Across the world, people are finding themselves in an unprecedented situation, forced to stay at home with limited outings and isolation from friends and family. For most, this social distancing and isolation is a new concept, but for adventurers, it's a normal part of expedition. 18 months ago, myself and two friends spent 62 days on the Pacific Ocean, in a 24ft ocean row boat with no internet, a living space the size of your bath, rationing of toilet paper and the nearest people to us often the astronauts on the International Space Station. Here's five tips for dealing with social distancing and isolation to keep your spirits high:
'A dream written down with a date becomes a goal, a goal broken down into steps becomes a plan, a plan backed by action makes your dreams come true'
Greg. S. Reid
I spend most days dreaming of adventures I want to go on, following adventurers journeys around the world in some of the most incredible locations and wondering if things are possible. It's funny how when you write a pipeline dream down on paper it suddenly becomes a plan, an idea that has become a possible reality. There are so many things I want to do in life, some I will probably never do, others I hope to do next year, but I like making a list to turn ideas into the start of plans. It hit 100 recently and inspired by some other people I follow who have put their bucketlists out there I thought I would do the same, mainly to hold myself accountable to actually doing some of these and partly because everyone asks what I want to do next!
The ones in bold type are those that I have done - I'll be posting about these on my social media accounts in the coming weeks! If you've done any of the things on the list and can give me any tips or advice let me know!
For the last twelve months my life has been consumed by rowing the Pacific. It became the norm to only get about 5 hours sleep a night (if I was lucky) as my mornings and evenings before and after work became row admin, row prep and training time. If anyone is ever thinking of rowing an ocean, working full time in a stressful and often long hours job up to 3 days before you leave is not a good idea. DON'T DO IT!! I was so in need of money to pay for the adventure due to the ridiculously short time frame we put it together in that I didn't have any other choice but it meant my entire life became about the row. Then I did the row itself and I may have mentioned once or twice but... I BLOODY LOVED IT! Even the days where my bum was being rubbed raw by salt, rain and waves caused a never ending cycle of being drenched and my legs turned more blue and purple than skin coloured due to constant impact from the oars I still loved it. I was happy, I was in my element and there was no where I would have rather been....
As the sun rose on the morning of day 60 El stopped rowing and stared at the clouds on the horizon behind us. 'I can see land' she said, excitement rising in her voice. I turned around to look, and sure enough there, rising out of the cloud, were the faint outlines of the mountains of Maui. 'Megan' we both screamed 'we can see Hawaii!!!'.
'Now don't worry or panic yourselves, but...', cue a suddenly elevated heart rate, concerned glances to the others and a small sweat attempting to break out on my already salt drenched face and body. I was on the satellite phone, ducking in and out the cabin to avoid the waves crashing over the boat whilst attempting to not lose signal and keep a line that was just about audible. The weather wasn't particularly bad, the winds were pretty average at around 20 knots, and we'd started to make some reasonable progress west. The first three weeks were becoming a distant memory and everything seemed to be improving. 'There's a hurricane heading your way' said Stokey - our weather router for the row.