For years I have longed to travel, not having taken a gap year before college or starting work, it felt as though a rite of passage hadn't been taken.
In the past I had regarded myself as more of an armchair traveller, a seeker after inner truths journeying on the rhythm of the drum or the dream, rather than someone likely to do so physically. This changed as I changed and became a strong yearning for adventure. I felt trapped in my job, despite enjoying many aspects of it, and I was tired of the 'safe' life that stretched before me.
One day I stumbled upon a book called 'Soulcraft' by Bill Plotkin that seemed to answer a number of questions. Working in a shamanic way with nature, the ritual telling of one's story to the land, going deep, feeling the giant 'YES' to Self, to Life, to living without fear all spoke directly to me. I loved the way that beautiful poems were used to connect to soul. It appeared that others were aware of the sharp edge of Fear against the soft flesh of Self, and the call that comes to shake the false image of oneself so that the truth you were born with could re-emerge.
Later while at 'Rivenstone' in Dartmoor I saw a presentation, given through letters, diaries and poems, by several women who had travelled to Arctic Sweden on a creative and spiritual retreat. At the end I said with great intention - I want to do that! - and I signed up for information. The following year I received a leaflet and realised I couldn't afford to go, so I put it aside with the knowledge that if I was meant to go I would.
So after many years of dreaming about doing a Soulcraft Quest I began to make plans to take a 3-month sabbatical and do the September Quest in Utah. I even went out one evening with two of my American friends to talk about my trip and get some advice. However, the Universe works with us and to my utter surprise 2 weeks later the opportunity came early when redundancies were announced at work. I put myself forward and was accepted.
The first thing I did was email the women about going to the Arctic; I was welcomed with open arms! It was perfect timing as they needed to book the flights within the next couple of weeks. Then I had a long conversation on Skype with a lady in America and signed up for the May Quest. What an amazing gift, an enormous answering 'YES!' to everything that matters, all was meant to be and led to the most wonderful experiences of my life.