My Bibbulmun Track Journey
My Solo Journey – Post #2 – Keeping It Simple
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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