Home > bucket list, personal, travel > Ambitions / bucket list – surface travel

Ambitions / bucket list – surface travel

I’ve just started a new category on my blog. Its another personal, rather than political, thing. Just decided to keep track of things I want to do on here, my blog, as its already existing infrastructure/account etc rather than starting another account somewhere else. I don’t know who would be interested, but its my blog, and so I reserve the right to be unreservedly narcissistic as I’m not chewing anybody’s ear off. Equally though, if anyone who’s done any of these things wants to comment/give me tips/get me even more excited about them, that would be great. Or if any of you want to share your own, related, things you’re planning on doing, that would be cool.

I really like the feeling and sense of achievement of travelling by surface. It could be by vehicle – as when I spent 3 months in an old land rover overlanding in West Africa in 2001, or by foot – as in many and varied multi day hikes in Scotland. I love watching the landscapes change, getting a real appreciation of distance and feeling the place I’m in. These are trips I’ve wanted to do for a while. They all are doable, with research and preparation.

  • Lands End to John O’ Groats (LEJOG) by bike.
    Though I love travelling to other parts of the world, this wee island is pretty good too! I’ve never done a long distance cycle ride, but a very good friend told me about this one, last year. And since then I’ve been mulling it over. Well, yesterday I discovered that someone I know has done it, and that made it seem even more possible! And she’s about my size – I hadn’t realised before but somehow all those images of super fit macho guys doing cycling feats must have got into my brain and sub consciously I must have felt that this was beyond me. At least that’s the best explanation I can think of for my excitement at how much more possible me cycling LEJOG felt after finding out that another smallish female who I knew had! Watching the landscape change. Being able to look at a globe and know that I’d done corner to corner of that island under my own power*
  • Walking from my front door in Glasgow to Cape Wrath – the North West corner of Scotland (WHW -> CWT)
    Again, its about how much I enjoy the process of walking. The feeling of making progress under my own steam. The depth of landscape you see when you travel through it more intimately. The way my mind works when I’m walking. The challenge. The satisfaction. The beauty. The empowerment. I’d take the WHW (which I’ve done twice) and then there’s several routes on the Cape Wrath Trail (CWT), but I quite fancy one that goes via Glenfinnan.
  • Overlanding back to UK from India
    Don’t know whether I’ll have the resources (ie money/time) to do it after my next planned trip out there, but I have been eyeing up routes and it definitely looks doable, thanks to my UK passport. I was looking at India-Nepal-China-Russia. Would be a fascinating journey in its own right. This would be by public transport though – I’m not that brave!


That’s that for now. I guess I’ll keep using this new category to post updates on plans for this and other challenges. I don’t know how they’ll fit around my other life goals of making a positive difference in the world, but I realised thanks to some incredible people that my life can and must be about all of my passions if I’m to be sustainable. Also I’m not sure when I’ll do all these. A lot of that depends on the ebola crisis. If needed I’m prepared to go to West Africa soon after my course finishes in February. Otherwise I’d like to do at least one of these next year.


* with the massive assistance of science and technology to use levers to efficiently turn my effort into distance, over routes traversable because of social, political and economic factors, and that I’m able to do it at all because of feminists before me, and my own privilege in being able bodied and relatively well off. But somehow all that makes it more special, not less. Makes me appreciate interconnectedness, and motivated to reduce the oppressions that mean others find it harder to follow their dreams, or even dare to dream in the first place.

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