I am a New Zealander who until recently led a pretty standard life as a coordinator of an online sports mentoring program. A few years ago, I got it into my head to walk the length of New Zealand—all 3058 kilometers of it, following the Te Araroa Trail. When I told my husband, he was concerned about me going alone, and that’s when the quest got a theme: Not Alone. I’d walk the length of New Zealand, but with a revolving cast of people the entire way. And we’d raise money for The Mental Health Foundation as we went.Why did you decide to undertake your quest?
I believe people need to talk more. So much gets bottled up in our heads. We ponder, overthink, and make thoughts worse, until we talk them out. I handle situations better knowing someone else has heard about it. Both my father and brother committed suicide—and I know I need to share those experiences and hear about others who have been in the same boat in order to make sense of it all. So why walk? Well, exercise clears my head and helps keep negative thoughts away. Walking and talking seem to go hand in hand.Read More