No Tartan Explorer Foundation

I have some news regarding the Tartan Explorer.

I’ve decided against setting up The Tartan Explorer Foundation and will instead keep The Tartan Explorer as it originally was.

Just one boy taking on big challenges and sharing his journey to help and inspire others.

I’m still going to be carrying out a lot of the work the foundation was going to do, but I’m just going to be taking a lot of the pressure of myself.

So I’ll still be cycling, still be public speaking, still be sharing my journey online but without all of the unnecessary pressure that comes from creating and sustaining the foundation.

When I returned to Scotland I was full of energy and enthusiasm for the next chapter of The Tartan Explorer.

Literally from getting off that plane I jumped straight into work and spent a couple of weeks working almost every waking minute of the day trying to create and build this foundation that I’d had an idea for.

The foundation became my number one priority. Everything I done was focused around this and as a result of that other areas of my life took a backseat.

Mainly my own health and wellbeing.

When I got on the bike in May 2016 I was still very depressed, overweight, unfit, out of shape and generally in a very dark place.

When I returned to Scotland in April 2017 I was happy, fit, healthy, full of energy and with a huge appreciation for my life and everything I had.

There’s lots of factors which contributed to that transformation in my own health.

None bigger than the fact that I made my health my top priority.

Each day when I woke up my own health and wellbeing was my number 1 priority, so I made decisions and choices that helped me feel better.

My diet and excercise was on point, I was reading, meditating and training my mind to create the conditions that allow happiness to exist.

But when I started creating the foundation all of this went out of the window.

My diet was still great and I was training a lot, but everything else went out the window.

Slowly I could start to feel the dark clouds coming back into my head.

Because that’s how happiness and wellbeing works.

You don’t just read a few books and that’s you for life.

You don’t just think positively for a wee period in your life.

You don’t just meditate for a year.

You have to keep doing this stuff every single day.

It’s like stopping going to the gym and expecting to still have a 6 pack.

You have to put in the work, every single day to maintain your happiness and wellbeing.

Then I even got to the stage where I wasn’t even excercising.

I was starting to skip training just to work more.

The outcome was bad.

A few days before starting my LEJOG challenge I ended up having to go back to hospital as I’d had a bit of a breakdown and my mental health had took a nosedive.

It looked like I was going to have to pull out of the challenge, but I found strength from somewhere and went out and done what I do best.

Bounce back from adversity and put in the performance of my life when I’m up against it.

My Lands End/JOG challenge taught me so much, mainly what I’m actually capable of doing on a bike when I put my mind to it.

But it also showed me just how much impact these cycles can have.

The amount of people who were following and engaging with the cycle reminded me just how great these challenges are for inspiring people.

When I was out cycling around Europe, I was so isolated and felt so far away from home that I started to question whether cycling really had any impact on anyone except myself.

I started to believe it never and I was better off the bike back in Scotland.

But then I seen the amount of people who were engaging with LEJOG and loving me being back on the bike and I realised that one of the best ways for me to inspire is to be on the bike.

Rather than spending all of my time working crazy crazy hours, stuck in meetings, stuck doing legal and administrative work trying to build a foundation I should just be out on the bike and taking on more challenges.

So this was a huge lesson for me and as I spent time recovering from the bike fall I started to get a lot more clarity on what I think I should be doing with The Tartan Explorer.

So where am I now?

It’s 26th May 2017.

It was exactly 2 years ago today I attempted suicide.

2 years ago today I told an ambulance crew I had a million reasons to want to end my life.

1 year ago today I got on the bike attempting to cycle around the world.

This day always provides a great chance for reflection.

A chance to look back to where I was and where I am now.

I can honestly say that in this moment and since recovering from the bike fall I’ve felt a level of happiness and contentment that I’ve never felt before.

I’ve had periods over the last year where I’ve felt happy, but I’ve always felt like I was chasing something.

I’m now starting to feel really content with my life.

I’m so grateful for everything I have and having a new home and life in Edinburgh has played a huge part in that.

I’m so blessed to live in my favourite city in the world, to be sharing a home with people who have became good friends and to be on a journey of self discovery where I get to learn more about myself with every passing day.

So where do we go from here.

What’s the future for The Tartan Explorer.

Do you want the honest answer?

I don’t know.

I don’t have a fucking clue.

I really don’t know where I go from here.

But do you know what?

That’s absolutely brilliant and I love that so much.

One thing I’ve done over the last couple of years is always came out and said I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that.

Here’s my plan for the next 2 years, here’s my plan for the next year.

I always think I know what I’m going to do.

I spend so much time living in the future, dreaming up plans and ideas that never actually happen.

I’m not doing that anymore.

I’m choosing to live now.

The only time is now.

I still don’t have a clue who I am.

I still don’t have a clue what I want to do with my life.

I still don’t really have a clue what my purpose is.

I still don’t really have a clue what my life’s work is or how all any of this will turn out.

But I love it.

I’m just a boy on a journey to happiness.

I’m just taking it one day at a time.

I’ve got more exciting challenges coming up.

I’ve got opportunities to speak and share my story with others.

I’ve got opportunities to share my journey online and I’ve got opportunities to do good and give back.

There’s so many options, so many opportunities and so many possibilities.

But I’m not going to get bogged down by what I do.

For now I’m just grateful to be alive.

I’m just happy, content and continuing to try new things and learn about myself.

I’m not going anywhere.

I’ll still be here.

I’ll still be here pushing the limits of life, trying new things, dreaming up crazy ideas and sharing my journey with all of you.

I once had a million reasons to end my life.

But I now have a million reasons to live.

Millions of reasons to be happy

Millions of things to be grateful about

Millions of things to be excited about

Millions of people to help.

Who knows what the future holds.

I’m not thinking that far ahead yet.

I’m just happy I’m alive and appreciating every single day I’m here.

Thanks for following the journey and being so supportive over these past 18 months.