How far do you have to go to be an 'Explorer'?

Like most people I love to travel and to get away and experience new things.

It's January, its cold and it's a wet Sunday, There are restrictions on travel and being inside can be more appealing than being outside. Today though I have had an adventure by being an 'Explorer'!

How far do you have to go to be an 'Explorer'? - I don't think it needs to be far at all.

What is an 'Explorer'? Collins dictionary says - An explorer is someone who travels to places about which very little is known, in order to discover what is there.

Today I travelled 10 miles from home to a place I had never been before, about which I knew very little and I discovered what was there, what used to be there and why it was there.

Ergo - I am now an 'Explorer'! I have added myself to the "Greatest Explorer List" as proof...

Columbus, Livingstone, Shackleton, Captain Kirk and Gerighty!

Now I don't want you to think it is easy being a bona fide Explorer. It is not. It takes the following high level skills;

Planning - I had to see where else my Leicestershire Country Parks pass allowed me to go in addition to The Beacon and Watermead Park. The back-country areas I know have been mapped before.

Map Reading skills - I had to put the postcode into the car's SatNav

Financial resources - Luckily, I had already 'invested' in my pass!

Determination - I was out of bed early on a SUNDAY morning.

Resilience - It was really quite cold between the front door and the car.

So as you can see this Exploring malarky is not for the fainthearted. But the rewards can be immense - even lifechanging!

Where did I go? Snibston Colliery Park near the frontier of North West Leicestershire, through the badlands of Whitwick and across the Rubicon of the M1.

Why did I go? Simply because I hadn't been there before.

What did I discover? Lots about the history of coal mining in the area and how it's growth and decline affected the society and topography of the area.

As importantly, we walked the dog, enjoyed fresh air and felt invigorated by new knowledge and awareness of our locality and history. My curiosity was engaged and satisfied and I now know more than I did before.

I explored and also discovered that they have a Mountain bike trail and in the garage I have,, you guessed it, a not used very often Mountain bike! I think these two things need to meet. Another opportunity for adventure has opened up through my intrepid bravery.

A successful exploration and still back in time to make the Sunday roast. You definitely don't need to go far to be have an adventure if you are an explorer!

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