It goes without saying (though I'm still going to say it) that this journey could not have happened without the help and support of many people. From those who were always there, keeping me focused and doing what was necessary back home to keep the ball rolling, to the kind souls who stopped briefly on the side of the road for a chat and making my day. Every little bits adds up and the journey would not have been the same without you all.
But of course it has been the people closest to me who have put in the hours, the effort and persistence to make sure that I was able to complete this journey. To my family and friends, for your ongoing support in myriad and unique ways, Thank You. Here are a few of them and ways in which they helped:
Mum, for your unconditional support, for always suggesting that you could 'drop everything' and pick me up at the drop of a hat when there was any suggestion that I was struggling along the route, for wanting to be with me at crucial moments and talking to everyone you knew about what I was doing, Thank You.
Brugh and Nicole, likewise for being there at crucial moments, being a shuttle bus service, helping me with ideas for spreading the word and organising events. Thank You.
Lucas, for your ongoing remote encouragement, belief, generous donation and help with posting articles along the journey.
Warwick, for supporting the fundraising campaign and giving me encouragement during the planning of the trip.
Jane Reed, for truly being a wonderful soul, for sharing the trip to Wollangarra with Mum and I, and for always being mindful about how else you can help me and my interests - I really can't Thank You enough.
Andrew Ellis, for your continued encouragement, your generosity, for sharing a beautiful part of the journey with me, being a great ol' wise man and gentle ear and for always inspiring me to try to be a better Man.
Gemma Costello, Mairead Murphy and Claire Mosely, for helping me organise The Great Ocean Walk, for joining me on the journey, gifting me your presence and reminding me that the incredible year we shared together at Wollangarra was not, in fact, a dream!
My Hiking family, the Merryls: Annabelle Nunan, Fraser Gust, Eliza Reed and Jamie Phillips for being the dream hiking team, for the fun times, the swims, the kewpie appreciation, the marmalade degustation, Tiger Snake near-misses and post-lunch naps. What a trip!
Lauren Marc, for being the perfect companion with whom to share the beautiful Overland Track, plus all your continued support. It was a delight to be able to share such meaningful conversations with you after having been by myself for some time!
Lucy Fallon, for helping me pick up Up 'n Go boxes, cooking me delicious gnocchi, tarp snuggles, Paul Kelly appreciation, hoarding roadside onions and talking to horses. What a treat it was to spend a day with you!
Georgia Roberts, my first walking companion and such a special way to set the tone for the rest of the trip. It meant a lot to me that you came out and we had that opportunity to spend such meaningful time together after so long! And Bread, and Herbs (that lasted me the rest of the trip)!
Claire Pitt, for all your help organising the shuttling of my trolley and re-provisioning, especially as I hadn't met you previously! It just speaks worlds about your character - it was a pleasure to stay with you and get to know you and Tilly. Thank You.
Claire Heazlewood, Michael (Six) Caffrey, Emily Missen, Oscar Terry-Young and Pippa Williams for being the best of company to welcome me on my arrival into Hobart, for sharing a beer with me and (Claire and Six) giving me a place to rest my weary legs and head!
Dan O'Brien, for walking with me, feeding my lunch, taking me to muscle-relaxing hot springs and hosting me for a night - it was such a pleasure to be in your company, Marcus Dunn, a new mate I met on the road from whom I have already learnt and shared a lot. It has already been a pleasure to know you my friend!
Ross Richards, for helping me organise logistics around the Great Ocean Walk and having me in his class at Collingwood College to talk about my project.
Tamara Mascarenhas, for being the first person with whom I shared my ideas about this journey and for always, over years, encouraging me to just get out and do it. Without your encouragement it may never have happened.
Nicholas Lorenz, for your generosity to share your gift of music with me and my project,
Conrad McKee, for being an excellent resource for random questions about food, feet and flies, as well as going out of his way to lend me his trolley (which I did not end up using),
Nick Hepper and Adam Bowden, for rescuing me from Kingston SE and having a great time in the process
Fi Paton, for your ongoing support of my project in many different ways, from organising hampers to checking nest boxes and watching Star Wars marathons for a cause!
Tom Hunt, for your continued help with promoting my project with your friends and family, as well as through BioR's channels,
Sarah Herkess, for getting supplies together (even prepared to do it on the sly!) for our Great Ocean Walk adventure,
Sophie Brunton, for designing beautiful postcards that I was able to send to people as thanks along the journey. You're a true artist!
Camilo Rodriguez, for taking promotional photographs for me early in 2017 as all this began and for hosting me on your couch night after night. You're a legend and the epitome of a hard-working person who deserves everything they achieve in life.
James Trezise, for taking a few photos of my walking on the road, which were perfect for putting on the website.
Belén Elorietta, for the logo design.
Noby Leong, for explaining social media to me in the early stage,
Michelangelo Bolognese, for giving me tips years ago about what I might start to think about for a long walk.
Places to rest my legs and head:
Along the way I was occasionally lucky enough to be able to put my feet up, eat a solid meal and sleep on a proper mattress. Though sleeping in a tent became the norm very quickly, it was certainly very comforting to have solid shelter and overhead and company from time to time. Thank You to:
Sally Nobbs and the Wilderness School at Crawford along the Coorong, SA
Ian, an architect who shared his beautiful home with me whilst it was pouring down in Pt Fairy (VIC).
Charlie at Skene's Creek Caravan Park
The O'Sullivan family in Barwon Heads (VIC)
The Nitz family in Queenscliff, VIC
Fraser and Lucy Gust in Mornington, VIC
Camilo Rodriguez in Brunswick East, VIC
Maddi Ginnivan in Thornbury, VIC
Andrew Ellis in Coburg, VIC
Glenda Routley in Penguin, TAS
Manager Matt and staff at Corinna, TAS
Claire Pitt and Tilley in Launceston, TAS
Sam, Pascal and Bennie at Freycinet Air in Friendly Beaches, TAS
Claire Heazlewood and Michael (Six) Caffrey in Hobart, TAS
Pooh and Wrenny near Boatswain Point, SA
Hilz and Tom in German Flat, SA
Rose Thompson in Mt Gambier, SA
These organisations helped in various ways and I thank them and the individuals behind the label for their support.
BioR (http://bior.org.au/), for being an excellent, volunteer-run organisation that makes it easy to get inspired to help out.
Wollangarra (http://wollangarra.org.au/), for inspiring young people and being a place of welcome and community.
Andrew at One Planet (http://oneplanet.com.au/), for providing a duffel bag, water bladders and exposure for the project along the way
Bill and Anthi at 50 Days Lightweight, (http://50days.com.au/), for providing discounts on necessary gear and sharing my story with your membership.
Heather and John at The Artisan Cafe (http://http://theartisancafe.com.au/), for hosting our fundraising dinner on September and generously providing prizes to be raffled.
John at Globewalker AU (http://http://globewalker.com.au/) for providing compression socks and exposure along the journey.
The Capri Theatre (http://http://capri.org.au/) for hosting our film fundraiser on 3 Jan 2018.
The guys at NOLA (http://nolaadelaide.com.au/), for hosting out Karma Keg event on 2 September 2017.
Simon de Winter/Thorlos (http://http://thorlo.com/) for providing the best socks out there!
GPA Engineering (http://http://gpaeng.com.au/), for their in-kind donation of $500.
Macpac Rundle St (https://www.macpac.com.au/), for the Pursuit 40 Daypack they gifted to be raffled away.
AESOP Rundle St (https://www.aesop.com/au/), for their generous donations to be raffled away for fundraising,
Simon at Simax Engineering (http://http://simaxengineering.com/), for their help putting sturdier wheels and axles on the trolley.
Rachel at Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain, for all your help with the trolley and accomodation,
The Conservation Council SA (http://conservationsa.org.au/), for providing support for the project from the very beginning.
Rose and Chelle at Nature Glenelg Trust (http://http://natureglenelg.org.au/), for giving exposure to the project.
The Wilderness School (http://wilderness.com.au/), for hosting me for two nights at Crawford and letting me chew your ear off after dinner!
Collingwood College (http://collingwood.vic.edu.au/), for letting me talk to a few Year 9 classes.
Rosebery School (http://education.tas.edu.au/roseberydistricthigh/Pages/Home.aspx/), for allowing me to talk to all your classes and the SRC for their generous donation to the fundraising project.
As you can see, it is not a short list, and this does not even include the 150 + people who donated to the fundraising campaign, nor the many people who came along with their friends and family to our fundraising events. It's not often that we find ourselves in situations where the community and support network that we each have is laid out in front of our eyes, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to experience the generosity of my little community. If you are reading this, then you probably fit in here and I am deeply appreciative for having your support in this endeavour.
The sheer number of people who I met on the road and who went out of their way to lend a hand and to open their doors without being asked was just extraordinary and not something that I expected. So to those people, who still burn a flame of kindness and generosity for humanity, Thank You. It truly meant something special to experience that there is still goodness in the human spirit in this world where often we don't get to see it. In a meaningful way this realisation has restored my trust and in People and community.
Personally it has meant a huge amount to receive so much support along the way and I certainly feel a debt of gratitude that will remain with me forever. I love and admire you all. All I can do once again and from the bottom of my heart is say,