Finding peace in a pandemic
Updated: Sep 3, 2021
It almost feels wrong to be finding so much joy in something right now. And yet, at the same time, it's more important than ever to find something which brings you happiness. As the world feels like it's crumbling around me, I have been finding peace and joy in the ever changing coastline of England's South West.
Walking the South West Coast Path over the last three months has grounded me. It's given me a goal, a reason to leave the house and to spend time completely surrounded by nature. On the coast path, it's easy to forget that COVID-19 is still our ever-present reality. With the wind blowing in from off the coast, I feel free.
Is it weird that it's when I'm at home that I feel most lost? I've just finished my master's degree at the University of Exeter and after being a student for five years, I suddenly find myself without an identity I can connect with. At the same time, I'm also recognising I may only have a few months left here in the UK - my home since 2015. I guess it's not all that surprising that I'm feeling overwhelmed and scared about the future.
Yet when I'm on the coast path, these things don't seem to matter. It doesn't matter that I'm unemployed and still don't know how I want to make a difference in this world. It doesn't matter that my time in the UK is sliding away. What matters is making it up the next ascent, making it to the next headland, to the next beach. The mental and physical challenge of hiking from coves to cliffs and cliffs to coves has helped me disconnect from the chaos of 2020 and appreciate what I do have.
On the coast path, I've been able to find peace. I've found time to reflect, to explore, to spend time with Brett. I've skinny dipped in the sea. I've taken self portraits on a beach in 6ºC wearing nothing but a red gown. I've fallen and gotten back up again to keep on walking, knees bleeding.
I wanted to create this blog as a way of documenting our adventures - a place to help organise our photos in a way that lets us remember our trips. Whether you're here to read about our adventures, see our photos or get a taste of the South West, I hope you enjoy.