Saturday, 27 March 2010

Adventures of the Broken Hearted – Genesis of the Commonwealth Challenge

Basically this is a retelling of the tales from previous expeditions and trips, so for some of you the stories will be familiar. But without retelling these tales it would be a difficult task to explain my motivation for taking on the commonwealth challenge.

So this tales begins September 2009….

My return from the 2009 Cycling For Charity Expedition was supposed to be my last. Reaching Istanbul was going to signal my final miles in the world of cycle touring. On my arrival home the bike would become a Sunday pastime. I would then begin the search for the supposed “real job” and give up my interests in challenging adventures.

Strangely I was actually quite excited about my return home. It would mark the end of a difficult year. Life was starting to look good again. The successful completion of the expedition exemplified this. We had successfully completed all our goals, raising nearly £3000 for CHAS and also filming and producing an excellent documentary of the trip.

However the return to Glasgow proved to destroy this buoyant moment of happiness and bring me crashing to a terrible low. It started when I got home. I entered the room to find everything that was “us” was gone. All traces of her had been removed and all that was left was me. She had moved out. This is how I found out the relationship was over. Five years over without her even saying goodbye. Not even the indignity of a text message. This was not the return I had envisaged. Everything stopped.

Love and adventure did not mix well.

My “adventurer” side of my personality persuaded me that it was best to take the “manning up” approach. You could understand my surprise when I realised I had been wrapped in a duvet and crying for a number of days! Manning up hadn’t worked.

I had also missed the memo sent out giving clear instruction on how to handle this situation. Surely this would have been encouraging me to charge out into to the single life and trying to get my hands on as a high number of the opposite sex as I could.

Since I missed this vital information my solution didn’t follow that well trodden path. Nope this wasn’t for me, my mind had different plans and I didn’t really have much control over them. Instead during the madness that ensued outside of the safety of the duvet cover world I had somehow booked a flight. I had raided my saving and secured a massive five week holiday from work. Without so much consideration “I” had picked a random world destination.

Deep inside something decided that I needed a journey to clear my mind. I needed to gain perspective on the things that were important to me. I needed to be away for Christmas, from familiar ground, just from here. I was miserable. So off to the airport I went. I was going to go to India. Trying to cycle to Everest base camp seemed the logical thing to be doing.

To be continued…..

Friday, 12 March 2010

Well the Challenge is here. At long last I have finally told the world about my new expeditions. I know for some you have been waiting a while to find out so I hope I haven't disappointed.

First things first then, time for an introduction: my name is Sean Newall. I consider Glasgow my home city. I work, study and play there. This is my first major expedition!

The Challenge is an idea that I have been thinking about for a few years now but it was only after my last expedition in India that the concept really took shape. Having worked with Culture and Sport Glasgow for a number of years caused me to have an interest in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

This got me thinking about the commonwealth. If I was honest I really did not have any idea what it was, who it was etc. I thought it was all about the empire and monarchy. Really who were all these nations that Glasgow will be hosting in 2014?

I was surprised to find out that it was over 70 nations from six continents. Basically a quarter of the countries in the world make up this unique family. Not only that with the Commonwealth having a population of nearly 2 billion then there is a one in three chance that you are from a Commonwealth nation.

Here is the basis of the Challenge: 72 Commonwealth nations, 4 Epic Expeditions, 1 Challenge to visit them all by a physically challenging method of transport!

The first expedition begins on August 1st 2010 between now and then I hope to tell you more about me, the expeditions, Unicef and the commonwealth.

The Challenge isn't only for me I hope to get as many people as I can involved through games and play so there is much more to come yet!

Oh and Please If YOU are from a Commonwealth nation get in touch!