July 12, 2018
I turned 40 this year.
The Big Four Zero!!!
Like where have the last 4 decades gone?
Well, I knew I wanted to do something big to mark this milestone but I wasn’t sure what. A party would have been a nice option but I didn’t have the time or energy to organise it…so instead, back in around February time, I suggested to some friends that we took a girlie holiday instead to Reykjavik in Iceland.
Now I love to travel, and I have a list of heaps of places I want to visit, but somehow I knew this would be right for this occasion.
Within a week we had booked flights and accommodation and were busy researching things to do.
And then life took over and I got super busy with triathlon training, trips to the states and the launching of new programmes, and I went a bit quiet in our Whatsapp Group…leaving the planning up to my friends.
Well let’s just say…the girls did good.
We arrived on Friday at around midday and went to pick up our hire car…yes we would be driving a minibus on the opposite side of the road in a country where the weather can change at the drop of a hat, driving to places we could barely pronounce, which were not always signposted…what could go wrong?
Our Air B&B apartment was lovely and I was looking forward to spending 4 days with my besties….four long days because there is pretty much no nighttime here this time of the year..this photo in Reyjkavic was taken close to midnight.
First on the agenda was a glacier walk…now I am not going to lie, I didn’t really think this one through. Someone suggested it, the photos looked great, and we could do it on the afternoon of day 1…so we went for it.
As they started kitting us out I think reality started to set in…harnesses and shoes with spikes (forgot the technical term) and an axe!!!
We headed off in a small group of around 12 towards the glacier.
Now I am never going to remember all of what our wonderful guide told us about the glacier, but it was super interesting and of course shocking to hear about the rate of which the glaciers are actually disappearing from the planet.
The hike was tough.
Physically, it was canning my already sore legs from the Paris Triathlon just 5 short days before…plus I had had some super busy days preparing for the trip.
But mentally it was also tough…I have watched too many films about people dying on mountains clearly.
We worked well as a team tough supporting each other on the 90 minute hike up to the top of the glacier, it was a little bit strange remembering that just 6 hours before we had been making our way to Luton to get on a flight, and here we were literally on top of the world.
I have reasonably adventurous friends, but this activity did take things to a whole new level…especially for my sister who was coping with her anxiety by making non stop jokes.
The hike was worth it though as right at the top we were met with breathtaking views, ice caves and tunnels, epic cravisis which seemed to fall into an ibis, and streams of the most delicious glacier water which we filled out bottles with up.
It feels so humbling to be able to see the world like this. To take time away from all of the noise and to just stop and look at what an incredible planet we live on.
This is one adventure I will never forget.
Here is a short video I made about the glacier hike (click on the image below for the video to play)
We did some other amazing things while we were in Iceland…we hiked to a remote waterfall in the rain, visited geezers (not the East End ones) and wild horses, and of course the blue lagoon thermal spas…
We even partied away the night with the Icelandic World Cup Football Team fresh off the plane from Russia…I did wonder why there were so many beautiful people in one place…plus you had to be a premiership footballer to afford the prices of alcohol in that place…£18 for a G&T…I swiftly switched to Icelandic Water…FREE from a jug at the end of the bar.
I am thinking a lot at the moment about what adventure actually means.
Is it climbing mountains, training for Triathlons and traveling the world?
Or is it something more attainable?
What if massive adventures simply are too far out of your reach? Isn’t there something for us all to take away…simply from an attitudinal point of view?
For me I feel like adventure is simply about leaping into the unknown, without having to have a clear picture of where you are going. Being able to trust in yourself to be out of your comfort zone because the rewards are so great.
Is there fear?
Yes, of course.
That’s what being outside of your comfort zone is all about.
Is there danger?
Yes quite possibly. (This might be the time to mention me proper falling over on my hike much to the hilarity of my friends)
But the sense of achievement and fulfillment when you fill your life with adventure no matter how big or small cannot be quantified.
And I want more of it.
Last week endurance athlete Susie Chan was encouraging me to sign up for the Marathon De Sables, today I got lost in videos about 100 mile races through the Colorado mountains…I can’t get enough…so many things to see and do, and I find myself asking myself two questions…
- I wonder if I could do this kind of stuff more often?
- What is it about these challenges that speaks to my soul
Anyway…I am putting it out there to the universe (and to anyone who is reading this that can hook me up) I am looking for more adventure, more extream events, more travel opportunities, potential backers, supporters and maybe even an agent to help me take my message to a global scale.
Life is too damn short to let your own insecurities or the judgement of others stop you from living an exciting, purpose-filled life, jammed packed full of adventure, challenge and fun.
A massive thank you to Jennie, Tasha, Natalie, Angie, Sue and Stacey for what truly was an experience of a life time. I am thinking Everest Base Camp next year? or Maybe the Great Wall of China? What do you reckon girls?
PS This was the waterfall we hiked in the rain for 3 hours to go and see.