I have been on many adventures in my life, and some of those I have started to tell you about in this blog. All have had different beginnings, however I find that you always have an idea in your minds eye of what this will look and feel like. For example when I was sixteen I left home for the first time to join the Army, I thought I’d be tough and straight faced, although I was holding back tears in front of my family at the train station, and as soon as I was on the train, water just started falling out of my face, with no control over it. I must have looked like a total lunatic to local commuters, but at the time this was all new to me.
Fast forward ten years and I have left the Army and about to travel the Trans Siberian Railway for a few months, and this time there was way less fan fare, I was home alone, picked up my bag, set the alarm and left, alone. This felt surreal, who knows what would happen on the road/rail? But I was happily walking to the train station, with my thumbs tucked into the straps of my backpack. However again, I remember this idea of leaving being different to how it was actually.
Here and now in the present day, I did not know what to expect, I had said goodbye to my family the week before, which was a pretty casual affair. After many years of not living at home, both my family and me have become used to me leaving and not being around. However this time I would be leaving for a longer term than ever before, well at least I plan to be gone for a long while. Not only that, but the activities that I take part in regularly are slightly dangerous, so you never know what can happen. This isn’t a shout out that I would like the bunting put out and a brass band to see me down the road, if anything it’s a reflection on real life and how saying goodbye to my family and friends is never a finite goodbye, it’s a see you at some point in the future…
As for the final farewell, we were at Jess’s parents house, where we had been living for the last six months, whilst we had been building the van. We were lucky to have this opportunity and have both been blessed with the kindness Jess’s parents for letting us stay. Even with all that time, we literally left home minutes after finishing packing, leaving everything to the last minute as per usual. Everyone wished us good luck and Jess’s parents came to the van for a final goodbye, it was getting emotional so I hid in the van like a real man! Once we left and was on the road there was a sense of relief and some uncertainty of what the future holds for me, surreal that everything that we had been working and planning for years was finally here.
So that’s it, we have started our big adventure! Here’s to many months of good fun, freedom, climbing and living the full on van life. I have been dreaming of this trip for quite a few years, and finally we are, here on the road and looking forward to a future full of adventures!