From the forest of Fontainebleau to the peaks and talus fields of Colorado; from the endless rock in the Cedarberg to the unique shapes and textures of the Deep South; from the immaculate granite and endless potential of Yosemite Valley to the variety and solitude of the Grampians, each one of these places has captured a small part of me and I have made memories that will never be forgotten.
When I look back over the last decade I can’t quite believe the places that I have been. Bouldering gave me this. It gave me not only the desire, or almost need, to explore but also a purpose, a goal, a dream. I have many of these goals and dreams scattered around the globe and, in turn, I would like to visit and collect them all. This makes it sound like a game, and I suppose it is, but the effort that goes into collecting each one is massive–and this doesn’t even guarantee success. The effort only gives me the best chance possible. The rest is down to something else. This is my main reason for traveling; to set a goal, to put in absolutely everything I have to try and achieve this and then to go and see if I am good enough. Hopefully I am–but if I am not you can be damned sure I’ll be back!
I am constantly testing myself and sometimes I come up short but luckily there is so much on offer in exploring the new that I rarely leave disappointed. Most of these places I return to because a small part of me is captured by something I'm not sure I can describe. Is it the culture? The nature? The landscapes? The people? The food? Or is it a little bit of everything?
The best thing about travelling is coming home. It always makes me realize how lucky I am to live in a place where variety really is the spice of life; our little isles have so much to offer in such a small space, exploration has never been so easy. The memories I have made at home in the UK are up there with some of the best.
Bouldering gave me all of this; a drive and desire to push my physical and mental limits but also a chance to make memories in places both far and near, both remote and crowded, both spectacular and normal.
Climber, coach photographer based in Sheffield