Difficult Times Call for Difficult Decisions

It’s two weeks since I had expected I would be setting off for the trip of a lifetime in Ireland.

I’ve suspected since March that it wasn’t going to happen as I’d hoped, however I think I’ve pretty much just been in denial since then, crossing my fingers and pretending not to listen to how long lockdown measures were expected to last. There are other factors as well, I still don’t have much of the kit I need, and being furloughed from a casual contract has left the funds a bit short. The break from paddling also means I’m not fit.

It’s very disappointing. I can’t think of a more socially distant past time. I never have intentions of seeking out the populated or crowded places, and to perhaps controversially respond to the Facebook critics, I struggle to see the difference between the risk assessments I make deciding whether or not to paddle, verses those that people (should) make when they’re out taking their lockdown approved bike rides. The risks might be different, but the process should be the same. But I have a responsibility, even through the easing of lockdown measures, to do all I can to keep people safe. We all do; despite what Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings may choose to demonstrate. Therefore, it is almost a certainty, that my Ireland trip will not take place this year.

There is however, a plan B. A longer-term project, which I had already mulled over for the future and something that I am as excited for as I was Ireland. More miles and equally adventurous, and with scope for some long solo expeditioning. However, this trip will be more flexible, with opportunities to visit new places, meeting and sharing paddling experiences with like-minded folk, and I still hope to raise awareness and funds for charity.

It is a tough time right now, with a string of seemingly endless heart-breaking events occurring in the world. Whilst these are not to be dismissed, it’s important to look to those little things that keep us sane. Ireland is still on the, albeit far, horizon, and plan B is an exciting work in progress, so I am feeling positive. This is my little thing and I hope wholeheartedly that you have yours.

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