A while back I decided that I wanted to conquer 30 personal challenges before I turned 30. Some of them are books I’ve always wanted to read climbs I’ve always wanted to climb and places I’ve always wanted to visit. But the most out there and I’m still not entirely sure why I want to do it is to walk the Wales Coast Path. I could have chosen a much bigger grander adventure. Climb lots of mountains in the alps. Battle my way through a jungle. Climb something terrifyingly hard. One day those will be my adventures and I can’t wait to push myself to do the things I can only dream of. But for me this time it has to be Wales. Although I’m not Welsh, Wales is my home. I feel I belong to Wales and it is a part of me. To see every inch of it’s coastline, its beauty and splendour will be nothing short of magical. As they say in Wales for me my sense of hiraeth to Wales is what ties me to this land and puts wales in my heart.
Now on paper thats fairly simple. It takes around 60 days and 870 miles. Thats a few weeks every now and then, the odd weekend here and there. Stay in some nice B&Bs, go camping. All rather leisurely. Except for some unholy reason I’ve decided thats not how I want to walk the coast path. I knew as soon as I decided to do this walk I wanted it to happen in two ways.
1. Solo, an adventure by myself.
I want to learn to be happy in my own company, have confidence in my own abilities and to do something for me that makes me proud of me, regardless of other peoples opinions of me. You see my entire career I’ve been made to feel as if I’m not good enough. Not fit enough, not strong enough, not brave enough. And almost always these feeling overcome me and I’m not brave enough and well I give up before I even try or even worse I lose complete faith in my abilities. On an almost daily basis I doubt my passions, my dreams and my goals. So solo. The only influence I can have on me is me. No-one else’s doubt or judgements. So i figure if I can do this. Have the resilience, determination and strength to walk around Wales. Well you can do anything after that.
2. All in one go.
A Roald Dahl quote inspired me on this one. You see what’s the point in doing something if you don’t commit to it fully and completely. If you don’t complete immerse yourself in it you won’t reap that experience for it’s full potential. Walking the path in bits and pieces would be an amazing achievement. 870 miles is 870 miles regardless but, for me this has to be all in one. To push myself further than I’ve pushed myself before. Under my own steam and own determination. Because after all a week of walking isn’t really that hard.
Once I’d decided on these two factors the rest grew somewhat organically. Walking round the coast of wales by yourself is no mean feat. The more I shared my plans and ideas the more I realised that this could be something outside myself. I have the luxury to take two months off work to go for a walk. Safe in the knowledge that when I’m done I’ll have family, friends and a home to return to. So with that in mind I have decided to fundraise for two charities Shelter and the RNLI. Shelter is a charity I feel passionately about. That in our modern society no-one should live in poverty. So I decided that whilst walking I could challenge myself just a little bit more. Because as if the walk wasn’t enough. So for the duration of my adventure I’ll be living in a bivvy bag and off £1 a day. So thats 59 nights in what can only be described as a waterproof sock. Eating what I can only assume is going to be a whole bunch of cous-cous. Now I may be glutton for punishment but I’m not totally crazy, I will definitely be accepting offers of help if I come across them. Be that a warm dinner, a bed for the night or just someone to walk and talk to. (Mum expect some distressed phone calls about the state of my feet/body/hunger/hair). But every single mile will be walked by my feet.
So thats it, thats the plan. There isn’t much to it really. One foot in front of the other. Try not to fall over too much and don’t be too much of a wuss. Be brave, be strong, be passionate. Because after all you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
Find out more about the Wales Coast Path HERE.