Stepping into a challenge
Caroline has two great passions in life: books and walking. She combined the two to take on a 1,500 km challenge throughout 2022 in the name of fundraising. Hear from her below for her reasons why.
My name is Caroline, and I am a 24-year-old British-French dual national. After 20 years mostly living in France, I moved to the UK to do an MA in Digital Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. In life, I enjoy reading, cooking, and organising things. However, the latest addition of ‘things I like to do’ is walking/hiking. When walking was the only way to escape my very small university room during lockdown, I started going out for a walk every single day. That was March 2020, and I have not stopped since.
Because I enjoy walking, I decided to use my steps to fundraise money for charity. My objective was to walk more than 1,500km this year (1 January-31 December 2022), which should be easily achievable, fingers crossed. If it’s more, even better. I am aiming to fundraise as much as possible, although I would like to reach at least £750, which would mean 50p per km walked.
I have decided to choose Book Aid International as the charity’s mission feels especially close to me. I have always been so lucky to have access to books, and my love of reading really picked up when I was a teenager and gifted a couple of books for Christmas (The Princess Diaries). After graduating with a Publishing MA, I am now working for a publishing company based in Oxford.
To me, books mean escapism, being able to live thousands of lives through awesome characters, but also a wealth of knowledge and visibility on the world.
My favourite book changes quite often, but a classic for me is Bridget Jones’ Diary. I’ve loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and since I started preferring non-fiction altogether, I’ve loved Thinking on My Feet.
As I mentioned earlier, books are gateways to the world – and why publishers are known as gatekeepers of ideas. Reading and access to books keep you informed, entertained, challenged, and moved.
I’d like for people to realise their luck of having a book, a bookshelf, or a whole library to turn to. And I’d also hope to challenge people to get up and walk, experiencing the joy of putting one foot in front of the other!
This is a challenge to myself, so I am hoping to prove to myself that I am totally capable of keeping to a goal and smashing it. But I would also love to raise awareness on the lack of accessibility to books for some people, and therefore the need for more support.
For me, the hardest part of this challenge is probably not letting my Fitbit step counter impact the escapism I find in walking. A challenge takes its name for a reason as it encourages you to push yourself: I’d like to find a good balance between challenge and enjoyment.
I hope that I will inspire people to pick up a book, go out for a walk or donate.
If you’re passionate about something, you will do it anyway, so why not incorporate a charity challenge to it?
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