One of the first things people ask me when they find out I hiked the 3000km-long Te Araroa Trail, is why. Why would I want to hike day after day for five months, over mountains and through knee-deep mud, carrying a heavy pack?
I always struggle to answer them. Not because I don’t know why I wanted to do it, but because it is a combination of many different reasons. For me, hiking the TA wasn’t just something I wanted to do, it had always felt like something that I needed to do.
I have always craved escaping the monotony of every-day life and challenging myself to see what I am truly capable of, and walking Te Araroa offered that. I was sick of living in a limbo state, always waiting for something exciting to come and save me, and so I decided to save myself.
Life had become too complicated, dealing with multiple mental illnesses, and the struggles of adult life, I wanted something to shake me and remind me of what life is truly about, something to strip me down to my core and build me back up a better, stronger, and more grateful person.
Te Araroa felt like the right thing to truly kick off the part of my life that I would actually be proud of, that I would actually enjoy.