In May 2014, I finally finished university. I didn’t particularly enjoy my degree; studying English Lit sucked all of the fun out of books and words. I wasn’t exactly a model student either but luckily I managed to have some fun whilst skiving.
On a dreary November evening in 2010 my housemate and I cooked up the idea of interrailing through Europe. The following June we set off and I had my first taste of travel unaccompanied by parents or teachers. We thought we had cheated the system by cramming extra shoes into our backpacks. By the time we’d made it across London to the Eurostar we were all but crippled. That was the first big lesson I learnt about adventure: size might not matter, but weight does.
After that trip, I escaped a few more times before graduating. I spent a week sea kayaking and wild camping in a Swedish archipelago, nine months studying in Gothenburg and a summer working in the French alps (plus a terrible two weeks in Zante…).
During my final year at university I coordinated a charity trek to Everest Base Camp and started to spend a lot more time outdoors, training for a marathon and learning to kayak in the bitter Devon sea in January. I attended an adventure and enterprise festival in London and walked away feeling like anything was possible.
The summer after graduation I went on what was, I suppose, my ‘big trip’. I volunteered in Nepal then travelled around India for a month before completing the Everest Base Camp trek. I began to realise that I probably wouldn’t truly be happy if I didn’t spend a large portion of my life outdoors, with a sunburnt nose and aching legs.
Upon returning home, I fell straight into a graduate job with a great company in London. I was having fun exploring the city but then, one evening, the idea of running around the coast of Britain popped into my head. It was an idea I just couldn’t shake. I liked running and I liked the sea – what can possibly go wrong?