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Well that was a whirlwind of a few months! When I got back to the UK before Christmas I was worried I was going to get bored being home for so long. Thankfully that was not the case and instead I feel like I need a holiday to recover! I’ve had a great time travelling around, kayaking, biking, walking, caving, running and swimming; all whilst catching up with my friends and family.

I had an awesome, unexpected day out caving pretty soon after getting home – Paul Smith

 

When I first came home I struggled with the transition back into “real life” (or at least more real than while I was travelling). I had to face some demons and emotions that I had been ignoring, which left me feeling pretty low. I found myself quiet and reserved in social situations – which is not like me at all! I was also battling with an ever-growing feeling of unease around the idea of kayaking and I was desperate to get back on the river to settle my nerves. Unfortunately, the UK remained stubbornly dry and I was forced to focus my efforts on building up my confidence mountain biking instead. Eventually my wishes were granted, the rain arrived and I quickly got my kayaking groove back; feeling stronger and more confident than ever on the water.

Fun times testing out the new Machno on the Glen Macnass in Ireland – Sue Doyle

 

I’ve had some great highlights from my time home. I loved seeing all my family over Christmas. In February, I kayaked in England, Ireland, Scotland and finished with an incredible weekend in Wales. We had a mass mega-train down the upper Conwy with maybe 30-40 people followed by a rare trip down the Mawddach – my favourite river in the UK. I also had an awesome couple of weekends at the National Student Rodeo and Galway Fest, which you can read about here.

The highlight photos from an incredible week of adventures in Scotland and Wales with Nic

 

I’ve had the best couple of months at home. Although I am sad that it’s over I am also very excited, if a little apprehensive, for the next adventure. I’m on my way across the pond to kayak for a few weeks in California before heading to Canada to work as a raft guide. Thanks to everyone who has made my time in the UK amazing and who supported me during my low points. I’ll be back in June 2018 for my sister’s wedding and I cannot wait to catch up with everyone then…. You’re also all very welcome to visit in Canada!

Here’s a quick video of my good and bad lines over the past few months: