When you find yourself at a crossroad

Pembrokeshire coastal path, Wicklow Way, the entire coastal path, or the three peaks. I’ve never been much of an adventurer or a camper, so this came as a surprise for me too: I long to go hiking for weeks or months.

Ever since I lived in Wales right along the Pembrokeshire coastal path, I’ve been dying to hike it. To me, it seemed like the ultimate freedom. Me, hiking boots and a cliff with the roaring sea below. This was before movies like ‘Wild’ or ‘Into the wild’ were even on my radar. This was also when I was still overweight and had little to no endurance. It seemed like a faraway dream. One I never forgot.

Right now I seem to find myself at a point in my life where I need to decide whether I’m going to do a trail like that. And if I am, it may be now or never. No, I’m not being dramatic, just realistic.

Being on my way to 33, there is pressure from all angles of life. Friends are getting married, popping babies and buying houses. And while I’m happy for them and a part of me longs for that too, I can feel adventure pulling. It’s tugging my sleeve and asking me to pay attention to that feeling of growing wanderlust.

Lately, I’ve been remembering the feelings of those first hikes in the UK. The ground under my feet, the landscape flashing by when I was on route on the train. I remember the promise I made myself to hike that trail, the guidebook I bought now living on the bookshelf.

One thing I keep asking myself is ‘how bad do I want it?’. Do I want to do that hike, go on that adventure and see where it leads me? I do, but part of me is terrified that it will change me and that I will not return the same person. Another part of me is excited to finally become a travel writer and photographer. To be an adventurer. Something 14-year old me never thought I could be.

Maybe that’s why I took up climbing in September last year. Part of me longs for it so bad, it got hooked on something that started out as an extra exercise to support my runs. But the more I climb, the more I long for real rock under my hands. For the fresh mountain air, for the silence of nature that is never silent.

I’m at a crossroad I don’t want to be on. A crossroad where clear signs are telling me the way I should be going. And while my foot is turning towards the signs, my gaze is looking at that path less travelled by. I keep wondering ‘what if?’

What if?

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