actual trip: ‘happiness only real when shared‘, right?