Yesterday, as I walked a 40km day through the Never Never, I started listening to the Zero to Travel podcast by Jason Moore. These are fascinating podcasts “packed with inspiring travel stories and actionable advice from a variety of unique guests who have done amazing things. The aim of the show is to help you discover new ways to explore the world endlessly, on your terms, no matter what your situation or experience. From travel work, to starting location independent business, social entrepreneurship, volunteering and more.”
This year I have started listening to a lot of inspiring podcasts as I walk and this one stands out. Here is the link http://zerototravel.com/
The second Zero to Travel podcast is “Long Distance Hiking Masters”. I listened to this one twice!
A couple of interesting things they mentioned really struck a chord and later were reinforced by the very actions I need to take more time to share and publicly acknowledge.
Listening to their discussion about American trail culture was enthralling. We have long, challenging and beautiful through walks here in Australia, AAWT, Bibbulmun, Heysen, BNT, but they are nowhere near as popular as the American equivalent and lack trail culture on the same level. The “Master Hikers” mentioned Trail Angels and Trail Magic as some of the things which make their hikes memorable.
It has been a while since I walked on trails, hopefully I’ll be back on my favourite before the end of the year. The last 10,800kms of walking beside the highway has brought similar experiences of Trail Angels and Trail Magic so I will personalise this and call them Road Angels and Road Magic. If you are supporting The Happy Walk on facebook or have read any books and followed the pages of the 5 men who have walked around Australia solo without support vehicles before me then you will have read many stories of the help we receive. Help, no matter how big or small is always a wonderful thing and as varied as a cup of cold water or a piece of fruit to a donated room in a fancy resort or a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I post about many of the people who help me but not all and I think I should so from this week on I will post on The Happy Walk facebook page about my Road Angels and Road Magic.
Road Angels are the amazing people who help The Happy Walk as I make my way around Australia. On Tuesday Shaun stopped with a bottle of iced water on his way home, the staff at Cutta Cutta Caves made me a hot cup of coffee which I was craving on Wednesday. Yesterday, Thursday, Gavin spotted me as he drove past in the morning and bought me bottle of chilled electrolyte drink which he delivered on his way past in the afternoon, it was perfect timing as I had just stopped for a rest! Finally I met one of my truckie angels who has been following and supporting the walk since early last year. Graham pulled over his truck, climbed down from the cabin and gave me a beautiful card and donation. Road angels are the people who give without asking, who are kind and considerate, understanding the basic needs of a charity walker alone beside the highway. Road angels are the strangers I meet who open up their homes and hearts. Road Angels make the road feel like I’m walking on sunshine!
Road Magic is all the small things and the big things that come from Road Angels. Sometimes I will not even know who left the fresh bag of grapes beside the road or the unopened bottle of still cold water at the rest area. It is Road Magic that makes these acts of kindness memorable. The thoughtfulness behind every gift and offer of assistance moves me, sometimes to tears.
There is another kind of magic that reminds me of the incredible world we are part of. Yesterday I met a huge frilled neck lizard, about 1 metre long. It allowed me to pause within half a metre and we just calmly looked at each other. It is uncommon for Australian wildlife in the wild to allow humans near, to see them in close detail, so this was a magical moment for me. It stood up high on its legs and ran in to the bush as soon as I reached for my camera, which made the moment even more special because it is a memory burnt into my mind with gratitude for the rare unusual brief encounter. Road Magic!
The first 2 years of this charity walk were self-funded but I ran out of savings just before reaching Darwin. This year I have crowdfunded $4,450 which has helped with some of the basic expenses. It will cost a lot more than that over the next 5,400kms and I will be relying greatly of the generosity of supporters and strangers I meet. Road Angels and Road Magic help The Happy Walk continue carrying the message of hope, happiness and suicide prevention all the way around Australia.