Me, my motivation and I
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Hello and welcome to Tom and Tegwen’s first blog piece! An introduction to myself & the motivation behind this epic 600 mile walk around the Welsh Coastal Path. What crazy person would decide to do this?! Why not just run a marathon in a day? Why not just walk a weekend or at a stretch, a week?!
First and foremost, from a young age I’ve wanted to do something for my Nana Hart who has suffered with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) ever since I can remember. I’m not going to kid you and say that we’re particularly close, or that we call each other every day, perhaps because like myself she’s fiercely independent, or maybe because of her debilitating condition she’s not been able to be as involved as she would like, or maybe my close relationship with my other Nana didn’t allow us to connect as much as we could. Whatever it may be, watching the disease get worse over the years and my Nana’s unwavering resilience and patience is something that has inspired me to help. With 1 in 350 people suffering with PD in the UK, I know that many others won’t have that same resilience or an incredibly supportive family around them in the way that my Nana does. This is why charities such as ParkinsonsUK are so important, to ensure that everyone affected by this condition receives the help, support and guidance that they need.
I like to travel, and when I say that I don’t mean weekend city breaks staying in plush resorts but taking gritty, challenging routes through Latin America, India or South East Asia. I travelled and lived abroad for 4 years after uni, extensively exploring South America with a 6 month stint in Bolivia where I volunteered and learnt Spanish. I later backpacked across India, Nepal and South East Asia before living in the south of France for 1.5 years where I learnt to speak French, to play rugby and enjoyed A LOT of cheese and red wine. Yes I like my comfort, as I get older I don’t have the same tolerance for noisy 16 bed bunk rooms as I once did but discovering the path less trodden is what excites me most. Such as the month long trip through Vietnam with my little sister on some very dodgy motorbikes, this allowed us to visit villages and country roads little seen by outsiders. So walking for 5 weeks around Wales, although a bit extreme even to my standards, doesn’t seem that crazy an idea!
I grew up in small village in North Wales, outside of Wrexham. Even in this small area there are so many beautiful villages and towns, natural beauties and adventure hotspots to get the adrenaline pumping. It gets even better as you move into the Snowdonia mountain range, there are world class outdoor activities such as Surf Snowdonia, Bounce Below and huge zip line parks. The coast offers quaint fishing towns and villages, vibrant cities and a ton more outdoor stuff to offer. Having lived most of my life in Wales I can say that the Welsh people are on the whole very friendly and welcoming, you don’t live in Wales for the fast life, you live here to take things slower, appreciate nature and all it has to offer. I will be visiting many parts of Wales that I’m unfamiliar with but I know they’ll be equally as stunning and I hope to show (the coast at least) to whoever reads my blog, and hope that they consider visiting some or more of Wales.
Finally, this is a great personal challenge. I’ve been living quite comfortably in London for a while, I work, I live in a nice house, I walk the dog, I play rugby and go on the occasional holiday. The routine is convenient and non-stressful but I want to get out there and really challenge myself. The 20 miles a day, wild camping and cooking, battling through the Welsh weather and looking after a demanding little pooch is something that scares me but I know it can be done and I look forward to crossing that finish line knowing I’ve achieved something quite unique.
I hope you enjoy following us on our journey, I will also be trying to visit and review as many attractions, pubs, accommodation/campsites and eateries, which will all depend on my budget and how generous these establishments are! I apologise in advance for the terrible writing style, I think it’s been more than 7 years since my degree where I’ve written anything in great detail. With my years abroad speaking other languages and then working in property, writing hasn’t really been necessary. Hopefully you’ll find some enjoyment reading it even if it’s just to see the photos! I know at least my Nana will be reading and that’ll motivate me plenty.
Anyway, thank you for reading this first attempt at my blog. Wishing you all a lovely day.
Tom and Tegwen x
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