A Wanderlusting traveller


Wanderlust is a strong desire to travel.  I think I can honestly say I am a woman consumed by wanderlust.  Our family motto is ‘To travel is to live!’

….share a photo that represents travel to you. Whether you’re crossing borders or visiting a nearby neighborhood for the first time, we would love to see how you capture these new environments and interactions!

…one of those fleeting experiences that reminds you how wonderful it is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

It’s all well and good to say I am consumed by wanderlust but how do I show this in a single photo/post when most of my blog is dedicated to travel, adventure and travel photography??

I decided to focus on the line one of those fleeting experiences that reminds you how wonderful it is to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.  I have combined some photos from one of the hardest trips, but most rewarding, I have ever undertaken.

Come with me to the jungles of Papua New Guinea as we walk the Kokoda Track.

I have mentioned my Kokoda experience in numerous posts, mainly in conjunction with my fear of heights,  but realised today that I haven’t actually blogged about it in its own right. And it most definitely deserves its very own post as it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and was way outside my comfort zone. When I say hard, I mean physically, mentally and emotionally. I trained hard and was fit and healthy but it was the bridge crossings, the edges, the jungle, the mud, the humidity and the sheer ruggedness that made it so daunting.

Here are some of my favourite photos from this amazing trip. I couldn’t pick just one!

I mentioned Kokoda in a post earlier in the week ANZAC Day 2017  as my husband has just returned from his 7th trip over the track.  He obviously enjoys it far more than me, as I decided once was enough. I must say I was surprised at how much fun I had being dirty, smelly, sore, sweaty and physically exhausted for ten days straight!

How did it all start:

In 2006 my husband was enticed to join our Rotary Club’s project of taking high school students across the Kokoda  Track in the following April in 2007.  The objective was to help the 17 students strive for seemingly unachievable goals.

It involved fundraising to enable the students and leaders to undertake the physically and mentally demanding trek, as they learn about the history of our soldiers in World War II and to increase the confidence of the students outside their comfort zone.

The first trip in 2007 was so successful that two trips were organised for interested community members in 2008; the Taste of Kokoda tour over 10 days and the Ultimate Tour over 18 days, commemorating ANZAC Day at the Isurava memorial.  Since 2007 they have taken students every two years – 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.  

It’s a huge undertaking for our small town but the community can see the benefits in taking these students on this adventure of a lifetime.  They return with new found confidence and usually a high degree of wanderlust!  It’s all about the interaction with others along the track, the local kids, their carriers, their team members and leaders.  I can’t speak highly enough of the project and commend all those involved in giving our local students this amazing opportunity; my husband and our friend Bruce being the main ones, who have been involved right from the start and are still going strong in their commitment.

I decided to walk the Kokoda track at the age of 47 for a number of reasons:

  • to gain an understanding of my husband’s experiences
  • to gain an insight to the war along the track
  • to challenge myself both physically and mentally
  • to move outside my comfort zone before I was too ‘old’ to do so.

And I did it all, with a great group of friends! We helped each other through the hard bits and forged deeper friendships as a result.  I coped without my home comforts and I survived to tell the story!  

I have since gone on to walk the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal, visited India, undertaken a barge/cycle tour from Paris to Bruges, joined a sailing/cycle group in the Southern Dalmatian Islands in Croatia, travelled solo for 4 weeks across UK and Scandinavia, cycled the Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand and recently walked to the top of Australia, Mt Kosciuszko with a walking group –  plus many more adventures around our beautiful country.  There are lots more travels in the wind as my husband and I are newly retired. We can’t wait to get out there and take on the world!

I also made a book about my trek using my photos and diary entries:  A Taste of Kokoda 

If you’d like to know more about the WW2 Kokoda Campaign, the Australian War Memorial has a great overview here.

Enjoy your travels around the world and never lose your wanderlust!  I plan on continuing my love of travel well into my dotage!

Trekking Kokoda in my midlife

Deb xx

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Debbie - mother of a 40 year old

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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47 Replies to “A Wanderlusting traveller”

  1. Wow! I didn’t realize what an adventurer you are! I’m much more laid back – the thought of the steamy Papua New Guinea heat and all that climbing and walking doesn’t appeal to me at all. If I’m going on a holiday I want it to be pleasant and better than what I have at home – sad but true!
    Leanne | cresting the hill

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quick question… the digital editing publisher I used to use to create books of our travels went out of business and I’ve been looking for a replacement ever since. Most programs don’t let you write as much as I want to write. They simply auto populate your photos and give you caption space to write or they have set, predetermined layouts…. my books looked like magazine articles and I could play with the size and location of photos on the page, add embellishments, and create really awesome momentos of our trips. How was the book program and publisher you used to do your Kokoda track book?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We always use Blurb.com and haven’t had any problems with producing books. We can make the pages to suit our needs, either photos or text or a mix of both. It’s easy to use once you’ve got the photos organised. I’d recommend having a look at them. Hope that helps.


  3. It is fantastic that your husband (and your whole community) has created this opportunity for students and continues to make it possible. And I’m glad you got to experience it too. My admiration for you both keeps growing Debbie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My goodness that is quite the repertoire of adventure! Have you and your husband considered coming to Canada to do the West Coast Trail? We have done it, albeit 15 years ago. A classic and based on your other trips I think you would love it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You would always be welcome to use our place as home base should you want to visit the Rockies. The West Coast Trail is another province over. At any rate consider it a standing offer.

        Liked by 1 person

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