The idea was as simple as they come. Walk. It came to me after being stuck in Melbourne not enjoying myself, knowing that if something didn’t happen, then I would go home not being able to feel I’d done anything. So I had to make it happen.
Left-Right-Repeat, that’s all I had to do with my feet to go 1,000km from Melbourne to Adelaide. I planned out a 6 week route, along the coast through Victoria and South Australia. I trained for four weeks, quit all plans of work, and just winged a lot of it.
I can still say with certainty that the bravest thing I ever did was putting on my $45 boots that first morning in March. The last four weeks I’d spent in Hostel 291 had been the best of my time away, because I now had a purpose. My mind was never left to sit and slowly melt away, but I was leaving that all behind to be alone with my head for 6 weeks. I’m still not certain what I was scared of, it wasn’t the deadly snakes and spiders, or hyperthermia, dehydration, or general chances of death. Australia is a place that can kill you, especially if you go and camp alone in the middle of nowhere, but walking doesn’t seem like a deadly sport. I think it was more related to the possibility of failing because I didn’t enjoy it.
7 weeks later, after hyperthermia, hypothermia, 2 incredibly close calls with snakes, a twisted knee, a 9 day rest, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, I did walk into Adelaide Hills. For a few weeks I felt like nothing had changed, until I got home, to the UK, after seven months, when I realised that there was a big difference between what I had done for those seven weeks, and what I’m ‘meant to’ do with myself. I know this may seem like some up-my-own-arse hipster, vegan stand-up paddle boarding yoga convert wearing hippy pants, smoking a spliff and reciting ‘The Alchemist’, but to bring it back to the basics: in a battle between tent vs. flat, sleeping bag vs. duvet, river vs. shower, couscous vs. steak, walking vs. driving; the former is seeming more and more attractive.
Everyone has a why. Often the broader why is ‘to live’, obviously a huge part of life. I believe that I have to have a direct why, a reason to do what I do, otherwise I won’t do it properly. A good enough reason to plummet head first at my goal.
Why am I doing this adventure? Hopefully to find out why I want to do this adventure.