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April 2022 Issue
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I’m walking to have some control

In a world with so much uncertainty, Hariata Hema says the Walk1200km challenge is something she can control. 

Walk1200km has got Hariata Hema out of a rut.

She’s walking to and from work instead of catching the bus and is out in all weathers exploring parts of Wellington she hasn’t seen in a while.

Hariata signed up for the challenge as soon as she heard about it last October, liking the fact it was spread out over 12 months and she could make up her own rules.

“There’s so much uncertainty with Covid but this is something you feel you’re in control of,” she says.

“The challenge has shown me that I can trust myself to get it done.”

Hariata recently walked the Routeburn Track but she says her neighbourhood walks can be just as enriching. She enjoys seeing fruit appear on trees and boxes of the produce put outside homes for people to help themselves to.

Her walks are an opportunity to disconnect so she uses her phone only to take photos and works out how far she has walked on Google Maps once she’s home.

To keep things interesting, Hariata uses The Getting Lost Game on some of her walks, following instructions like ‘turn left’ or ‘head in the direction the wind is blowing’ to explore new ground.

“It’s really lifted my spirits – it’s so nice to be in nature.”