Windsurf Round Britain
In 2015 Jono become the first person to solo windsurf around Britain. He carried his gear inside a small watertight barrel. At night he would return to shore. Sometimes he slept under his sail. Other times kind folk would help him out. He feared for his life, endured mental torment, sensed enormous gratitude, joy, and liberation.
Expedition website (link opens in new window)
Long Standing Ambition (Amazon link to the book of the journey)
Jonathan Dunnett almost became a psychologist, was for a long time a windsurfing instructor, was briefly a telephone pole replacement co-ordinator, and spent a good few years lost - during which time he nearly became an electrician. He now adventures, and writes. He funds his modest needs by working on websites. At the time of writing he also works on a mental health programme that encourages walking and talking. He is better at the former.
He was born in London in 1974 and progressed through school, university and adult life - failing, like many of us, to find his niche. He struggled, but was good at hiding that.
He'd long wanted to windsurf around Britain, and had hidden that too.
Jono had a "rough patch" and probably ended up depressed. Life was failed relationships, career nothingness, inability to find pleasure in anything, lack of enthusiasm for any of the standard pathways that life seemed to offer. "You can get drugs for that" people told him "Go see a doctor!"
Instead he windsurfed round Britain and at last learned to be comfortable in his own skin. He'd cast off his worries about not particularly fitting in, which of course made him fit in better. There were other changes too.
For the first time in his life he had something to say - a story to tell. He started writing. Towards the end of the book he may have become a writer. More insights followed, including the realization that he'd rather pointlessly spent most of his life grappling with social anxiety.
The next jump was easier. Not the easy option - a number of those he decided to let pass by. Once the seed of the idea to windsurf round Europe had been sown, and feasibility established, there really was no option at all. That path became the only path. He faces the next expedition with acceptance of the highs and lows it will bring, and with a tranquil determination.
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