• andymrhall

The First Post: How this all began

Updated: Apr 28, 2018

The Chinese philosopher Laozi famously said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I hope this blog inspires you, if you haven't already, to take that first step and create your own adventures.


So a little about me...


I don't regard myself as a natural writer, my teachers at school would often grow frustrated by my lack of willingness to put pen to paper and up until now I have neglected to accurately keep track of my adventures. Often when I talk to people about my experiences I hear in reply, “you should write a book”. I have certainly had some interesting adventures, but until now I have attributed these comments to simple politeness. However, on reflection maybe it’s time to test the water, put pen to paper or more appropriately fingers to laptop keypad and share my adventures with you.


So where do I begin and why are my adventures worth reading about? Well, as I move through life, my personal and professional choices have led me to some very exciting places. I have met a diverse range of people and experienced things that most people would only see in their wildest dreams and indeed their darkest nightmares. These experiences have shaped my perspective on the way I want to live my life and the type of world I want to live in.


So, let’s start at the beginning, where the adventures began.


After leaving school I joined the British Army and specialised as a combat medic. Over the course of six years I did a tour of duty in Afghanistan, trained and led mountaineering expeditions, qualified as a physical training instructor and solidified my first two passions; treading the untrod path and caring for those that need it most.


So that covers the foundation of two of my passions, adventure and health, but what about my third?


As a young child I was an enthusiastic cook, often balancing on the kitchen counter with a blunt knife cutting mushrooms as my mum made dinner. As an adult, experimenting with flavours, ingredients and textures is part of daily life and I love to create food that’s just as exciting as the adventures I go on. Being on the frontline of the war in Afghanistan with pretty basic army issue ration packs only fuelled my ambition. Over open fires, in tiny mud walled compounds I made beef curries, home-made burgers and pineapple fritters by sourcing locally and being creative.


Later I lived in Sierra Leone as nurse on the Ebola Outbreak and on rare dates off would seek solitude on deserted islands and deep in the forests. With a little bit of planning and some excellent fishing skills on the part of my companions its surprisingly simple to knock up sushi and ceviche on the beach. Even a tagine in the middle of the jungle after seeing wild Hippos is easy to create with proper preparation.


Food is more important than most people realise, it doesn’t just keep us alive, it helps to release hormones and endorphins that both improve our mood and support good mental and physical health. Nowhere has this been more apparent to me than when living in harsh conditions like Afghanistan, under the immense stress of the Ebola outbreak or treating those injured in the fight to recapture Mosul, Iraq. As it turns out, after difficult days, sharing a meal with friends and colleagues can make a real difference.


Today I am a nurse and a humanitarian aid worker with a lot of adventures behind me and a lot I am yet to begin. Through my future blog posts I will share stories from my past, my present and plans for my future and I hope you will read my adventures and head out on your own.


Keep on adventuring!


Andy

© 2018 by Feed Your Soul Adventure

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