So after many months of preparing and dreaming it all becomes very real as I sit on the 9.25am Transat flight to Vancouver. This is the beginning of a very long odyssey through 14 countries in the Americas. No planning or preparation can prepare me for what lies ahead.
The one question everyone seems to have been asking me is am I getting scared and the simple answer is no. For the next 18 months (if everything goes to plan) will be filled with all the things I love: running, travel, food, drinks, new acquaintances and numerous experiences. After 11 years working behind a desk in the City this seems like a fantastic alternative.
There is no denying the fact that there have had to be a lot of sacrifices. I am going to miss my friends a lot especially as we are at an age when their lives are changing dramatically with marriages and kids on the cards in many cases. I have a very close family and I am not going to be able to share so many things with them. It is going to be particularly difficult missing my niece, Alice, and nephew, Arthur, growing up. I have already missed watching my Australian family grow up and to miss this again is really difficult to deal with. I will miss visiting my parents and spending numerous days in the pub with my brother and sister but I think that they all understand why I am venturing over the ocean to undertake such a lonely endeavour.
Those who have been around me over the last few months have all been aware that this is a project I have dedicated a lot of time to. Be it building the website, planning the route, contacting sponsors or just trying to get people excited, I have lived and breathed it. What makes me feel confident that I can achieve success is the massive support I have had from my friends, colleagues and even complete strangers. Everyone has been 100% supportive. At no time in the run up to today has one said “you can’t do this”- everyone has just wanted to help. Witnessing this alone has been fantastic.
And after all this support, encouragement and dedication to planning you would have thought I would have been better organised. At 5am this morning I realised that I hadn’t even purchased insurance and even as I sit here on the plane I have no idea where I am going to be sleeping tonight. But to me that is what makes an adventure exciting – heading straight into the unknown with no way of knowing what skills you will need to succeed. So into the great unknown I head…