The more adventures I undertake, the more I hike or bushwalk or go cycle touring, the more people I talk to who want to know about what adventure I’m doing next. There used to be a time when some people would harass me for not ‘living in the real world’ or ‘getting a real job’ but thankfully those people now understand what I do is who I am and accept me and my choices.
Going on an adventure is always transformative. Not matter how many times you go out and challenge yourself something always occurs that is either unexpected or puts you in a situation you’re not comfortable with. Some adventures change you in significant ways, some in smaller more subtle ways. A significant change may be deciding what you’re going to do with your life next. This could be deciding to go on more adventures or change of career or move cities. A small alteration may be feeling more calm, deciding you’re going to be more active or eat better food. Maybe you’ll drink less alcohol and drive your stinky cars less? My point is there’s always a change.
Another piece of the puzzle that emerges out of these adventure conversations is that most people once dreamt and even came close to going on an adventure of their own, only to have some other aspect of life obstruct their plans. There are always sacrifices and you can’t be in two places at once. If I can make an unverified generalisation it would be this: most people who prioritise adventures care less about owning and maintaining their own house. Going on adventures creates the cycle of feeling like you need less material possessions and less material possessions enables you to go on more adventures. But being adventurous is not without its own sacrifices. You’re less able to build that sense of community with your local cafe or neighbours.
When you have time and funds to go traveling do you consider going hiking? Do you think: I’d like to go bushwalking, but I only have fours weeks holidays a year and I’m not wasting that when I could be lying in a pool or going to a great art gallery.
As I gear up and get ready to fly to Canberra to begin walking the Australian Alps Walking Track – as I walk to the park and practice setting up my new zpacks hexamid solo-plus tent, as I consider what food I’ll take and what stove I’ll use, the excitement builds and the nervousness grows. The unknowns make you fearful. Yes, there are exciting times, but mostly the experience is peaceful and rehabilitating. Yes, climbing a steep hill with a full pack is hard work, but sitting beside a pristine river reading a book makes up for it. So I encourage you, if you’ve ever thought about going on a big long adventure, make the sacrifice, it’s always worth it.
My tent set up in the park