I am glad the walk has taken this long. The time has given many more opportunities for personal growth as well as a broader appreciation and awareness of my country, people and my place in it.
Often I wished I had walked faster and pushed on through all seasons so I could move on, to other adventures and different human-powered travel (: In reality, if I rushed I would not have enjoyed it half as much and the valuable process of change would have been lost.
Likewise, I am grateful the support vehicle side of the walk fell away during the early planning stage. Without a support crew I have had far more meaningful interactions, learn to ask for help and felt protected by community. Most importantly, I have met people (and continue meeting people) who will always have a special place in my heart.
An handful of supporters are still following the walk since I started collecting forum advice back in 2011. It has evolved and been through some big setbacks and changed. When I needed a year off and went through the lengthy public health system to have 3 tumours removed and an hysterectomy in 2013 many early supporters assumed it was all over but the walk had only begun and my motivation grew stronger while waiting.
Originally I wanted to walk 32,000kms in 7 years and do lots of presentations everywhere. I quickly discovered I was not a public speaker and without support and training it was easier to limit myself to fun, active, succinct talks with small groups and classes sharing a genuine interest in what I had to share.
I’d love to be trained in pubic speaking and I would love to share the things I have experienced while walking around Australia. I want to empower everyone to live their dreams, dream big and live an adventurous life. There is so much in my heart I want to share and I hope one day someone will teach me how to.
I think the greatest changes I made for my mental wellbeing were the distance and fundraising targets. As soon as I halved the time and distance a huge weight lifted. 7 years and 32,000kms was doing my head in. Just a simple 16,000km lap, in my own time, felt good and now I’m out of the tropics there is no need to race the monsoon build-up to a destination. It feels like my entire being can breathe with freedom of space and time.