I’m not really sure where the spark came from for this. I guess I just quietly couldn’t face the summer ending, it’s gone so fast and I just don’t feel quite ready to hunker down for winter and Christmas. Everyone seems to be saying how fast it’s gone too. Am I just at the age now where time flies or do younger kids feel the same way?
I really can’t face not camping again until next year so getting back into a tent seems like a great idea. Albeit more of a technically brilliant, claustrophobic cocoon than our big bell tent.
At the beginning of the year I went walking looking for a wild camp spot to do my first wild camp. It’s September, 9 months later and I still haven’t done my first solo wild camp. Time and work, general life balance have all been responsible alongside my subconscious nervousness around the whole thing. I need to actually do it.
We’ve had a turbulent year so far. Whilst work seems to have increased a lot it feels like our cost of living has gone up faster. The pressure to earn more as a single income, self employed family is higher than ever. It all got a bit much at one point but the fog dissipated a little thankfully. The quiet summer period is over and the phone is ringing again. Sarah has been through the mill much worse though. She’s fighting her own, often severe, mental health battles. All whilst currently working, voluntarily at a school and working through a teacher training course on her time off. Then on top of all that, she’s a Mum, an incredible Mum who is idolised by our two kids (and myself). She’s had some amazing help from close friends, our wonderful NHS professionals and mental health organisations.
This feels like the right thing to do
So all these things kind of merged in one perfect final jigsaw piece placement in my mind a few weeks ago. I could do something to raise awareness and funds for a charity close to our hearts, Mind. I could get outside whilst the weather isn’t too cold and in the last throes of Summer and I could finally scratch my wild camping itch all whilst challenging myself physically and take on some mental battles that I’ve experienced travelling in the past.
When it came to something to do, Anglesey jumped straight in there. We’d visited it as a family last year and I fell in love with the place instantly. It feels different from the Llyn Peninsula. It feels a little more wild, a little more rugged, jagged, unkempt. Its unfamiliarity is a huge pull and it’s so close to where I live. It means that I can do it at relatively low cost (hop on the train to Holyhead, the start line) and also I’m not absolutely miles away if I’m urgently needed back at home. It also meant that I could minimise the amount of time away and hopefully schedule my freelance schedule without missing any much needed work.
I’m looking forward to documenting the whole affair too. I’m going to be making a film of my trip, sharing it and each step along the way on YouTube in a similar way to how we film our current family vlogs.
I’m thrilled to shoot more photographs, for me. I’m really looking forward to figuring out what gear to take (my workhorse 5DMKIII won’t be coming) and I’ve got a few little ideas for things I’d like to shoot out there as well as the usual trip/travel shots.
It’s going to be an interest trip, I feel confident but there’s a definite air of anxiety around a lot of the challenges ahead, mainly psychological fears and nervousness.
The next step now is to get walking and get camping alone.