My 35th Year and what I’ve done with it
I’m sat on a plane on my way to Istanbul, my sister moved over there a few years ago and, despite my travelling lifestyle, I haven’t visited her once. I am a terrible brother (and uncle!), but better late than never.
My 35th birthday is next week and for the first time, I’m paying some attention to what it all means. Having just spent a wonderful weekend with my closest friends from university at the Brighton Foodies Festival, my current hungover state has brought around feelings, emotions and questions that I’m not used to experiencing.
I guess there are never any concrete answers to the timeless questions of “How would my life been different if I’d have done X instead of Y?”, but I’m not one for answering hypothetic questions that nothing can alter anyway. So instead, I thought I’d summarise my 35th year on the planet and list some of the things that have meant the most to me, some of the places I’ve been, and some of the people I’ve shared it with.
- I organised and delivered numerous cycling trips for my business, More Adventure, helping individuals, businesses and charities raise thousands in the process. These trips included four London to Paris Cycles, one Lands End to John O’Groats Cycle, one London to Hamburg Cycle, one Paris to London Cycle and a San Francisco to Los Angeles Cycle
- I successfully sold a house for a profit that I’ve never owned in Portsmouth
- I have almost completely taken myself out of my property management company and now employ a property manager
- I’ve helped a number of young people complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award (an experience in my teens that changed the course of my life forever!)
- I ran a successful Three Peaks Challenge for my good friend Jon Gupta and his company Mountain Expeditions
- I planned six routes for some Cycling Sportives that the charity Canine Partners will be running in October
- I delivered a overseas travel workshop to Heads of Departments at Berkshire College (and am going back later this year to help with their tourism course!)
Adventure & Travel
- I spent two months travelling, working and playing in California
- I climbed in Yosemite National Park (a lifelong dream) and watched the sunrise over Half Dome
- I surfed in Santa Cruz, California (another lifelong dream!)
- I cycled from San Francisco to Los Angeles (for work!)
- I spent Christmas with family in Oberammergau, Germany
- I went on a two-week summer road trip to Italy and France, climbing and cycling in the Dolomites, the Aosta Valley and around Lake Annecy
- I went on an all-expenses paid business trip to the Pyrenees, courtesy of the Spanish Tourism board
- I went canyoning in the Pyrenees
- I drove to Hamburg from London on a recce
- I learnt to ski and lived with friends for over a month in Chamonix in the French Alps
- I skied down the Vallee Blanche and ski-toured (my new most favourite thing!) in the French Alps
- I climbed a frozen waterfall in Cogne, Italy
- I cycled in the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, Wales, Devon, Cornwall and Scotland
- I walked up a snow-covered Blencathra (Lake District) in perfect alpine conditions
- I climbed the North Face of Cadair Idris, Snowdonia
Family & Friends
- I saw my brother play a gig with his band, Loved Ones, in London (a very proud moment)
- I took my nephew, Jonah, on a bike ride along the Trans Pennine Trail
- I helped my niece Mabel climb a big mountain in Germany (with some pretty spicy sections!)
- I spent Christmas with my mum, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew in Oberammergau, Germany (simply amazing)
- I sledged with Mabel, Jonah and Ben on the highest mountain in Germany
- I’m finally visiting my sister, brother-in-law and three nieces in Istanbul (very excited!)
- I celebrated one of my best friend’s birthday at the Brighton Foodie Festival
- I attended one of my best friends son’s baptism in London
- I spent an incredible weekend on the Gower with my university rugby friends, surfing, camping, cycling, and an impromptu trip to A&E
- I babysat my nephew and niece (what a joy!)
- I finally parted with my beloved Fiat Punto (2001), my first ever car and got a van. It was an emotional day, we had some great adventures together.
It may look like quite a lot to fit in a year, and it is! I would not however have been able to do it all without the support of my friends and family, my businesses and my burning desire to live a life of adventure and see as much of this wonderful world as I can. This for me is success, the key to which is having the time and freedom to choose how and who with I spend my precious time on the planet.
Some people like and spend money on things, I prefer to spend time and money on experiences. The above is a list of things that are really important to me and that I hope I’ll never forget.
What will my next year be filled with? I’m hoping much of the same…life is short, so pack it in!