Camping on arctic beaches under the northern lights, hiking to what felt like some of the ends of the earth, driving through crazy rivers in the Icelandic highlands, body surfing (without a wetsuit... or swimwear ha!) in the arctic circle for way too long, nearly rolling a hire car, meeting beautiful people from all over in between days of complete isolation, showering in waterfalls, getting stuck in the middle of a storm, making fire to stay warm, slipping on river crossings into icy streams and hysterically laughing by myself with not a soul in sight, missing plane flights, changing plans, being welcomed in with an incredibly nice Icelandic family, three epic countries, nine flights, thousands and thousands of kilometres explored… It’s been a wild three and a half weeks to say the least.
This trip (unlike almost every trip I take) didn't really have a specific purpose. I try to take a break once a year to switch off and just be my 24 year old self. That never really works, turns out I love what I do, my team and our tribe way too much to fully switch off… And I usually end up getting a heap of work done over my time off, but it’s healthy for my mind and soul to attempt it anyways. I believe it also strengthens our team and their capacity.
Sometimes these trips produce great amounts of vision, incredibly audacious dreams and plans and other times a lot of literal content where I have time and space to write my thoughts down.
This trip didn't really produce anything new. I didn't have any new revelations… but I remembered.
I remembered my earliest memories, losing myself outside, climbing trees my backyard, exploring the parks surrounding our house while pretending I was saving the world at the same time. I remembered always day dreaming. I remembered coming home from school and going into my wardrobe to put on my pretend superhero outfit and then running off into the woods. I remembered the family trips we went on. I remembered when I encountered the ocean. I remembered falling in love with the waves. I remembered going to sleep on beach holidays after the whole day in the ocean and still feeling like I was going up and down with the waves (best feeling ever!) with my new koala teddy in my arms (second best feeling ever!). I remembered growing into my teenage years with that same child-like faith… I could do anything! I remembered having this crazy dream to start a surf brand. I remembered meeting Jonathan and the kids at Huruma in Kenya and realising this dream was for a purpose greater than myself. I remembered why i started walking out this wild adventure. I remembered when I realised this was all about people. I remembered the first talk I did, how nervous I was and how exhilarated I was at the end. I remembered when I started gaining so many new friends from all over the world when I opened up my heart to the world. I remembered how it impacted so many people. I remembered the emails I had received. I remembered the stories. And then I physically met some people who were inspired by our story as well. I remembered and remembered and remembered. And I realised that the world is always ready to hear a better story. A brighter story. And that's why I believe we are all here. To be light to the darkness.
So if you ask me what I got out of this trip, I’ll tell you I remembered why I was breathing. And I gave myself one very important big, deep, breath in.. to the depths of my soul.
Why is that so important? We live in a world that is so fast paced. Our minds go from one thing to the next thing. It’s so chaotic. It becomes so easy to believe that we need to constantly be striving forward. Constantly breathing out. And we forget to breathe in. We forget to take a moment for ourselves. To check the health of our soul. We forget why we are even breathing. I believe it’s absolutely vital if we want to continue to breathe out our life to the world.
So if you’re struggling to remember why you do what you do, think about taking a moment for yourself to breathe in. And I encourage you to go out into wild. Get out of your comfort zone. You may just get cold, dirty, have a bad night sleep, go hungry, get a headache and not really find what you were looking for… but if you can just stop for a moment, take in all that’s around you, look at the trees, feel the ground beneath you, smell the fresh air, marvel at the clouds, still your mind and just breathe for a moment, you might give your mind the rest it needs… And then it might start to wander. It might start to daydream, just like when you were a child. It might even go back to those moments that have made up the adventure of where you are today. You might remember the very reason why you breathe and you might just find exactly what you need to take you to the next mountain in front of you.
P.S. Here are some of my favourite moments from the trip... Enjoy!