So I have just done one of the most amazing things I’ve ever participated in. Why am I posting about this on what is primarily my writing blog? That’s easy, because writers need to experience new things and sometimes step away from the books to clear out the head.

What is GISHWHES? I got asked that a lot over the last little while. In short it is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen. It was created by an actor as, I believe, a way to do silly things, help charity, change lives and create community. It grew beyond his wildest expectations.

I’ve wanted to do it for a couple of years and so made my mind up that I was going to do it this year no matter what. (Sadly they have said this is the last year, hopefully, and I know I’m not the only one hoping this, they will reinvent it next year). I met someone who had done it before and was happy for me to join her team, a fact for which I was incredibly grateful, as having someone with experience is a good thing.

The best way to do this is to set out to have fun. Teams can be local or international, the competitive teams are international due to the fact challenges have to be done in a variety of locations, though you don’t need to do all the challenges.

Sure I’m a competitive person but I kind of figured first time out let’s not go in thinking you’re going to win. I’m glad I didn’t because that meant I could really focus on what I wanted to get out of it and that was fun, charity work I’d been meaning to do (good intentions however are not as effective with me it turns out as a deadline – that could be the writer in me), and push myself out of my comfort zone.

Now I’m no stranger to pushing my limits and my comfort zone, I am not a sporty person yet I’ve done two Tough Mudders and a Spartan race, both so far outside that zone that Wondered at my sanity. This was a little different and a whole lot sillier. The most insane thing I did was buy an inflatable couch, take it to the beach on a choppy, stormy day and try to surf on it and I did it, I actually got to my feet.The Unicorn Mafia (1).png

I also sat in my hammock in a storm, complete with hail, whilst drinking wine and reading, I wrote a 2000 word essay on the best way to fall pregnant for the 10th time (something I have no experience in, nor any intention to have happen) and then published via twitter at 140 characters at a time. I designed and made silly items, I held up signs of support and strangeness and annoyed my kids. I also got the opportunity to help the homeless and support a women’s shelter, two things that I have been paying lip service to doing for longer than I care to admit.

This event that lasted only a week had me up late at night researching, creating and cursing. It had me up early on my days off doing things I never would have dreamed possible. It has given me a few regrets, I really wish I’d been able to pull off a ballet troupe having a bar fight and bikies on a bouncy castle, and I wish I’d received a response from the cancer support organisation, but you can’t have everything.

What did I get from it though, I’m sure people wonder. Also an easy answer. I got to push myself into places I’ve never been before and it is always good to get yourself out of the rut we often don’t realise we are in, it can bring a refreshing to our lives and allow us to get back into the ‘normal’ with a greater understanding of ourselves and a revitalised attitude. I gained a sense of satisfaction of achieving things I set out to do and from helping others less fortunate than myself. I made friends locally and around the world and became part of a community of people who understands that in unity lives can be changed.

I take from this last week a joy, satisfaction and some incredible memories. I was so tired by the end but I didn’t care. Near the end my hubby said he could see me crashing, and that had nothing to do with cars, or tiredness but to do with the fact I’d interacted with so many, I am not by definition a people person, and so I have spent considerable time, when not at work, over the last few days with my head in a book, someone else or my own. I have a clearer head and a passion to get some more tasks done and write more from the wonderful world I have created in my head. I feel refreshed.

Would I do this again? In a heartbeat. I long for another chance because I think having done it once I have a better understanding of what is required and what I can achieve. Thank you The Unicorn Mafia for allowing me to be part of your team, you’re amazing.

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