Since starting on Our Global Adventure we have been doing a lot of walking. Literally, walking. We are using our legs every day for physical exercise for sure, but it feels like so much more than that. Our walking is therapy. In the metaphorical sense, our family is walking away from our past toward a bright new future full of possibilities.
It all started last October when I sold my business. The children were still at school, and Simon was still working, leaving me lots of free time. Time I decided, which would be perfect for completing a ‘Couch to 5km’ app that I had once downloaded to my phone and never completed. By the 1st of January I was running my first 5km, and soon after that the odd 10km run on weekends as well. By the time we arrived in the Bega Valley this year, I was at the point that I would consider myself to be a runner. Not out to break records or anything, just a runner, and proud of my achievement.
When the kids started homeschooling in January, the three of us started swimming laps a couple of times a week at a local pool and including walking regularly in our homeschooling routine. We went for walks in local parks and forests, used our legs instead of the bus in the city and walked to the shops instead of driving. Even before our house was sold, I began preparing them for the walking that is part of the parcel in a traveling lifestyle.
When we moved to our housesit in the Bega Valley, the first thing that I noticed was the mountains. Unlike the relatively level ground that I had been running on in Adelaide, our new home threatened to interrupt the progress that the kids and I had been making on foot. The house is at the bottom of a VERY steep gully. It is impossible to leave the house on foot without climbing steadily and painfully upward.
One of our main motivations for taking on a housesitting assignment here in Australia before our move to Ireland was to get our health in check, mind, body and spirit. Simon and I needed to de-stress, we all needed to improve our fitness, eat healthier, and be open to natural learning opportunities. Simon also wanted to get back in control of his weight which yo-yoed between diets in his desk job.
Shortly after arriving, we all began walking. First of all our aim was just to the top of the driveway, a 70m climb over just 600m (yes it really is that steep!) and after a few days we were pushing on to the property boundary, (about a 3km round trip). Then our aim was to walk to the property boundary without stopping for breaks, then to walk harder and faster. Oscar and I also now run on the few sections that are not a steep climb. With each passing day, the walk gets easier for all of us and Simon’s pace has almost matched mine.
Now we’ve begun taking longer walks in the area along nearby walking trails, 5km round trips (again very steep!). We walk nearly every day, and as we do we are getting the therapy that we craved. Out in the fresh air, in our beautiful rural setting our bodies are getting stronger, and our minds are becoming clearer. Simon is losing weight, I am continuing the great start that I made in Adelaide, and the kids’ stamina (especially little Oscar) is nothing short of astounding.
With every walk that we do, the greater the travel opportunities that open up to us. We are already planning a nearby coastal 7km walk in the National Park along the beautiful Sapphire Coast. Beyond that we are dreaming of walks in Ireland, and maybe even Machu Picchu in Peru, or the Camino in Spain one day. Hey ya gotta’ dream big right? Who knows where our feet are capable of taking us?!