2015 is over and we are well into the epic year that is 2016.
I thought I’d take a look back at 2015 with all of its highs and its lows. And although it went like the clappers, I managed to fit rather a lot in.
Fairly well into the start of 2015, my world crashed down on me a little. Relationship status changed/crashed and burned and job contracts came to their end. However, all of this, which at the time seemed like the doom of all dooms, worked out to be the very best thing that could have happened to me.
If I hadn’t have had those gloomy days, I don’t think I would have been so in search of adventure and, dare I say it, ‘finding myself’ and remembering what makes me happy again. Sorry that’s cheese but true.
So there I was, feeling a little sorry for myself when I decided to grab my laptop and have a Google of what possible expeditions I could do in Patagonia.
Ta da. The Patagonia Expedition Race was on my radar from then and there on. It fitted the bill perfectly because it involved so many things I couldn’t do and so would have to learn, thus taking my mind off everything that had happened and proving something to myself in the process. Little did I know that it would turn out to be the hardest challenge I’ve taken on and I still don’t know what the outcome will be… One month to go.
Then my mind wandered. Yes I had this to look forward to but it was March 2015 and Patagonia was in a years time. I needed a cheap adventure immediately.
I was standing on the tube with a rucksack on my back and then I realised that with a bag on my back, I feel so much more like me than I had been feeling. I needed to get away from everything and walk. Now.
Why did I choose Spain? Well I hadn’t really explored it much and that seemed like as good a reason as any. I fancied a long trip that would have lots of unknowns. I wanted to go alone just to get that sense of responsibility for myself back again. I got all of the above, and more.
I set off a couple of days after my job ended with a rucksack that weighed over 26kg (that’s the trouble when you choose to go alone with somewhere that has very few resupply points).
The trip was fantastic but boy did I get my alone time. There was no one in Spain! Occasionally there would be some sleezy men outside the bars but other than that, Spain was closed.
I had so many people looking at me with my big bag in confusion. The only hikers in Spain are the ones that follow the normal Camino. Not me.
I got lost plenty of times, I stayed at strangers homes, got woken up by gun shots, ended up in snow, camped in abandoned factories and got incredibly sweaty in the 35 degree heat! No one spoke English which made things exciting, especially when hitch hiking…
I was happy to return to London after 500 miles of Spanish walking but it wasn’t long until I was ready to try the hardest trek in Europe, the GR20.
It was just before the GR20 that sadly, unforeseen circumstances led to my original Patagonia team taking a swift exit which meant that as I left for Corsica, finding team mates was on my mind. Patagonia team mate, Tom, I’d found just before leaving and by chance I hitch hiked with Marty once I was in Corsica – who is now on the team because of that chance meeting!
Whilst all of this was going on I was going through some exciting progressions career wise…And still am. (Even if things do take forever and there’s endless hoops to jump through.)
The GR20 was an experience to say the least. Simply put, it was a 2 week rock climb with no ropes.
By the end of the GR20, it was September. I was back in London and one of the first things I did was go to an event with the Explorers Club, this is where I met Tim. A team was made!
I haven’t looked back since.
I’ve travelled the UK top to toe and met so many interesting people with a lust for life and learnt so many new skills in preparation for this Patagonia expedition and beyond.
Surrounding yourself with enthusiastic people is the key to success, drive and happiness in my opinion.
I find that when I am on these adventures or even planning/have adventures on my mind, the true and best Lucy comes out and I grab every opportunity there is. I approach everyone and am incredibly trusting (to an extent) with anyone I meet. Getting out there and doing things is really the way to see the best in humanity. People are nice (hint to look at my previous blog post called ‘People are Nice’).
So that was 2015. 2016 – from what I know is coming – is looking very exciting indeed. I just have to make sure a few things happen on my return from South America which will hopefully allow my years to continue to roll as well as they are now.
To see videos of my Spanish and GR20 adventure check out: