Day 80. My 2014 little British things Tour, around Britain in 80 days has reached its final day & its finishing destination back at Poole, where it began on 13 May, 80 days ago.
I feel exhausted & elated, perhaps in equal measure.
As I take a train back to take a break, to rest, process, reflect & review I wanted to share some of the initial thoughts in my over-used, under-rested, numbed, mind of marshmallow-mush which I’m deeply grateful for …
I’m grateful for the whole roller coaster expedition of energy & emotions born from a the dream seed sown back in August 2012. I’m grateful for all my learnings, self-discoveries & new experience (I can’t wait to put them to use next time!) For my energy, focus, self-discipline & for my ability to adapt to & accept the changes & challenges which became a daily occurrence throughout the tour. I’m grateful I didn’t experience any illness, accidents or injuries. I’m grateful for my personal safety, no serious transport mishaps or forgetting my suitcase (although sometimes I forgot some names!) I’m grateful for no technological crashes (even though there were occasionally power shortages of the human kind). I’m grateful I was able to keep on top of emails plus other messages despite unpredictable & unreliable internet signals around the coastline – MAN, I AM GRATEFUL FOR WiFi!
I’m grateful to every single person who has played a role in the support & success of me on my little British things Tour. Near & far, loud & quiet; from giving me directions on a platform to Tour Support through the 80 days. I couldn’t have done this alone.
I’m grateful to my favourite travel companion, Rohan for it’s fabulous clothing easing the way in my minimalist suitcase of 100ish things. To Team Rohan in its stores & Head Office, with special thanks to Brand Becky, Store Samantha & Designer Chris for all their ideas & efforts to support me with clothing & accessories plus fundraising events at a selection of their coastal stores on my route around Britain. And grateful thanks to Sarah, founder of Rohan & Rohantime for her unwavering enthusiasm, support & wisdom. What a Passepartout Tour Crew you are!
I’m grateful to & even more in awe of the lifesaving work of the RNLI. I’m forever grateful to the Lifeboat Station crews & their station teams who I’ve met around the coast of Britain. They welcomed me into their stations, on their boats, into their world & their Lifeboat family. They didn’t know it, but they have repeatedly re-reminded & re-motivated me to find a way through my own stormy seas during the tour. The experiences of sharing their training exercises, their character & their conversations will remain with me forever. With particular thanks to Michael in Douglas on the Isle of Man for getting the show on the road. And to the numerous RNLI volunteers like, Christine, Cathy & Geof. You are all magical inspiration!
I’m grateful to my Tour Crew including, dear friend, host & Tour Crew for the Day, Susie of Mildred Jones Fine Jewellery, Nina Lenton, Sam Dounis & Judith Morgan plus all the other supporters who have contributed & become members of my Tour Crew Community. I’m grateful for all my crowd-funding supporters, for the stamina & support of friends, Twitter & Facebook friends cheering me on from afar along the journey & for all the messages of support received. And I’m really grateful to Sue Fernandes who donated the daily task of updating the wonderful Tour Route Map on my website. You’re all brilliant Sunshines!
I’m grateful for my Dad. He’s getting really fast at texting now & has learnt how to do smiley faces. Put the kettle on Dad, The Whirlwind is on the train!
I’m grateful for all the media opportunities, invitations & support ranging from radio interviews, local newspapers, press officer interviews. And more. Even the request for an exclusive TV interview which unfortunately couldn’t happen back in Kingston-upon-Thames – I’m still grateful to have been asked!
I’m grateful for all the strangers I’ve met along the way, for all the kind, hospitable & generous hosts, some of whom have become friends. I have learned something from every encounter. I’m grateful for all the gifts of thoughtfulness, interest, flexibility, patience, sharing of contacts, action & wisdom.
I’m truly grateful for all the donations to the RNLI via my Just Giving page, in the street, at my breakfast table & in Rohan stores – together we have raised £1000 & rising! It’s definitely not too late to donate! The fundraising continues here …
I’m grateful for Britain & all its numerous little British things which continue to fascinate me including its untypically British Summer weather!
See you back out there soon, Sunshines! … with love & gratitude, fledgling on fire xx