North Island

I Reach Bluff

Today I reached Bluff, the southern-most point of South Island and the official end of the Te Araroa Trail. I thought I'd feel important and special but it wasn't like that all.

I had to laugh when I compared the Bluff signpost with the one at Cape Reinga.

Somewhere along the trail, 51 kilometres have gone missing. But who's counting? It's just part of NZ's quirky charm.

What else has been lost along the way? Work, clients, position, money.

I'm broke.

So, why do I feel so good?

Get Naked

When was the last time you took off your clothes in the wilderness? I had stopped for a breather on a sun-dappled wooded ridge in the Tuaruas when a glowing patch of sunlight on my forearm arrested my attention. Focusing on it, the slide into trance was easy.

"Woo! Hoo!"

"Woo! Hoo!"

Trampers don't get too many, "Woo! Hoo!" moments.

However, last Saturday, soaked to the skin and standing four kilometres down a flooding river gorge in the Tararua Ranges, I lifted my arms to the sheer moss-walled rock walls and shouted, "Woo! Hoo!" in a short-lived outburst of pent-up tension and muscle-melting relief.

Quit Your Job

Quit Your Job

My former business coach advises small business owners to, "Sack yourself." It's sound advice because it lifts your head from the day-to-day battle in the trenches to take a more strategic view. It encourages you to grow.

River of Fun

River of Fun

What's your instinctive reaction to an invitation to try something different?

On the trail, my default setting has gone from a cautious, "Maybe", to an enthusiastic, "Yes," which explains how I went from sitting in a quiet library to thrusting a paddle into the gale-tossed waters of the Whanganui River in less time than it takes to watch an episode of "Man vs Wild.”

River of Hope

River of Hope

I paused on the road five kilometres below Jerusalem and surveyed the straggling line of houses that make up Ranana-London. I smiled. If this hamlet had any connection with one of the world's greatest cities then it could only be as a reminder that from small beginnings, great things can grow.

River of Compassion

River of Compassion

Walking down the river road with sunshine breaking through the rain clouds and the river swirling, murmuring and sometimes roaring over shallow rapids, felt delightful. I bounded along the tarmac in high good humour, breaking into snatches of song, talking to myself, just your average tramping oddball.

River of Tears

River of Tears

When I rolled out from under my dew-streaked tarp and blearily took in the lowering rain clouds flooding over the hills to the north and tasted rain on the humid air, I didn't bother with breakfast. Instead, I raced to stuff my gear into my pack and slid downhill in a cloud of stinging black flies.

Leaving the Comfort Zone

Leaving the Comfort Zone

For two days, I'd been living in relative comfort and luxury in a backpackers hostel. The longer I stayed there, the harder it was to leave. Even worse, I could sense my enthusiasm draining away faster than the battery in my iPhone.

Last Night in Crazyland

It's our last night before I start the trail again tomorrow. I'm lying in bed with Rosa and we're staring at the ceiling. It's painted with moons and stars that glow in the dark. We know the plaster walls are painted in psychedelic swirls of blue and yellow, A frieze of painted wave forms girdles the room just below the ceiling. We're in Crazy-land.

"If Only I had $1.00 For Every Time I've Heard, 'I Used To...'"

I've been thinking today about how many times I've heard clients say, "I used to enjoy…" when I ask them what they do that makes them feel confident, strong and alive. In fact, it's such a common response that if I charged $1.00 for every time I've heard it, I could have retired ages ago.