Three months have passed since I completed the trail. I had no immediate plans on finishing but that was immaterial as Covid-19 restrictions were dictating life for us all, certainly in New Zealand. I heard from the Mary Potter Hospice that the March fundraising appeal letter and email, in which they included Jenny’s and my story, raised $60,412 in addition to your generous donations. It was worth the walk!
On my way back home to Wellington, I spent a day in Christchurch with Anara, whom I had met on several occasions during the trail. I arrived home on 24 March, a day before the NZ lockdown phase started. The initial restrictions were to last at least four weeks.
The government then announced a couple of days travel extension to allow people to get to where they needed to be for lockdown. I asked Anara if she would like to stay with me Wellington. It was an “in-at-the-deep-end” invitation to developing a relationship as there was no going home until the strict travel restrictions were eased if things didn’t work out. She was brave enough to accept and brought plenty of books to read, just in case.
After 7 weeks of confinement with daily walks and bike rides, solo shopping trips, and a few Netflix series, we were still talking to each other and she hadn’t read any of her books. She returned home and back to work and our love has continued to grow. I am now regularly visiting Anara and looking to move to Christchurch in the near future. We have already had a post-lockdown mountain bike trip at Hanmer Springs, and more outdoor adventures are planned. I am also actively seeking a return to work and hope that the right job comes along in these difficult employment times.
My walk and the return to a world of Covid-19 taught the importance of living each day as it comes. The life lessons from my journey reflections are as valid as ever. As I know personally, life can be too short, so living life in the present is as good as it gets. There are big changes ahead for all of us, so when it comes to choices, I just ask what love would do.