Garth’s first big adventure

Garth’s first big adventure

Not my alter ego! Garth is the name of my motorcycle. Garth for short, Gartholomew to sound fancy. This past weekend I had a few days off and took the bike on its first big trip.

About 150 miles north to the lakes. A few hundred miles to this lake and that, and then another 150 back down. I’ve never really travelled, although it suits my curious nature, so this trip was a big learning opportunity.

I’m going on a bigger adventure in April, so this was the warm up. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about living the life I want to lead. Which is a life with more photography, more travel, and more getting lost in nature. So this was an opportunity to experience that and see how it feels.

 Garth and distant fells after a long hike (I was so exhausted)

Garth and distant fells after a long hike (I was so exhausted)

What did I learn?

As well as being an opportunity to get out in nature more, I was able to learn more about the life I might like to lead. The Airbnb where I stayed was lovely; not just in the old style rural charm, but the fact that there was home-baked goods each day and the family had two dogs.

It reminded me how much I enjoy having a dog around. I notice this most when I'm away from mine. When I’m older I really want a dog of my own. A home won’t feel the same without one. This also brings up the issue of remote working. If I’m able to call my own shots with my work, then I’d be flexible enough to keep a dog of my own. It's tough to have a dog if you commute to work (and you're single...sob). 

It was also great to stay at a house where bread was baked daily. It was such a cosy, homely feel and I love the fact that my hosts grew much of their own food. It must have been satisfying and It was certainly delicious.

One thing that sort of surprised me was how tiring the trip was. Riding out, hiking and then riding back left me feeling knackered by late evening. I guess that’s not so surprising given that coaxing a motorbike around bends is a lot more involved that steering a car. Still it surprised me. The worst kind of exhaustion was dry eyes from riding so much. So better keep my visor down and blink more. No joke but blinking more can really help prevent the feeling of tired eyes. Which is quite an awful feeling.

Don’t forget time for rest. This is the key thing I often overlook. On holiday I can get caught up in trying to do everything, that you forget the reason you went away was to relax and stop. With my longer break at the end if April, I’ll need to allow time to just stop and be.

My original plan was to go travelling for between 1 and 2 months. Leaving the end of the trip up to chance. However I’m thinking I might change that. Now I’ve taken myself on an adventure, I know for sure that it won’t be my last. It won’t be my last long weekend, or last month that I have off, I will do these things again in the future.

I’m a big believer in incremental growth (although incremental is a very boring word, it delivers), so jumping from 5 days to 60 is a perhaps too much. I’m thinking a better plan might be to have a two/three week adventure, then a break and then a 2nd adventure. It’s going to get me more used to travelling without becoming exhausted, and I’ll have time between to reflect, relax and prep for the next. So that’s one thing I took away from my trip.

 One of my favourite shots

One of my favourite shots

One of the reasons I enjoyed my trip so much was that it allowed me to take some great photos. It’s important for me to capture the awesome moments and memories of my trip. One of my favourite things to do is to find a nice spot and sit and read for an hour or two. It’s so nice knowing you don’t have to panic or rush. For me it’s such a rare opportunity to relax and enjoy the moment without worrying about doing anything.

Trip highlights

Best sunbathing experience: Wast water after crossing the scree slope at Wasdale. 
Best dog fussing: The morning of the 2nd day when I went to get my gear from the utility room. Many dogs where fussed. 
Best windy road: B5281 windy. :) 
Best homemade desert: Lemon tart.
Best 'Is this really a good idea?' road: Hardknott pass. It was still super snowy. 
Best 'I'm really lost now' experience: Gibson's spout walk, day 2. 

You can swipe right through the above photos (I don't think squarespaces' UI is particularly clear here).

I had a super awesome time, and loved riding out, feeling free and snapping photos. Ahead of my next adventure, there's a few bits of kit I'd like to buy, including finally buying my own digital SLR, and fitting my panniers to the bike. Maybe some extra gear to help me stay dry. 

Hope your next adventure is a great one!