Aged 18, I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks in the wilds of Minnesota on an Outward Bound course. This triggered a love for the “Great Outdoors”. After this, I had an annual holiday down at an Outdoor Education Centre located on Dartmoor run by the guy who took the group of us over to America. We did all manner of outdoor activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, pony trekking, anything that could be arranged at the time and I used to love it. Sadly, after about 5 years, he sold the place and moved to Exeter.
Adolescence and music took over and the outdoor activities gave way to indoor ones such drinking, clubbing and playing drums in the band. It wasn’t until I went to University at the grand old age of 28 and joined the Rambling Club there that the enthusiasm for all things outdoor returned. The friends I made within the University social circle were all similar minded; adventurous and the “go for it” type. Lots of memorable adventures followed – mountaineering in the Alps and Morocco, skiing trips, jungle expeditions, trekking across Canada and Alaska to describe but a few.
Naturally, after university and with a focus on mapping out some sort of career path, the frequency of outdoor pursuits declined. Having a full-time job provided the money to travel to exotic locations in a bit more style but four weeks annual leave does not provide the time with which to indulge one’s self in the kind of adventures I got up to as a student.
Having a little more time to myself these days means I can get out and about more often. Long weekends away camping and hillwalking always beckon. Interesting holidays with friends still happen and my annual leave is always reserved for that special “once in a lifetime” trip. Travelling gets into your blood and I’m hoping that sometime in the not too distant future, retirement from work will, once again, allow me to spend more time jetting off to distant climes and seeing yet more of this amazing planet of ours.