Jessica Morgan, 26


“I came back from the Great Wall of China trek a changed person.”

In 2016 Jessica took part in Mind’s Great Wall of China Marathon trek, covering a marathon distance in temperatures up to 40 degrees C. Here she explains how the trek changed her life, and why you should sign up for a Mindhike.

“When I decided to book the Great Wall of China trek I was in a bad way. I’d been experiencing anxiety and depression for the last year and wanted to get away.

“I wanted to go on an adventure, something that wasn’t on the usual roads I’d been running on. It was a chance to go away and find myself again. I chose to do it in aid of Mind, as it’s a charity that has helped me, so I wanted to raise funds and inspire others.

“The main takeaway was that every time I feel low now, in any circumstance, my mind goes back to China and how I felt on top of the Great Wall. I think of the reason I was there and it helps me to appreciate myself. It was a trip about forgiving myself and it was the same for everyone else I met there. We were all there for the same reason without knowing it or knowing each other.

“There were a lot of solo travellers from all over the world. People all trying to find themselves. I thought I’d be on my own, travelling solo, but there were people from lots of different countries – Taiwan, the Philippines and America. I left with lifelong friends. Two years later we still use our Facebook group to check-in and see how each other are doing and discuss which hikes we’ve signed up to do next. When we were trekking, we lifted each other up at the times we felt vulnerable. It changed my life. The people I met were amazing.

“I came back from the trek a changed person. I was anxious and depressed before and never felt I was good enough, whether it be in relationships or in life. Now when I’m upset, two years on, I think: ‘If I did that I can get through this’.

“My advice is to just plunge in and do it, because it will be the best thing you ever do. You’ll create so many memories and whenever you feel bad or low you can turn to your pictures to remind yourself of your adventure and the friends you made along the way. Experiences are what life is made for.”

To find out more about trekking for Mind, CLICK HERE.

Oli Reed