In late 2008 I realised I’d slipped back into the old routine. Two months of fat rent, little pay, ambition lost, working in London (trying to start my own company) and my soul was reduced to tatters.
So I left, bought a narrowboat, and moved onto the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire. The idea was to wake up every morning and kayak, all in preparation for a source to sea expedition along Australia’s Murray River, a journey that I hoped would get me back on track in my pursuit of a career in adventure. Luckily, it worked.
There were other, hidden lessons that year. Life on a boat introduced a whole new way of living, I appreciated the simple things like saving water and watching ducklings grow up. I emptied my own toilet out wheneve nature called for it, cooked on a stove with a finite gas supply and realised a pleasurable life didn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it was ridiculously cheap!
I haven’t always had an affinity with water because up until then my homes had always been landlocked, but life on Aslan the narrowboat led me to my first journey on water, and I can safely say the entire year, both in the UK and along the Murray in Australia, renewed my passion for life. If I hadn’t made a drastic shift from city to country, house to boat, then I wouldn’t be where I am now.
And then there's a new chapter, which began in August 2016. Those few months in 2009 kickstarted a career in adventure and arguable simplicity which eventually meant I could actually afford a home when I found the right woman to move in with. And here we are.
For all the lessons of living out of a bag, it now feels wonderful to have a base. I move a little less, but not much. And I come home now. That feels good, too.