I follow many adventurers, big an small, through books, YouTube, blogs, talks and magazines. A lot of these people would call themselves full-time adventurers, or professional adventurers, living the ultimate dream making money by travelling the world and taking on life changing challenges.
These people inspire me constantly. Not because I want to do what they do full time – I actually couldn’t be more fulfilled in my day job as a fundraiser (okay well maybe if I were an even better fundraiser). The reason I look at professional adventurers as something to aspire to, is because they buck the trend, and live life on their own terms.
My adventurous spirit is something I am very proud of, but I am really working on using the people I admire in this field as inspiration to call myself an adventurer and stop feeling like an imposter in this world. I look at the people around me and think ‘What does it matter that I have run two marathons when I have just seen someone running 12 marathons in a month?’ or ‘Who cares that I’m hiking the equivalent height of Everest when they’ve done the explorer’s grand slam?’ (FYI the explorer’s grand slam in climbing the highest peak in each continent and hitting up the north pole and the south pole.)
Of course, I don’t have adventures because I want recognition, but there is a tiny bit in me that wants to do world’s firsts, or take on extreme challenges, to prove that I am equal to those people I admire. Maybe not yet – I have only recently got serious about pushing my limits, but I want to use this blog as a platform to write content that might inspire people taking on a new adventure, as others have inspired me.
If one person read my blog and booked a trip or an expedition or signed up to a race or did something that made them push past the barriers that hold them back, I would be very happy.
Looking back at my Goals for 2017, some of my priorities have changed. My focus has hugely shifted to the adventure and challenge side of things, and while I still love a city break, these have moved off of my radar a bit to focus on the outdoors.
So with the idea in mind that I want to have more, well, adventurous adventures (dear God I have overused that word today!) and I want to inspire people who also feel a bit insecure and inferior to take on bigger challenges, my priority is going to be to upskill a bit.
I want to get my writing game on point (though I think this has happened naturally as my blog has progressed) and I want to spend more time focussing on SEO. Improving the quality of my photography is really important too, but my very dear friend bought me a photography workshop for my 30th birthday so I am going to get that booked in. The blogging conferences I have been to this year have been a huge help for this stuff.
A vital skill as an adventurer is also securing sponsorship. I have often thought I am too small to generate interest, but for my Everest Adventure in the Lake District, we have secured kit sponsorship for clothing brand Columbia, quality socks from 1000 Mile Socks and vegan nutrition from Vivo Life. It’s spurred me on to make the ask to companies for my Arctic challenge and many more. Companies sometimes just think an adventure is really cool and want to be involved, even if you aren’t an adventure big shot.
I’ve started talking to people about doing talks at adventure events as well. I went to Yes Stories this month, which was heart-warming and itchy-feet instigating at the same time. I have asked about doing a talk after the Lake District with a focus on how I’ve been pushing to achieve my adventure goals despite mental health problems. I haven’t been picked yet, but fingers crossed.
There are so many other things I want to do to move my passion forward – take the mountain leader training, come up with an idea for a unique adventure and get confident on a bike,
I want to run an ultra marathon, I want to hike the length of New Zealand, climb Kilimanjaro and kayak down the Mekong.
I want to live as fully and deeply as possible. I want to push past my confidence issues by achieving extraordinary things. I want to persevere in the face of adversity every single time. I want to be exceptional in everything I do and prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to inspire other people to be their best self. I want to never give up, and I want other people to look at me and not give up because of it. I realise I am literally talking in the most horrendous cliches that every self-help book uses, but I mean every single word.
A few years ago, I worked for a company who’s motto was ‘Good enough is not enough.’ I always liked that, but I’m really starting to live everything I do by that idea. Why settle?
I’m aiming for big things, and I am taking anyone who will join me along for the ride.