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I Got Lost Bushwalking And Almost Bitten By A Snake

 In mid-2019, I took off out of the city for three days in isolation.

I chose the Hawkesbury River region, north of Sydney. A small, off-grid cabin with a firepit in the middle of an isolated bushland grove. No phone reception and definitely no internet,

Three days to think and plan, without interruption.

On Day 2, I decided to go for a bushwalk. I found a spot, drove down a long and dusty road, parked up, and set along the track. It was 2 pm.

There were two paths. One was for a 45 mins hike, very easy and very quick. I wanted more.

The second was more challenging, or so the sign said. 2-3 hours.

I looked at my phone. I had time. I had water (in retrospect, not enough). No phone reception, though.

I started walking. The terrain went up, and it went down. I disturbed a snake and had a lucky escape (and video’d it, in case you’re interested in seeing a grown man scare himself silly).

. A large goanna skitted up a tree in fright. I hoped secretly I was the only thing that had scared it.

Two and half hours later I was still walking. My water was nearly done. The sun was beginning to drop quickly. I whipped out my (no-signal) phone, hoping the GPS would work.

On the map, I spotted what I thought was the spot where I’d parked the car.

I couldn’t be sure, without the internet to verify but it looked a long, long way from where I was.

I carried on. Up one ridge, down another.

The sun dropped lower and lower.

My water ran out.

Still, my destination seemed miles away.

I realised I maybe should have worked out where I was supposed to end up BEFORE I’d set off.

Fifteen minutes later, I emerged back where I’d started, back at the car. The light was fading, but there was water in the car.

I’d misjudged the map, and thankfully the destination was much, much closer.

I remember thinking on the walk how much it reminded me of being in business.

Sometimes it seemed easy, other times the going was hard.

Often I had my head down focused only on getting to the top of the next ridge, but when I stopped to get my head up and look around I realised how far I’d come and how much I could enjoy the experience and the challenge.

Most of all it reminded me that not knowing the destination meant that not only was I not sure where I was supposed to be heading but made me think I was further away than I actually was.

How clearly do you know your destination right now?



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