I really struggled with the last lockdown to be honest, as anybody who finds their creativity through going places struggled. I thought, as soon as this lockdown’s over I’m going to walk from John o’Groats to Land’s End. I’ve wanted to do it for quite a few years so after being locked in a room on my own for three and a half months I thought, this is it.
During the last lockdown I was put into a homeless hostel but most of the time I was sleeping in my car. I’ve got my tent and I can pitch that in various places. I’m finding it extremely difficult to secure any permanent accommodation. I’m from Wolverhampton but I haven’t lived there for over 30 years.
I lived in London for quite a few years, working in the City as a trainee investment analyst and then a unit trust dealer. But I had to move away from that, it just wasn’t me. I went off to Devon and drove tractors instead.
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I lived abroad for a few years then in Dorset for about eight years. I’ve been in Cornwall now for two and a half years and they try to say I don’t have a local connection. During lockdown I was getting so tired, it’s mentally fatiguing having this constant battle to be housed. It’s almost like a tactic to stop you trying. I thought, I’ll just go walking and then try privately. Hopefully the strength that I get from the walk will act as a springboard towards something a bit more permanent.
I’ve always done a lot of walking, especially long distances. I trained as a trekking guide and worked in Spain, Morocco, Nepal, France and Italy. Then over the past few years it’s been my pastime and my passion. I love it. I got back out on my pitch after lockdown, sold some magazines and managed to save up enough to pay towards this trip. I’ve sold everything I have of value, and donated the rest. I’ll have enough for about £10 a day and in my experience that’s enough. I’ll wild camp every night and you can eat really cheaply if you cook your own food. Hopefully my boots will last, if not I’ll sell some magazines along the way. The Big Issue enabled me to do it in the first place and it will enable me to complete it.