Looking ahead to adventure, challenge, and healing

As I write this, it is mid-afternoon on Saturday, April 15, and it’s +3C with light snow. I am truly quite finished with this endless, last gasp of winter. In one month’s time I will be in Australia (where it will already be the 16th and, if all goes well, the “extreme walk” into the outback I have traveled to take part in will be well under way). I am excited and a little nervous about the challenge ahead, but above all I am looking forward to being “off the grid” for the better part of two weeks with plenty of time to process some of the internal baggage I’ve been carrying as I undertake this long and demanding journey into a landscape I never imagined I would have the opportunity to experience.

Some of my regular readers may know that two years ago, following a trip to South Africa, I nearly lost my life. I should have known better, but I was sorely ill-prepared for the effects of extended travel on planes and buses. I did everything wrong and failed to recognize the warning signs of impending danger. After surviving this critical event, I found myself afraid of risking extensive physical activity, even after receiving a clean bill of health on all counts. This is, I learned, a not uncommon, if misguided, response.

One of my first longer training sessions.
Better weather earlier this week. Did not last.

Naturally, I ended up hopelessly out of shape. In pushing myself into an enthusiastic training regime earlier this year, I soon found myself with an inflamed bursa and torn meniscus on my right knee. Cue the physiotherapist. My knee has responded very well—I am walking without pain for the first time in months and now, if only the weather would cooperate just a little, I will be as good to go as I am likely to be.

Which will hopefully be good enough.

This little venture is a mere 223 km/11 day hike over mountain ranges. What could possibly go wrong? (Don’t answer that!) If you are interested, I invite you to check out the site—the Larapinta Extreme Walk is a fundraising event created by fellow book blogger Tony Messenger (Messenger’s Booker) in support of a vital Aboriginal women’s initiative. Donations can be made if desired; every little bit helps.

Where I’m heading to. From: http://www.larapintaextremewalk.com.au/

As much as I am looking forward to this experience as an opportunity to reflect, grieve, journal and, with luck, open up the writer’s block that has dogged me these past few months, I am also very excited to have the opportunity for some serious bookish conversation along the way. And before I head home I will have a few days each in Melbourne and Sydney, where I already have tentative plans to catch up with other readers and literary-minded folk, as well as an online photography friend I have known for years but never met.

So wish me well as I continue to train, and as I get the reading, reviews, and writing I’m presently committed to completed in advance of my trip.

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

44 thoughts on “Looking ahead to adventure, challenge, and healing”

  1. Oh wow, I’m seriously considering doing this walk next year (thanks to Tony’s gentle encouragement). You will have a fabulous time. Just being in that landscape will take you out of yourself and give you pause to reflect. Very best wishes to you. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it (assuming you’ll blog about your adventure at some point).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I’m sure I will blog about it when I get home and start to go through my notes and photos. I hope you do decide to go next year. It’s bound to be rewarding on so many levels, and such a good cause!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I will be taking lots of photos (I’m as excited about the night skies as the vistas). And I’m hoping a lot of writing will directly or indirectly come out of this trip.


    1. I hadn’t heard of that but it sounds like an ideal read, give some of the personal issues I want to reflect on. I had hoped to read more Australian lit in advance but I am rather committed to a few reviews for publication at the moment. Might just download it for the flight, I have many hours between flying and stopovers for reading.


  2. Enjoy the trip; I hope it brings you the time to reflect that you need, and it helps to bring some peace. Interestingly, I just read Lost Paradise by Cees Nooteboom which is part set in Australia and focuses heavily on the Aboriginal culture as well as one woman’s journey to reconcile her ‘shadow’. It’s a short but lovely read, though I suspect you have recommendations enough already! I sounds like a fantastic trip, I’m sure it will be challenging but hopefully also fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I did collect book recommendations on another site when I first decided to go, but my reading has been absorbed by commitments for reviews (not a bad thing) and I haven’t managed any directed reading yet. This sounds like an ideal book to consider for my trip over, I have long flights and stop overs on the way!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s wishing you a wonderful and trouble free adventure. Considering where you were two years ago you’ve made a remarkable journey already – the fact you even signed up for this shows how you’ve removed some of that cotton wool wrapping and emerge a new man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so fantastic! I am so excited for you! It will be an amazing journey, I am certain of it. I hope you are planning on taking lots of photos. You are such a good photographer. I am looking forward to hearing all the stories when you return. In the meantime, good luck with all your training. I am glad you are training for it. 11 days of hiking is a serious undertaking that requires a bit more than just leaping up off the couch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stefanie. I wish I had realized just how out of shape I was at the outset of my training. I might have saved myself some grief and delay. It’s pretty intense now and my knees do not appreciate the stair climbing I’ve been trying to fit in!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’ve actually been back since the beginning of June. The trip was wonderful, and healing in so many ways. But I did get sick—probably on the flight over—so I nursed a serious head cold the whole time and only managed to hike three out of the eleven days of the trek (and very slowly). But it was amazing all the same. The outback is a magical place.

      Liked by 1 person

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