Thank you

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who responded when i reached out to you. Your response was overwhelming. I don’t know how to adequately thank you but you give me more motivation and the means to continue. This walk is our walk!
My money situation became a bit embarrassing on the weekend and i needed to ask for help.
I imagine myself being able to survive without money but in reality i feel like i have failed at life when it looks like my next meal will come from a bin, i start sizing up public parks for camping near public toilets and spotting taps that still have their handles so i can have a quick little splash bath and wash some clothes under the cover of darkness. I was also scared i had become a category 1 homeless person, struggling to hold onto my dignity while walking around Australia for Lifeline and mental health awareness. It doesn’t make sense.
It is hard to imagine in 2012 i was wealthy thanks to a gift from my parents. I never hesitated to help others and support good causes because saving lives, helping friends and protecting Earth was/is more important than my own money or possessions. How things have changed. My values have not changed but my ability to act on them has.
It is an humiliating desperation born of my reluctance to keep reminding people of what i’m doing, why i’m doing it and hoping some will deem it worthy of their financial support. If you have been following since the walk began it might feel like i’m nagging after a few requests each year. I don’t want you to feel like that so i try not to ask.
On Sunday and Monday i had the added stresses of an injury needing professional help before it created too many other problems and a miscommunication that lead to this weeks food supply box still sitting on the shelf back at basecamp when i went to collect from the post office.
I had $3.53 to my name and no idea how i was going to get through the week. It takes me a lot of courage to ask for help but i reached out to supporters through Instagram and the previous blog update explaining my predicament and hoping for kindness, compassion and deep hearted generosity. The crowdfund is at The Happy Walk GoFundMe.
Thank you to Mum and Dad, Steve and Sil, Phil, Lisa and Tony, Melinda and Family, Kimmi, Sarah, Mel and Bethany, Q, Fran, Barry, Louise, Katz, Dr Kate, The Brooks, Jayson, Sharyn, Kate, Jason, Lauren and Justin, Karen, Nathan and Sandra for your donations!!!
Thank you for the phone calls and messages of encouragement and love!!!
Thank you for sharing The Happy Walk in conversation and the links with your social media networks!!!
Today i could afford to visit the podiatrist, eat salad, use data on my phone and do laundry because of you. The podiatrist, Jason at Stepping Out Landsborough, also donated a custom fit mould for my toe when he found out what i am doing!

Since completing the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk i have received even more generous support through accommodation sponsorships and food.
On Sunday night The Spotted Chook Ferme Auberge, a beautiful French style BnB in Montville donated a night in one of their rooms with a big bathtub which i soaked in for 2 hours. I have never enjoyed a bath so much in my life. Thank you Jane and Leeroy for your generous spirit of giving.

Last night after 8, arriving in Landsborough 3hrs late, lost and in a fragile emotional state i found the Pines Caravan Park. When the manager, Lisa, came down to help me i fell apart from pain, exhaustion and relief. Then Lisa donated the Birdsong cabin for the night so i could fully rest and recover. Thank you for your empathy and care for my wellbeing.

This morning Lisa organised for Henry & Co Organic Cafe to donate breakfast and coffee. I couldn’t believe how much i was craving mushrooms, avocado and spinach until it was placed on the table and i devoured it!

Tomorrow night Glasshouse Mountains Ecolodge have donated a room after i spend the day wandering through some of the most picturesque and culturally significant pinnacles in Australia.
On the weekend i am taking a 2 day break with old friends, Greg and Cyndy, on the Gold Coast before returning to resume the walk near Brisbane next week. I will not be walking through the city because of mental health reasons and i get terribly lost in towns and cities but i am still looking for somewhere quiet to stay in Brisbane on Friday night so i can meet any friends, family and supporters who have time and transport.
I still haven’t written about or shared photos from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk but i’ll get onto it soon. The photos are slowly being sorted, about 80% get deleted then some need filtering. I realised a lot of my old phone’s limitations last week in dark forest with bright sun or cloud glare slicing through or washing it out around midday and low res in low light between dusk and dawn. When beauty is everywhere all day i must take photos. At least it is a Samsung Galaxy S, the best mobile phone cameras, even if it is 4 generations old. I can’t and don’t need to buy a new phone camera but am open for Samsung sponsorship.
This update has been written tonight on a note app but i will post it tomorrow morning with free wifi, i hope it doesn’t confuse you.

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Road Angels and Road Magic

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 instagram 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.