As we'd left in such a hurry we had no detailed itinerary to follow. People asked us where we wanted to visit and our answer was that we just needed to recover and find some balance in our lives. It wasn't about where we'd get to visit but it was a feeling we were searching for. We headed to the mountains because we knew how much we enjoyed the outdoors and although Dan couldn't carry a heavy multi-day pack (as our with our initial intended honeymoon plans) we could still get out on the trails using our motorhome as a base. The peace we've discovered among the peaks and valleys has shown us that this was the right decision. As Dan's built up his strength over the year, the hikes have got longer and we've tackled some cycle challenges as well.
For the first time in many years, we've also had time to think and read. Without work routine and stresses and little access to distractions, such as TV, the quiet in the mountains has given us a lot of time for much more serious, reflective books that we wouldn't have had time for in the past. It has prompted a lot of reflection and encouraging us to be more open minded about our future.
The truth is that when we left, under the circumstances that we did, we didn't even think about what would happen after the year. If people asked us about it we just said we'll worry about that later. Deep down we both assumed that we'd return to Durham try and slot back into our old lives, applying for similar jobs etc. and try and take the lessons we'd learned on the road back with us, making us (hopefully) less stressed and happier. And this might still be what we choose to do.
However, during the year we've meet and talked to so many other people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some people we've met make their living as they travel while others have succeeded in finding happiness in very different career paths. It's opened our eyes to the fact that we don't have to go back to exactly what we left behind just because it's what we know and what we are qualified and experienced for.
It was around New Year, with a couple of months left until we'd planned to return to the UK, we've made our decision to try and continue our travels a while longer. Although there are risks, at the moment we are choosing to continue our exploring, both physically and in terms of working out what a happier, healthier and more sustainable future looks like for us. We're still learning how to live in the moment with one eye on the future as well. We don't want to rule anything out but we're not ready to commit to anything either.
It's clear that our 'adventure' is more than just a physical tour after all. We'd like to use our blog to also record our thoughts as work out what future might be. We hope you enjoy reading............