This week’s photo challenge is all about Wanderlust which, put simply, 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 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!
PS. You can also find Deb’s World here – I’d be delighted if you’d join me.