First month into the new year and I've gone on my first ever overnight camping trip! I went as part of my new job's fantastic induction programme. Even though I'm a 100% TOTAL chicken when it comes to the outdoors, I did manage to learn lots and conquer a few fears. First up, I've learnt, you always need a sleeping bag. I forgot all about it. I just went with an inflatable mattress, airy tent, zero jumpers/thermals/jacket and nearly froze to death. Nice move Dawn! If you saw me at about 3am, you would have rolled over in laughter at the sight of me with my tights over my shorts, mismatched socks, 3 layers of t shirts and my hands under an extra pair of denim shorts which I used as a useless pillow. Agony aside, at least I know this story will always make for a good laugh when I sit around the campfire in future with students. Hah!
Secondly, I've learnt never underpack. Always overpack. I was afraid of turning up looking like a complete newbie with too many bags so I packed light, too light in fact, I ran out of clothes and didn't have proper shoes. Things like Panadol can be pretty handy, just in case. I came down with a cold right before I left for the trip and suffered the entire night sniffing and freezing away.
Nitty bitty things aside, I've not only managed to successfully pitch my own tent but I also had my first wide water rafting experience, along with a rather scary wide water swimming experience. See those rocks above? They seem to look a little smaller in the photo but yes, I swam/glided/floated through all of that! Of course I had to be pulled out at the end because I had zero energy left in me to swim myself back to shore. The current was just too strong! It gave me a bit of a scare but nevertheless, I only live once and it was a thrilling experience I'll never regret doing.
So glad for my lovely fellow colleagues who motivated me along the way. Could not have dared to even try these things if not for everyone's encouragement. What a way to start the new school year. With a big bang! Can't wait for more exciting things in store. With such a crazy start, I bet there'll be heaps of fun to come!