All my fondest memories from a childhood spent in South Africa involve nature. Whether scrambling up sand dunes on the beach or stalking a family of Giraffe in the African Bush. Time spent outdoors always made me feel alive.
After moving to Australia in 2002 I got swept up in the vortex of life as a professional athlete. Representing my adopted state and country in a sport I loved was an immense privilege. But it was also a life on a continuous loop of airports, hotel rooms, and big cities. A life very much disconnected from the simplicity of my African upbringing.
In 2009 the Brumbies Rugby Team embarked on an Outward Bound experience into Namadgi National Park. I loved it. The trip was billed as a physical challenge, and there were some of those, but Outward Bound is much more than that. Being unplugged from the usual distractions of social media and modern technology created a space that allowed me to reconnect with what really matters in life.
I’ve come to appreciate that immersing oneself in Mother Nature can reliably produce truely profound experiences. The hum of modern life provides so few opportunities for genuine introspection and reflection – the kind of which happen everyday on more remote adventures. Sometimes we need to venture outward so that we can venture inwards to discover something valuable about ourselves. Outward Bound enables the kind of experiences that I cannot possibly recommend more highly – Clyde Rathbone