Adventures are NOT just for the Elite

There is a common misconception that you need to be super rich or super fit or have amazing connections to have an adventure.  This is far from the truth, anyone, yes really anyone can have an adventure of some sort if you put your mind to it.  I want to tell you my story, I hope by telling you a little bit about myself, how I got started, my ethos and what this title really means to me, I can inspire others to solve problems and venture out.

How did it all start?

My name is Richard and a few years ago I was going through a rough patch in life.  I won't bore you with the details and I suspect it was no worse than many others experience in their lives, but to me, I was having a tough time, both physically and mentally.  I needed to get out of the situation by concentrating on something to try and give me a purpose in life.  I wanted something healthy and something I could enjoy with my dog.  After looking online and having a think, I came up with hiking and wild camping.  It was a scary thought, I have a lot of medical issues and I was very overweight, but I decided to just give it a go.

My first adventure in the UK was Dartmoor, it was New Year’s Eve 2015.  I planned a route, watched some videos, bought some gear and thought I was ready.  I remember feeling very nervous setting off from a pub car park in Princetown, on my way to Sheepstor. The weather was awful, very heavy rain.   After a few miles it was obvious this was going to be harder than I thought, both mentally and physically.  After 4 miles I turned around and went back to the car, I could not deal with the terrain which was waterlogged and boggy.  I felt bad, a failure, and drove home thinking the trip was wasted.

Maybe I just wasn’t ready for roughing it that bad, so I decided to take another direction and booked a self-guided walking tour on the Amalfi Coast in Italy during April 2016.  Staying in hotels each night meant I didn’t have to solve so many issues and I could concentrate on walking, albeit without my dog as companion.  It proved to be a huge success.  My legs hurt and most nights I was in a fair bit of pain, but it wasn’t surprising. I generally had not done much walking, was massively overweight and had just walked some of the steepest coastline in Europe. But it had taught me, that I was on the right track.  Outdoors, adventure and travel seemed to be my new passion.

I returned home determined to have another go at wild camping with my dog.  I chose the Lake District, specifically Keswick to try my next attempt.  I planned a route with an overnight camp on Brown Tor, not too ambitious but a reasonable climb for me.  I watched some more videos, read some more blog posts, swapped out some gear and headed for the Lake District.  I parked up in Keswick side streets and set off on my next adventure. I remember the very steep climb, I ended up getting slightly lost and taking an even sketchier route.  Looking back now with the knowledge I have, I should have turned back, it wasn’t that safe, but I battled on at the time, determined not to give up and I didn’t.  I pitched my tent on Brown Tor, so pleased I finally made it.  I sat on the side of the hill with my dog eating my packet meal, staring down at Keswick Lake. 

It was at that point I realised I needed to change my life.  I had been materialistic and was very much a member of the “he who dies with the most toys, wins” club.  I needed to change.  I was discovering that basically experiences beat stuff.  From this moment on, I changed my mindset of life, I continued my walks and camps in the UK, visiting, Wales and Dartmoor again for successful camps. 

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