After two years of thinking about it... talking about it with a million people. Annoying and nagging people to do it and getting responses like, 'I wouldn't mind doing sections.' 'I haven't got the time Caoimhe!'. I thought my dream of paddling Ireland would never happen!
Then it came, that moment we all have in our lives where you begin to question everything you want from your life... What am I doing?... Where am I going?... Am I really were I want to be?
Well I have strived through my life being told, I’m not smart enough, and I’m not strong enough... This lead to me with a lot of set backs and resilience to finally becoming a youth worker. I went on to leave my job to be a trainee at Tollymore Outdoor Centre from a fulltime job to £75 a week. However, it meant I could get my qualifications in paddling and mountaineering. Finally meaning, I could do what I really wanted to do, educate and challenge young people through the medium of the outdoors.
So of course my reflections on my thoughts lead to me asking, ‘why I am I so afraid’… afraid of failing? I encourage young people everyday to take on challenges and not to be afraid of failing. Yep, you can see what’s coming… why aren’t I taking on my own challenges? Because other people wont do it with me? Because I think I’m not good enough? Why did I need to rely on other people?
Why was I doubting myself… allowing fear to get in the way! Then it was my birthday, I went home to the homeland from wales were I live and work as an outdoor educator. I decided on the 3rd June, my 29th birthday… I would paddle around Ireland ALONE!
This led to me speaking to Jon Hynes who paddled around Ireland in 2015 with his friend Sean Cahill. I contacted him after doing some research and watching their documentary on the trip – Around Ireland. I thought he might say… ‘Hmmm… maybe not the trip for you!’. Instead I got a phone call from a very enthusiastic guy, were we chatted about my experience, what it would involve and some training tips. Jon then happily agreed to give me some support to get my trip planning underway! He set up a page where we could share information about the trip - Basecamp. So… yes now it’s starting to feel very real. A scary prospect but a very exciting one at that!
Next steps… PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING and gathering more support and advice!!! I will keep my blog up to date with the latest for my solo trip around Ireland – eeeeeek!!!