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Grit- Epilogue

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

And that was that. I guess this would be the moment when I say The End before closing the book and putting it on the shelf but I know that the events of that week will stay with me forever. Not because it was traumatic in any shape or form, but because during this expedition I learnt a lot about myself and my capabilities whilst developing my appreciation of the natural beauty of the outdoors.

While I have your attention. Or hopefully still have your attention should I say... It has been a long blog... I would like to draw my readers to a particular quote. Earlier, in Day 3 of my blog, I wrote a bit about famed backpacker Christopher McCandless. In the movie ,starring Emile Hirsch, which depicts McCandless's life, Christopher tells us this:

"I know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once."

Feeling strong... We live in a cruel and unforgiving world. The older we get the more we come to realise this. Education. Relationships. Work. Debt. Parenting. These can be perceived as phantoms that crowd in on us and push us onto the monotonous rat race of life. We stress. We feel weak. It is why so many people nowadays are diagnosed with anxiety disorders and why so many out there are committing suicide. Yet, what is important to realise is that they are exactly that- phantoms- invisible figments of the imagination that do not exist that are spawned self-consciously by us. The reality is that for decades, most of us in first world countries live in peace. We have lived in it for so long that are biggest enemy threatens to be ourselves. The world, after all, is what we choose to make of it.

The idea of our website, Expedition Pursuit, is about reaching out and grabbing happiness. To encourage our readers to cast aside doubts and misgivings to seize what it is they want. I am not saying go out into the woods for a week or climb a mountain to feel complete. I am saying to stop thinking about what other people are thinking and think about yourself for once. Step aside from the rat race of life and ask yourself the question: "What makes me happy? What is it that I want to do?" If you have the grit and determination to answer yourself and pursue it, then you will feel strong. Soul searching does exist and everyone needs to do it. So measure yourself.

Firstly, I would like to thank my family for the emotional support that they gave me in the weeks leading up to and during the Wicklow expedition. Especially my dad who encouraged me to dig deep when I hurt my back when I was on the verge of quitting. Had I quit on that day and came home, I truly would never have forgiven myself and the Vale of Glendalough would have continued to haunt me. It was my dad who christened this series Grit by the way.

Secondly, I would like to thank my readers. Yes, it has been a long journey but I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did. At Expedition Pursuit, you are at the heart of everything that we do. If you enjoyed, make sure to share leave feedback, share with your friends and family and follow us on our social media platforms. Your support means everything.

I also want to take time to apologise. Unfortunately, my phone broke on Day 5 preventing me from capturing the rest of the Wicklow Way's beauty and I am sorry to disappoint in that regard. Furthermore, I met some fantastic people along the Way and I feel terrible for forgetting names that were not included in the blog!

Before you leave, be sure to check out our other blogs on site and the expeditions of our other contributors and I will see you all on my next expedition.

Warm regards,

Jake Shortland

Mid Expedition Shot

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