Things I learnt from running to Croatia


  People Generally Want to Help Rather Than Hinder

I met a range of lovely, helpful eccentric people on route. If anything, I wish I had felt confident enough to be more gregarious and talk to people more. I often felt, shy and like a bit of an oddball doing what I was doing and often kept to myself. It made me appreciate the importance of the small interactions we have with people. A friendly shop assistant who smiled at me could make all the difference on days where I saw few people. Note to self, remember to note the importance of how you interact with everyone you come into contact with.

·       Things That Are Worthwhile Involve a Degree of Struggle.

There were days where I felt like giving up. On the day I parted from my parents after spending a weekend with them in Reims I felt like a young child who had been separated from his parents. As I travelled on foot that day I looked at flights back to England and felt ready to throw in the towel. Maybe we’re on the right track if we have moments where we feel like giving up!

·       Don’t Let the Adventure End!

I thought I’d finish the adventure to Croatia and feel ready to ‘settle.’ I now feel ready to lay down roots but I refuse to call it settling. I know that I will always need to seek adventure in some way shape or form. I also know that this can be more flexible than I originally thought. Doing a job that excites and pushes boundaries can be an adventure. I reckon this concept can be expanded into an infinite number of areas of life, getting a pet, learning how to make ice cream, you decide what excites you and expands your comfort zone!

·       I Need Community and Connection

I don’t think I ever want to spend that amount of time in my own headspace again! I need other people and need a community of good people around me. Maybe it takes a village to raise a child and perhaps it takes a village to keep the adult similarly nourished and looked after.

·       Water Is Emotionally Cleansing

Bit of a leftfield one. On the second last day I received a message that made me feel like a 15 year old emo kid for the majority of the day. I was annoyed with myself, I was tramping my way through the beautiful island of Brac, knowing I was reaching the end of my journey and all I could think about was an old flame. As I approached the village of Bol and the iconic beach of Zlatni Rat, the sea pulled me in. After 5 minutes of splashing around in the Adriatic Sea I felt transformed. As I strolled into the village of Bol in the evening twilight, I felt tranquil and free of the monkey mind.

·       Adventures Do Not Fix You

Ahhh the old cliche that we cannot outrun ourselves. I thought I might have an epiphiny about what I wanted to do with my life whilst going to Croatia. It didn’t come and I returned home the same neurotic, egotistical, lovely flawed human as when I started! This was tough to deal with when I get home and needed to start looking for work.

·       God Loves a Trier

At the end of the day I went and gave something a go that was a little bit bonkers and out there. I undoubtedly had the privilege of being a middle class lad with savings and parents who were more than happy to welcome a 30 year old into their home on my return. Most people would have not had this opportunity. And at the same time I still had to make a bit of a leap. I was blessed to have people supporting on route and back home on Facebook who provided a beautiful safety net.

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