I really don’t have time to write a blog…but I just wanted to share a bit of an epiphany I had the last day or two. My plans for next week were thrown into the air like a losing hand on Saturday but as those cards scattered around me, the ones I picked up turned out to be an even better one…in some unexpected ways.
I’m heading off for a week tomorrow..up to the mountains to mix a little volunteer work at a mountain bike race with a little independent adventuring.
Some of you may know or have gathered that I like getting out in nature and challenging myself a bit. I love beautiful, wild places and I like exploring where not so many people bother to go.
Up until 5 days ago I was all set and focused on heading out on a hard 300-380km Fastpacking adventure with two girlfriends.
Fastpacking is fast hiking with a lighter pack than you’d normally have to take for the distance you plan to go as you aim to travel light and fast.. Running where possible.
We were planning on doing up to half the distance of the iconic and notoriously difficult Australian Alpine Walking Trail that wends its way from Walhalla, Victoria along the Great Dividing Range to Canberra.
The other girls are leaving tomorrow evening. I am obviously not.
I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason and making the best you can out of what ever situation you find yourself in, whether you have put yourself in that spot or been thrust there by circumstance.
Group dynamics can be a tricky thing. Personalities, lack of communication etc etc…. You have to go with your gut if you have the luxury of being able to. If it feels off, it probably is.
But what to do?! I felt all dressed up with no where to go! You don’t pluck epic adventures out of thin air…and there was little time to plan something big.
A couple of frustrating days where inclination to train was low and frantic searching of the Internet high…resulting in angst and a headache.
But then it came.
Go to the High Country anyway (tick “mountain air”)
Help out at a mountain bike race for three days (tick “team work” and tick “social” boxes)
Then head out and do a 3-4 day 100km fast(ish)pack through the same region solo (tick “challenge” tick “adventure” tick “fitness” tick “hard” tick “beautiful” tick “wilderness” tick “use my new pack and tent”)
And not muck my housesitters around who I know we’re looking forward to being caretakers of The Beet Retreat and hanging with the Fur Family!
Now another upside of all this was the fact I have been forced into really planning….something that I’d missed out on with the other plan.
I was ensconced in business setup and deadlines, study, guests in the B&B and a looming adventure race. Much of this stuff is still whirling around, and those that aren’t have been replaced by other things.
So there I was, time was short and much was to be done. The pressure was on and all those other tasks that seemed so urgent a couple of days ago have now been firmly shoved to the “when I get back” file the last three days. How liberating was that!!!
I feel ready now. I set off tomorrow, I’m going to have to cull my pack again tho…
Water is going to be scarce as I’m up high a lot… 5 L is a lot to fit in a small 30L pack with four days of food and required items for changeable mountain adventures.
You have to love being forced to simplify and prioritise.
An unexpected bonus was also this….. I was reminded just how much we need to “own” our own adventures and experiences.
It’s fine, in fact often great, to go off and join in on other peoples journeys and share in their dreams but in the end, the ones that we feel most deeply connected to are our own.
The ones that we take responsibility for and ownership of. Throughout the process.
Don’t live someone else’s dream. Make sure it’s yours or yours too. That the time is right and you have the physical and emotional space and time for it. Especially if it’s going to be very hard.
Most of us do have to give up a lot in order to take time out to live our passions. That’s the truth of it. Most of us aren’t so fortunate as to be free of responsibility or financial constraints to not have to worry about all the other stuff our lives get filled by.
Choose wisely. Know yourself. Know your would-be companions. Be realistic and honest about what you can and cannot do, but be aware even when you have been up front, make sure those companions really HEAR and are genuinely happy with the status quo. It’s a shock when it turns out they have not or are not.
There is always going to be other opportunities and times.
But some should be seized, with both hands and just MADE to happen.
When we really want something, we make time. It becomes THE priority. If we are passionate about something, or someone, time suddenly works for us, not against.
Case in point. Earlier today, I booked my flight to Alice Springs. The Larapinta Trail, end to end, most likely solo but maybe with 1 friend, is now officially GO.
Own it. My dream. My plans.
The moral of this little story is….. Be prepared for road blocks. You can wait it out, potentially forever..letting time just trickle by, going nowhere.
Or you can give up and go home….stupid idea anyway hey.
OR you can find another way, take a bit of a risk, show a bit of initiative, explore the possibilities.
It comes down to my well loved travel motto…
“There is no wrong turn, no wrong decisions…just different opportunities”
Maybe I shouldn’t be holding on to the first part of that one as I set off into the bush armed with a map….knowing how bad my nav can be…
Don’t worry folks….I am taking a SPOT device and a friend is gonna track me…
“Big Brother” is apparently watching….. I’ll think of that as I have a pee under the stars next week.
See you on the flip side. #beafraidanddoitanyway