Yesterday, for the first time since I started to spread the word. Somebody straight up asked me why. And I didn’t have an answer, so I said, “for a challenge”.
Shaun, one of my bosses then suggested I do a large jigsaw puzzle instead.
While being a challenge I somehow feel, I’m going to enjoy this journey a lot more than putting a picture back together.
But truthfully. I wasn’t sure exactly why I decided to attempt the Te Araroa trail.
If you’ve read this far, brace yourself. Things might get a little more personal than you would like.
I’ve always been a bookworm and a lover of the outdoors. And during my literary adventures, the tales that stuck with me most were always the grand adventures! The Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, Deltora Quest, all tales of young people travelling far and wide and returning to their previous lives, a little older, far wiser, and with stories to tell. I guess most people in my shoes go on an OE (overseas experience), where they drink a bit too much, look at other cultures and meet interesting people from around the world.I guess for me, this journey is much the same, I’m just taking a rather different approach.
Then after reading about hikers on the Appalachian trail (the AT), the seed of completing a thru-hike was planted. And once I found that New Zealand had one of its own, there was no question about it, one day – I would attempt to thru-hike Te Araroa.
But why now? I have a job, a wonderful home, an amazing girlfriend who I love. But I’m not happy with who I am. I am not currently suffering from depression. But I have had my struggles with mental illness, depression and anxiety. And have managed to move forward into a slightly more positive place. But I still don’t like who I am right now. So this is my adventure, unlike the books where it’s thrust upon me by world-shattering events, an evil king, or a friendly wizard giving me a gentle shove in the right direction, I’ve decided that if I want to be someone I like, this is a great way to figure out what’s next.
You should like who you are, you’re going to spend a lot of time with yourself.
I am also currently in communication with the Movember foundation NZ, and NZ mental health foundation about using my trip as a fundraising opportunity.
Thanks for reading, Ka kite ano.