Nearly two years have past since I embarked on my ‘Isles of Wonder’ 1,200 mile walk, that took me from the Isles of Scilly over to Land’s End, up to John O’Groats and then on to a short finale at the very top of Shetland.
Once I finished the walk I jotted down a few thoughts, which you can read here. Now more time has passed, and since I recently read ‘Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim – On Foot Across Europe to Rome’ by Harry Bucknell, it’s made me reflect on my walk and my life since. Towards the end of his walk, Harry says to a fellow walker:
We’ve had the best of times, but now you have to take what you’ve learnt and apply it to life with renewed oomph.
I like that. And I hope that I have attacked life with renewed oomph.
Apart from the joy of the walk itself, it’s left me with the knowledge that a solo journey is not a lonely undertaking. There were so many little encounters that I had with strangers along the way, and my friends and family both cheered me on from afar, and joined me on many occasions. I’d recommend a solo journey to anyone – whether a 2 day bicycle trip, or 2 weeks hiking – the scale of the undertaking is immaterial. Harry Bucknell puts it much more eloquently than I can:
And as I took the final steps of the 1,411 miles I had walked since London, so I too concluded that in this modern age, when all too often life just rushes us by, there is nothing on this Earth, neither wealth nor material gain, rank nor privilege that matters more than man’s kindness to man and the love of family and friends.
Roll on 2015, and many more shared adventures and escapades.