In nature I am guided by its shape, feel & the behaviours of its inhabitants.
William Playne sees a place as a playground and has believed since he was a child that within every environment there exists an adventure. When this adventure presents itself to us immediately, it’s like finding gold; however, he knows that we all have the capacity within us to continue exploring to test ourselves and identify our ‘true core’ - something he believes exists outside of the pressures and distractions of ‘fitting in’ to everyday life.
Walking is a self-contained and simple activity that allows small but essential daily tasks to take on a new significance - choices such as where to stop on a walking track to eat lunch encourage a healthy mindfulness that Will recognises needs re-discovering in order to strengthen our connection to self. As an experienced Educator and Hike Leader who has challenged peers and students alike to increase their boundaries away from a constructed environment, Will has discovered hiking as another way of ‘being’ and has undertaken his own journeys as a means of clearing his mind and developing a healthy, less sedentary lifestyle; he believes that hiking for the body is like sudoku for the brain.
Both Will’s physical and mental state were tested several years ago while traversing the 655km long Australian Alpine Walking Track, carrying a pack weighing over 20kg. Though he had always related being in the natural environment to not feeling heavy, this journey wasn’t ‘weightless’ in more ways than one. The recognition that unburdening himself from unnecessary physical weight while hiking would also enable a more positive journey that wasn’t sacrificial in terms of product, encouraged Will to work together with his partner in hiking and life, Anthi, to develop 50 Days.
Will’s recognition that something needed to shift in relation to the restrictive ways that people were hiking was solidified when walking through the south coast of Tasmania with his father. Here, he saw what others around them were carrying, how they were walking and their age group, and consistently heard that, though these fellow hikers were having some incredible experiences along the way, they saw having to carry a ‘great lump’ on their backs as being the cross to bear when choosing to travel this way. This type of movement is unsustainable, and Will understands that there needs to be the opportunity to engage in a conversation about alleviating the load through well-chosen products and learned advice.
Will firmly believes that a disconnection from nature is a tragedy and is looking forward to sharing his experiences with you, a community of people who are looking for meaningful and fulfilling challenges that open doors to new environments and parts of yourselves that may be hidden in ‘screen-life’ or undiscovered due to perceptions of journeying in the outdoors as being a painful physical experience fraught with danger. When Will starts a journey he doesn’t see an ‘end point’, but rather considers being in the moment and making adaptable decisions that are separate from a sense of failure or not doing something ‘right’. Once you travel free from the weight of physical and mental limitations, he hopes you won’t see the end point of your journey either.
No matter what the intention, journeying brings us closer to our true selves.
Wilderness experiences allow us to be our best selves, follow intuition that is often suppressed in day-to-day life, shed the multiple faces we show to the world and move from A to B mindfully, rather than A to Z just ‘fitting everything in.’
Walking has a way of unravelling things in a positive sense, and all the elements that journeying in nature represents for Anthi - a pilgrimage back to Self, an escape from the rigidity of four walls, a chance to move at her own pace, an opportunity to experience the freeing emotion of recognising real vs perceived threat - jostling for awareness with the knowledge that hiking had become a physically uncomfortable experience. The desire to discover a lightweight alternative to the cumbersome equipment of Anthi’s past journeys developed and the transformative experience of starting 50 Days with her partner, Bill, began.
It is Anthi’s intention to work as part of a community that respects and values the action of directly experiencing the outdoors and self through the process of facing daily stress, doubts and limitations within a supportive framework.
Anthi supports the philosophy that moving with what is wild will foster an openness and readiness within us to identify life paths that encourage personal growth and our best selves.
Anthi will be imparting her direct experience of what have been restorative and challenging journeys to you, an individual who seeks to locate the best products and advice for your own pilgrimages. From walking the French Camino, the Dusky Sound in New Zealand, to the Australian Alpine Walking Track through Australia’s magnificent national parks, Anthi will share her knowledge of the gear you will need to manage yourselves effectively in the outdoors while maintaining comfort and safety. With Anthi, you will experience an ethos of simplicity and freedom and share in a vision for comfortable, restorative experiences in Country that will ‘make’ not ‘break’ you.