Originally posted 2019

I’ve been putting off writing this blog for a few weeks now, not because I don’t want to talk about our amazing adventure but because I simply do not know how to put into words just how unbelievable it was.

At face value, this trip was all about raising as much money as possible for charity, which we did thanks to all your support. However, in reality the experience we had there was so much more than that (what happens in Finland stays in Finland) 

I recently read a post saying wouldn’t it be great if adults still have sleepovers  with their mates where they all crashed over at someone’s house, stayed up all night laughing, talking, no phones, no tv…. just pure and simple fun. Well that is exactly what this trip was all about! 

So much more than the challenge

Yes we had the physical challenges to complete but the trip was so much bigger than that. Twelve women rocked up to Manchester airport on that Sunday morning and met each other for the first time. By the end of that evening any nerves or apprehension had been set aside and for the next 5 days we would all share in a once in a lifetime experience. 

It was this that made the trip for me. Don’t get me wrong the setting was out of this world, like something out of a Christmas Card. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life – it was breathtaking. The challenges were tough but oh my god how much we laughed while doing them. It made me think that I had not laughed like this for a long time, too long in fact. Maybe sleepovers are the way forward? 

A break from the chaos

It was this time spent with the team that made the trip for me. In the real world, we all live busy chaotic lives constantly attached to mobile devices and living at such a fast pace that life passes before us without even realising! We all promise to see each other more and ask when each other is free but how often do we follow through on it? If I’m honest, not enough! 

It was different here in this little wooden cabin in the snow covered forest. We had basic amenities, limited (if any) WiFi signal and not a luxury item in sight. Yet we had the best time. 

The real world felt so far away and it was a real eye opening experience to actually slow down, switch off and just enjoy living in the moment. It was like being a little kid again on a school camping trip. We slept in our bunk beds and giggled into the early hours laughing about what had happened that day while we were out doing the challenge events. When we were out during the day, the temperature got so cold that our phones would not work. Disaster! No, because that meant rather than looking at life through the lens we were actually taking in the amazing scenery and appreciating just how beautiful it all was. I even discovered that when snowflakes fall – they actually fall in the shape of a snowflake! Who knew? 

Maybe sleepovers ARE the way forward?

We talked about stupid things, we Ice dipped in the frozen lake, we sat up till the early hours talking rubbish and throughout it all we laughed non stop. It was the best sleepover I’ve ever been to.

It really made me think that this trip wasn’t just about charity nor about completing a fitness challenge. We gained just as much in the time we spent in our cabin late into the evenings as we did on the challenge and that is what I’ll remember our trip for. It reminded me that I need to slow down and appreciate the people and opportunities around me before they pass me by. I need to make time for my friends and family but more importantly I need to make time for me.

I asked the women to sum up their experience in one word and couldn’t have put it better myself…….

  • Inspiring
  • Magical
  • Narnia
  • Epiphany 
  • Liberating
  • Phenomenal
  • Incredible 
  • Unforgettable 
  • Emotional
  • Epic 
  • Life changing 
  • Transformative