Although Esc is all about bucking the trend, who are we to ignore the New Year resolution tradition?

We thought we would take a moment to reflect on the previous year and take a look at the upcoming 12 months (post coming tomorrow). Since this is better done with a clear head, we thought we had better write our review on 31st December rather than 1st January!

What is the verdict on 2009?

Dom and I will always remember 2009 as the year that we left our mainstream corporate jobs and began the epic adventure that is Escape the City.

In February it was just an idea in an email (yes, we are saving the email for when we write our memoirs). By March the little Esc man was born and we had our logo. By April there was a (very basic) project plan in place.

By July one of us had resigned (Dom went to Canada for 3 weeks for the Yukon Canoe Race and said ‘I dare you to hand in your notice before I return’ – a dangerous thing to say to someone as impulsive as me!).

The last week of August saw the two of us sitting on a bench in the park in Wimbledon, toasting the birth of the site that you now see with a couple of cans of Fosters in front of the setting sun (who said start-up partnerships are like marriages?!).

In mid-October we held our first Esc Wednesday at the National Geographic Bar and were extremely excited when some complete strangers (rather than just our mates) turned up. Oh and we also met Chris Buckle, the man behind The Adventurists website and the kind gentleman who is currently working like a demon to get our site ready in time for the launch.

November saw us hold our first Esc Talk. The legendary Justin Miles travelled up from Devon to deliver a highly amusing and self-deprecating talk about his upcoming South Pole adventure. Esc proved its pulling power when 150 people came to hear him speak.  Much Super Bock was drunk and the night ended somewhere past 4 am with me sitting in my kitchen, drinking port and cooking The Last Great Challenge a fry-up. Surreal.

By December Dom was out of his job, having entertained us all with his accounts of living on £8 a day. December also saw us finalise the line-up for our launch.

The other day Dom asked me at what stage I thought Esc became a full-time job?  Looking back on 2009 it seems to have crept up on us. One moment we were telling each other ‘wouldn’t it be great if there was a place to help people like us escape the city and find interesting and alternative occupations’ and the next moment we were planning what the website would look like!

It’s just the beginning though. Thanks for being involved at this stage. Looking forward to seeing you at the launch and showing you the new website. Coming tomorrow – Esc’s objectives for 2010…

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