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The Freedom Of Hiking

I’ve always been an explorer, searching for the new horizon, the new wild experience that pushes me to a place of uncomfortability, knowing that with it comes the blooming of growth and strength.

At 22years old, 18month baby on my hip, I packed up my life and drove from Victoria to Qld in a car loaded with my life belongings. I was running away from a violent and emotionally abusive partner and wildly into the abyss of unknown asking for a saviour. I knew the way I was living wasn’t for me, or that of my baby girl. I always held intuitive trust in my unique journey and without a second thought; I would make these life-altering decisions. I still do, 16 years later.

Living on the Gold Coast my backyard was the sea, the trees and the mountains. I boarded, paddled, ran and explored with the nomad soul within. Those years spent living on the coast, I found a way back to my roots of exploring and the lifestyle I wanted for myself and child.

A gypsy at heart with deep roots for ‘home’, the path lead me back to Melbourne as I wasn’t running anymore; life rich with wild abandonment, I craved to be with my family. This is the loving epicentre of who I am. Whilst that sounds counterintuitive, I believe that it’s a balance that I am constantly working with, we all are. Like we experience night and day, hot and cold, why should our desires be so absolute? We need to experience and appreciate one in order to understand the other.

I live my life in dichotomy; security versus adventuring into the unknown. Exploring new paths and returning to the sheltered safety of the life we have created. This is what it is to be human. Our lives can be spent chasing one or the other, it needn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be. There is a holistic balance that we need to find that is unique to each individual.

This is why I love hiking. It provides the wonderment and security simultaneously.

Scouting the world in which we live by day or weekend, to return to the homes we raise families. When we experience the expansiveness that only nature provides; the human need to wonder, we can live healthier, balanced lifestyles. Hiking holds many profound benefits to body and mind and helps to regulate the stress of our modern lives.

Hiking explorations provide an escape. Escapes from the humdrum of life; the pressures to do, be, have, compare, and all the unrest that sedentary life can present. I can get lost in nature and find myself at the same time; all in a day’s hiking.

At times I feel fixed within the secure life my husband and I created as if I can’t pivot or desire for something more, something different. Children have the ability to ground you. To stay put and within my own circumstances, the nomadic lifestyle must wait. I am so grateful for the beautiful family, home and life in which I live, but I yearn for more. Not material objects but more landscapes, more wild oceans and vast plains.

The last 6 months have been challenging. I feel caged within my world and have an overwhelming desire to expand, explore and get lost- if only for a day or weekend. As restrictions ease, I know this feeling will dissipate with the rules as I have come to find the balance that works for my itchy feet.

I like the movement. To keep progressing. I like challenges and the change that results. Hiking provides this for me, as I am sure it would you to. The Discovering of new places, inspiring myself. That’s where I find my excitement and appeases my sense of wander. It keeps my roots deep within my family and lets me widen my sense of wander.

I desire the breadth of experience from life and therefore willing to put myself within the elements to gain the knowledge and resilience. Build my capabilities and move through life with a balance of all the things I desire, love and some that challenge me to the full extent of this human experience. This is hiking. This is what the adventurous life delivers.

What is it for you?

Amanda x


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