‘I am often asked’

‘I am often asked’ is a new series of blogs which I will be writing once a month and after each one I will be asking for suggestions for the next.

To kick start the series I thought I would start with one of the most popular questions ‘I am often asked’ which is….what has been my favourite expedition in my 10 years of leading. The answer – Horseback across the Andes with Discover Adventure and Girlguiding.

When I left school way back in the dark ages I thought I would have a life filled with horses. I had been horse mad since I was 6 and would spend every moment when home from school at the local riding school immersed into a world which I loved so much. I gained my teaching qualifications and was Head Girl in various competition yards. When I was 19 I spent 8 months in the North Island of New Zealand at 2 competition yards, gaining my HGV license, training the horses and driving my employers around the country to various shows. The dream life gradulally lost it’s sparkle and in 1993 I moved on.

Fast forward to February 2010. I had just left the safety net of full time employment in the DA office and had taken the scary leap of faith that is going self-employed but what a way to start! This was a once in a lifetime trip leading a fabulous group of Girl Guide leaders with an all male gaucho team, a couple whom I have since met up and had the pleasure of working with on Aconcagua! It’s a small world but fabulous.

It just goes to show that the skills you learn early on in this journey of life can come in quite handy even when you think they are past their sell by date.

So what was so special about it? Mountains, horses, wild camping, great teams and great times.

Check out the fabulous professional photos and my not so professional pics from this amazing adventure. Many of the ladies had learnt to ride the year before so that they could join this trip, setting aside fears not just of riding but also of being outside their comfort zones. Learning a new skill had brought them so much and they were doing things and going places they never thought possible, just like I did on my first trip as a client back in 2004.

Now – over to you with suggestions for the next ‘I am often asked’ blog!

#findyoureverest #onelife #nevergiveup #makeithappen

We are only human

We are only human

I have had long conversations recently with a few friends and colleagues about different styles of leadership and interesting chats about situations that have occurred over the past year and about how, by knowing both sides of the story, the picture was more rounded but where emotions and stressful situations were involved, looking back at things you may have acted differently, even if it was to have the same outcome which is always, always the best for you, the client. We, as leaders, all have different personalities and different styles, but we are there for one reason, to do the best for you, the client but sometimes it’s a very lonely place to be.

As a leader we are very often in a difficult position. We are treading the fine line between being your friend, your confidante, your medic, your moral support, your ‘get up and go’, trying to manage your expectations, your hopes and your dreams, your fears and anxieties, you being so far outside your comfort zone you’re not sure how to act, how to be. We understand and empathise about how you feel as we have been there too, but we are ALWAYS doing the best thing for you and that whatever decision that we make is the best decision for you. Sometimes though, in the heat of the moment when things are not going quite how you expected, words can be taken out of context and when a simple ‘come on then’ is what is needed, it maybe not what is wanted. But please remember, we are there to support you, 100%. To help you achieve your dreams.

Our intention is to always say the right thing at the right time but we are only human. You will hear what is needed to be said rather than sometimes what you want to hear, sometimes with even the best intentions you will take things the wrong way when it was said with care and patience, often you will see just a small percentage of what is going on when we have to look at the bigger picture, the whole trip or expedition, at everyone’s fitness and ability to complete the challenge and how to get the best result for all. We are only human.

Turning someone around is never an easy decision or ever taken lightly but is always a decision made in the best interests of the person or people in question. Turning someone around is never personal but done because medical indications dictate that it is the best decision at the time or that someone has just reached their personal summit. Trust me, we want you to achieve your goals as much as you do, we really do. We do this job because we want to see you succeed.

We cannot do what we do without the unending support of our incredible local crews, our Brothers from another Mother, our co-pilots flying side by side with us and we are all only human.

So please, when you take on a challenge, accept and embrace that we are there to help you, that we are there to push you on when you want to give up, that we are there to give you the best experience possible but that adventure needs to be adventurous and that it will hurt, sometimes quite a lot but be safe in the knowledge that you will come out of it on the other side a stronger, more resilient person and that understanding that what you signed up for was difficult because difficult is a good. We know that you may not like us sometimes, that’s part of the job, but we always want what’s best for you.

We are only human and we will always do our best for you, guaranteed.

#onelife #nevergiveup #makeithappen #findyoureverest