For those of you that follow Greig and his incredible mission to fulfil his ‘anti-bucket list’ of 101 Things to do When You Survive, you’ll know that our favourite Scot traveller has a bit of a soft spot for all things geeky! So when Greig was exploring New Zealand earlier this year, imagine his delight when he got the opportunity to visit Tongariro National Park (also known as the set for the Lord of the Rings Mordor and Mount Doom scenes).
Most visitors to the beautiful country of New Zealand aren’t aware of the stunning scenery which helped contribute to Peter Jackson’s epic adaptations of Tolkien’s books, but Tongariro is home to three volcanoes, a stunning Alpine Crossing trek. Next up was Hobbiton – the set of the home of the hobbits – is a favourite for all Lord of the Rings (and Hobbit) fans across the world. The countryside has been transformed into a life-size version of The Shire, featuring lusciously green rolling hills dotted with the familiar circular hobbit-hole doors built in.
One of the most fun highlights of Greig’s travels throughout New Zealand was something that had been on his list since the very beginning; black water rafting in the Waitomo caves. These caves are world-famous for the abundance of beautiful glow worms which reside inside. They produce a natural light which helps illuminate the otherwise pitch-black caves you are rafting in – such a memorable experience!
During his time in New Zealand, Greig also posted about rehabilitation after cancer, and the importance of informing patients of the reasons behind why they get pain where they do, and helping them with exercises which can help alleviate the pain and make your body stronger. Considering how many people suffer from similar illnesses and situations that Greig has experienced, he found it ridiculous that the particular benefits of exercise and physiotherapy were never mentioned to him during treatment. He posted specifically about PINC AND STEEL, an organisation which raises money to help patients pay for vital treatment.
Those of you familiar with the Insurancewith blog will know about Shine Cancer Support, a charity which aims to support young adults living with cancer with a strong community of others to provide help and advice. Greig also managed to fit in time to record a podcast for the lovely people at Shine about mental health issues associated with a cancer diagnosis.
He mentioned the feelings that many people suffering with cancer may be familiar with after treatment is finished: lost confidence, insomnia, fear of cancer returning, or that it had never left, a fear of being on limited time and a feeling which he likened to climbing Everest and getting to the top, only to have all your ropes and safety equipment taken away. Greig spoke of the importance of raising awareness of the mental health issues which are often linked to cancer, and how other people can turn their thoughts around for the better.
You can listen to the Shine podcast, Not Your Grandma’s Cancer Show, featuring Greig and his experiences with anxiety and PTSD here: http://www.shinecancersupport.co.uk/Documents/NYGCS%2022042015%20Full%20Edit.mp3
Greig has since left New Zealand and headed to Asia to continue his travels. Highlights will include China, Malaysia and Cambodia, but we’ll keep you updated on all the other exciting things that he gets up to here on our blog.