A quick word on inspiration, and an update on my progress. So I'm now officially raising money for UNICEF during my trip which is great news. UNICEF really are a superb organisation, doing great work for kids in developing countries that really need their help. It's gonna be a pleasure to fundraise for them along the way, so I'm pretty psyched about that - I get a t-shirt as well! Details of my Justgiving site (where you can donate) and links to UNICEF can be found on my Charity page here.
So, inspiration. That's a pretty big thing to blog about, but what a great thing it is! I reckon everyone gets inspired in different ways. There's the obvious sources, such as when you hear about people really pushing themselves to do amazing things - recent examples that I've followed are things like this and this (Sarah Outen rowing solo across the Indian Ocean) and this (an 18 year old cycling across Canada.) I also find regular inspiration in travel writing, from fantastic contemporary accounts by the likes of Alastair Humphreys and The Hungry Cyclist, to the absolutely legendary, my favourite being Ernest Shackleton. If you've never read his book 'South' about his failed expedition to Antartica, I can't recommend it enough, its such a testament some hardcore endurance! There's some good content on the BBC site about him here. As you can probably tell, he's a bit of a hero of mine. And he's Irish too, naturally!
Anyway, inspiration! I've been finding recently that I'm finding it in the oddest of people. I think it's because I'm so excited about this expedition that I'm perhaps more receptive to certain things, but watching someone in a coffee shop today spending hours perfecting a sketch in their notebook really had me impressed. I was (probably overly!) fascinated with the dedication she was showing. I could list a lot more examples of silly places where I've found inspiration recently, but I won't, because that would be dull for you. I think the point is I'm seeing the importance of dedication and endurance in all activities, even the planning side of this trip!
Perhaps some of you, like me, find your attention drops after a while, and whatever the activity you're doing suffers even if it's quite an enjoyable one. Well, I'm slowly learning that it's really worth it to push myself beyond my normal capacity for concentration, as the rewards will be greater. Hopefully that will be the case for the work I've put in this week. I'm hoping to begin the press releases, and essentially the 'grand unveiling' of my trip to the world at large, so I hope I've got everything organised. Watch this space!