Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Fruit search, determination and nipples..

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I find it pretty difficult to write when I’m angry, but updating software on my iPhone has resulted in the deletion of an entire folder titled “USA Plans”. It has riled me up on my way to work to the point of throwing my phone at the small, obnoxiously loud, McDonalds breakfast-eating children. I refrained…

I had vital data on budgeting, kit lists, products I was saving for, contact details of people in the states and half written blogs containing information I needed to refer to. It’s not life threatening, but it’s about another months work based on the spare time I have to plan things, to regain everything that’s been deleted. Remind me never to update ANYTHING again without emailing EVERYTHING to myself before hand. As I will mostly be using my phone whilst I’m away to update myself and keep in touch with the wider world, I thought I would get used to using it now, for pretty much everything. Backing up is tricky when surrounded by the wilderness. Thanks apple, you make searching for actual apples online a nightmare! This is as about as angry as I get and for those who know me, it’s worse than when my doctor broke three needles in my foot whilst trying to anaesthetise me.

In other news, I think I have odd shaped legs. Somebody told me that they liked my legs this week….everyone loves a compliment, but I swear that going by the feeling of considerable chaffing, everywhere, I remain convinced that my body complexes are based on firm theories. Why, after just walking, (only between 20-30 miles a week at the moment) does ones nipple chaf like it’s had enough of being obstinate and now trying to escape my chest? Not to mention other sensitive areas! My skin feels rougher than a rhino after an exfoliation with crushed glass. In fact because of my new daps, my feet seem to be the only part of me that isn’t falling apart. I’m aware that when they do (probably in 8 weeks or so when I want to be doing at least 40-50 miles a week), no amount of gels, tape, creams, blister remedies, homeopathic treatments or black magic will be able to help much…..which reminds me, I must buy new socks..

I’ve been pondering the reasons behind why I chose this challenge to kick myself into middle life (an ex-romantic fling did mention that it screams early crisis) and to throw myself into the world of fundraising for causes close to my heart. I often hear the following statements from my family and friends: “you’re so calm”, “nothing ever fazes you”, “you’re the most laid back person I know”, “you’re a human radiator” “you’re super tolerant” and “let me sleep!”. I’m not sure what the last comment has to do with the point I’m making, but I think I’ve concluded that by thrusting this challenge of “wondering across a continent” upon myself, I might actually feel stress, become fazed, have my calmness tested, be completely intolerant on my return or maybe I might grow to be less annoying….maybe. I hope the animals appreciate my struggles….although they probably have enough of their own to worry about.

I’m worried about being able to afford this challenge. I’m not asking for funding, but I have decided on the charity that donations will go to (Please check the Charity, Support and Fundraising page). Financially, like every other post-university student in the UK, I have a fair amount of debt. This obviously needs to be covered whilst I’m away. I also need to make sure I’ve the £2000 in the bank before I leave so I can stick to the parameters of the challenge, not to mention afford the return journey home that I’ll need to book (or maybe I’ll be able to ‘wing’ that one too). Currently, whilst not winning the euro millions mid-week (only because I didn’t buy a ticket….one pound saved, as my dad would say) I’m short on all fronts and despite saving plans and money making schemes, It’s fair to say I’ve a long way to go. I’ve never been short of determination, (thankfully, or I won’t be getting far out of Boston next Easter) though it doesn’t mean that I’m completely free of concern. Money doesn’t grow on trees – so why don’t we just trade in grain and fruit like we used to?!

I’m not asking for financial aid to help me afford my challenge, but obviously donations towards the World Land Trust and charitable support through kit and supplies are always, very much welcome. Knowing that I have support is a big enough boost to crack on and complete my challenge.

This weekend I’m off camping – sadly not on an energetic weekend to test out any new supplies, clothing or kit, or stretch my legs in the countryside – but I will undoubtedly eat too much food from the BBQ (that’s an oxymoron, right?), drink too much and probably wake up in a field with a (slight) hangover with about 40 of my work colleagues before making everyone bacon sandwiches on the grill. I know my place.

Earlier this week I tried to film part of my walk across London by holding my phone camera in front of my face. Needless to say, when reviewing the footage it feels like I cover very little ground in the few minutes of video that I watched of me walking over the Thames, past the millennium wheel, alongside Big Ben, around the Houses of Parliament and glancing my eyes over to Westminster Abbey. I did notice one thing though, without pointing the camera skywards, I realised that everyone was below natural eye level – it was a terrible angle to film from. I saw London and the crowds from my own high perspective. I would say that I’ve not seen that before, but you would just assume, “idiot”! Hopefully I’ll manage to streamline my filming for short trips and video footage next year. As for filming around London, I would strap the camera to my chest, but I fear it might fall off, taking my rhino nipples with it.


Do you have some cream for that?

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This entry was posted on June 20, 2013 by in USA on $6 a day and tagged , , , , , , .

Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

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