‘Former’ Adventurers Need Apply
Back in 2001 I went on a day trip with my family. While sitting on the ferry my dad was reading the newspaper. And in that newspaper was an ad for people to go and teach English in Japan. As I read over his shoulder I thought, ‘Wow that sounds pretty cool’.
Six weeks later I was on the plane on my way to Tokyo.
I’d given up a good corporate job, sold my (almost new) car, and packed up my life into boxes. I’d planned on being away for about 18 months (cos that’s how long my visa would last), had a job and an apartment lined up, but otherwise had no real plans. I spoke not a single word of Japanese.
I’d walk to work. On my days off I’d take fast trains out to the countryside and do things like walk 10km return to visit a hot spring. I’d wander around parks and the city, taking it all in.
Fast forward to 2003. Back in Melbourne with another good job, and another (almost new) car. I’d been talking to a friend that had worked at a Summer Camp in the US.
‘Wow that sounds pretty cool’ I thought.
Five months later I was on the plane on my way to the USA. This time I had my (then) boyfriend who wanted to come along too – there was no way he was missing out on the fun!
A summer spent in Maine and New Hampshire hiking every day was amazing. Walking mainly on the Appalachian Trail, with the main event being an overnight trip to Mount Washington, was my idea of heaven. It was also the hardest job I’ve ever had!
After camp, we went on to London. Once again, no real plans, and this time we didn’t have jobs or a place to live. But we had a friend there who’d made it work. Plus, London is full of Australians with no real plans other than to travel and have fun!
We’d planned on staying 6-12 months, doing as much travel as possible, and as much work as necessary.
I’d walk whenever I could. I’d walk to work. I’d take the train out of the city on the weekend and walk back along the Thames. I dreamt of walking across Spain.
Over 5 years later we made the decision to come back home to Australia. With a passport full of stamps, hearts and minds full of travel experiences and adventures, we thought it was time to come home. Time to grow up. Come home to ‘reality’. Time to take our ‘adventurers’ caps off.
Fast forward to 2011. With a small baby, a mortgage, and a marriage on the rocks, I had lost my way. I no longer felt like ‘myself’ and didn’t even know what I loved to do anymore. When I was asked by a counsellor what I used to do that I loved, that I no longer did anymore, two things come immediately to mind: Hiking & Travel.
So what did I do? I waited for my baby to sleep, left him with his dad, and then I got back out there on the trails. I’m lucky enough to live close to a lot of options for hiking, so I made use of those trails.
A really tough couple of years followed. My marriage ended. We moved house a couple of times. Toddler tantrums happened. Shared custody happened. I started a business.
The one constant was my love of hiking. In the early days it was like therapy for me. Time to get out of the house, clear my head, and get my blood pumping. Time to focus on me. I always had to wear sunglasses, as I was most often crying. Crying over the loss of ‘myself’. Crying over the loss of my adventurous and fun loving spirit. It wasn’t lost, I just didn’t realise it yet. But it was also time to take in my beautiful surroundings and realise that life is good. It may not always be good right now, but it is good.
I have a feeling I’m not alone. That there are others that have also thought they could put aside their ‘adventurous’ caps – but soon realised they couldn’t.
So what now? Now that I know I can’t do without adventure and travel and hiking? Here’s where my group hiking trips and retreats come into it. As well as wanting to continue to experience it myself, I want to help other ‘former’ adventurers to rediscover their love of adventure and getting out there and experiencing life. To realise that they can still have the family/job/mortgage – and still do the things they used to love to do. That they still love to do.
I Heart Hiking. And I also love getting outside, experiencing great company, fresh air, and beautiful scenery. Throw in a massage, and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a weekend! If this sounds good to you too, then your going to love our weekend retreat – staying in Apollo Bay, and hiking along the world famous Great Ocean Walk in May 2015. There’s still space available (including the queen size room – perfect for singles who like a bit of space, or for 2 people to share).
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org (warning: the photos will make you want to be there right now)