2016 has been a remarkable year with many changes that will reverberate for years to come. It feels like what ever follows this year will have its roots in this year and as we say good bye to it, I can’t help but appreciate that significant effect that it has had.
For Sofia most notably it has been a year of expansion of awareness and confidence. The results of which I got to experience full force at the schools parents evening a few weeks ago. Every teacher was so complimentary of her, her enthusiasm, her engagement, and her manners. It was such a joy to hear that she was doing so well. She is not ‘cured’ of autism, there is no cure, her brain still functions in particular ways that is obvious to those that have experience, however, her ability to cope and function in the world is allowing her to experience it more positively and to interact with out fear of failure.
For me, the change has been one of liberation. We don’t realise how much our environment in the western world erodes our confidence and prohibits us from experiencing life to the full. It was a huge step for me to drop everything and embark on adventure that showed a completely different side to life and prove how safety is one that we create for ourselves rather than an existential given that can be taken away. I stand in a place of appreciation for all the people on our path who helped us realise this truth – and I particularly appreciate Sofia for coming into my life and being my inspiration to do something that added value to so many others as well. It has been wonderful to hear how we have inspired people to travel or make changes in their lives or do things they didn’t feel able to do before.
For 2017, whilst there is plenty happening on the home front, I am hoping that we will get an 8 week ride in the summer. For now the decision is definitely Europe which will see us travel up into Russia and then down to Gibraltar and back again (map embedded below). The world of Europe is becoming dangerous and it may not even be viable by the time we get to summer, so the USA is our back up plan and we will do it 2018 if Europe is a go for this year. I wish I could be more committed, but things are changing fast and it is impossible to have a crystal ball to know how things are going to look in 6 months time. All I do know is that once Europe starts to collapse into violence, it will be a long time before travel is going to be possible with any degree of realistic safety. The violence is inevitable now, it is just a question of when.. this coming year, the next year, or the year after – all are possibilities. So I think we go now whilst the going is still good.
Thank you everyone for following our adventures this year, and I hope you stick around to watch us in 2017! if you would like to donate, please feel free to do so at the Virgin money giving link on the right had side of this page.
Hope you have a wonderful 2017!