Why bother tramping?

Really – why do it? Why not stay at home and watch Netflix?

Let’s be honest, tramping involves pain. Even without a migraine disorder, it hurts to go tramping. By the end of the day, your feet throb, your shoulders ache, you’ve got calluses from where your pack rubs and, if unlucky, blisters from suboptimal boots. You seek relief on a hard, mouldy hut mattress and count the bruises and scratches from tussles with the unforgiving vegetation. You look forward to the next day, in which your thighs and glutes will scream at the torture of another hill to climb.

Why not stay at home where the fridge is full, the bed is soft, and you have no snoring strangers in your sleeping area? It’s hard to fathom, but I need the outdoors, the time to reflect, the exposure to wilderness. It’s a privilege to be able to encounter in-person the mountains and valleys and lakes and rivers of this incredible country. Watching a landscape on a TV screen, you don’t feel the wind, smell the air, taste the mountain water. You don’t feel the sandflies biting either, which is a blessing, but you miss the sensation of simply existing, the simplicity of existing, in a remote area of beauty far removed from human interference.

Having migraines makes the decision to go tramping a bit more fraught, but although exertion can trigger the pain, the lack of it can do the same. So if I have to suffer, I might as well do it in some of the most beautiful places on earth.

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