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t e s t i m o n i a l s

Heather - age 17

"I wanted an adventure when I decided to go on this hike. I wanted to meet new people and experience the beauty of the mountains and sleep under the stars - I got so much more than just that. I gained lessons that have far more than just their literal meanings.

My backpack represented my burdens but also my source of sustinence. The walk itself represented my life's journey. Sometimes each step seemed more difficult than the last and I desperately wanted to stop but there was no escape. I had to keep walking and in doing this, I learnt to stretch my limits, or rather, I learnt that my limits were far greater then I believed. I learnt I could walk long after I thought I would have to stop. In doing so, I learnt that my exhaustion, or any other obstacle in my life, was only a horizon and a horizon is nothing, save the limit of our sight. The horizon recedes as we approach it.


I learnt that sometimes, in an attempt to be utterly prepared, I could overload myself and hinder rather than aid my journey.

I learnt in offloading, that others often value what you have more than you do.

I learnt that lightening my load made the journey infinitely easier.

My hiking stick that represented my support, gave me blisters when I clung on to it too tightly. I gradually learnt to loosen my hold and found that I did not need the support as much as I wanted to need it. If I loosened my hold, I stopped myself from getting hurt.

I learnt that often, you find friendship with the people you least expect if you take the time to get to know them.

I learnt sometimes, you can't regrow a forest after you've cut it down and that loss is never worth the short term gains.

I learnt that only in the darkest of places, can you see the most beautiful stars.

I learnt that food and water, that represented rewards, always tasted sweeter when I had worked to get to them.

I learnt, when climbing boulders which were representative of obstacles, that I often had to walk all the way around them to find a path up them.

I learnt the view was always worth the climb.

My favorite lesson is one that I will try to take with me. I learnt that the more you have, the less fulfilled you feel and that I was never happier than I was when I carried my world in a backpack. I will chase that feeling for the rest of my life."

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