I’m Tessa and I was the winner of the Telegraph #mycraghoppers competition. The prize was a trip to Sri Lanka courtesy of Adventure Worldwide, and so over the next couple of months I’m going to be keeping you posted about my trip. It’s nice to meet you. So! First of all: a bit about me perhaps? I’m an Operating Department Practitioner (a bit like a Theatre Nurse), and I live and work by the sea in Bournemouth. I live a fairly outdoor lifestyle – climbing, windsurfing, cycling, scrambling, hiking – I love all that.
Winning the trip was a huge surprise, and one which took me a good few days to get my head around. I had recently had to bin plans for a big adventure trip due to sickness. I was longing to go on holiday, and had chatted to my Mum about how I’d have loved to go to “Sri Lanka or somewhere”, so, knowing I was sitting around feeling a bit sorry for myself, Mum jokingly sent me the link to the competition which she had chopped out of the Telegraph, and suggested I send in the “upside-down photo”. So, I duly entered and forgot about it. Life carried on.
Until one day some time later, by chance I noticed a slightly panicked email in my junk folder from someone called Gill, hoping I’d seen her earlier email and begging me to get in touch as soon as possible in order to claim my trip to Sri Lanka. Sceptical, I almost deleted the email immediately, but a swipe of my finger made me hesitate, because it looked… kind of genuine… Then, slowly, I vaguely remembered entering some competition through Craghoppers – and then this disbelief started rising up through me, along with bubbling joy. I rang Gill straightaway, and I remember her sounding just as excited as I did. I offered the +1 to my brother Mark, because he himself had missed out on a big holiday a couple of years back. He’s a passionate Ecologist and he works so hard, he definitely deserved it.
We’ve now ticked over into 2016 and my trip is on 22nd April, so it’s drawing closer: I’ve booked my time off work; I have travel insurance; … I don’t quite have a Visa yet although I know where to get it… and I must book an appointment with the travel nurse to find out about vaccinations… So okay perhaps a little more organisation to do. However I do have some snazzy new Craghopper clothing for the trip. Part of the prize was £500 of Craghoppers vouchers, which I spent on a mixture of good quality hot weather items and bits from the ‘Nosilife’ range (ideal for the trip!), as well as a few bits for hiking in colder climes (i.e. here). I happen to have had a pair of wonderful Craghoppers Kiwi Pro trousers for years which I use whenever I’m hiking or climbing outdoors in the UK, so, on discovering that Craghoppers do a fleece-lined winter version of these favourites – and being rather susceptible to the cold – these were first on my wishlist. I can’t wait going to test them out on a trip to the Lakes in February.