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I don’t know when I first concluded that life should be an adventure, but it seems to have driven mine and Jack’s lives ever since we first started dating. And that was a very long time ago.

It began with long haul holidays to the Far East, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. It moved up several notches with the momentous decision to walk away from our secure, well-paid careers and move to the North of Tenerife (pictured below is our home there for 13yrs), and it continued with our subsequent move to Portugal.

So, when Brexit forced us to either take permanent residence in Portugal or Spain, or else we’d have to return to the UK, we chose the latter. But not without some reservations and hesitancy.

Would it mean the adventure was over?

Puerto de La Cruz, Tenerife


What does adventure look like?

When I analyse what ‘life should be an adventure’ has looked like for us, it has revolved around travel and a sense of place. For countless others, it may look like a new business venture; building your own home; embarking on a new career; starting a family, or any number of things.

Since relocating to the UK, to a large extent the way we spend our everyday lives has not changed much. We still devise and maintain walking holidays across Europe and when we’re not ‘in the field’, we spend our days compiling the marketing and customer-facing documentation to accompany those holidays, along with spinning the plates of our multiple personal online projects. It’s just the location that’s different

But a large part of the adventure for us was the constant challenge of living abroad – the language (particularly after we moved to Portugal), the bureaucracy, and living without the convenience of having an army of suppliers to solve every day needs such as fuel, home maintenance, shopping etc. Just living in a place was frequently a full-time job.

And it’s highly addictive.

New challenges

Walking Offa's Dyke

Although since moving back to the UK in June 2021, life has still had new adventures in terms of where we’ve been living, it seems there was an almost imperceptible underlying need to do something else. That need manifested itself when Jack first mooted the idea of walking Offa’s Dyke and I immediately said, “Let’s do it!”.

There were times on that walk, particularly in the first stages during the heatwave, that I thought we had seriously miscalculated the time it takes to walk Offa’s Dyke and that I’d bitten off more than I could chew. I struggled with the daily long distances and steep gradients in temperatures of 28C – 30C and it took all my willpower, tenacity, and downright stubbornness to continue. But as the temperatures waned and I grew stronger, I lapped up the miles and didn’t want the adventure to end.

It was highly addictive.

Since we got back, I’ve been Googling Britain’s other long-distance paths and can’t wait for spring to come around so we can plan the next adventure. I’m also researching another idea we’ve had that, if it seems feasible, could be the biggest challenge we’ve ever undertaken… or it might just be a pipedream.

Either way, I don’t believe we’ll ever give up on the belief that life should be an adventure.


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