Next year I’m getting married and turning thirty. This is a big deal for me. I still buy glittery unicorn notepads and like playing on The Sims. I hadn’t factored such grown up events into my life and now suddenly, they’re just around the corner. It’s got me thinking.
Over the last few months, as the date of saying ‘I do’ draws closer, I’ve tried to take a step back and ponder what I’d like to achieve in the next year. I’d like to think that I’ve achieved a fair bit in the last decade: a degree; a Master’s from Oxford; a house; a travel blog; and have been fortunate to travel to many amazing places. It hasn’t been too bad at all. But there’s one thing that I’ve been pretty awful at in my twenties – something that, if I’m being honest, I’ve avoided like the plague. And that’s tackling life events – alone.
As a twin and having been with my fiancé since school (yep!), it’s been very easy for me to potter through life with a constant companion- heck, I didn’t even come into this world alone. Putting myself out ‘there’, therefore used to really scare me. But, for whatever reason, maybe it’s just getting older and tapping into some mystical wisdom, I’ve recently found myself thinking more and more about going away by myself. I need a challenge, just for me.
So, what have I decided to do? I recently started work for a brilliant charity, the Spinal Injuries Association, as their Marketing Manager. Working for this charity is humbling and I decided quite quickly that I wanted my challenge to be something that could raise me money for this wonderful organisation. Travel can be quite a self-indulgent thing and doing this would provide me with real purpose and determination.
At the end of January, provided I’ve reached my sponsorship goal of £2,500, I’ll therefore be heading off to Sweden, into the Arctic, to take part in the Arctic Dog Sledding Charity Challenge! I’ll be given my own group of huskies to care for and will be expected to ‘mush’ my way through this snowy wilderness for 3-5 hours a day. I’ve been given a training programme and it’s becoming very apparent that this isn’t going to be a little jaunt across a bit of snow, cuddling some cute dogs. Temperatures can drop to -40 over night (gulp) and lunch and dinner will be over an open fire. Oh, and camps will have no electricity or running water….
A lot of people seem a little confused about my enthusiasm for this challenge and I’ve had a few weird looks when I’ve mentioned what I’ve chosen to do in the depths of January. To me, however, this is very exciting and I cannot wait to get out there, just me, myself and I (oh, and some huskies), whilst raising money for an inspirational cause at the same time.
If you fancy helping me to achieve my little goal to independence, whilst supporting a brilliant charity, you can find more details here.