“People always asked her, where she was going. Not fully knowing herself she answered with a smile I am going in the right direction” Unknown.Love love love this quote
People ask us all the time......so what’s the plan? Where are you going next? Although we always have a rough plan for the next 6-12 months it is never set in stone. Both the Spunky Rooster and I believe in the universe showing us what is next and we both have faith enough in the universe to know things change. Each decision has a ripple effect or action, so to plan to far ahead could lead to disappointment. In New Zealand, the weather was a big dictator to our plans and we changed our plans to maximise great weather. In Japan the proximity to easy transport option took us on a unplanned 2 day adventure to Hiroshima. Now in France we have taken a rest day because Arras has so much amazing history we wanted to linger a little while to absorb. Whatever direction or road we take, we make the most of the opportunity and experience and that way it will always be the right direction.
DINING HOBO STYLE. Eating well on the road is a continuous struggle between nutritional value calories and taste. Tonight ticked all three lots of calories with hot baby potatoes with mayo cheese and butter, good protein with poached chicken breast and lots of yumminess with fresh baby lettuce and avocado . All served up on blue plastic bags b cause we have no plates
This is why I hike. Yes it’s my gorgeous daughter. Giving up work to pursue a dream of walking the world was a terrifying, but it was something I felt I needed to do. So when things get hard or scary I think about what example I want to set for my daughter. I tackle any of the challenges on the trail with her clearly in mind. Like most parents, we told her that she could be and do whatever she wanted when she grew up , me hiking the world is showing her how true that is!!!
Some days we spend knee deep in mud, soaking wet and cold , we walk 30kms to sleep on the floor in a tin shed. Not a lot of fun........but then there’s days like today sun shining weather perfect sitting in a new city sipping a frozen margarita eating a great wood fired pizza and laughing with the Spunky Rooster. Life is about balance, holding on to good times as long as possible, and during the bad knowing your strong enough to get through.
“You can’t succeed in life without a degree” I read this today on Instagram and I thought to myself that whoever wrote it had a lot to “learn”. Then I found the above quote and thought how much the universe provides. Education can be found everywhere it is a lifelong adventure journey of discovery and investigation. To truly be “educated” it is essential to start to seek out and acknowledge teachers and learning experiences. To be able to do this you need to train your mind.
Think about the people you meet and the conversations you have. What are you taking away from those conversation? Are you actively asking questions and exploring their opinions and ideas? Are you even open to other people’s thoughts, opinions and ideas? Are you “trying on” what you learn to see if they may fit you or improve you?
Travelling is a great learning experience and now that I am travelling “on the cheap” my learning experience have certainly quadrupled. Not only am I learning from the people and experiences I encounter, I am also being pushed out of my middle-class comfort zone so I am learning heaps about myself. I love this aspect of my journey.
David and I are currently doing some volunteering work at a small BnB (The Flying Fox) on the Whanganui River in New Zealand. This place is virtually off the grid. Kelly & Jane (The proprietors) live the ethos of the place and it is true magical. They have solar power, the toilet systems are either compost or long drop, they grow most of their own produce, they hunt for food, they are both artisan and sell their art to provide extra income for the goods they can’t grow or hunt. We spent 3 weeks with these gorgeous people and learnt so much. Every day it was something new. Not only skills we can take with us but the property gives you space to think and explore your own thoughts. These are people that have decided to live differently to what would be considered “normal”. It’s not an easy life, their days are full of looking after guest, fixing things, general upkeep of the ground…mowing the lawn alone takes 2 people 3 hours. But they are so happy and giving of their skills and knowledge. I have enjoyed exploring their beliefs and values and their way of life. I have learnt so much about myself
I have also enjoyed listening to why people are doing Te Araroa and how they are walking. Some people are determined to walk every single step regardless of how hard or boring it is. Others will skip the boring bits, others will only do sections of the walk. David and I intended to walk the trail in its entirety when we started, but our thinking has changed along the way. We have had experiences that have made us reassess what it is we want to achieve. We have spoken to people and questioned their motivation, each time taking away some lesson. So, we are now crafting a journey that suits us. Is this cheating? Is it compromising? No. David and I have had many conversations on this topic and we like to think that is learning as we go. Learning what we like, what we don’t like, getting clear on what we are trying to achieve, what we want to experience and what we really want to feel. We both have an idea of who we want to be, but how we will achieve that is flexible. So, each morning we get up with an open mind and heart and ask the universe to provide the teachers and experiences that will help us achieve our goal. So, I leave you with 3 questions:
Are you open to learning?
Do you set yourself up daily, to learn?
When & where do you do your most learning?
I would really love to hear from you
I believe the number one reason why people don’t reach their goals is actually having a goal. What!!! You scream That doesn’t make sense. Just stay with me a minute and I will explain. As a Coach, I am a huge advocate of goal setting and dreaming big. I tell my clients feel yourself doing and being what it is you want. Imagine how your life will be different, imagine how you will be different. And without exception they all get excited and start writing out what they imagine life would be like when they have achieved their goal. I then get them to write down what they have to do to achieve this. They then put together a timeframe of when each thing needs to be done…..and for a few weeks everything goes really well, they are ticking of the to do list. Then a few things start to slip and before long the goal is forgotten buried under all this “action” stuff. The excitement has waned and it all gets too hard. Sound Familiar?
How do we stop this from happening? One sentence….. whatever you want is a journey not a destination. Albert Einstein famously said, “the mind that created the problem can’t solve the problem”. Meaning the person, you are today can’t possibly fit into your vision of the future. So, what does that mean, simple it means you have to learn and adapt along the pathway to where you want to be. You have to “experience “the journey to recognise the destination. For goals to work, and they do work, you have to enjoy and celebrate the lessons along the way.
Take for example someone wanting to drop 10kg. They imagine themselves at their goal weight, wearing the clothes they want, getting lots of attention, feeling sexy and confident.
Along the way what are some of the changes in them they have to recognise and celebrate?
However, these both become a drag and are easy to throw in the to-hard basket if the focus is only on the end goal, it is to abstract. To succeed the focus has to be on keeping the excitement alive by celebrating the small subtle changes that is the journey,
Long distance trekking is exactly the same. The goal is to finish the trek and I see many blogs that are all about finishing the journey. But are they missing the point? What about the subtle changes along the way, what about all the “mini” experiences on track, what about the amazing starlight nights, what about all the crazies you meet, what about the way you have learnt to encourage yourself to be softer. These are all success points, all integral to achievement of your goal
So yes, goals are important to success in anything in life, and yes, they should be big bold hairy audacious and shitting my britches……… however don’t get so caught up in reaching the end that you rush the journey. A famous man once said stop and smell the roses. Well I say reward yourself daily.
Linger for that extra wine with a new-found friend, stay up all night and watch the stars.
You only walk this world once, walk it in gold lame sneaker, singing bohemian rhapsody at the top of your lungs walking beside the crazy man who sees leprechauns. And when you reach your goal you will realise that it too was not a destination but the stepping to an even greater adventure.
From inception of this journey David and I have had the belief that the Universe was giving us signs that this was what we were meant to do. From meeting people that had done the walks we wanted to do, to getting great airfares when we needed to fly. Everything has just dropped into place. Then BANG one of the accommodation bookings we had made suddenly cancelled our booking for no reason.
WOW what is this!!! Is this the Universe reneging on our plan? Inside my head the devil’s voice of doubt suddenly grew very loud…. “Fool, see this is just a hair brain scheme”, “I told you that you couldn’t make this work”, “What makes you think you’re special”. Yes, the spiral of fear and doubt got a really good hold of me Spiral, Spiral, Spiral… I was in a cold sweat doubting everything from my ability, how I was going to survive to my sanity.
Then the universe stepped in again and into my mind flashed a neon sign that had this quote, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, not even the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” Charles Darwin.
And again, I thanked the Universe for it’s amazing insight. It would be unrealistic to believe that the type of adventure we are about to embark on will always go smoothly and to plan. The mere description of calling it an adventure would indicate many unknowns……but we will adapt. We will learn not to bank on certain sequences of events. We will learn that the magic will be found in the journey not the destination. We will learn to trust each other and our inner wisdom and the deep grounded belief we both have that this is what we are meant to do, we will adapt or we will return to a normal life and we will die a slow and lingering extinction (Figuratively speaking. “With great risk comes great rewards” Dalai Lama.
Love the growth. The change in me is happening before I put my first step on the track. MAGIC!!. Nelson Mandela said “that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.
This photo is of David and I early in the morning of our 28th day on the Camino. We were on the way up a mountain to the Cruz de Ferro in Spain. It was the day that changed my future.
The Cruz de Ferro or Iron Cross sits at the highest point of the Camino de Santiago between Manjarin and Foncebardon. Pilgrims for centuries have been placing stones at the base of the cross signifying leaving their sins behind and preparing to be reborn on the last leg of the Camino. Today it has a much broader meaning symbolising a problem or issue one wants to leave behind, leaving behind something you no longer want to be burdened with.
I had read about this ritual before starting the pilgrimage and thought long and hard about what I needed to leave behind. But it wasn’t until I was standing at the base of the cross, on this foggy morning, did I really understand the significance. As I got down on my knees and placed my stone onto the pile I prayed to the Universe that I had the strength and wisdom to leave behind anything that would not serve me in the future. But more than that I asked the Universe to help me. Help me remember the lessons I had learnt on the Camino and to take them back into my everyday life.
Walking the Camino you have plenty of time to get inside your own head and sort out all the shit that has been accumulating over the years, the regrets, the beliefs that held you back, the irrational fears, the harmful behaviours that have become in ground into your being and the list goes on. As I sat at the base of Cruz de Ferro all this went through my head and as I placed my stone onto the pile, I knew my life would never be the same again. I had learnt lessons that I would never allow to disappear from my consciousness. Some of those lessons I would like to share with you.
Buen Camino my friends
In her 1972 hit song Janis Joplin sings about …..“freedom, is just another word for nothing left to loose” . Is Janis saying we are only free if we have nothing to loose, that friends, money, relationships are an encumbrance? I personally believe freedom is a mindset, something you have to establish internally. It’s about creating that internal peace and stability so even when the world outside is trying to tie you down or cage your spirit, you have the strength and courage to be your own person.
What does freedom mean to you?
For me freedom is about being at peace with myself and who I am, it means minimizing my internal conflict, having more self belief and resilience, loving myself more and accepting what is, so creating less stress.
7 Simple Steps Towards Freedom