Great journey’s can sometimes take a long time to achieve. It’s taken over 2 years but i have finally realised one of my own dreams with the publication of my first ever paperback book launched in WHSmith Teesside Park on the 2nd July – Jumping the Cliff to Simply Be!
The book chronicles my journey across Italy from the farthest tip in the South of Reggio Calabria to across the border and the finish line in the principality of Monte Carlo, a journey of over a 1000 miles. It would link up the dots of a walk that spanned the whole of mainland Europe and the UK, walking alone and without support.
The journey was fundraising for the Jo & Mya Charity, named after the family of my good friend and chief support throughout the walk Ian Richardson, someone who i would spend many hours chatting with during the walk, when i could. The journey was covered extensively by local newspaper Evening Gazette with stories throughout the walk.
The journey was my own way of taking on my demons, including acknowledging my own mental health problems and also a lifelong battle with alcohol. Walking without money, other than for emergencies which did come up, especially walking the Mafia controlled areas of Naples, where a night on the road was the scariest experience of my life.
A time in my life where in many way’s my life was creaking at the edges, as i fought to save my social enterprise BCT Aspire and my own employment hung in the balance. This was my own unique way of going away to come back to fight on.
The walk highlights my simple techniques for staying positive such as the efforts made to learn the language, even if it meant only a few simply greetings and niceties, accompanied by my smile of friendship to all who i would pass on the road.
From the first day when taking the time to offer a photograph to a Father & Son would mean a support network i could never imagine that would keep me save, even when a chest infection meant a trip to the Hospital on New Years Day.
The walk shows also showed a darker side with my slow relapse to drink, using red wine to help me sleep and numb the pain, just as many do in daily life. The walk show’s that when we have a goal, whatever obstacles are in our way are just part of the journey and that anything is truly achievable.
Showing the joy of simple moments, such as watching a sunrise or fall, the singing of the birds, this walk is about enjoying the world around us, even if some day’s the sun doesn’t shine.
The book is available on pre-order and available from the 2nd July through myself or my publishers 6th Element.