Dreaming of home

By Aleks Kashefi

How often do you ignore the common placed, your normal surroundings, the small and inconspicuous, for the grand and exotic?

We all do it at some point. We ignore what’s right on our door step and wander far away. We say how incredible it is. How glorious the weather, the terrain, the views. With that said, how often do you go somewhere common placed. For the sake of argument, let say Kinder in the Peak District, and then find new ways to reach the top of the plateau? There are secrets hidden in the most visited of places that we miss just because we follow the path that has been set by others. We don’t think it’s worth visiting them more than once and miss out on learning the true sense of the place we visit. Romanticism aside, ignoring the tourist route, the path most trodden. That’s the way to really find out what a place has to offer.

When younger, I would climb through fences, over walls and pretend I was an explorer. Stepping where no one had stepped before and in most cases I wasn’t far off that. I would climb trees, Survey the land and decide which way I’m goingon a whim. The sense of discovery was great. It really make a place feel special somehow and it’s something I still do. I will follow the trail, running along the path most trodden and then suddenly decide I want to explore. A new path where there is no path. Suddenly the landscape is different. I see it with brand new eyes. The eyes of that same child who pretended to be exploring a land new to man. So...

How often do you wander off the beaten track and explore? How often to do you turn the ordinary outing into a mini adventure? How often do you stand, look, grin and feel like a kid again, filled with a sense of awe at the landscape around you? The challenge is to do this on your own neighbourhood. Finding those places that make you say ‘I’ve been here so many times but I’ve never seen this before!’

For the last 5 months and 5000 km or so I've been running, always on the move and constantly seeing new places, encountering new experiences. Seeing local people's places with outsiders eyes. Their homes, their secret spots. Well right now, as I’m reaching the end of my run across Europe, I’m wanting to be back in the U.K. exploring its amazing landscape in different ways. Not just running but scrambling, gorge walking, cycling, climbing and maybe even swimming to find all those spots I’ve never noticed before. Maybe there’s a challenge in this!

Challenge yourself to find 52 new routes in the places you’ve visited before. That’s just one a week!

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