I recently was gifted a book written by a famous adventure enthusiast, Levinson Wood, titled "Walking the Himalayas." Levinson once challenged himself to walk the length of the Himalayas spanning 1600 miles covering 5 countries starting in Afghanistan and ending in Bhutan. Along the way he reached Everest base camp, met the Dalai Lama and also was the first to climb a certain mountain in Bhutan, which, after find a snow leopard den near the summit, he suitably named it, "Snow Leopard Mountain."
We all got inspired and motivated from various things, whether it be a TV show or reading a good book that makes you want to make positive changes in your life, even set yourself a challenge. Take Wimbledon for example. How much busier are the local tennis courts during/after Wimbledon? Or taking up running after watching the marathon?
After reading this book, it suddenly dawned on me. To date I haven't really set myself a REAL challenge, one that holds enough weight to be called that anyway. For sure, I hike regularly. Long ones, tough ones and challenge myself physically but looking beyond that I haven't challenged myself with something that would be considered 'out of the norm'.
I may not be able to walk the length of the Himalayas, just yet, but the book and certainly the idea of something along those lines have got me thinking what challenges I could set myself, something to work towards. That's when it came to me.
New Zealand has 9 'Great walks.' These Great walks vary in distance but cover some of the most renowned/ amazing/prodigious that New Zealand has to offer. These walks cover all sorts of different types of ecosystems from beach tracks to alpine mountain terrain; I have set myself my first 'big/real' challenge to walk all 9 in 2017.
I will be ticking them off one by one throughout the course of the year, which may become the preliminary platform for a much bigger task, who knows.
What I think I learnt most from Levinson Wood's book is that we all need to challenge ourselves. It is human nature to set ourselves certain standards/expectations to reach and target ourselves towards. To reach a self satisfaction that you did what you set out to achieve and to know that you achieved something that even you yourself knew would be such a task to reach. Whether it be physically or mentally, whether it be a higher exam score or a new 10k PB; we achieved something today and that in itself is worth it. In the inspiring words of Levinson Wood "Despite the hardships, everyday was incredible."
I urge you to set yourselves a challenge, whatever it may be, that you yourself can look at and realise it may test you but the revelation of it appear all too appealing.
I'll keep you updated with which walks i'll be doing and the gear i'll be using to take on these challenges!
"Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures."
- Lovelle Drachman