Why would you hike that far!?
Why? This is the most common thing I’ve been asked when I tell people about this hike. Won’t it be hard? Isn’t it going to be dangerous? Won’t you freeze?? Put simply yes... this will probably be one of the most challenging things I will have ever done in my life, I’m going to walk across two countries I have never been to and stay with a lot of people I don’t know in person yet. But hey if I’ve learnt anything on my travels it’s that we’ve all got friends all across the world you just have to get out there and find them! As for the cold I’m going to have to hope that my kit can keep me warm enough, and if it can’t I’m more than motivated enough to get myself up and to move on and warm up and if one day I can’t I’m just going to have to hope and pray that some lovely trail angel will take me in! haha
Won’t it be dangerous? There are always dangers with living on the roads, especially in unknown country in the middle of winter. Sure I’m going to be a little exposed, I am risking injury walking this far and you never really have any idea who you’re going to meet on the road.. But all of this is true to some degree in everyday life too! You just have to way up the risk to yourself verses the rewards of doing it! I might break a ankle or get hit by a car.. but if I get more support for Luyando then I’m improving 15 families lives and possibly helping all of Mbabala, and I get to take in some beautiful new countries and meet new people so there’s no competition there at all for me!! Stop worrying about what could go wrong and think about how great things will be when they go right! Life will always find a million things to get in your way but if you have something that motivates you and something you wish you could do then there’s always a way, you just have to find how make things work for you. Unfortunately there are some wild cards you can’t control, like the weather but with a little know how and some basic kit you should be fine, in all honesty though would you really want to have everything under control and just coaster through the whole journey? Personally I think it’s the hardships of these expeditions that make it all worthwhile. They have a funny way of making you appreciate everything you have so much more, every little luxury and victory becomes a huge celebration.
Why backpack? Normally I’m asked this by people who haven’t ever done long distance hikes before and it’s a hard one to explain… on paper walking in the driving rain just to get to the top of a hill or to the next town sounds awful when compared to going to a night club, drinking too much and dancing on a table or going paintballing and “accidentally” shooting your mate in the face. But if you have ever really backpacked you know that couldn’t be further from the truth! Reducing everything you have to you your pack, some great company, beautiful scenery and a hip flask of good whiskey has a funny way of filtering away the BS of everyday life, when you simplify everything down to that point you break your usual routines and the monotony of everyday living, everything has a slower pace and has more purpose. Most days at home now the first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone and straight away I’m sucked into the social media circus before I finally get out of bed and make myself a coffee to wake myself up enough to deal with the fresh onslaught of children for that day.. And I’m sure if any of you are as big a pile of crap as me you’ll do the same! But when I’m in the wilderness things are very different, most the time I wake up at first light along with my camp mate if I have one, make a cup of tea and over breakfast we poor over the map and discus the days plan of attack and possible challenges there’s next to never any rush to get going or any struggle to get out of the hammock in the morning and the conversation never runs dry! That’s the great thing about backpackers, and hikers especially we are all so likeminded there are only ever awesome friends or friends to be on the trail. It’s awesome to meet strangers on the trails and just talk to them you almost always click and there are always some great tails to be shared. The wilderness has a funny way of bringing people together if you haven’t already you really should try and take a few days with someone new in an area you don’t know and just wing it even if you’ve known each other for years. Trust me you won’t regret it! You’ll learn so much and have a great time!
Anyway after all this talk of hiking I think I’m gonna have to grab my pack and do some “training” now, see you down the road!