So I’m on the radio! Tomorrow!! I’m really looking forward to it; well, actually, I’m awfully nervous too!!
One of the best things about it, is that it has made me have a re-think about what direction jojourneys should go. I have some wonderful friends and they have helped me to come up with a programme of exciting experiences that draw on my passions and skills I’m really keen to get it up and running. I’d like to share with you what we’ve come up with and I’m hoping to talk about it on tomorrow’s show…
We’ll be on Calon FM with the lovely Dave Williams’ Breakfast Show on Thursday 25/1/2918. You can listen via http://www.calonfm.com/105fm/ and it’s also available on catch-up.
So, the first step: we’ve come up with a definition of a jojourney, as if it were in the dictionary:
jojourney / ‘dzoe dʒɜː(r)ni/ n. a combination or series of challenging and uplifting experiences through which an individual travels to a new place of reflection, recognised progress or achievement. It is particularly good for helping to banishing the winter blues.
Essentially, I’m hoping to offer a programme or menu of experiences which a person can choose 3-4 of to accomplish in their own guided jojourney. Essentially most of them would be achieved via a walk in the stunning Dee Valley, although one or two might take place in my home. Typically, they would start with a relaxed chat over a hot drink while we plan out the day together. Depending on the chosen activity we might carry out an introductory exercise before then heading out to complete a series of challenges in the outdoors. The best way to finish the day, could be round a campfire sipping hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows whilst reflecting on what we’ve accomplished through our jojourney.
So, the ‘menu’ of options might include any of the following….
- a photographic peregrination - an opportunity to visit the best landscapes in the Dee valley, explore nature's patterns, get top tips and production know-how - what to do with those stunning memories once you've taken them.
- a navigational odyssey - learn to use a map and compass to increase your confidence to stray from the beaten path.
- a walking workout - do you want to get fit but hate running? Do you have a dress or outfit you want to fit into, in time for that special date - experience the ultimate workout - raise your heartbeat (safely) - low impact, so good for joints - and it has a useful side effect, it’s good for creativity as well.
- exploring the creative process - carry out various exercises to discover and/or explore your next big project, gather inspiration from a stroll in the outdoors, and investigate ideas through further discussion.
- stargazing spectacular - unravel some of the mysteries of the sky, identify key constellations discover some of the myths and stories behind their names.
- booklist mania - do you love to read? and to talk about books? let's discuss all things books and come up with a feelgood booklist for the next twelve months. There is also a monthly book up for discussion if you want to delve into one book in depth...
- nature stroll - listen to the mew of a buzzard high above, find out who's been eating the pine cones or what has dug a burrow that runs right across the path - so much to notice through every walk.
- introduction to mindfulness through walking - https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness.htm - follow the link to discover the many benefits of mindfulness, we will explore it through the physical sensations experienced whilst walking, through listening to the gentle sounds of the natural world as we walk, by noticing the patterns around us.
- dinas bran discovery- an exhilarating clamber to the top of this fascinating hill fort where various medieval Welsh princes have presided, discover more, exercise your imagination, complete a photographic or other form of artistic assignment to investigate the textures and shapes of the ruins.
- culinary curiosity - have you always struggled to produce a particular dish? Do you have a gluten-free vegan friend but don't know how to cater for them? I love tackling kitchen problems and creating delicious solutions. Together we can unpick a tricky culinary issue and come up with a yummy answer. Or simply enjoy creating something yummy in the kitchen.
- And most jojourneys finish best with a campfire contemplation or a fireside reflection - with hot chocolate to sip on and marshmallows to toast, what better way to ponder the rewards of your tailor-made jojourney?
The list has come from all the experience I have gathered over the years as an International Mountain Leader and overseas expedition leader. But also every year I struggle with the Winter Blues – after an intensely busy summer leading treks mostly in the Alps, I come home to a very quiet time and generally collapse in a bit of a heap. I then really struggle to pick myself up and this list is somewhat a prescription for dealing with that problem. And would love to share this with other people in the same predicament. But also, with people who might simply want to explore life in the Dee Valley.
I love meeting people and finding out about them. Often people are very inspired to go away and tackle a project or new way of life after a long trek in the mountains. One lady was so grateful for the ideas and motivation that she had from walking with me on the Tour du Mont Blanc in the Alps, that she sent me a beautiful pair of earrings from the new jewellery business she went home to Australia and set up. And several people have taken courage from hearing my story of leaving teaching to follow my heart into the mountains to do a job I truly love to make big changes in their own lives.
One guy wrote this poem as a way of thanks:
A Biology teacher from Wales
Was well versed in spiders and snails
But then something changed
Her life rearranged
She took to the mountains and trails
So off to Mt Blanc and the snow
We hiked on the paths high and low,
With mountains to die for
And blisters to cry for
A really big “thank you” to Jo
By Peter Theron, September 2016
For the last few years I have chosen my favourite photos from my year’s travels and brought them together into a calendar with appropriate quotes. I’d like to share my photographic know-how so that my jojourney-ers can take some lovely memories home with them and maybe be continually motivated to work on the next creative project.
And so on, there’s a link/story to each activity that explains why I’m keen to run them… I might blog some more another time but ideally, I’ll get them all up onto the website…