I have watched lots of videos on the daily rituals of successful people, 5-6 things they all do on a daily basis.although they vary from person to person they all seem to have a few in common, Getting up early, gratitude, meditation, setting a purpose for the day. All of these things are great in their own right but they all have one thing in common.......it slows life down. It gives you time to clear your mind and find clarity.
That’s why I love walking....it slows life down, it distort time down to a slower pace, something that is precious in this hectic world we now live in. Think about it, in an average day walkers cover 20-30 km a distance that a car would take 30-40 minutes to drive. However to walk this it takes 5-6 hours. This allows you time to think, to see more detail, take in different aspects of the same landscape, even see the day change from early day to night. You have no choice but to adapt to mother nature’s time clock and mother nature’s time clock is slow. “Echart Tolle is famous for his writings on the distortion of time he belief is “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is”
This is the gift that hiking gives me, the TIME to slow down, clear mental space so I can truly experience living.
I did some financial planning and it looks like I can retire at 65 and live comfortably for 11 minutes” I read this quote and laughed so hard, because for us it was so true. If we continued to live the life we were living until we were 65 not only would we not have enough savings to retire and travel the world but we would have been physically not able to do what we are currently doing.
Not everyone can make the choice we have to go on a no return date adventure but a majority of you in our age group could take time out to find your passion. Take the time to discover or reignite a passion.
A midlife crisis isn’t really a crisis, it’s an awareness that you are coming into another phase in your life and should be invited in enthusiastically like when you became a teenager . Midlife could be the the time you become who you always wanted to be.
For me it’s about acceptance, of self and others worts and all. It’s about not delaying living until I have everything in its place. Instead I will jiggle things into place as I learn and grow as a person. It’s insanity and arrogance that lead us to believe that when we reach a certain age we should have all are ducks in a row,being human is by nature an evolution process. There are two quotes 1 by Maya Angelou and one byAlbert Einstein that succinctly iterates this thought
Maya Angelou “Do the best you can until you know better” “Albert Einstein We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” . Simple put you don’t know what you don’t know. You have to go out tackle new experience and learn new thing to have the knowledge to change and then you start the process again at another level.
Many of my friends think that age starts to shrink life’s possibilities, when in reality midlife should be any time of expansion of possibilities. A time when you feel secure, you know who you are , you know your strengths and weaknesses , work with what you have and expand grow push to become a better version of you.
The journey of life is one that many of us miss out on, because we are destination driven. There are so many quotes that try to direct us to “ take time out and smell the roses” yet society actually tries to squash this in all of us with the promise of being happy and fulfilled only when we have completed things. I’m sure everyone of of you has heard ....when you finish college, you will get a great job or when you retire you can travel or when you get married and have children. All teaching us to be destination orientated, missing out on enjoying the pleasures of the journey. Delaying our happiness until we have achieved an acceptable standard or status is dangerous because what if you don’t achieve the milestone? What is the outcome? Disappointment, regret, feelings of failure, feelings of inadequacy
On this adventure we get asked a lot of “what if “ questions, what if you run out of money, what if you get sick, what happens when you get old, what happens if you get sick of the lifestyle. The answer is simple what if none of that happens.
The human brain’s primary job is to keep us alive. It’s called the flight fight or freeze response and it’s automatic. It happens within milliseconds of us encountering anything new. It means that when faced with something unfamiliar our natural first response it to either run, fight it or stop still, this is true for anything that is unfamiliar to our brain, situations, people and even new ideas. So when a different way of thinking about something is presented to you, your brain will automatically start to find reasons to dismiss or discredit that thinking, just to keep you safe, keep you in familiar territory. That’s why we get so many negative “what if” questions and that’s ok. It took the Spunky Rooster and I along time to be brave enough to venture past our brains natural defence mechanism and enjoy the journey. We may run out of money, or get sick, or get tired of being on the road and we will deal with that when it happens but..........what if we never do? What would we have missed out on, what would we have regretted? What roads would we have not travelled? What would we not have experienced?
“If you feel like you are loosing everything, remember. The trees loose all their leaves every year and they still stand tall and wait for better days to come.” This is the Spunky Rooster and our Workaway host cutting up a tree that had snapped and fallen in the lake. The result of snow too early in the season. To many leaves still on the trees, the trees hold to much snow and the branches get to heavy and break. It was a timely reminder to me that there is a reason for everything and the universe will prevail. Part of our journey is about being more in tune with nature and learning to enjoy the journey. Recently I have been a bit “antsy” about doing more planning and worrying about next year. This was a timely reminder to be patient, I love that universe gives us the answers to all our questions.
How often does your alarm go off and you want to roll over and go back to sleep? Why? Why not decide that life is worth jumping out of bed for? Why not decide to make a difference today, then repeat that same thinking tomorrow and the next day.The more days that you decide to make a change, to make a difference the easier it will become. The easier it will be to jump out of bed and have a great day.
Today make “GOOD MORNING” be your instructions for the day. See if things are a little different.
Do you have a bucket list? I’d be surprised if you didn’t, everyone seems to have one these days. Unfortunately most people’s bucket list should be retittled a dream list,why, because most people won’t ever do anything to ensure that their bucket list items are ticked of.
A bucket list is by definition, a list of things that you want to do before you die? Sounds simple enough, however none of us know when we are going to die so we don’t know when this list needs to be completed by. That’s the catch to a bucket list. If you are truly committed to your bucket list, there has to be a urgency to experience and complete all the things on the list otherwise it’s just a dream list a wishy washy waste of time.
So what is stopping you from doing the things on your bucket list? I know for me it was a mixture of lack of funds and fear. The lack of funds is an easy one to overcome you just need to get creative . However the fear reason is harder to overcome with your brain coming up with the worst case scenarios. You have to be brave enough to take some chance, be willing for your friends to laugh at your ideas and courageous enough to just go out and do it.
This last year I have been ticking items of my bucket list
✔️Visiting Milford Sound
✔️Getting to meet a Geisha and wearing a kimono
✔️watching a Highland games
✔️Coffee and cake at Harrods in London
✔️Spending time in the South of France
I still have plenty of things on my bucket list from seeing a show on Broadway to watching the Northern Lights at the @kakslauttanen_arctic_resort hotel in Finland and still adding items . So each day I commit to be braver and pushing myself to get the list completed. I would love to hear what’s on your bucket list?
P.S Don’t be afraid If you happen to tick of everything on your bucket list before you die, just create another bucket list. The world is a vast amazing cauldron of places and experiences.
The Spunky Rooster suggested that a good wrap up for our first 12 months on the adventure would be if we both reflected over the 12 months and wrote down our reflections. Well I hit a brick wall, I didn’t know what to write. Not that I hadn’t learnt anything my personal growth has been huge but in the words of Lulu “how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume? A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong” This adventure has change and moulded my mind and body in ways I could never have imagine. It has helped build a relationship with the Spunky Rooster that is solid, sexy and amazingly simple. So instead of trying to eloquently spin my learnings I asked myself some questions and here they are with my answers.
Just living is not enough…
This has been the one statement that I have tried to accept and understand for the last 12 months on the road. We have walked over 4000k which affords you many hours to contemplate sacrifice, freedom, security, relationships, climate change, world politics, inner peace, out if body experiences and whether bears are pescatarians. Needless to say, I’m not ready to end this journey anytime soon. There are things though that I have a better appreciation for; without sacrifice there is no freedom and without freedom there is no life, hence ‘Just living is not enough’.
I have been somewhat quiet these 12 months with publicly expressing my thoughts and feelings. Tanya has been our combined voice. The choices made to leave the security of employment, as toxic as it was, creating an estranged relationship with my kids to forge their own lives and pursue my own dreams and venture off into a world that seems hell bent of imploding has created more internal dialogue than I needed to share. But I’m ready to share, journal even, and start to really share my thoughts to anybody strange enough to listen.
This journey hasn’t been about being a tourist and seeing all you can in 48 hours. The places we have seen, the cultures we have immersed ourselves into and the people we have walked with, talked to and shared our lives with over the 12 months have changed me. I still judge, I still can be opinionated and maybe even self-centred at times. I still enjoy meat, beer, wine and spirits and yes, still dream of playing my ukulele in some random Irish pub. So, change may not be as evident from the outside looking in, but that’s not important. I do care more about our planet, I am happy to be flexitarian (a term I heard today for those trying to be vegetarian and still enjoy some meat), I understand that people are different to me and that’s ok we can still have a conversation, I enjoy helping people and not for what I will receive in return.
That said, there are always highlights, those special memories that reinforce your resolve and will keep you on the road.
The gratitude we have for the hospitality extended to us from so many Kiwis was unforgettable, but our time with Kelly and Jane at the Cable Car Adventure Park (The Flying Fox – Whanganui) was really special. The friendship we formed in such a short time, the lifestyle they are creating, living on the river was simply put, an extraordinary experience.
New Zealand, as expected didn’t disappoint when it came to scenery, the Ninety Mile Beach, Tongariro Crossing were both challenging and rewarding. You certainly got paid for your efforts. Te Araroa was always going to be a challenge for us, but it helped us understand and mould how and what we wanted from this life that was sustainable for us.
Culturally, Japan was something I had never experienced, and it was like an ‘AHA’ moment. Respect and gratitude are the pillars that balance and support a culture that struggles between old and new worlds. I will be eternally grateful for the support offered to us by the Nonomura family. The strange thing for me was the joy and happiness they got from us because we were trying to embrace their culture with our pilgrimage in Shikoku. Temples came and went but I’d like to think that maybe I gained some discipline through worshipping at all 88 Temples. Spending time with a young woman (Elvira from Denmark) who was still looking to find herself in this world also gave me hope that there are still young people in this world that want to contribute and not take from it.
A side trip to Hiroshima was one of those spare of the moment adventures that you never forget. Why and how we got to using nuclear weapons are lessons that are becoming increasingly lost with many world leaders. While we still have a planet that hasn’t been destroyed by ego-maniacs and those who still believe their religion gives them rights above others the journey will continue.
The Scottish Highlands wasn’t on our radar, at least not in the first year. Thank you, Gary and Katie, for your offer and Hanna for making sure we accepted it. On a hill at 9pm in shorts, gumboots and rain jacket surrounded by mountains with the wind howling through the valley I stood there saying to the two dogs I was walking “F@#k I’m in the Highlands of Scotland”. Since walking the Camino De Santiago I’ve become more aware of turning around, smelling the roses and living in the now. The moment you have now you will never get back, another lesson I’m still learning but it gets easier to do and that ‘white noise’, well it’s peaceful.
Year One has ended in Faux La Montagne, France with an English family that took that step to ‘sea change’ and renovate a little bit of French history into a lifestyle so removed from their past. Its not without challenge but life still needs to be challenging. A saying we coined in Spain was ‘Simple not Easy’. We’re not looking for an easy ride, we still want to be productive and contribute to day to day living. The difference is its on our terms.
A true reflection of the year wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging my fellow Hobo. There are plenty of superlatives that would be appropriate, partner, girlfriend, soul-mate, shag, she is simply an amazing individual. I’m certainly, not the easiest person to live with and the ‘simply not easy’ phrase comes to mind, but for two people to spend as much time as we do together, 24 hours/d, weeks on end, and not throttle, kill, or even just leave me is a real testament to her character. Yes, one might say she got what she asked for ‘High maintenance bitch looking for a little bit of bastard’, but it works.
Other photos that made my year
Well I think that’s enough reflection, it’s time to look forward, the next 6 months will be a challenge for us as there will be very little hiking. Instead we will be Volunteering in Germany, England and Ireland before heading back to France to complete the Via Francigena .
Paulo Coelho is quoted as saying “ If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” So with fondness I say goodbye to our first year as Hobos and ask life to make our second year exciting, challenging and rewarding so this time next year we have more adventures and achievements to be proud of and to share with you are friends and our inspiration.
Thank you for coming on this journey with us.
Today we celebrate 12 months on the road and have decided that on this day every year we will honour our choice by creating International Global Hobos Day, a day that celebrates living large, being brave and having fun.
A hobo by definition is is an itinerant worker. Unlike a bum or a tramp, a hobo is more than willing to work, but mostly for a short duration, as their main impetus is travel, the love of the journey above the actual destination.The journey of life is one that many of us miss out on, driven by the destination we put off living until we achieve a goal or a position in life. There are so many quotes that try to direct us to “take time out and smell the roses” yet society actually tries to squash this in all of us with the promise of being happy and fulfilled only when we have completed things. I’m sure everyone of you has heard ....when you finish Uni you will get a great job or when you retire you can travel or when you get married and have children, life will be perfect. This teachers us to be destination orientated, missing out on enjoying the pleasures of the journey. So today, International Global Hobos Day, I ask all of you to “realise deeply that the present moment is all you have Make the Now the primary focus of your life,“ (Elkhart Tolle) and challenge the status quo. Be brave and follow your dreams, laugh and enjoy the challenge when things go wrong, be grateful for what you have right now, be mindful and contemplate deeper your journey.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL HOBOS DAY
I was Instagraming this morning and reading a post by @idlebustheory about “Sunshine” their bus/home, how it was a high maintenance girlfriend and I thought how much time The Spunky Rooster and I spend on maintaining our “lifestyle”. Our equipment takes a battering when we are on trail. The tent is put up and down everyday, the cooker is used twice daily, water bottles are filled up several times a day and thrown around and squashed into our packs along with our sleeping bags that get wet, sweated in and it even has chocolate squished into it ( the Spunky Rooster eats in bed). Then there is our poor packs, they get abused the most ....sweat, mud, strained to capacity, holding in everything we hold dear. So when we aren’t on trail the maintenance of these things has to be a priority. Sleeping bags are aired, tent is given a wipe down and hang out to air, cooker is cleaned and maintained, packs are washed and any wear & tear patched. But the thing that needs the most maintenance is our bodies.....just like “Sunshine” are bodies take a beating on trail so when we stop walking it’s all about good nutrition, yoga regularly, lots of stretching and lots of light walking to keep all our joints and muscles well oiled.
One of my rituals every morning is writing my gratitudes even if I write the same thing everyday I write them. Why? I think gratitude is so important, it sets my day up on a positive note, to be able to look for gratitude in everything gives you a fortress against all negative emotions.
Doing Workaway volunteering can sometimes be difficult. You live in someone’s else’s home doing things that are usually out of your comfort zone. It can get difficult and due to the commitment to these people sometimes you have to suck it up.
Now I’m not the most tolerate person so Workaway and gratitudes sometimes doesn’t go hand in hand, both the Spunky Rooster and I have had times when it has been difficult to find something to be grateful for. This is to be expected, living closely with someone that has different beliefs and values, there is bound to be some friction. However if we look at the opportunity and what their generosity allows us to do gratitude flows freely. These people open up their homes and trust us with their livelihood, homes, livestock and guests. We learn their stories and how they look at life, these gifts alone are worth gratitude. Add to that the new skills we learn, the great friends we make, the experiences we have, the money we save, the places we experience even the discipline of holding our tongue's, all adds up to a pile of things to be truely grateful for.