Maysen’s 900km Venture Across Ireland For Mental Health Awareness
Canadian born Maysen Forbes (25) is walking 900km of The Ireland Way to raise awareness for mental health.
At present, Ms Forbes has raised around €1,500 on behalf of Mental Health Ireland. She hopes to reach €3,000 by the end of her trip.
With around two more weeks to go, she has been hiking for about four and a half weeks, out of a planned six week journey.
Speaking to the Garda Post, Maysen said:
“I’m from Canada. I’ve been in Ireland for just about four and a half weeks and I came to Ireland for the trail. I chose it because I wanted something to be a challenge to myself and out of my comfort zone, a country I’ve never been to before where I don’t know anybody. It’s a friendly country where everybody speaks English so it’s not too far out of my comfort zone, enough to evoke the daily anxiety.
“I’ve got about two weeks left. I’m kind of in the final stages now”, added Maysen.
The Ireland Way, a route of 900km, begins in the tiny fishing village of Castletownbere and travels right up to the Giants Causeway in Co. Antrim and a little beyond.
“I’m following a trail called The Ireland Way which is a combination of the Beara-Breifne Way and the Ulster Way. It’s about 900km and it has taken me through the middle of the country for the most part. I’ve gone through Cork, Tipperary, Limerick, Galway County, Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo. I’ve came across some really great mountain ranges like the Ballyhoura mountains.”
Maysen has reached the point where she desperately needs some positive mental head space and what better way to do this than to venture across the Irish landscape.
“Physical exercise and being outdoors have always been my go to for dealing with my anxiety and I’ve reached the point where I need a recess for my mental health and there’s no better way than doing a long distance trail.”
According to Maysen, the Irish have welcomed her with open arms, with people even offering up accommodation.
“The Irish have blown me away with their hospitality. People have put me up along the way. Everyone’s been really friendly and happy for a chat or to walk with me wherever possible.”
On the challenges Maysen has faced along her journey, she concluded with:
“I think the difficulties with the trail itself is that it’s not fully developed yet which I knew before going into it. I didn’t realise the extent of how underdeveloped a few sections of it are. The isolation at this point is what’s getting to me, the long days, walking on your own in really bad weather. It’s a beautiful trail. For every bad day there’s three amazing days.”
If you wish to make a contribution to this worthy cause, you can do so by visiting give.everydayhero.com.
On behalf of the Garda Post we wish you the very best of luck on the rest of your travels Maysen!