What a word.
When I arrived in Europe almost three months ago, my main motivation was to gain experience, orienteering and otherwise. I had no illusion that moving across the world would be easy, and I still know it will take a while to fully grow into the experience. But what has taken me aback is just how quickly the individual experiences are stacking up! The past 2.5 months have been crammed full of good, a few not so good, the occasional unusual, and many (intentionally or not) funny experiences. It's definitely been a lot to take on board!
Which is all my round about way of saying...I've been slack on the blog front. Soz.
But as I've got more behind time on the blog, I've thought more and more about who or what I'm writing the blog posts for.
And it comes down to this. When I was living in NZ and Australia, my main purpose was to show a bit of what orienteering down under was like to the masses (or, like, a dozen people). And to throw in a good seasoning of humour for taste. And to unintentionally spread a fear of Aussie wildlife.
Hopefully I atleast took a step or two to fulfilling that purpose.
Now that I'm in Europe, I want to use this blog to give those living and (but not necessarily) orienteering in the Antipodes and other smaller orienteering nations, just what the O life is like here. Because it comes down to experience. Growing up and orienteering in NZ, it's incredibly hard to even imagine just what the scale of Orienteering is like in Europe. At the world elite level, at the JWOC level, and at the club level.
As NZ orienteers we have shown that we have the talent and potential. We've shown that we have the motivation and drive. What we lack is experience. And being on the other side of the world from most of the action, that's hard to get.
So, (and if you've borne with me enough to read this far, thank you) what I want to do is share my experiences with those back home. From experience growing up in NZ, I know just how valuable it is to get these kiwi/aussie reports from overseas. It doesn't matter if they come months after the event, just that they come!*
If you're looking for race reports that come up within days of an event, then sorry, this is probably not the right blog for you. I'm a bit of a slow thinker and writer.
If you're looking for in depth analysis of my races with descriptions of every leg; then again, sorry, that will only happen very occasionally.
But if you're interested in the view of a small fish in a very large pond, then read on.
Just be aware that sometimes it takes a long time for said fish to swim across the world to deliver her view to the small puddle of little fish back home. But really, it's a miracle that fish can write in the first place. (this analogy isn't really working but I've gone too far to give it up!).
And, by writing about my experiences, I hope those at home can learn a bit from them. Even if what gets learnt is what not to do! Hopefully I'll learn more from my experiences too. And if I can inspire even one orienteer to come experience orienteering on a different scale here in Europe, it'll be worth it.
I'll throw in a seasoning of humour for taste. And a fair few bad puns (But only cos Tessa asked for them...so blame her). And yeah, there'll be maps to geek over.
Sound good? Yeah, I agree.
Now, here's a picture of Tim Robertson on top of the JWOC podium. Because we're proving more and more every year that it is possible to reach the top from down under!
*If you want to include one of my posts in your club/association newsletter then I'm more than happy for you to. Just flick me an email and I'll tidy up the language/kiwi slang, remove bad puns as requested, and send you the images as permissions allow.