There have been fleeting moments over the past six months when I have wanted to travel and I have wanted to write. But neither have been possible. And with good reason.
I am the father to a six month old boy. In the hours when I have not been hacking out articles quickly in a bid to cover bills, all I have wanted to do is spend time with him and my partner, marvelling at new skills learned. A roll onto the tummy here. A foot in a mouth there. A giggle while getting ready for bed. I have found joy and overwhelming happiness in what many looking from the outside in would perhaps consider mundane.
Yet now, the urge to travel, the urge to write are returning. So much so that it has become hard to ignore. I have indulged in brief swims off the beach opposite my Brighton home, but I need more. I want and need to recreate the energy which coursed through me when I retraced Roger Deakin’s Waterlog and faced down anxiety when researching Floating. It is why I am setting out on this journey, albeit one which has no destination, merely a short set of rules.
I am going to walk. And I am going to walk without purpose. Once a week in 2018 I will set out, perhaps along the coast, maybe down streets I have never explored, in towns or cities I both know and do not know. I am curious to see what I find, both in the wider world and within myself.
I am not a good ambler. Wherever I am, my anxiety means I need proximity to an escape. A Tube station. A bus stop. The knowledge of a defined route home.
So this, I hope, will be a letting go. An opportunity to get lost physically, but mentally as well. To allow my mind to wander from the path which it tries to set out. A breaking down of barriers. A fresh way of seeing the world. A way of remembering why I wanted to write, interrogate and be curious in the first place.
Each week I will write a post about the walk I have done, who and what I have encountered, the thoughts and memories which have streaked across my conscience as one foot follows the other. I do not know where I am going. And I do not wish to.