Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Stats and reality

Final bouldering days with Val at Paradise Valley.

I have now been home for a week now and well it feels like I have never been away. When you are away for a prolonged period of time you think that so much will have changed, but in reality nothing much does. Everybody just ticks along the same as normal. My friends children have all grown a few more inches, there are some new buildings and traffic systems around town but that is about it. I don't really know what I was expecting but you always imagine the world you normally live in speeding on without you, when in actual fact I have probably changed more than my surroundings.

My flight back flew from Vancouver via Frankfurt to Edinburgh. The long 10 hr part of this flight was possibly the worst flight I have ever been on. Not any fault of the airline, I just seemed to get airsick. I think it was a combination of a few things, sitting at the very rear of the plane, turbulence, and homecoming nerves. Whatever it was it made me very sick and my 3 hr stop over in Frankfurt felt more like 6. I eventually arrived back in Edinburgh around 6pm on the Tuesday evening to a wonderful greeting from Emma and Diff. It was wonderful to see familiar faces after all this time.

I can usually combat jet lag quite well but this time it got me good and it was not until last night that I had my first sound sleep. This pleased me no end as I was starting to get very weary of waking between 4am and 5am. Although this does have it's plus side if I want to chat to any of my friends who are about 7 or 8 hrs behind.

Now all I need to do is get a job! Although some of you think that I am slightly work shy these days I actually do enjoy the routine of work. The part I hate with a vengeance is CV and application writing and interviews. Euch! This part I am not looking forward to at all, but hey ho it has got to be done.

Anyway enough of reality. I will leave you with some final stats from my trip just in case anyone is interested.

I drove through or visited 21 US States.

I drove my Saturn 13326 miles/21447km in 6 months.

I slept on various sofas 56 times.

I slept in my car or tent for two thirds of the year.

I read 39 books in one year.

I went to the cinema 9 times.

I watched Zombieland at least 10 times.

I only had 3 injuries.

Wore out 2 pairs of 5.10 Anazazis.

Ate my body weight in peanut butter and corn tortillas.

Broke 3 sporks trying to get peanut butter out the jar before learning to use a metal spoon.

Climbed lots.

Had fun lots.

So my extremely awesome trip is all over but I will keep my blog updated with photos and any new adventures. Thanks to all of you that have followed my travels and read my chat.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Final Countdown

Proof that I have been climbing. The Peddler V3, Paradise Valley

Apologies for the lack of blogging activity over the last while but there has not really been too much to report. Since my return to Squamish from Banff I have been doing a mixture of climbing, hiking and just generally chilling out. I decided with so little time left just to relax and enjoy the peaceful and stress free lifestyle I have become accustomed to over the last year, because I know that on my return home things will definitely become hectic once more.

It has also been very hot and the thought of driving any where in my car with no air con was just not an exciting prospect. These lovely Summer days have led to some great days out with the amazing group of friends that I have here. An example from last Sunday. I was picked up by Sandra about 9am, driven into Squamish to meet up with Val and Stu for breakfast followed by a great session bouldering in Paradise Valley. By late afternoon we were all tired and very hot so we went to Brohm Lake for a swim and a few refreshing beverages. We then needed fed and went out for dinner with other people that had joined us at the lake. I was dropped off back at my tent about 9pm. Great day. As if that wasn't good enough, the following morning Val and Stu on their way to work delivered a homemade blackberry and apple gluten free pie and a fresh mug of decaf coffee to my campsite. I do believe it brought a tear to my eye.

So many tales to tell but they would take me far too long to try and type them on here so I will keep them to bore those of you that are willing to listen when I get home.

It is hard to believe that I leave on monday (4 days). I really do not know where the time has gone. Parts of the last month have varied between passing incredibly slowly or so fast it is hard to know what day I am on and my emotions have flitted between excitement and sadness at the prospect of leaving and going home.

I have been mulling over how I feel about my time away and my feelings about going home. I think that it is fair to say that I think this past year has been the best one in my life so far. I am not sure how much my climbing has improved because I know that I probably have not done as much as I could have if I had a partner with me. This trip though was not just about the climbing. The climbing gave me a focus and something to travel for and has taken me to amazing places that I hope I can revisit in the future. This trip was to help me find my soul again and prove to myself that I can take on a big adventure on my own and succeed. I feel that I have achieved this and I am much more content with who I am and who I want to be. Not all of it has been easy and I have had my ups and downs, but the ups far out way any of the downs that have happened.

None of this could have happened if it were not for the wonderful support I've had from my parents and friends back home, who have kept me sane for many a long year. They continued to keep me up to date with their lives and any gossip that was worth passing along so that I did not get too homesick.

My journey has also been made unforgettable by the many many new friends that I have made along the way. I find it hard to express in words the kindness and generosity that people have shown me. Some of these people were just passing acquaintancies that I may never see or speak to again, but there are those that I hope will be life long friends. Every single one of these people made a difference to the path that I travelled and I will always be eternally grateful to them all. I only hope that I can repay some of the kindness I have been shown should any of them travel to Scotland.

It is hard to believe that this time next week I will be home and trying to settle back into my life in Edinburgh. I am obviously extremely excited to catch up with my friends and family, but the prospect of finding a job is not so enticing. Sadly I have not had any epiphanies about that part of my life. My main objective now is to remain happy and I will do everything in my power to stay that way for as long as possible. I am looking forward to the next phase of my life, the prospect of new paths and new people. Another chapter waiting to begin.

So this will probably be my last blog from my tour of the USA and Canada but I will do a final one from home that will include some stats from my journey. Until then I am going to spend my last few days enjoying the comfort of Sandras' sofa and shower and I fear I will be forced to imbibe in a few beverages on Saturday night. There has also been talk of another home made pie. Yumm.

The Burgh is calling, see you all soon.
Peace and love