Back: What I got up to, why I did it and where I am now

Posted by in Blogs, Travel

It’s been tricky to keep track of me over the last year and a bit. That was kind of the point!

Here’s a whistle stop tour – all details spared – of the last 15  months. Before you read on, take this with your favourite filter – not everything is Instagramable!

It sounds busy, it wasn’t.

It sounds like one big jolly, it wasn’t.

It sounds like the dream, it wasn’t.

It was exactly what I needed, an unbeatable fifteen months of personal growth and global exploration. But it had its tough moments. Life is like that.

Onwards!

Colombia part 1 – July to October
Two weeks after leaving a relatively happy five-year career at Deutsche Bank, I find myself very nearly landing in the Caribbean Sea – such is the location of the airport in Santa Marta, Colombia.

I am there on behalf of Impact Marathon Series. I am speaking Spanish. I love Spanish. In Colombia I collaborate with seven local charities to structure a volunteering programme for the marathon runners, coordinate with indigenous people and government who give permissions and haggle with accommodation providers.

As you will have seen on Instagram, I also go off and see the country and write about travel in Colombia.

Nepal – October to December
Press pause on Colombia, fast forward around the globe to Nepal. My role is to race direct the inaugural Impact Marathon Series event, a three-distance race through the foothills of the Himalayas. Together we run around the markets of Kathmandu, hitchhike up and down the Trisuli Highway to Kakani and pop in and out of meetings for permissions.

Lots of laughing and an incredible amount of work combine to pull off a successful event. And off I go to chill – a hike to Everest Base Camp with Trek Nepal, then a detox at Purna Yoga Retreat in Pokhra.

Colombia part 2 – January to February
Home with family in the UK for Christmas, then back out to Colombia to, um, not do much as it turns out. We make the call to postpone the event indefinitely. The intense focus on Nepal means that international sales for Colombia haven’t materialised. It’s a big shame. There is upset but there is also relief; sales, revenue and quality of event are all closely linked. I go kitesurfing.

Galapagos – March
Now it’s time for a focus on writing and travelling – for the real backpacking. I bus down from Cartagena down to Quito in Ecuador over several days. From there I head to The Galapagos for a press review of The Beagle.

Mexico – March to May
From The Galapagos, it’s up to Mexico where I pick up more press gigs – notably kitesurfing in Tulum, freediving in Playa del Carmen, and sea kayaking in Baja. Family and friends also come to visit…I still don’t know when I’m coming home.

Europe – June to September
Then suddenly I do. I decide it’s time to head back to the UK – to make memories with friends and family, rather than just skype, and to dedicate time to building my career. I don’t last long in the UK thanks to press reviews – within 10 days I’m off to Spain for a shamanic retreat with Anna Hunt, cycling from Croatia to Germany with TRIBE Run For Love, and cycling in France, before a press trip to Arctic Norway with Justine Gosling.

UK – October to foreseeable future
I’m back in the UK and trying very hard to keep my diary free!

I am going pro on eXerK and developing the lines of business I have been doing informally for two years. All wrapped around the health & fitness market, there are three interlinked strands:
Content strategies and writing for companies about health, wellbeing and adventure travel. My Evening Standard and Huffington Post columns continue as well.
Talks and workshops about the 52in52 and about staying healthy alongside work, particularly as a bolt-on to a graduate/ continual professional development programme.
Business and marketing consultancy for health & wellbeing suppliers. There’s a lot going on; it’s a fragmented, exciting and fast growing market. We define the idiosyncrasies, structuring them so that companies can understand where they sit and where to head for success in this dynamic space.

The content writing and consultancy works best for race organisers, health-related workshop providers, nutrition or sports gear suppliers who have an awesome proven product and are looking to scale.

The talks and workshops are tailored to you and your work team…do you have lunch-time talks? A grad programme? Sleepy strategy days that could do with a bit of energy being injected? Simple, satisfying and sustainable ideas for staying healthy as a work team.

Please don’t hold back on introductions! Would love to chat to people who work in companies trying to make it easier for their customers/ employees to stay healthy, particularly those businesses that are frustrated with their struggle to carve their own space and access the customers they want.