My Bibbulmun Track Journey

My Solo Journey – Post #2 – Keeping It Simple

by | Feb 11, 2018 | 25 comments

Months until I start walking: 9

Amount saved: $0

Part of the process for me to prepare to walk the Bibbulmun Track, all 1000 (yes 1000!!!!) km’s of it, is to simplify my life. I know that when I am walking the track my life will be so simple, it will consist of walk, eat, sleep, repeat. Why not simplify my ‘real’ life too? I recently read a book about a girl in Canada who gave herself a shopping ban for a year and part of her challenge was to get rid of anything in her house that she didn’t use or need. It really inspired me to do my own declutter. The book is called ‘The Year of Less’ by Cait Flanders if anyone is interested.

I am not a materialistic person and I don’t really like to accumulate stuff that I don’t need and keep just for the sake of it because I might use it or wear it one day. I could write whole blog posts on the effect of consumerism on the environment (especially plastic, did you know it takes minimum 400 years for plastic to biodegrade, which means every piece of plastic ever manufactured on this earth still exists somewhere, a lot of it in landfill or the ocean, unless it has been incinerated). I am very passionate about the environment and it is so so sad how wasteful and materialistic the world is. I am definitely not perfect though, I work on a mine site ffs!! And I am drinking from a plastic water bottle as I write this.

I truly believe it is experiences that make us happy, not ‘things’.

OK back to the subject… so, the rules I set myself for my decluttering project were that if I hadn’t used it or worn it in over a year, or plan to use it or wear it in the next year, then it has to go. With the exception of books, important paperwork and anything meaningful in my memory box (like my journals from when I was 17 till now, special things I have kept over the years and photos).

I only live in a small unit so the task wasn’t too overwhelming. I started in my bedroom, then the bathroom and then the cupboards in my living area. The kitchen was done not long ago when I renovated it. My process was to take everything (and I mean everything) out of all the cupboards, lay it all out in front of me and then as I was putting things away again, put the things I don’t need in a separate pile to give away or maybe even try and sell.

My bedroom after taking everything out of all the wardrobes. Except my clothes and shoes which I did separately

WELL, I ended up finding things I have been looking for for ages and I also realised I had been buying things I definitely didn’t need (like laundry detergent, I had 3 of them, and my SPF foundation, I had 6 of them, 6!!! I definitely won’t be needing to buy another one of them for a few years!). I organised everything I wanted to keep, especially in the bathroom, so that certain things were together and I would easily be able to find things in the future.

I found so many things I needed in my bathroom after putting everything out in front of me. So much stuff!!

I ended up with 2 pretty full suitcases of clothes, shoes, bags, toiletries, and other random things (like the funnel my mum gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago, I’m talking about a beer funnel not the type to put oil in your car haha) which I either gave to my family or took across the road to the Good Sammy’s bin. It was such a cleansing process! It took a bit of motivation to get started but once I did I actually enjoyed it.

This is the pile of all the stuff I don’t need. I gave most of it to the Good Sammy’s

Another awesome thing that came out of the process was that I found quite a bit of gear I can use for the walk, including good quality hiking clothes and a number of Bibbulmun Track maps and guide books which I bought in 2015 when I was planning to do a 7 day section of it (and never got around to doing it). I wasn’t sure if I kept these things and so glad I did! I also found my hiking shoes which cost me a lot of money and I think I have used once. From the research I have done so far I know that one of the most important things for a walk like this is to have good shoes. And to make sure you wear them in. Getting blisters can literally ruin your experience.

I have started a ‘Bibbulmun Track Box’ where I am putting everything I will use on the walk, it is great because it is not cheap to buy hiking gear and any amount of money I can save will really help me. I won’t have a job when I get back from my 5 week America trip in June, so saving money is going to be a massive priority for me these next few months.

Some of the things I found during my declutter. Good quality hiking gear I forgot I had & even Bibbulmun Track maps!

OK so a few things have happened to me since I made the decision to walk the Bibbulmun Track.  I have been really really emotional. I realised some really important things that were hard to accept at first but now that I have I feel like a massive weight is off my shoulders. I realised I need to let go of the past and not have such high expectations of others. I feel like something has really changed inside me since letting go of the expectations I had on the people closest to me, which were totally unrealistic and unfair. We are all different and everyone has their own way of showing support and love. It might be completely different to the way I would show it, but that’s OK, as long as it is there. And I know it is.

Sorry if this is a bit cryptic I would like to write about it more specifically, but it is a very personal thing and I hope you can kinda understand what I am on about here!

I also met up with someone who contacted me after reading my first post (link here). He walked the whole Bibbulmun Track about 2 years ago and said that it totally changed his life. He has since started ‘Didier Walks’ which is a hiking, consulting and mentoring business where he takes people with mental health issues hiking as part of their recovery. It was so good to have a coffee and a good chat with him about things, he gave me a lot of practical advice and offered his support, which I really really appreciate. He said something that really struck a chord with me, he said that in the 68 days it took him to walk the track from end to end that he only met one grumpy person on the track. One grumpy person in 68 days! That says so much about the kind of people I expect to meet on my own walk. It is not easy walking every day for weeks and weeks, it is bloody hard work! Yet everyone he met except one person was happy. I want to be one of those happy people 🙂

He also talked to me about the saying ‘hike your own hike’, which means there is no right or wrong when it comes to your hike, just do what is right for you. If you want to walk alone for days on end, do it. If you want to chat and walk with fellow hikers you meet along the way, do it (as long as they are happy too of course). If you want to sleep in a real bed and have a few days rest in the towns along the way, do it. Basically what it means is that you should walk the trail in the way that works best for you, not the way someone else tells you to do it (and I am sure I will be getting a lot of advice and opinions from now until the day I leave, and even during the walk). I have no idea yet what ‘my hike’ is and I am very open to advice from anyone willing to give it, in fact I need your advice, or the advice of google haha.

So, the focus for me for the next few months is to try and keep things as simple as possible. I will make more of an effort to spend time with my family (especially my baby niece who is literally the cutest thing ever), do more nature-based activities when I am not at work (which are generally free and good for the soul), research / prepare for this walk, and write. Oh and save money!

My family (minus the parents). Me & my baby niece, my brother & his fiance, and my sister & her husband

I want to continue to declutter my house as I find things I don’t need, and I am hoping this will help to declutter my mind, which is waaaaay too active. I definitely have issues with anxiety at times and I know I need to live I the moment more, rather that worry about the future or think about the past. So much easier said than done! I know that doing a 1000 km walk will force me to live in the moment.

This was taken a few days ago at Bells Rapids, a beautiful spot to visit and so close to Perth

Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for all your comments and tips. I have been totally overwhelmed with the response to my crazy plan and it has been so amazing. I am excited to share this journey with you, good and bad. I promise I won’t sugar coat it.

Lauren ?

P.S. I watched the movie ‘Wild’ the other night, so good! If you love reading like me and haven’t read the book make sure you do. It is a true story by Cheryl Strayed who decides to walk the 2000 km Pacific Crest Trail in America without any training. One of my favorite books.

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A little video I made of the decluttering process 🙂 I don’t know how to make it smaller on the page lol

25 Comments

  1. Graeme

    Hi Lauren
    Good luck with your walk,more people should spend time in their own space and by themselves.
    Used to spend a week or 3 walking the bush as a teenager, great way to get to know oneself.
    Good luck and remember to have fun n enjoy the bush

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Thanks Graham, I do love the bush, it is my happy place 🙂 It will be a challenge but I am looking forward to it!

      Reply
  2. Darren

    You got this….. Kia kaha (be strong)

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Thanks Darren 🙂

      Reply
  3. Dad

    Great blog Lau. Exciting times ahead.

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Thanks Dad!!

      Reply
  4. Steve

    What an amazing young woman … wish you well mate ..respect

    Reply
  5. Kate

    I love reading these posts. Keep them up it helps me with the similar thirty something struggles i am working on too.

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Hi Kate, thanks so much, feel free to send me a private message or email if you ever want to chat about things. Lauren 🙂

      Reply
  6. Robert

    Been living on the road for the last 4 months and you are so right re declutter and getting back to basics.
    Walked a fair bit of the track myself solo… it’s awesome!!
    Look forward to following your journey ?

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Thanks Robert! How awesome is living on the road 🙂 I can’t wait to travel around Australia again one day and get to all the places I missed

      Reply
  7. Glenda

    Exciting time for you. Look forward to the continuing story

    Reply
  8. Craig Woodward

    where possible , walk nude.

    Reply
  9. David

    Best of luck on you journey
    I look forward to the posts

    I’m going to declutter, starting with my adult kids

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Haha David!

      Reply
  10. Olivia

    This reaches me on such a personal level!
    I have recently (six months ago) starting hiking as a way to lose weight but it has given me such a great way to open my mind up as well. Being alone in the wilderness is frightening in so many ways, and one of them is definitely being alone in your thoughts.
    Me and my mum are walking the Cape to Cape (135km) at the end of March, it will be the most challenging thing I think I have ever done, but its opening me up to so many opportunities. Good luck with your Bibbulmun track training ! Im so excited to follow your journey…

    Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Thanks so much Olivia 🙂 that is so cool you are doing the Cape to Cape, I would like to do that as a training trek for the Bibbulmun, I have heard it is really beautiful and I love that part of WA. Awesome that your mum is doing it too! What a legend. Lauren 🙂 ox

      Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Thanks so much Kim! I have saved it and will watch it later. Appreciate it 🙂

      Reply
  11. Lea

    Hey Lauren!
    I’ve been following your posts for quite a while now – one of the very few blogs that keep my interest! I have done some long-term hiking in various areas and my advice would be:
    – Pack less. Take only the essential stuff, and then dump half of it. Which half? you’ll figure it out, maybe along the way. No extra chairs, sitting mats (as mentioned here) – just the very bare basics. Every gram you take off your back will make EVERYTHING easier. Much easier!
    – Boots are by far the most important piece of equipment. High ankle boots are a must. Go to a shop (if you get to REI it is awesome) – and try stuff on. They must be extremely comfy even when you have just tried them on. Must not be tight AT ALL – with the thick hiking socks and feet swelling from all the walking you need to have the extra room. Doesn’t have to be the most expensive brand – but nothing crappy either. Oh and get the thick hiking socks!
    – In general foot comfort and hygiene will make it or break it. The worst hiking day I had was not the hard pass – but the day after, a short hike on level ground, with the blisters :/.
    – Another important note is good sleep. I totally get you – I am a very cold sleeper and need an arctic sleeping bag even here in Aus. Get the warm stuff, but be very mindful of weight. The one you posted seems awesome actually :).
    – Pack – needs to be good and comfortable. Needs to fit your body well. Doesn’t have to be the priciest on the market. Osprey are fantastic, but you can settle for something less $$. Look for sales, and again go for something that feels comfortable.
    – Poles – are awesome. Get em light, get em cheap – a cheap pole does the job! doesn’t have to pack small since most of the time you will be holding on to them/you can strap them to the bag. Worst case – pick up a stick. 🙂

    Otherwise – enjoy this amazing experience! After a few days of “figuring things out” things will become more routine and easier and you will have more time to immerse yourself in it! You give me the inspiration to try and do that myself !!!

    Reply
    • Lea

      Ahh rats this was intended as a reply to another post! 🙂

      Reply
      • Lauren Wallman

        haha I figured it out all good 🙂

        Reply
    • Lauren Wallman

      Wow thanks so much for all your tips Lea!!!! Appreciate it so much 🙂 So I got myself a pack, I bought it for $50 of another hiker, it is 60L and feels pretty comforatble so far, I need to do alot more training with more weight in it and see how I go. I have been walking around a lot in my hiking shoes and so far no issues so fingers crossed they don’t give me blisters. I agree with the sleeping comment I think i am just going to bite the bullet and buy the Enlightened Equipment Sleeping Quilt (very expensive but worth it I think). I am so excited to go to America and check out all the hiking stores 🙂 Lauren

      Reply

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