Journey 38 – 5 miles in the Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls) Rainforest

We’ve only gone and done it!

We embarked on our 500 Fresh Air Miles Challenge in January aiming to complete it by September but quite honestly having no idea if we would or not. But we were determined to give it a go.

We began by searching for long journeys we could potentially attempt – such as the Ayrshire Coastal Path, the National Three Peaks and many more. We also looked for shorter journeys that we could complete using different types of non-motorised transport like scooters, kayaks, canoes, bikes, SUP, boat, horse etc. Some of the journey ideas were a bit daunting – I mean a 100 mile walk is a big ask for any adult, never mind two youngsters. Paddling the Great Glenn Canoe Trail was also a bit scary for us novice paddlers and after reading about how Loch Ness behaves like an ocean with 2 or 3 metre-high waves possible. But we wanted this challenge to feel like a challenge… one that we had to rise to.

Despite this though, as the challenge progressed our approach changed somewhat; sure, we wanted to embark on some big-ish journeys that pushed us out of our comfort zones, but we also wanted the concept (of travelling a significant distance by breaking it down into something manageable for a family) to be something that other families could relate to, or even better, adopt and adapt for themselves. Adventure is for everyone – not just bearded alpha males that break records and endure super-human challenges. We think adventure is something families can – and should – enjoy in their own way, in their own time.  So, we decided to look for smaller local journeys (in the areas we were travelling to as part of our Year in a Caravan EdVenture) in the same way that anyone could no matter where they lived. These smaller journeys punctuated our bigger ones and helped us see new places and took the pressure off having to plan and complete marathons like SUP-ing the length of the River Shannon (which would probably have been too far out of our comfort zone).

Anyway, on a recent trip to Zimbabwe with Exodus Travels we managed to complete our 38th and final journey – we’d ‘saved’ 4 miles for the occasion as it felt fitting to complete the final miles in Africa as both of the causes we are raising money for are Africa based: Tree Aid Africa and Tijhza Village in Morocco.

This Challenge literally took us on a journey – 38 in fact – and like all good adventures it asked questions of ourselves and pushed us. But importantly it was enjoyable, rewarding and left us wanting to do more… which is exactly what we intend to do.