Expeditions have changed the way I view the world.
I get excited when I see any two vertical objects spaced about three metres apart as I picture myself sat with absurd, childish pride beneath a perfectly pitched tarp.
The attributes of highest value when shopping for clothes are not how they look and what other items they’ll go with but rather what their insulative and weather-resistant properties are.
When I scan a finger across a map or a cursor across its electronic equivalent, I immediately wonder whether I could walk from this place to that, or run, or swim, or cycle. I mentally measure the distances and sit back as my brain hatches ridiculous plans before I’ve realised what I’m doing.
Rock faces aren’t just shapes or pieces of geological history but instead present a climbing frame. Would my hand fit here? Could I balance myself there?
Any river I see is assessed as to whether I would: A) Use it to fill my water bottle, B) Have a wash in it, or C) Jump in.
Switchbacks up a mountain might bring a brief appreciation for the engineering feat but, really, I’m thinking how long would it take me to ride up them on my bike and what speed could I hit coming down the other side?
Small patches of grass at the side of a path, tiny ledges near the edge of a cliff, hidden nooks in the side of a hill. They all draw my mind instantly to my bivi bag and how much I would love to be curled up there under cover of darkness.
I see campsites where some might see lawns.
I see shelter where I once saw trees.
I see a challenge which had previously just been switchbacks.
I see release in what others would call a lake.
I see black tarmac stretching upwards towards the horizon and I want to ride my bike.