Welcome to 2018!
Before we look ahead to what may lie in store this year, I’d like to spend some time reflecting upon some of my personal highlights and achievements from 2017.
It would be easy for me to look back and say ‘In the end, despite buying all that kit, I still haven’t walked the Ridgeway’ or, as I very recently realised ‘I haven’t set foot on Exmoor once this year’ and ‘I’ve still not been to Dartmoor’
– Cadair Idris –
Without any shadow of a doubt, my single most memorable walk from the year has to be the climb of Cadair Idris in May.
My first proper hike in Snowdonia, after missing out on Snowdon eighteen-months earlier. It was a rewarding mountain to climb; the mist added atmosphere before clearing minutes ahead of us reaching the summit.
– Camping With Others –
On two occasions in 2017, I challenged my social anxiety fears and went camping with up to nineteen other people, each time. Both areas we visited were new to me and, even though I had my wobbles and moments of withdrawl, it was a rewarding experience overall, on both occasions.
I’m very used to camping alone or with one other person I know quite well. From here on, I feel I can look at a proposed trip and not have to miss out exploring someone new. I can still gain from an experience where I feel the fear.
– Friendship –
Following on from that, I’ve slowly been working on changing one of my own views and thought patterns towards other people in the walking group. It’s not their fault at all. But, before this year, I have always mentally divided “friends” in to categories.
Close Friends / Walking Group Friends / Work Friends
Certainly, within the walking group, I’ve begun to tear down the wall that separates ‘them’ from mixing in with my list of ‘close friends’. Not only have I begun to ease my strict definition but some of these people within one group and met people from another. Other connections and friendships have been made.
I still have work to do here but I can honestly say that I’m better off for being able to say that a few people within the group are also people I consider to be close friends and not just names and faces I occasionally walk with.
‘Work friends’ is tricky, as I changed jobs in the spring and now find myself in a situation where I share very little in the way of common interests with my colleagues. I don’t believe that will progress without another change in circumstances, at least.
There is also something to be said for the online world and connections I’ve begun to make through social media. Fortunately, we’re not talking about online dating! Been there, done that, don’t ever want to return to it! But I’ve been on one walk and met up with a fellow YouTube creator. Quite recently, I’ve received offers to go wild camping with a couple of others on Dartmoor. I’ve also got long term plans to head down that way to finally meet up and walk with another person – it’s simply a case of finding a convenient time.
Of course, having walked more than a thousand miles over the past year, I could’ve written all about my three favourite walks as I do have fond memories from so many weekends.
I’ve always struggled with social situations. Certainly, since my early teenage years. Walking has become a way in which I can change my life. My life is far more ‘adventurous’ [and I’m not keen on that word – it’ll be the subject of a forthcoming post] than it would’ve been at this time six-years ago.