Earlier this year I made a rather extravagant statement about 2022 being my “Year of Yes”. I wanted to publicly and privately rebel against the endless ‘No’ and negativity of the last couple of Covid-impacted years.
If nothing else, my plan was to consciously change my mindset from one constantly limited by circumstances beyond my control, to one where I actively sought out things (read: travel adventures big and small) that brought me joy. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am one of those people who thrive on experiencing new landscapes, cultures and challenges. Yes, I have my homebody moments too, but I always need to have something interesting sitting on the horizon or pencilled onto my calendar.
Sometimes I wish I was more content to take each day as it comes rather than forever looking forward, however, looking forward and being positive is exactly what my Year of Yes is all about.
So, what has the first six months delivered?
January – June 2022
- Local Bushwalks: Joining my local bushwalking club has been one of the best things I have done. Yes, I have sacrificed some independence and flexibility of walking (when, where and how fast), but the benefits far outweigh any minor downsides. I have hiked in places I never knew existed and met a whole range of new, interesting people who also don’t mind a stroll.
- Great Ocean Walk, Victoria: WOW, WOW, WOW! What an amazing and tough experience. For six days we scrambled up and down ridgelines along the glorious Victorian coastline from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles. It blew the cobwebs out and reinforced what a privilege it is to enjoy living in a safe, free and ancient county like Australia. Read more about it here.
- Work Trips: Yes, I do work although I much prefer to talk about travel than work. 😊 The beauty of my work is that I am self-employed and I am lucky to be able to squeeze in sneaky side trips to places like the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens.
- Great North Walk, NSW: The biggest challenge so far during my Year of Yes has been planning and completing the Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle – 15 days of bush, beach and bay views. Unfortunately, incredibly wet weather right along the NSW coast damaged the path and I was only able to complete the first two stages. It still felt wonderful to be out walking again, even if my original plans had to be postponed a little. Watch this space. Read more about it here.
- Bondi to Manly Path, NSW: At last, I finished this epic path. I won’t bore you with a detailed description here as I wax lyrical, loud and long, elsewhere on this blog site. Suffice to say it is a ‘must do’! Read more about it here.
…and now, hold onto your hats…
July – December 2022
- Great North Walk – Mach II: Yes, I am trying again in early August. The intervening time has allowed me to reconsider my original walk schedule and I have taken a more realistic approach to some big days/distances, cutting them in half. There is still one bridge that is impassable (and it is STILL bucketing rain all along the coast), but I have a non-purist Plan B to avoid the problematic bridge. Fingers crossed it all falls into place this time.
- Three Capes Track, Tasmania: Four days of walking along a breathtakingly beautiful stretch of coastline, North of Hobart. Check it out here.
- Light to Light Walk, NSW: Three more days of coastal walking (are you noticing a pattern here?) between Ben Boyd Tower and Green Cape Lighthouse on the far South coast of NSW near Eden. Check it out here.
- Central West Cycle Trail, NSW: This one is still in the planning phase and it is looking like +/- seven days of around 400km of cycling through small villages and towns in Central West NSW. My poor old pushbike is covered in dust and I will have to get some serious training under my belt (or in my legs and butt) before setting out. Check it out here.
- Manly to Palm Beach Trail, NSW: A little like the feel of the Bondi-to-Manly path, this unofficial path hugs the coastline for around 35km. I expect it will deliver endless views of pristine beaches and probably a fair bit of less attractive urban walking. I will split this into two easy days. No exact dates scheduled yet, but I am sure I will be able to fit it in somewhere before Christmas.
- Work?: Yes, I need to allow for that to happen too, even if it just to fund all of the above!
…but, wait, there’s more! 2023 is shaping up very nicely too.
- Borneo, South East Asia: Seven days checking out orangutans, sun bears and proboscis monkeys.
- Camino combo in Spain: A return to the Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo that was Covid-cancelled in May 2020. Just over 800km of gorgeous Spanish scenery, bocadillos and good conversation with pilgrims from all over the World.
- Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory: OMG! This one will be equal parts tough and mind-blowing. Fourteen days and 223km of walking through the West MacDonnell Range near Alice Springs in Central Australia. I have signed up with World Expeditions for this one due to its remoteness.
- Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia: If I have any energy left in my legs and wanderlust in my heart, I will finish off the year setting out on the 1,005km trail from Perth to Albany in Western Australia. Phew! That will test my staying power.
While sometimes all these plans make my head spin a little, it also makes me very happy. I am saying ‘Yes’ to some of the many fabulous opportunities out there and embracing all that life has to offer.
I realise this approach will not suit everyone and I certainly am not sharing all of the above to show-off, big note or skite. All I can recommend is that you say ‘Yes’ to whatever brings you joy.
Here’s cheers to all of us saying ‘Yes’ more often.
What has been your big YES moment this year?
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