The first of many family holidays I remember taking as a child was the ferry over to the Isle of Wight with my Mum and Dad and three sisters.
These regular trips were very DIY – jumping in the car from London, sharing a small apartment where we would make packed lunches and eat back there every evening. Well, apart from one exciting night when we would always get fish and chips!
My approach to travel since then hasn’t changed much. I tend to stick to the budget end of Adventure, searching for cheap flights and the best way to stretch my budget to go away further and longer.
I have no problem packing a lunch to eat in a random park or museum cafe so that I have enough to treat myself in the evening to a local delicacy or refreshment.
I’ve been adventuring now solo since I was 15 years old and fast approaching my 20 years of Adventure. Out of the 195 countries in the World, I have visited 45 – a huge number, but less then 18% of the total (this is according to the amazing free Iphone app ‘been’ which I highly reccomend downloading and finding out where else you need to explore!
So I was extremely excited to be sent Fifty Years of Adventure, by Cicerone, the UK’s leading outdoor activity guidebook publisher, to celebrate their 50th birthday in March.
Full of over 100 photos from around the world, this hardback book has been sat on my desk for the last month. I seem to have been working non stop since the new year began, and picking this book up and flicking through the pages, marvelling at the amount of photos of mountains (because, don’t we all think of mountains when we think of Adventure?).
The book is full of ideas, and split into sections. The UK has prominence, along with a European and Worldwide section, followed by a Mishaps and misadventures section, which was, of course, my favourite!
Based in Kendal, Cumbria, its no surprise the book focuses on UK Adventure – but the guidebooks go as far as Everest and Kilimanjaro. I was gutted to be unable to take part in any of the routes suggested when I went to Portugal this year – mostly due to my lack of driving license to reach the more interesting walks – but recently purchased their Hadrian’s Wall book hoping to tick that off as a week away later this year.
The wonderful thing about compilation books like this is they are a beautiful reminder of just how vast and unexplored our world is by most of us. It’s excited me to think about how my first 50 years of Adventure will look. I wonder how many countries I will visit with another 30 years to go?
This weekend Alex and I are heading to the Adventure Travel Show in London to get inspired for our year of Adventure! Cicerone are hosting a series of free trekking workshops as well as hosting a stand with a huge 400 of their existing titles showcased at the show.
I am excited to go down and celebrate with them, and walk away with more inspiration for my future trips away. With 150 countries still for me to visit, I’m also keen to explore some more of their more exotic titles (they were the first people to do a trekking guide of Tajikistan).
This year I have trips planned to Hamburg, Trentino and Mexico City, as well as a few more European and Asian countries hopefully planned as part of our betternotstop adventures. However, alongside these I am just as excited by a trip walking Hadrian’s Wall! I love being outside and for me, Cicerone is a company that clearly understand how important that is.
Moreover, this book has encouraged me to think outside the box when I am planning my trips away in the future. I have always enjoyed being outside, especially exploring other countries. One of my highlights last year was trekking to the Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan with Phil as part of the last few days on our Road To Happiness expedition.
I n this case, and in many countries we visited in 2017, we were lucky enough to be taken by a Guide and could just concentrate on enjoying ourselves. But Cicerone has given me the confidence to develop my travel and tackle some routes and walks myself over the next year. In fact, at the end of last year, I invested in the Kickstarter Campaign to create a trekking map for the Armenian Dilijan National Park.
T ravel has changed so much for me over the last 20 years. From my first solo trip to Crete in my teens, to solo backpacking ventures in my twenties to guided tours in my thirties, I have no idea what the next level of travel will mean for me. With friends like Mike Huxley experiencing Space Camp in Huntsville, the way we travel is changing dramatically.
B ut one thing that will never change, with technology or otherwise, is the importance of those first people experiencing and sharing their adventures for the rest of us to follow. Cicerone has been a leader in this for 50 years so is sure to continue to trail blaze for the next generation.
A re there any trips you have planned for 2019, or thoughts on what you could do with 50 years of Adventure? Let me know by commenting below!
Also published on Medium.