It was around the 20km mark that I started to question my sanity. “Why did I ever think this was a good idea?” I asked a big hairy biker dude who had crossed over to my side of the road to check out the beach. Of course he had no idea what the hell I was on about and looked at me sideways and said, “What? Going for a run?” (I’m not sure who runs in hiking boots but hey, whatever makes your hair blow back). “Nah, a bloody long walk. It’s 33km,” I said and I could see him shift ever so slightly away from me as though I’d just revealed that I had a necrotic skin disease of the airborne variety. He laughed an uncomfortable laugh and made to walk off, perhaps back to his bike to ride the flock away from me, although he beeped as he rode past me later on his Harley.
It’s hard to accept that other people don’t necessarily care about the things that are important to me. I get so caught up in something being the nexus of the universe that it seems perfectly natural that every other person on the planet would feel the same way. After all, who doesn’t want to find the nexus of the universe, but when I tell someone about something I’ve done or something I’m excited about and they just go, “oh, ok” and go back to swiping on their phone, or talking about what happened on the latest instalment of some boring TV series it’s a good reminder that just because it’s important to me, doesn’t mean it’s important to other people.
Walking a long way is important to me. I usually like to do it while carrying a monster of a pack, but on the 33km walk to Theodolite Creek and back I only had a small day pack that weighed around 5kg. I can’t even really call it a hike. It was too flat, the pack was too light and I had fish, chips and a chocolate milkshake at the local takeaway shop. Milkshakes are one thing I fantasise about when I’m on a hike. I usually get involved with telling myself stories outloud about the kinds of food and drink I would like to drive into my face. It really takes away from the fact that I feel like I’m dying, but it doesn’t help my hunger, in fact nothing does, not even food!
I’d never walked as far as 33km in one day before. I think 22km was it. If I hadn’t tried this I would never have realised how far it’s possible to walk in one day. It made me wonder what could be possible if I pushed myself and tried new stuff whenever the idea came to mind or whenever the opportunity arose.
The world is an unbelievable place and even people who think they know a thing or two about life can be catapulted into outer space every now and then when they cross paths with an enigmatic stranger, push themselves further than they thought possible or keep at something even if it feels like they’re failing. These experiences give life a new and exciting edge and will foster the desire to gain similar experiences again and again. Before you know it, you’re living right inside an ever-expanding circle of adventure where it only matters what’s important to you, not what’s important to the world at large.
The enigmatic stranger…just kidding, it’s Jon Bernthal. I guess TV shows are good for something after all.