Stepping Out Of the Comfort Zone

Photo taken in Lisbon, Portugal 2015.fullsizerender-19Welcome to our Wilkinson Travel travelling blog.  We are John and Nancy, married for many a year, parents to adult children and grandparents to seven munchkins.   Having attained our summer season, we consider ourselves to be more than the sum of our collective journey of career paths, children grown and house downsize.   Life is an adventure and a pathway of many directions.  To continue to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally, we believe that we must step outside our comfort zone.  New goals, new challenges. Retirement and slowing down are not options.

Venturing to Cuba, Central America, USA, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Spain, France, Ireland, Portugal, UK, Croatia, Italy, Corsica and New Zealand these past four years, has been awesome.  Travel is a privilege; imparting knowledge, sometimes humbling, of just how privileged we are.  We live our life in gratitude for the many blessings that we enjoy, each day.

Loved Rome and her amazing antiquities. fullsizerender-13With past goals of maintaining good health now allowing freedom to choose pathways that challenge physically, mentally, and emotionally, John has embraced goals that would seriously challenge many half his age. An Ironman, several 70.3 Ironman events , 3 marathons including the New York marathon,  3 Dam and 5 Dam Cycling challenges are now reflective in a growing collection of finisher medals. This coming weekend, John is adding to his heavyweight collection by competing in the Busselton Ironman, Western Australia.

A very happy John after competing in the 70.3 Ironman World Championship in Mooloolaba, Queensland in September 2016fullsizerender-16

Along with triathlons, travelling, photographic and writing interests, bushwalking (trekking, tramping) has been a favoured pursuit.  Walking Camino Portugués from Porto to Santiago de Compostela, The West Highland Way in Scotland, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk  in England, has whetted our appetite for a longer walk.    We leave for New Zealand fours days after the Ironman event.  Te Araroa beckons. Te Araroa means the Long Pathway and is New Zealand’s long distance tramping route.  Our intention is to walk the North Island 2016/2017 about 1700kms. We are ready.


Triumphant faces after successfully walking across England in May/June this year…after previously walking the West Highland Way in Scotland a few days prior.


Long distance walking – everything lightweight!  Some of our gear shown above ready for packing.  Time will tell what we retain; what is considered essential and what is dispensable.  NB No heavy nikon camera and lenses! sigh.

We Are All The Same

We are all the same
In our humanness
As we age

In our fears
In our frailty
In our insecurities

We easily allow
Frailty of spirit
To grow in strength

To gain control of attitude
Of determination
Of exploration

This frailty of spirit
And we do not

Youth and beauty
Our Nemesis

The laboured walk
Of stiffening joints
We slow

We weaken
Allowing ageism
This creeping decrepitude

To take hold
Life’s investment

Renders eyes, ears, greying hair and ability
Open to condescending attitude
Not helped by Old Grumpy clichés

Nancy Wilkinson 2015

8 thoughts on “Stepping Out Of the Comfort Zone

    NANCY and JOHN, well done, considering you just had walked 70km when you arrived at Hukatere Lodge. I thought you looked in great shape.
    I hope you both enjoyed the fresh snapper for dinner and THANK YOU for a lovely entertaining evening and it was a pleasure to be your host. I specially enjoyed the stunning photographies of Nancy, being an artist myself, I could appreciate them even more. (
    Thank you again and happy hiking.
    Arohanui your host
    Gabi Pfaender

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The photos of your hiking backpacks amazed me – that’s quite a load for you both! Presume you don’t need to carry as much water as here in WA? I hope you enjoy your tramp along the North island of NZ, which I presume will be followed by a similar South island tramp? Many thanks for setting up this blog, and more photos please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Graeme, thanks so much for your comment and feedback. Looking forward to sharing our travel journey with you! We have much more gear to put into our packs than that shown in the photo. Food for instance. The volume of water carried each day will be determined by availability on the track. Kind regards, Nancy


    2. Hello Graeme,, or should I say, Kia Ora! Hope you’ve been able to follow our journal postings on our blog and have viewed photographs. Some wifi has been very slow and therefore caused me angst in the downloads but I’ve taken onboard for your requests for ‘lots of photos’. Cheerio from the TA trail, Nancy & Johnj


  3. Guys, Another adventure ahead. Best wishes for a safe and wonderful time.
    You are both a good example of achieving the “younger every year” title.
    Take care, we look forward to sharing your journey.
    Pete and Kerry.

    Liked by 1 person

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