soul trekking

A five month hike from one end of New Zealand to the other led to another kind of journey   – that of discovering a new way of life.

On the trail I discovered what was important to me and what I really wanted in life.  In the quiet days of hiking in the wilderness, free from the distractions of modern day living and away from an environment that expected me to play a certain role, I discovered my authentic self.  I’d had to overcome fear to face many challenges on the trail and, drawing on that strength, I returned home with a new clarity that I was free to pursue my future in any way I chose.

For me that means living a peaceful and simple life in nature, free from the noise, busyness, pollution, stress and rampant consumerism that seem an intrinsic part of modern day living.

What is needed for a life lived well and full?  Not much as it turns out.  I’ve never been happier than I was with 12 kg of belongings for five months on the Te Araroa Trail, living simply and sleeping in a tent each night surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature. Pandora’s Box has been opened, and for now I dedicate myself full time to exploring beautiful places in nature around the world, learning about the environment’s healing effect on the mind and body, and writing to share my experiences.

In our overly hectic, sanitised and manufactured lives, I believe modern society has lost a vital connection to the natural environment – a connection which has the potential to promote good health, peace and harmony to the planet and all its inhabitants.

If this resonates with you, follow me as I challenge the norms of modern living, in search of meaning, simplicity and happiness in nature.


Larapinta crop


28 thoughts on “soul trekking

  1. Hi Laura
    Really good to meet you in Wanaka. I’m now in FJ. Probably walk up to the glacier tomorrow if the weather is good.
    Best wishes
    Huw Williams


  2. It was so good to meet you Laura. Really enjoyed reading your journey. Courageous & Inspirational. Enjoy your next adventure. Will look forward to reading your posts.
    Safe travels
    Kerry (Pete’s sister)


  3. I am currently training for a 500klm walk through Ireland in June/July 2016, my younger sister has decided to join me. I have also promised to raise $5000 for Cancer QLD and nearly there. I have started to train seriously and people keep asking me if I am training with a friend. They get a little disturbed when I say I prefer to walk on my own – gives me time to think and solitude early in the morning is the best start to the day.


    • Hi Jennifer, its nice to walk with company but there are certainly benefits to walking on your own too. I think its like a meditation. i wish you all the best with your mission and will send that gear list off to you as requested. Cheers, Laura


  4. I would be very interested in your packing list also. I am just getting into solo long walks and am trying to further lighten my load . I am planning the Great Ocean Walk but like the Portland one too. Thankyou for your detailed report . Snakes are my biggest fear and your comments about your encounters have alleviated that one☺


  5. I’ve just read your article in Wild Issue 153 and your comments resonated strongly with me. I was recently looking through my NZ tramping guide, doing some dreaming and reminding myself of the amazing walking over there that’s relatively accessible for us Aussies. This lead me to searching the net for longer walks and I discovered the Te Araroa trail. I’d love to do it some day…… Great article Laura. I’ll be keeping an eye on your website.


    • Hey thanks very much Sam. Glad you enjoyed it. I get so much sustenance from hiking. I hope you enjoy whatever trails you end up planning and doing. My blog updates are a bit sporadic at the moment as I’m working on finishing a book about Te Araroa but if you follow Soul Trekkers on Facebook you’ll get more regular updates and maybe a few more hiking ideas! Cheers. Laura


  6. Hi Laura,
    Found my way here via Wild issue 153, very inspiring, well done. Was not aware the Great South West Walk even existed. Look forward to hearing about your next adventure!


    • Thanks Dan! Yes, I hadn’t heard much about the GSWW either before I did it. It deserves greater recognition but nice to enjoy it while the numbers are low now 🙂 The blog is a bit slow at the moment since I’m concentrating on finishing this book I’m working on but you can see what mini adventures I’m on via Soul Trekkers on Facebook. Cheers and hope you’re enjoying your own adventures! Laura


  7. Hi Laura
    Sounds like an awesome journey and a beautiful way to grow as a person. Love that you’re using an Aarn pack as I have 2 myself. I’d love to do some NZ walking and was wondering what a good starting point would be. I’m off to do 2 weeks of the Bibb track in WA tmrw as the wilds are calling.


    • Thanks Marcelle. Yes, I LOVE Aarn packs! And I want to do the Bibb too, I hope you enjoy yourself over there. Gosh, where to start re hiking in NZ… there are so many amazing options. I guess it depends on how hard you want it to be and how long you want to hike for. Perhaps have a look at the photo albums on my Facebook page – they will give you a few ideas. I really enjoyed the Hump Ridge track in FJordland (3 days) recently, or the Travers Sabine circuit in the North of the South Island is a spectacular 5-6 day trip. So many choices…
      Enjoy the Bibb!


      • Hi Laura
        Thanks for the tips. I could do any length up to 10 days on my own. I haven’t done much solo Hiking but I’m really bursting to do lots ( er except The Camino) . Tmrw I fly out to the Bibb. I’m so excited!


  8. Hi laura
    I’m intending to walk the TA in 2019 so early planning. Can I have a copy of your book when you go to print please. Love your writing and great Web site.
    Have to get life out of the way first. I’m 64 and have no fears about age so hope my confidence in my strength comes to fruition.
    Yours in trekking


    • Thanks Marian! I’ll let you know when its out. Cheers. (I’m getting a sign up button added to my website but until then, you’re noted! 🙂 )
      Happy trekking! Laura


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