Last night I watched this fascinating several part show on TV (through Shaw On Demand) called Walking The Nile. (Amazon affiliate link) It was about a guy that walked along the Nile River, regarded as the longest in the world, from start to finish taking 9 months. 9 MONTHS!
He bought his own camels, traversed through the Sahara Desert, took chances through high security areas, joined the communities in what was precious to them, showcased how painful walking for months on end can be and so so much more.
HERE is a link to where I think you can watch it. I have not tested the link out.
I’m also reading a book I found on the shelf in an office waiting room called Honeymoon with my Brother by Franz Wisner. (Amazon affiliate link)
It’s about a guy that gets left at the alter, throws a party wedding instead, then takes his brother on his honeymoon. With full-out wanderlust triggered, they both decide to quit work and take off to see the world together.
The part that riveted me was the fact that they soon discovered they were getting ho hum results by following guidebooks, so they threw them away and started asking locals what they should see or do next. No agenda! Just go.
Are you also following Jenna Sue’s adventures? Her first trip through Thailand starting back in Aug 2015 is so worth a read. The story begins with a separation, selling her home, leaving her DIY behind, then taking off to Thailand without a return flight for a fresh start ,where she met her now fiance. They are currently backpacking through South America and Europe.
My first thoughts were, “Wow… all these folks are so brave!”
But it’s much more than that. They all have this adventurous spirit that can not be quelled.
Folks like this inspire me so much.
A chunk of me wants to be just like them.
But… baby steps.
As I’ve mused previously, I’ve kinda been in hibernation mode this past summer. I only took off once to my cabin in the woods and even MADE myself do that.
I’ve spent the entire summer being very hard on myself, “What is wrong with you?! Why won’t you go anywhere?!” and feeling so off.
However with these last dog days of summer with the temps still super hot, I have now come to realize I’ve been right where I needed to be all along. I’m back in touch with the wonderful summers we have right at home and the wiseness of listening to your inner stirrings.
Basically put, if I don’t know what to do, I do nothing until something feels right.
I’m usually really hard on myself for being like that. I use to call it indecisive (which I still am), however my therapist told me we ALL shut down when there are too many decisions to make. Waiting for the right time is normal.
Whew. Thank goodness for wonderful and understanding therapists I say.
I didn’t intend to go off on this tangent at all. But I think it’s helpful to know, because what I’m about to chat about is linked to all that.
Because of this hibernation mode deal, I’ve been hesitant to leave home. So when I was out of town for an appointment, it ended early enough to do something other than go home to the same ‘ol.
I’ve been curious about this wetlands area for years. From the highway, you can catch a glimpse of the curve of a bridge. So this round, I MADE myself pull off the main drag to investigate.
And with my beloved bike not on me, this adventure would prove a little different. I would need to walk.
Welcome to Wilband Creek Park in Abbotsford, BC, just off the Abbotsford – Mission Highway.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this trail as flat as the ones I generally ride. The surface is all gravel, with bridges over the wetlands. It was a pretty hot day, however after looking over the map, I started in anyway.
But goodness… I started to mentally struggle. “This isn’t going fast enough… this is boring. All I see is tall grass.” Then… “I can’t do this!”
I do believe biking cranks your attention span into a ZERO. So beware.
So I asked someone I approached where this trail led and how long it would take.
“45 minutes. It’s very pretty!”
Well, all I saw was boring grass. Then I turned around and head to my truck. I just wanted to go home.
Then stopped. Seriously… what the…
So I ranted on myself, “Are you kidding me?! You love nature. You bike every single day. You have the leg power for this! You are reminding yourself of the days you couldn’t manage this. You can now. Slow down that bike brain of yours and DO IT.”
Goodness I can be mean. I need to work on that too…
“What a lovely trail. So easy to walk! Go for it! You’ll never know what you’ll miss if you don’t do it… I mean, if it’s this easy, you likely will not haul your bike all the way out here.”
See? I do know better.
So with a big ‘ol sigh, I turned around and kept going.
Crunch crunch crunch. Sigh sigh sigh. Hot hot hot.
One glimpse of a pretty water way…. ohhhh now we’re talking!
Back to tall grass. Walk walk walk.
Then I found the middle path that would cut my trip in half. I took it.
Once I reached my truck, I looked at my watch. Then looked at the map at the gate.
“That was actually pretty easy…”
And turned around to do the full loop, shaking my head. Figures!
And am I ever glad I did.
It was a lovely meandering 45 min or so. There was lots of long ‘thinking grass’, with plenty of ‘pretty sights’ to stop at to appreciate. I loved the bridges the best. The structures gave your eyes a great focal point (that make cute pictures).
Walking gave me something totally different than a bike ride. The slower motions offered more time to focus on where I was vs. focusing on staying on a path riding at high speed.
They are both very different. Yet equally rewarding.
But what I was most impressed at is how ‘easy’ it was. I remember back when a walk would hurt every fibre of my body.
Over time with the steady biking and increased distance, I’m pretty astounded on how so much stronger I have become.
I feel younger because I’m able to carry myself around much more effortlessly.
I no longer go for adjustments, because my core is so much stronger. (I attempt to sit straight on much of my rides to build core strength.) Who knew using your stomach muscles daily could keep you out of fixer upper offices?!
And I’ve even (finally!) lost 5 lb!
I’ll share how I’m eating these days in another post. It’s pretty bare bones, but healthy which I believe has played a big part.
So, this little side trek had me musing about how silly I’ve been all summer, not enjoying the moment more.
I’m glad I walked this trail for a little new adventure in my life.
And I was also happy to go home right after too.
I could have both!
Do you remember the story of when I went through a mysterious illness that terminated my 14 year long all season camping?
That massive lifestyle change of having to stay home started Funky Junk Interiors.
This current stay-at-home summer has provided me so much quiet, to visit my family at a moment’s notice and to rediscover how beautiful our own summers truly are.
It feels like one long endless summer trail. Of nothing. Yet everything.
As for those Nile and other big adventures to be had out there, they are by no means forgotten.
While I don’t have all the answers yet, I have an inkling that this quiet summer has forced me into rest mode because I shouldn’t do more even if I wanted to.
However… I secretly admit… I can’t wait to see what I’m resting up for too…
Are you a walker or a biker?
And where do you want to travel to? What’s holding you back?
Click for more: Bike Ride Adventures or Therapy 101
17 thoughts on “A new walking trail, travel musings and a health update.”
The new summer buzz word in our area is “stay cations.” Staying at home and vacationing has become popular. Appreciating local attractions and exploring what is within a short travel time has become the norm for many. I think it became popular when gas prices soared a few years ago.
Personally, I have always enjoyed sleeping in my own bed, so it has its advantages.
One thing that has made few big trips special, but not imperative to my happiness is having my home a place I love to be. It may be just a state of heart/mind, but I love home. I am so thankful to have a home in a time when many struggle with the needs of day to day living. I am so blessed to have a modest, but pleasant home… a quiet resting place. Cultivating thankfulness has kept me happy. A vacation is a wonderful break, but cultivating a wonderful daily life lasts a lifetime and makes home a wonderful place to be. I don’t need to leave home to be happy. In fact, when on a vacation and the time comes to head for home, my excitement and eagerness is beyond words. Home is my favorite place.
Brenda, I’m a firm believer that if you can love where you already are, you’ve already discovered being happy anywhere. You have nailed your own happy!
I know personally I’m in a transitional period with a big fat ? at the end of everything I do, so I am trying to be patient. My inner gut feels growth and change. That could be derived from not being able to move around for a long period of time. I just have a bit more to discover before I label it done.
However not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for my backyard, river near by, bike trails, cats to comfort me, our mild climate and so much more. There IS lots to be thankful for, for certain! Thank you for reminding me to focus more on that while I walk through this confusing season.
Another timely post, Donna. I had 2 other emails come in with yours, related to this subject.
I have been pretty mean to myself lately too, not new but I thought I was doing so much better these days. Being unkind to ourselves effects every part of us.
When I come out of a cycle of self-meanness, I am always astounded at how I could treat myself like that. I have again learned the importance of living my life from a foundation of self-care.
What is best for me in each moment. It always leads to so much better for myself, my life, my health and for anyone who is around me.
I have discovered that in order to feel really good, I have to be in nature everyday. I walk/hike(not bike,yet!)and hope to feel as strong and good as you are today. I am on my way and so much stronger than last year.
You keep inspiring me, Donna. Thank you for that.
I started following you before I became a Fusion Merchant. Was terribly disappointed when I didn’t make it to Las Vegas for you appearance with Fusion! The post where you started walking fueled me to do the same. I now bike more than I have for years and recently spent a vacation on the east coast (Rehoboth Beach, DE)riding a bike to and from the beach and to dinner and shopping. I hadn’t taken a vacation for over 5 years! I recharged and spent quality time with my 2 sisters and niece who has a wise old soul.
It goes without saying that you are extremely creative and I Love your honesty. You even mentioned seeing a therapist. I have been hard on myself about my indecisiveness, and now learned from this post that its the result of being overwhelmed and I too freeze. What’s so strange is I don’t read every post because I get to busy, but it turns out that every one that I read speaks to me in at a very personal level. You seem to be talking directly to me which reveals some kind of lesson or bit of encouragement, delivering it to me at the exact time I need it. Lastly, “What we say to ourselves is more important than what others say to us.” Our subconscious has extraordinary impact on our psyche!
Wow Mary… I am so moved that you came forward with so many good things to share right back!
I do remember my walking posts… especially the one where I actually hurt to move outside the front door. So glad something connected for you there, because I’m a believer in what my mom use to say, ‘Moving around oils your joints!’ haha It appears to be so true.
Your vacation sounds something I would LOVE! There is something special about being able to bike to a destination. Perhaps because it’s a little old school?
Indecisiveness can really be crippling, can’t it? I’m learning to not sweat it, that some decisions don’t have to be made today, then move on to the ones that do have to. Kinda breaks down the very long list and helps me focus.
There’s lots to be said about what me mumble or say to ourselves for certain. Perhaps I’ll share more on that in another post. All my classes and that therapist talk is really opening these eyes in a whole new way. Glad you got something out of it!
Donna I have always been a walker. Couldn’t ride a bike if my life depended on it and I don’t regret it one bit. I love to take walks and snap what is around me. It may be slow and boring but it really forces us to look at details that we normally would not pay attention to. And since I’ve started taking the camera with me I pay attention to even more things. Glad to hear that you had a slow summer. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing for the soul.
So funny you say this… I recently tried to convince a walking neighbour to hop on a bike already! Nope. Refuses. Good for him! But I did convince another to try and now she can’t get off the thing! Isn’t it wonderful to have the choice?
I use to lug the camera with me on my walks too, it’s the only thing that got me through them. I personally needed faster paced scenery and the wind in my face to hold my attention. I dunno… the bike has turned into a toy for me… it’s so fun to play with it! haha
I never liked to travel. Was forced to when I worked. I saw a lot of places, mostly Washington DC and while I don’t regret it, now that I’m retired I am so perfectly happy being in my own neighborhood in my own “bubble”. Don’t get me wrong, every once in a while you need to venture far out, but since I’ve been at home in my bubble, I’ve been much more creative. I don’t want to feel rushed by anyone or anything. I’m in a place right now in my life that I want to be the one to set the pace, no one else. I like to walk. I take the dog with me and we look at people’s gardens and how they decorate their houses. I like saying “hi” to my neighbors and them recognizing me. Sometimes we drive to a waterfront park and enjoy a nice scenery change. I think true happiness comes from within and it was a struggle for me to figure out exactly what makes me happy. It might change later on, but for now I’m happy where I’m at.
Sharon, I can totally see that! I love that you love all things home!
I couldn’t travel for many years due to lack of finances, so when blogging opened some of those doors, it reactivated my desire to get outta town again. What I did when sent for work was extend the stay to incorporate pleasure. Whenever I just went for work, it was more of a forced fun for certain. Mixing work with pleasure has led me to all over the states, including my ultimate bucket list destination NYC.
I think when you haven’t done it all, you want to do it. And visa versa. Maybe you are done… I’d love to feel content like that! Guess I’d better catch a flight so I eventually can? haha
So glad that you turned around and saw the beauty that surrounded you. Magnificent views. We often think that it is best to travel the world and not pay much attention to the beauty that is right in our backyard. That must have been such a peaceful walk. I love walking and biking when it provides beautiful scenery…My fav bike ride is The Creeper Trail in Virginia….a very long bike trail that winds among beautiful wooded scenery and mountain streams….good thing that it is downhill from the mountain…you get trucked up the mountain and it is a wonderful slow ride down!
The Creeper Trail sounds exactly like the type of thing I love to experience! How fortunate it is near you to enjoy! I hope!
Our Kettle Valley Trail in Hope, BC Canada starting at the Othello tunnels works much the same way. Now to plan someone to drive me to the top and pick me up at the bottom! I cannot do uphill… haha
glad you went back & you’re feeling better. this is your time to ask yourself what you love…from the littlest things…i remember doing that!
walking, hiking, no agenda
i heard it’s hot, hot your way…stay cool & enjoy
Yes, it’s very hot! We are in another little mini heat wave, and honestly I couldn’t be happier. I mean, I use to fly to weather this warm, and now I can enjoy a hot summer night in my backyard. I personally think the heat saved my summer, if it had rained most of the time, it may have turned out VERY differently with me permanently moving to where the palm trees live! haha
Well Donna, You have hit a cord again. Walking, biking, whatever it takes enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. I have several places I can do both that are both near and far.
With my scheduling settling down with back to school with Grandkids and picking up a lost art of hand-sewing and felt, You mirror what I about to embark on.
Take in the beauty where you are if that is all one can do and enjoy the padooky (my word) out of it
Bravo Donna! You’rYou’re on the right track (No pun intended) with life and walking/ biking. Glad for you. It is five o’clock in the morning here and I am getting ready to start a new day. Lots for me to learn and think on. I am struggling/ trying to make some decisions in life. I read your posts and am reminded that we all are constantly growing. I hope that it will be possible for me to take the steps necessary to do what is needed so I can be open to what life has in store. Thank you for your openness. It helps and is inspiring.
That looks and sounds like the perfect little adventure! I’m so glad you shared it with us and that you are doing well.
I enjoy walking the biking trails at the US National Whitewater Center. I walk them backwards so as not to get run over and I never walk them alone. The serenity of the forest clears my head so much and I hear God speak to me there so often. An added bonus during the early summer is that I gorged on wild blackberries that grew along the trails!
We also have a mini mountain nearby and my husband and I walk the trail up and down it sometimes. That one is more rigorous and takes a lot out of me. The view from the top is lovely though. I can see lots of natural beauty and on the crest of the horizon are the skyscrapers from our city.
When I just need a quick respite, I visit the little town that is closest to me and walk in the park they have downtown. It’s not as natural of a setting, but I enjoy the town and watching the people. That’s where I go to think and pray.
Last year at this time I could not walk, was laid up in a rehab center receiving physical therapy. Now I can walk and go on short hikes! Building up slowly! I am glad you talked yourself into going on the walk and enjoying the day. Now do it more often!