I have some excellent news! I have passed my 20,000kms solo milestone.
It is a little bit embarrassing because I had been calculating the distances I walked alone in Australia and didn’t add any international solo treks in Portugal, Morocco, Western Sahara, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, China and Japan (but not including group treks in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Bangladesh). It turns out I’m close to 22,000kms.
This is a significant number for me. It has been on the horizon like a distant mountain which never seems to get any closer. Breaking my ankle was a real blow because I was so close.
Realising my mistake this week was a great moment. Only a moment though. There was nobody around to help me celebrate, I haven’t even drunk to it yet. It may mean a lot to me but I understand it does not carry the same weight for anyone who hasn’t pursued long solo expeditions. A lot more goes into solo expeditions than planning and walking. This number represents the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and intellectual highs and lows of years of single-minded dedication.
I have not completed everything I started. There have been some monumental failures but from these I learnt important lessons which have helped get through the tough sections of many more expeditions and treks. With every expedition, end to end and section hike I have learnt to adapt and take on advice from others who have been there before me. No matter how experienced you are or the distance you have under your feet there is always something or someone to learn from.
I’m about to head off for 450kms of slow but challenging training treks in the Australian Alps over summer. Fingers crossed the ankle is ready. I will be posting on the Terra Roams facebook and Instagram pages when I get phone range with battery power to waste.