I think it’s important to frequently review your life; how you’ve been spending your time, and your achievements in the past, and what your dreams and aspirations are for the future. The changing of the year provides a convenient opportunity to do this. I don’t however think a public blog is the best place to ask such big, personal questions. As a result, the following is an excerpt from my personal diary, written without a reader in mind.
I say it every year, but I think that’s the way it should be: the year just gone has been the most amazing of my life so far! That’s not what I expected a year and a half ago. Back in 2013 when I made a commitment to cycle around the world, I always saw 2015 as the start and 2014 would be a relatively uneventful year, working hard for finals and then earning money to fund the cycle. That’s not how it worked out at all.
So, why has it been such a great year? Well, here are some top moments from 2014 (in no particular order – that would be a challenge too far).
- Graduating with a degree in law, and especially with a 1st Class Honours.
- Reaching the bottom of the Briancon Gorge without having capsized my kayak, a river I had had a scary swim on earlier in the week.
- The excitement of reaching Long Point Camp again, having longed to be back for a whole year, and meeting old friends again and making new friends altogether.
- Instantly making close friendships on the horse ranch and having 2 incredibly happy weeks there.
- I always talk about going for a late-night, full-moonlit canter as being the highlight of my time on the horse ranch – that definitely deserves a place here.
- Break days from camp; once again making an impact at the Syracuse Chiefs baseball, watching my first American Football game, walking 8 miles down a railway track for an ice cream, waterskiing, skydiving… I could go on!
- Seeing the sights of Paris with the family.
- Spending a few days in New York City with some close friends.
- Every day I’ve been skiing on my ski season – my excitement, passion and enthusiasm to hit the slopes has been just as intense as the first time.
- Every time I’ve been on an adventure and felt a deep contentment and happiness about the people I am with.
- Every time I got a great haul bin-diving.
- Celebrating turning 21 with my friends and family.
- My last few months of Uni, enjoying various activities, each other’s company and the climax of three years.
I leave 2014 without a single regret and with happiness and pride about what I’ve done, with many new friendships and just as many fond memories to last a lifetime. In my opinion, that’s how it should be, because then you cannot begrudge the passing of a year and any new wrinkles it has brought with it.
Turning attention to the upcoming year is exciting. I know I have the chance for daily skiing until late April, an opportunity not to be taken for granted.
And then, after May it’s a blank calendar as a bike is swapped for the skis and I embark on the biggest adventure of my life so far. I have little idea what to expect but no doubt it will be a wild ride with countless stories to be told, a limitless pool of people to meet and new places to go. With no firm plans in place, there is little else to say except to stay tuned for 2015; altogether it will be one wild ride.