David from Dubzz turns into Bear Gyrlls during his Outward Bound experience.
In October 2013 I was lucky enough to hear I had been successful in my application for a scholarship to attend Outward Bound from Rotary Rotorua Sunrise. After a small amount of planning and some last minute training I was ready to go. I must admit there was a little bit of nerves, as turning into Bear Grylls is a far cry from my daily life of David Remmerswaal, Online Marketing Consultant at Dubzz Digital Marketing.
Outward Bound was the fastest, slowest, most difficult and most enjoyable 21 days of my life, full of highs, lows, great friends, and unforgettable experiences.
It is difficult to describe exactly what an Outward Bound course is about, but for those that don’t know it is an adventure-based experience located in the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. They use the outdoors to push participants to their mental and physical limits in order to help them realise their personal capabilities and full potential.
It was an extremely unique environment, cut off from any external influences such as the internet, news, and normal day to day life. It was difficult at first, I didn’t know how i was going to survive with out my Facebook feed, but without any distractions it enabled me to completely live in the moment and make the most of all the opportunities and challenges.
It is too difficult to say which day was best as there were sooo many, but the highlight of the trip for me had to be the three day sailing expedition. At first I was very apprehensive and a little nervous about being put on a boat with 12 others with no major sailing experience. The horror stories from other crews of huge blisters and constant rowing also didn’t help, but my crew was lucky enough to have perfect weather, plenty of wind and stunning scenery. Every day we woke at sunrise with the birds and sailed through till sunset. We sailed all the way to the edge of the Queen Charlotte Sound, visited Ship Cove were Captain James Cook spent time. We also visited Motuara Island – a pest free nature reserve covered in regenerating native forest and bird life. All 13 of us even camped out on our very “cosy” 10m long Cutter (sailing boat).
It is easy to tell you what the worst day was. It stands alone as one of the single most depressing, cold and physically and mentally demanding days ever. We were on our second day of our three day tramping expedition. We were up at 4am and started walking at 5am in order to cover enough distance to make it out of the bush after day three. Just after we reached the second summit of the tramp at 1300 meters it started to bucket down with rain. We were exposed on the ridge of the mountain, soaking wet and freezing due to the strong southerly winds. Even after putting on thermals, woollen jerseys and waterproof clothes we were still soaked through and it stayed this way for the next 8 hours until we set up camp in the dark.
The Outward Bound motto is “Plus est en vous” which means “There is more in you”. If you had told me that I was able to wake up before sunrise, tramp for 15 hours a day, spend nights alone in the bush, run for 22km, and make lifelong friends in only three weeks I would have never believed you. I would have even said that it was impossible! Now after three weeks away from civilisation in Anakiwa and the bubble that is Outward Bound I am now aware of how much more I am capable of achieving. I can now say that I have done it all and much more and enjoyed every single moment of it.
I would recommend Outward Bound to everyone! If you want to challenge yourself, learn something new, experience the outdoors, get fit, gain independence, refocus your life, learn teamwork skills, realise your full potential, make new friends and have the time of your life then Outward Bound is for you. They offer courses of all types and lengths for all ages. For more information visit the Outward Bound website and request an “Inspiration Pack”, check out Rotary Rotorua Sunrise for upcoming scholarship opportunities, or feel free to have a chat to me about my experience.