What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger

So, in a few days, we’ll be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with a week-long hike in the Welsh hills. Which might seem like an odd way to celebrate (where’s the candlelight? the roses? the champagne? the silver?) but it’s actually perfect.

It all started about 20 years ago. We were watching the Travel Channel on satellite TV in San Salvador, and there was a show about “walking holidays” in Wales. On a walking holiday, you carry a day pack on the trail, and the tour company carries your luggage to a different B&B along the route every night. (They’ll even make you a bag lunch for the trail if you ask for it.)

We like the U.K. a lot, ever since we were both students there. And we loved the concept of hiking without having to carry all our stuff or camp. We’ve both done too many ten-dollar-a-night family campgrounds in our time to get very much out that experience.

And ending up in a pub every night? Oh yeah. Brilliant!

A few years later, we saw a movie called Arthur’s Dyke, on AFN, I think it was. It wasn’t that great of a movie–I can’t even remember the plot, to tell you the truth. But, it was about Offa’s Dyke, and again, we thought, how cool would this be? And decided that we would do a traditional British walking holiday on some anniversary of note.

Well, 25 years of marriage is notable. We’re celebrating it our own way, by hiking this route, basically, over 8 days with a break day in the middle.  And yes, those are a lot of different elevations, there!


We will be pushing ourselves a bit. One of us is within spitting distance of 50, and the other will not be seeing it again. We’re very active people, but 10-12 miles a day going up and down rocky hills will be hard on the knees, to say the least. Let’s just say I’m packing plenty of ibuprofen and expecting to sleep very well 🙂

It struck me that this seems to be a thing with us: pushing ourselves a bit. Six countries, three continents, three languages…I think there may be a pattern here!

We push each other too. Every time we bid, I believe my husband can learn the language, navigate the culture and do the job. And he believes I can pull up stakes, organize an international move, navigate a foreign city and learn the language on the fly. We seem to have an awful lot of confidence in each other. It’s entirely possible that we are insane. But it seems to mostly work out. I expect this vacation will, too.

Really excited about the hike, and of course, I am packing my camera. Stay tuned!


  1. I’ve done two long distance hikes in the UK over the last few years in Scotland and Northern England, and loved it. The baggage service was wonderful and reliable. I haven’t done the Offen-??? Way, which I think is your choice, but its on my list. Have a wonderful time! (And take lots of raingear ;o) Caroline


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