THE SLAPDASH ADVENTURER
going after my dreams, regardless
I’ve followed adventure since I was a child, mesmerised by icicles hanging off beards, hair whipping frozen cheeks, impossible terrain reflected in battered goggles.
And so was born my dream to visit the most remote and inhospitable places on earth, to push limits and set an example of determination and endurance. To take on challenges that few people have done. To be a real-life, solo adventurer.
Imagine my disappointment, then, to find out that I’m unquestionably crap at it.
‘Oh well,’ I tell myself, ‘I’ll do it anyway and see what happens.’
Inevitably what happens is that it all goes horribly wrong. Like the time I was airlifted off the Everest Base Camp trail with altitude sickness. Or the time I got my timing wrong, slipped from the side of a ship and squashed one of the most remote islanders on Earth. Or the time I got dragged down a volcanic ash slope in Iceland and was forced to abort expedition. Or the time I accidentally burned down my tent and almost died of hypothermia (slight exaggeration – I slept in my car).
It used to churn me up inside that I wasn’t good enough. It hurt to be called the Bridget Jones of Adventure by armchair critics. It hurt even more to be called ‘delusional’ by people who pick fault from the safety of their own comfort zones. It was embarrassing to report yet another adventure that had ended in chaos and to see eyes rolling. It hurt to be the subject of ridicule. To be me.
I decided to draw a line, stop focusing on who I’m not and embrace who I am. To enjoy the fact that I’m shite at adventure and go after my dreams anyway, regardless of the outcome or what others think.
I love taking risks. I love screwing up. I love hearing myself screech with delight at my own stupidity. I love getting into trouble. I love the fact that I fail at most of the things I try. Why? Because failure is not the opposite of success; failure leads to success. Which means there’s always hope. And that suits my positive nature perfectly.