The Edge of Gobi
When I first told my family and friends that I was planning on heading out on an expedition to the Gobi desert in Mongolia they shrieked no! You can’t do that.
Excuse after excuse reason after reason , you’ve just had open heart surgery, what if something goes wrong, you are not fit enough were the usual ones and to be honest probably exactly what I would have said to my daughters too.
However , as a determined kinda lass I checked with my doctors, packed my meds and my rucksack and headed off with a spring in my step and my sister Gillian racing towards adventure, the unknown and a couple of weeks of new experiences.
What would I learn? What adventures would I have and how would the Gobi take me to the edge and leave me yearning for another adventure?
People say that in order to grow you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone. To challenge your own ideas and beliefs and to allow a new way of existence to be absorbed. The Zen saying of ‘empty your cup if you want to fill it up’ ran through my mind many times whilst I was in Mongolia.
I have spent many years filling my cup with my own ideas, beliefs and motivations yet now in the wild and dry Mongolian desert I had no choice than to let go , to dispose of my own ideals and to gel into a group of wonderful people from all walks of life from Australian kids from a Christian school, university students and academics from Cardiff University, a dynamic team from the Coca cola science space centre in USA , NASA trainer and NASA astronaut , an inventor and an explorer and magistrate . You might think what a weird mix of people but the dynamics of the group were extraordinary. We all shared one thing in common – a love of life , adventure and expectation.
I learned many things on the trip which will stay with me as I journey along my own path. My favourite thing is ‘Think Big, act small and do it now ‘
I have been thinking about this deeply since Ken Ham ( NASA astronaut) and I discussed leadership whilst walking down from the ruins of a Buddhist monestary . What is more important , to think or to do?
Great leaders need to think big in order to lead their people but thinking big is just not enough , it’s the doing that speaks volumes . We are defined by what we do . We are courageous only if we act with courage. We are leaders only if we lead .
So with that in mind my goal for my adventure was to lead with passion , to motivate and give to my group a piece of what it is that keeps me going , what makes me get up every day and embrace every fresh dawn as a present . A gift that should be adored . A present that we should wonder at and marvel at its wrapping and not be in a rush to open. We should ( and I try to) feel to energy of the day and savour every moment. My mission during my trip was to try to pass this excitement on to my team.
Leaving the security of my family and my little eagles ( who adore me) was challenging in itself but I wanted to do this for them . To bring back tales of adventure and inspire them that when they grow and become adults they too can have exciting adventures.
I will write about my adventures in a series of stories over the course of the next few weeks. I hope you will enjoy them.
Despite the fears there were NO Camelspiders . But we did have fun terrifying ourselves every night as we slept out in the Gobi ( what a wonderfully quiet and extraordinary place
And we experienced the whole of the transit of Venus as it passed directly in front of the sun .
Tonight I shall Think big! As I ponder over all of the experiences out in Gobi . I will act small as I realise I am but a small member of a wonderful group of amazing people who all shared and contributed to my experience and I will do it now. ( my first post in the Edge of Gobi blog)
Thankyou for following my journey