I’m Kate Garner. I live in a lovely little house in Shropshire and try to spend as much time as possible in the hills of Wales and Scotland. I live in a town, which means I walk to a job that is worthwhile and fulfilling and to the shops, run in and out of town, swim in the river that goes past my house and cycle further afield. I have a long-suffering partner, a grown up daughter to be proud of and an awkward, needy dog. I regularly go on hugely enjoyable hiking trips, but have recently decided to stop travelling by aeroplane.
I have a great life! So much to enjoy and be thankful for. In 2022 I will exchange most parts of this life (not the partner, daughter or dog) for a year of travelling to places I really want to go to and then transition into a different life that allows me that most precious thing that money can’t buy; the time to do the things that are most important to me.
The original plan was a year of walking. Then it was walking to Nepal to trek the 3 Passes trail. Then I built in hiking parts of the emerging Trans-Caucasian Trail. Then it was walking to Nepal and travelling back through Africa. Then it was human powered travel when I realised that I couldn’t walk to Nepal in 6 months and so cycling was built in. Then it was mostly human powered travel when I realised that I couldn’t walk and cycle there in 6 months and spend a month in the Caucasian mountains so trains were built in. But never, never aeroplanes, and rather excitingly with no real idea of how to get home.
I have the luxury of not needing to seek sponsorship for my trip and the only charitable activity I’m going to deliver is towards myself to support my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The purpose of my blog and social media posts is to record my planning and preparation and the trip itself – hopefully to inspire and inform and to show that if I can do this, anyone can.
I will be as flexible as I need to be – not put any pressure on myself. I will be prepared to travel solo but also welcome company. My extremely understanding partner plans to do a few months with me.
What I do want is to gently raise awareness of what to me is the unintended hypocrisy of travelling around the world by aeroplane and private vehicles to explore and seek adventure in wild places, often for very short periods of time. It makes me feel deeply uncomfortable and in conflict with the idea of sustaining the planet for future generations through the promotion of wild places and the need to protect them.
My trip is inspired by the people who change their lives to find 1 or 2 years of time for slow travel and start adventures from their front doors. I know this is highly impractical for most people and I did say I want to gently raise awareness, but I also know I’m not the only person thinking in this way.
At the end of his book Outpost, Dan Richards says, ‘Rather than globetrotting, globerambling or even globestanding and -sitting should be the goal’.
I want to trek in the Everest region and across the Trans-Caucasian mountains, see Lhasa and travel in Africa. I don’t want to travel by aeroplane. This is my globerambling solution.