Completing the First 40km

On Saturday we hit the £500 fundraising target that was set to determine whether or not I would be walking the Wales coastline dressed as a rhino. I am so grateful to everyone who has donated so far and everyone who helped us hit that target. I went to bed feeling grateful for the support and excited for the challenge ahead.

On Sunday, I began to feel overwhelmed by the challenge. Realising just how huge the challenge is and considering how crazy it was to think I could do it dressed as a rhino. I’ve realised a challenge of this nature is very difficult to plan and the reality of this was dawning on me. Could I really just show up and hope for the best? This started as an idea in January, it’s an idea I loved the thought of and I began to plan it and figure out if it was do-able from the beginning of February and now not only had I announced it but I would be starting the 1,400km walk very soon.

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As I sat there feeling all these fears and questions bubbling up, I checked the weather for the week and saw the following few days were set to be wall-to-wall sunshine. I threw some clothes into a bag, grabbed my fresh out of the box rhino costume and drove 5 hours up to a friends house in Liverpool. Why? Because on Monday morning I wanted to start the Coastal Path challenge and stop the overthinking in its tracks. What’s the use in sitting at home and going over it in my head? I can do this, I can absolutely do this dressed as a rhino, even if it’s crazy.

On Monday, Katie joined me for the day and we headed to Chester. We made our way from the train station to the start of the coast walk. The goal was to walk the 20km from Chester to Flint. The walk began with a very straightforward 8km alongside the River Dee, this route was surprisingly busy with cyclists and walkers and provided a great opportunity for some chats about my choice of outfit and the cause I was walking for. The smiles and support so early on was very encouraging. The only negative of walking along a straight cycle path along the river was that there was nothing around to gauge distance so at times it felt like we were hardly making any progress at all as the views remained almost exactly the same.

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Just past the 8km mark the walk crosses a bridge and then mainly follows the roads, although we did end up back next to the river for another kilometer further down the route. We struggled to find and follow the Wales Coast Path signs once we were away from the river’s edge so there is a good chance we ended up creating our own route for part of the day. At least walking alongside the road dressed as a rhino provided us with some entertainment. Each car that passed us brought with it new reactions… Some people waved, some beeped, almost everyone smiled and a few just looked utterly bewildered. The only downside to walking next to the road, particularly on the main road leading to Flint was the dust that was kicked up by the large trucks. Not quite the fresh coastal air we had in mind that’s for sure. The last 4km were a struggle, the soles of our feet were sore and walking alongside the road did not provide the most exciting or stimulating surroundings. Even once we passed the “Welcome to Flint” sign we had another 2 kilometers or 30 minutes to walk but when we finally made it to Flint castle we were thrilled.

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After a much needed shower (I already understand why people don’t wear full one-piece costumes for hikes) and a good nights sleep I woke up ready to hit the trail again. I was facing this walk alone, fortunately my feet did not feel as sore anymore and I felt ready for the day ahead. I started at Flint castle (where we ended the previous day) and I followed the more obviously signposted route. This time the walk was far more coastal and had beautiful views almost continuously.

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There were even a couple of look out points and several pieces of artwork including the “Big Flintshire Guardian” which is a solider made of timber looking out towards Hilbre Island.

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As well as an impressive locally made jubilee dragon beacon that stands proud in Bagillt.

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The sun was shining throughout the day and the route was relatively quiet, but the people who did cross my path couldn’t resist stopping for a chat. “That’s a funny outfit to wear hiking!”

Towards the end of the hike the route hugs the main road which meant I could get a new lease of energy from all the people waving and beeping at the rhino walking along the roadside! As the sun was setting, I completed the 20km walk and it was no surprise that I finished the day with sore feet and some well-earned blisters.

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These first few days have given me a good idea of what to expect and have allowed me to think about the kit I need to make the walk even more effective, spreading the message of rhino far and wide. To be honest, I can’t wait to get back on the trail in my rhino outfit.

I think the first few weeks of this challenge are going to be the “toughening up” part where my body gets used to the long walks and carrying a rucksack of camping gear and food. I’m so glad I’ve completed the first 40km of this hike and I’m very excited for the remaining 1,360km!!! Head over to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coexistwithrhinos to support this walk and follow @coexistwithmeg for updates.

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With love & gratitude,
Coexistwithmeg ♥

Coexist With Rhinos

Starting March, I will be embarking on a 75 day walk around the entire coastline of Wales. This 1,400km walk is to raise awareness of the plight of rhino and funds for Council of Contributors – a non-profit dedicated to supporting the people down on the ground helping to save rhino from extinction.

I will do this walk DRESSED AS A RHINO if we can get £500 raised by February 25th!! 

To donate please head to my Justgiving page.

If you would like to follow the progress of the walk please follow my Facebook Page, Instagram or Youtube. I will be posting regularly on these pages with updates.

I am doing this walk in support of rhinos, having worked closely within rhino conservation for over 5 years I know just how much of a difference this fundraising will make.

Thank you,

Coexistwithmeg ♥
#coexistwithrhinos

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Council of Contributors

Happy Rhino Friday! 

During my online absence a lot of exciting things have happened. I am back in South Africa, I am writing my new book and I am a director of an incredible non profit called Council Of Contributors.

As many of you know, earlier this year there was a horrific poaching attack on a rhino orphanage in South Africa. As a result of this 2 orphaned rhinos, Impy and Gugu, lost their lives for nothing more than the horns on their faces. My heart was ripped from my chest & the international community mourned the loss of these two special souls. Kennedy and I both worked with these rhino calves and the news really brought home the extent on the poaching crisis. I could have curled up and shielded myself from the world for the rest of my life but I couldn’t cope with having my head buried in the sand when I knew damn well what was happening around me. So, I boarded a plane to South Africa to see what I could do to help the situation.

I think one of the worst feelings is to feel helpless, to feel as if there is nothing you can do. Kennedy came up with the Council Of Contributors concept so we can all do our part for rhino. We are not helpless, we have the power to make big things happen.

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Council Of Contributors has 3 focus areas:

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We’ve managed to support several worthy and important causes over the past few months since we began and I know we are going to do so much more too. We’ve helped to fund the training of 2 Pit Track anti poaching dogs, we’ve purchased solar powered camera traps for remote and unintrusive monitoring of a black rhino breeding project, we’ve bought high quality boots for an anti poaching unit who spend day and night protecting rhino and we’ve bought a walk on large animal scale for a rehabilitation project. We’ve managed to reach out and in one way or another help, improve or be part of all of these projects, it is amazing and it is possible because everyone is coming together to do their bit for rhino.

“Big things happen when we all do our small part.”

Our latest project goal :

Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya

To raise enough money to buy a much needed high-end VHF digital radio as well as new uniforms and equipment for 4 of the Rhino Protection Unit Rangers.

You can help a whole host of amazing rhino warriors and know that you are doing your bit for rhino by becoming a contributor.

Join Council Of Contributors

I am SO proud to be part of this and I hope you are too.

Peace & love,

Coexistwithmeg ♥

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It’s Time To Save The World

It is estimated that the planet is currently losing species at a rate between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate (the natural extinction rate is 1 to 5 species a year) meaning tens of species are being lost every single day. We are currently living in a mass extinction, the difference between this situation and past mass extinctions is that this one is almost entirely caused by one species… humans.

So… What can we do to save the planet and those who live here with us? Here’s 3 ways you can help save the world:

  1. Eat a more plant based diet.

    Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction. Livestock currently covers 45% of the earth’s total land and if you are eating animal products you are helping to fund this deforestation and destruction. If you cut down the amount of animal products you are eating and transition to a vegan diet you can help reduce the impact on the planet. If you are vegan for one month you will save: 33,000 gallons (124,917 litres) of water, 1,200 lbs (543kg) of grain, 900 sq. ft of forest, 600 lbs (273kg) of Co2 and 30 animals lives (stats from thevegancalculator.com). Living a vegan lifestyle will not only help the environment but also people and animals, it will even benefit your own health… All while promoting nonviolence and compassion.

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    Vegan homemade meals


  2. Avoid single use plastic.

    Single-use plastic is all over the place, from plastic water bottles, to straws, to coffee cups and plastic bags. These are items we can encounter every single day but have you ever thought about what happens after you’ve used it? You throw it ‘away’.. But where is ‘away’? Well, plastic does not just disappear. It may be temporarily out of our sight but plastic waste is being produced in such vast amounts that it is appearing on even the most remote beaches, it is collecting up in the ocean (google the Great Pacific Garbage Patch if you don’t believe me), it is being eaten by wildlife and it is ending up in the food chains so now even humans could be eating plastic! All of this plastic pollution is destroying the planet so what can we do? We need to be more conscious about the decisions we make and the impact we have on the world around us. Rather than using a plastic bag once, a coffee cup once, a straw once, we need to instead find other solutions… Reusable options. Do you really want to end up being responsible for the death of a sea turtle or a whale because of that plastic bag you decided to use and throw out? No? Ok, then use a reusable shopping bag – that one switch is all it takes to make a difference. Say no to single use plastic, pick up any litter you come across to prevent wildlife from consuming it or being caught up in it and use reusable containers.
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  3. Vote for the future you want by being thoughtful about what you do & what you buy.
    What you spend your money on is what you support… Shop carefully. Make sure what you are buying is what you are supporting. Buy ethical products and buy products with less of an environmental impact. Find ways to do less harm and do more good, this can sometimes take some research but once you know what companies to avoid you won’t forget. As an example: if you don’t support animal cruelty then you will want to avoid buying from companies that test on animals and products that contain animal products. 

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    Vegan, cruelty free & organic shampoo and conditioner.

Remember you make a difference, every thing you do has an impact on the world around you so do your best to make sure that impact is a positive one. I know that humans are good, I think we’ve just lost our way a little and we are largely led to believe we cannot make a difference. Trust me, you absolutely can and now is the time to start.

Peace, love and light.

Coexistwithmeg ♥

Confronting Fears & Moving Forward

Fear isn’t real.

How many of us are not doing what we dream of doing because fear is holding us back? I want to tell you about a dream I had recently..

Myself and 2 friends were running along some rocks in a valley, we were jumping across the huge rocks and just generally having fun. I was behind my friends and something above me caught my eye, on the cliff edge I saw a man looking down at us. I kind of stumbled and slowed down, my friends continued on and I was dropping further and further back because I kept slowing down to look up to see if the shadowed man was there. My friends were quite far ahead by this point and suddenly the figure I had seen on the cliff edge above me jumped down onto the rock in front of me. I immediately stopped and shouted to my friends. I shouted them and asked them to help me. They turned to look at me and I shouted that there was a man blocking my path and I needed help. They were watching me and told me there was nothing there, there was nothing blocking my path. How could this be? The man was there, I could see him, he was very real to me. And yet… my friends could not see him…

They told me to come to them and that I would be fine. I stared at the man in my path, took a deep breath and ran past him as fast as I could. I looked back and there was nothing there… No man, nothing. I was able to continue on and catch up with my friends.

This man was a representation of fear. I had let my fear slow me down, it slowed me down so much that I was eventually completely ground to a halt. I had stopped progressing, stopped moving because fear held me in place. In the dream I had others to tell me it was ok, that I could move forward but I could have remained in that same place forever, not knowing the amazing experiences that were waiting for me on the other side of that fear. So, this is me telling you that it’s ok, you can move forward.

Right now, think about what your dream is, what your goal is, think of something you would love to do but you haven’t done it.. Now, why haven’t you done it? What is stopping you from moving forward? Fear stops us from being who we want to be, from making the choices we should be making, but it only does this if we give it the power to do so. If we do not face our fears we become limited, we become trapped in a place of no progress.

This is my message to you today…

Confront your fears and move forward, everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

Many people believe that we fear the unknown… but we don’t, we fear what we think we know about the unknown.

Be brave,
Coexistwithmeg ♥

A Secret…

Ok guys, it’s time for a secret to be revealed……

It is COMPLETELY normal to feel ‘lost’ at times!! So stop beating yourself up about it.

Let’s strip things back for a second, take off our brave faces and be honest. How many of us have had moments where we’ve felt lost or alone?
Everyone is raising their hands right now.

So, why don’t we talk about it? I feel like there are so many ‘expectations’ that now everyone is so conscious of appearing strong & in full control that it stops us from connecting with each other and being honest. Just because we have ups & downs that does not mean we are not strong, inspiring people. It doesn’t mean we are failures. It doesn’t take anything away from who we are.

I feel like honesty brings people together and allows us to help each other to get through tough times. It’s time to let go of expectations, consider what brings you happiness, take a few deep breaths & express gratitude. We don’t have to have our whole lives planned out to take a step forward, so stop putting pressure on yourself and enjoy the journey. You will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel that way all the time.

Much love,

Coexistwithmeg ♥

Be The Good

Sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to believe there is any good in the world, it is for this reason that you, yourself, should be the good.

I am saying this today because following the terrible events that unfolded last week at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage I felt absolutely broken, my soul was shattered and if I am being completely honest with you I had lost a tremendous amount of hope. I was questioning what good was actually left in this world and asking where we could possibly go from here…  I was in the deep, dark rabbit hole of distress but even in this darkness I had a glimmer of hope remaining.

I used this drop of hope and created a crowdfunding campaign in the hope of making some kind of a positive difference to the orphanage. Before I knew it there were others who also had hope, bringing light and love into the darkness.

Many people from all over the world were stepping up by donating money and raising awareness, by being the good! So many people brought their glimmer of hope and helped to drive out more and more of the darkness. In this case, we very quickly managed to raise huge amounts of money (over $47,000) for improved security at the orphanage! What a truly wonderful thing to happen during such a terrible time. So many people uniting is a very strong and effective occurrence, and it is as a result of each and every individual because every single glimmer is needed in order to make the light shine bright.

It has been this widespread pouring of light that has helped me to remember that we must not only never lose hope but we should also always be the good.

The most damning thing in the world is to think that you do not make a difference. Every single thing you do and action you take has an impact on the world around you. You make decisions all day every day that make a difference so take this as a friendly reminder to always be the good in the world… (You never know who you are helping up by doing so).

I would like to thank each and every person who has helped in whatever way  to bring light during such a dark time.

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