2018 final summary

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Local wooden bench where I sat in July pondering about the point of doing this blog…

The final day and my final post of 2018 so time for a little reflection…

Producing a ‘doing 50 things bucket list’ to mark the year I turned 50 is a form of goal setting with personal development and self improvement in mind.

I had something of a kick up the backside during a health check in December 2017 when I was basically told I was overweight, drank too much alcohol and had a borderline high cholesterol! And this was just 2 months before my 50th birthday… Staying fit and healthy so I can continue to travel and live my best life is a priority for me so several of my 50 goals were related to improving my health. Thankfully a health check in August revealed my cholesterol was down to ‘normal’ levels!

One of the most positive outcomes of maintaining this blog for the last 12 months has been the sense of achievement I’ve felt. Never before have I kept up a gym membership for longer than 2 or 3 months; I have rarely kept my weight under control and I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have pushed myself to walk over 2000 miles had I not blogged about it. Publishing regular updates has made me feel accountable and has pushed me towards achieving my challenges. I might well have been tempted to cheat on my vegan month or sober October if it were not for this blog!

Walking was a significant and an immensely positive aspect of my life throughout the last year. Walking over 2000 miles has:

  • Certainly helped me to keep my weight down;
  • Kept me fit and healthy;
  • Most likely helped me to stay positive;
  • Continued to enhance my social life (I’ve met several lovely new friends this year);
  • Enabled me to see beautiful scenery (Switzerland, the Peak District and even local scenery around my home town);
  • Saved me quite a sum of money (by not paying for public transport or using my car);
  • Helped to build relationships with my husband Chris and my friends;
  • Given me little ‘light bulb moments’…

In relation to the last point above, walking is almost like a form of meditation. While I didn’t achieve my meditation goal this year, I found walking is great for switching off and clearing your mind. And I did have several moments of inspiration while walking.

Other than the meditation goal I didn’t achieve, I also didn’t do a cooking class, or watch Greg Braden or get another job or complete the first draft of a book of our 2016 global adventures! Never mind… 45  / 50 isn’t bad… and its best to settle for 90% than try to achieve everything and get stressed about it! Rather than force myself to do a cooking class I just accepted this wasn’t going to happen this year.

Plans for 2019 and beyond: 

While having 50 goals and challenges has been fun and has enabled me to stay focussed, at times it has been quite exhausting! I have several travel plans for 2019 but will maybe spend a little more time at home and a few less weekends away… I have applied for another job and I’ll definitely aim to lose the extra 4 lb’s gained over Christmas!

I read somewhere earlier today something along the lines of “tomorrow marks the first day of a set of 365 blank pages… make sure the story you write is a good one…”. How exciting! Life is what you make it and who knows what will be written in the next 365 pages…

Finally, thank you for reading my blog posts and traveling alongside me on the journey into my 50’s… I’m now nearly 51 so here’s to 2019 and the next 9 years until I’m 60!

Happy New Year! 

Marc and Angel: “You have to make yourself happy. Its not selfish, its called personal development”

 

Week 52: final walking week of 2018!

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Running total (to week 51): 2101

Miles walked in week 52: 22

Grand total for 2018: 2123

To put this into perspective London to Marmaris, Turkey is 2,114 miles and the Appalachian Trail (the massively long US hiking trail) is 2,200 miles! So I have walked the equivalent of both during 2018 🙂 

  • Average miles per month: 177
  • Average miles per week: 41
  • Average miles per day: 5.8

The photo below was taken yesterday during a short walk at the RSPB in Sandy, Bedfordshire. After a lazy week with little exercise a post Christmas walk with Chris was in order!

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RSPB Lodge at Sandy, Bedfordshire

This post now concludes my 2018 walking challenge, the challenge with the most blog post updates, the challenge with probably the biggest effort throughout the year and one I have enjoyed immensely. I will continue monitoring my miles throughout 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of 2018 book challenge results

Achieved!

Until January 2018 I read very few books with most of my reading material coming from articles on the Internet! However I’ve enjoyed reading books throughout 2018 and regular reading is something I am going to continue.

Not surprising that most of these have been travel books… I tried a couple of ‘chick lit’ type fiction books but didn’t really find them too inspiring or exciting. For me, they were a bit of a slog to get through and I could take them or leave them.

This is the full list:

  1. Kamikazi Kangaroos! 20,000 Miles Around Australia. One Van, Two Girls… And An Idiot by Tony James Slater
  2. Just Off For A Walk (South West Coast Path) by Stephen Reynolds
  3. No Wrong Turns: Cycling the World, Part One: Paris to Sydney by Chris Pountney
  4. Travels with Rachael: In Search of South America by George Mahood
  5. Balancing on Blue (Appalacian Trail) by Keith Foskett
  6. The Long and Whining Road (around the world by camper van) by Simeon Courtie
  7. Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson
  8. Lone Rider (female motorcycle around the world) by Elspeth Beard
  9. High and Low (hiking around Scotland) by Keith Foskett
  10. Together by Julie Cohen
  11. Five Years From Now by Giovanna Fletcher
  12. Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by bike Part 1 by Alastair Humphreys
  13. What Happened That Night by Sheila O’Flanagan
  14. The Little Princess by Casey Watson
  15. Thunder and Sunshine: Around the World by bike Part 2 by Alastair Humphreys
  16. Cycling the World Part 2: Into the Sunrise, Sydney to Mori by Chris Pountney
  17. Grand Adventures by Alastair Humphreys
  18. Walk Sleep Repeat by Stephen Reynolds
  19. Step by Step: The Life in my Journeys by Simon Reeve
  20. It’s on the Meter: One taxi, Three Mates and 43,000 Miles of Misadventure Around the World by Paul Archer and Johno Ellison
  21. My Life with Che by Aleida March
  22. The Bolivian Diary by Ernesto Che Guevara

 

I enjoyed all of the adventure books which makes up most of this list! Books with real people having amazing adventures around the world from Keith Foskett’s long distance hiking to journey’s in camper vans, motorbikes and even a taxi! In particular I would recommend Simon Reeve’s book (no. 19) and the Alastair Humphreys cycle adventure books. These were the well written exciting books I found hard to put down although all have given me plenty of inspiration for future adventures!

 

 

 

December book review

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Book number 22

Book read: The Bolivian Diary by Ernesto Che Guevara

This book was compiled from the notes Che Guevara made during his final mission before he was captured and executed by the Bolivian army. It is a first hand account of the progress Che and his team of revolutionaries made through the Bolivian jungle as Che attempted to ‘find recruits’ i.e. enlist the help of peasants in an attempt to overthrow the Bolivian government.

Che provides an incredible insight into the tough daily life they led. From his own perspective Che notes the health issues including dealing with his own asthma and lack of medical supplies, the hunger and thirst and tactics to avoid capture.

The book ends abruptly on 7th October 1967 with Che’s final diary entry… it leaves a chill as you know this was the moment just before he was captured…

From a personal perspective I found this another inspiring and slightly life shaping book. Us westerners moan and complain about the slightest little discomfort: “It’s 11:30 and I’m starving… is it nearly lunchtime?” or “I got soaked to the skin” when walking in the rain back to their warm comfy home and hot bath; or “I could never sleep in a tent”… a small waterproof tent with a few beers and a sleeping bag for a weekend is a luxury compared with sleeping under trees in a jungle in the rain for months on end with little food; insects biting you; foreign armies trying to shoot you and having to spend the next day tired and exhausted as you continue your trek with soaking kit and damp clothes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 51 walking update

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Bremen Christmas Market

Running total (to week 50): 2073

Miles walked in week 51: 28

Total walked so far in 2018: 2101

Below average again… I walked 5 miles in Germany on the first day of week 51 (Monday) before we flew back to Stansted on Monday evening. I worked from home twice during this week however I’ve been so busy that I didn’t have a chance to have a lunch break where I would usually walk 3 or 4 miles. Not good and hopefully I’ll have an improved work/life balance where I have enough time to maintain my walking routine in 2019!

 

 

 

 

Week 50 walking update

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Bremen Christmas Market

Running total (to week 49): 2029

Miles walked in week 50: 44

Total walked so far in 2018: 2073

I reached my second target of 2050 miles to walk in 2018 on 12th December which was on the Wednesday of week 50! This walk in itself was nothing exciting, just a mile to my local Co-op and back to get out during my lunch break.

The Saturday and Sunday of this week were spent wandering around Christmas markets in the German town’s of Bremen and Hamburg where I walked an estimated 4 or 5 miles each day.

 

 

 

 

 

Week 49 walking update

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Paignton, Devon

Running total (to week 48): 1,998

Miles walked in week 49: 31

Total walked so far in 2018: 2,029

I passed the 2,000 mile mark during this week and I’m now just 21 miles short of my revised target to walk 2050 miles in 2018!

Slightly less than average again this week however I walked two very short sections of the South West Coast Path yesterday and this morning during a weekend in Paignton, Devon. The weather has been rainy again this weekend and the above photo was taken early this morning shortly after sunrise.

 

 

 

Week 48 walking update

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Running total (to week 47): 1954

Miles walked in week 48: 44

Total walked so far in 2018: 1998

Almost at 2000 miles!

For my revised target of 2050 miles to walk in 2018 I have just 52 left to go and 4 weeks to do it in!

I’ve just spent a weekend in Kent exploring a small section of the North Downs Way. The weather was a bit rubbish but its still great to go somewhere different and get out and about in the countryside.