Why the outdoors and why maps?

Following on from last week’s blog from Nadine Horn, find out more about RunUK and why Nadine is taking part in her challenge.

Living in London is great! The only thing you can easily forget when living in a vibrant city are the great outdoors. The vast existence of nature with it’s ‘Wow’ effect, the calmness and the positive influence it has on you as a whole.

Two years ago sitting in an office overlooking Moorgate, I felt the days slipping by: Monday to Friday, the same surrounding, the same people (with their same complaints) and the same uninspiring tasks.

The only thing that reminded me of a bigger life-outside this room: a calendar picture behind me with a blue ocean and a sailing boat fighting its way through the waves. It was time to get out and do something that did not have to do with money, thinking or dressing correctly, it was time for exploring, it was time for adventures. But where to start?

I started pressing the buy-button of the cheapest tickets and my weekend journey’s started – the aim: to be outside, to explore and simply to be adventurous. One of them took me to Edinburgh. Only £10 return (three pints, or one weekend trip – that is what I call a bargain). I visited Edinburgh once, including the mouth dropping gigantic highlands with their rich green valleys. I always wanted to go back and see hills, so I did. Hopping of the bus in the centre of the medieval city – my rucksack strapped on my bag – visiting the highlands was out of question: too expensive to join an organized trip. I wanted to prove that money is not the limiting factor experience the country, so I made up my own trip.

I started walking out of the urban part and discovered some mountains, emerging at the horizon (what a coincidence, but true). As I had neither a schedule nor a plan, I decided to keep walking until I reached them (I know crazy, but hey, adventurous). Once I got there (and after a couple of hours I did), the hills only were the beginning of a stunning mountain range with old stone hedges, keeping the grazing sheep in place and a lake hiding in a lush valley – next to it, an old village with some orange cattle looking at me with disinterest once I passed – chewing on their hay.

The next journeys followed and with everyone there was a new learning curve, a new enrichment about the culture and country. I realised that you need to start somewhere before the list of ‘want to do’s’ grows too long. One main thing that I learned just recently is what difference mapping can have on your adventure. Watch the video to hear the story:

Summary Route Planning: https://vimeo.com/61170256

The story of why planning matters: https://vimeo.com/61170552

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