Good Peo­ple

Meet the in­spir­ing young cou­ple who walked the en­tire length of New Zealand to raise money for the Nepal earth­quake re­build.

Good - - CONTENTS - Words Natalie Cyra

Walk­ing for Nepal

This is a cou­ple who live and breathe ad­ven­ture with pur­pose. Af­ter wit­ness­ing the dev­as­ta­tion of the Nepal earth­quake, Adele Har­ris, 26 and fi­ancé Carl Hutchin­son, 30 wanted to help, and sought to walk­ing the length of New Zealand while rais­ing money for the cause. How did your jour­ney to walk the length of New Zealand for char­ity evolve?

Adele: We left the United King­dom in Novem­ber 2014 on a one-way ticket to In­dia to travel, with a work­ing hol­i­day visa for New Zealand af­ter­wards. We al­ways knew we were go­ing to come here, but we didn’t re­ally have any set plans – just to work and travel.

Carl: When we were trav­el­ling through In­dia we spoke to so many peo­ple who talked about the Vi­pas­sana Silent Med­i­ta­tion Re­treat [in Nepal], who rec­om­mended it and told us about how amaz­ing it was. They were all the sort of peo­ple we re­ally got on well with and re­spected, and so we went, and it was life-chang­ing. It re­ally al­tered our out­look on life.

Adele: It taught us about not be­ing so self-centred and to be more self­less. You were at this med­i­ta­tion re­treat in Nepal when the dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake, which killed more than 8000 peo­ple, struck. How did this af­fect your NZ plans? Carl: The earth­quake hap­pened and [af­ter vol­un­teer­ing] we de­cided what we were go­ing to do with our time in New Zealand. It felt re­ally strange leav­ing Nepal, be­cause we had the op­por­tu­nity to leave when there were so many peo­ple who didn’t; they had to stay and suf­fer. We felt that we needed to use that op­por­tu­nity that we had – to leave – to help those who had to stay.

So you de­cided to trek the Te Araroa Trail from the top of New Zealand to the bot­tom, and raise money for the Hi­malayan Trust? Adele: We wanted to do some­thing that would chal­lenge our­selves. We’d never tramped for more than three days con­sec­u­tively, and it meant we’d be com­pletely push­ing our­selves to help raise aware­ness for the cause.

Carl: When re­search­ing for char­i­ties we came across the Hi­malayan Trust. Their ethics and practices were com­pletely in line with the way we thought things should be done. We got in touch with them and had their full sup­port. What was it like dur­ing the trek? Adele: We spent 51 nights in back coun­try huts, 38 nights in other peo­ple’s homes and 75 nights camp­ing in our tent. The other nights were in ran­dom places like sheep shear­ers’ quar­ters and hos­tels. Peo­ple got in con­tact with us through the in­ter­net be­cause they’d heard about our fundraiser and of­fered us places to stay when we passed through. What were your most sig­nif­i­cant learn­ings from your trip?

Adele: It gave us loads of time to think so that we can ap­proach life a lit­tle bit more de­lib­er­ately. In­stead of let­ting life just hap­pen, we’ve been able to ac­tu­ally think about what we want to do, and I think that’s all to do with sus­tain­abil­ity. We also learned that any­thing is achiev­able, all you need to do is make those first steps and then con­tinue tak­ing steps.

Carl: We want to ap­proach ev­ery­thing we do in life now with a pur­pose. We also dis­cov­ered that on the trip, beauty isn’t in just what you see, it’s also what you’re smelling, what

“We learnt that any­thing is achiev­able, all you need to do is make those first steps and then con­tinue tak­ing steps.” Adele Har­ris

you’re hear­ing and the en­ergy that you feel at dif­fer­ent places. You might be walk­ing through a for­est and it might not be the most beau­ti­ful for­est you’ve ever seen but the sound of the birds and the smell you’re get­ting and the way the light comes through the trees... What are your fu­ture plans and goals?

Adele: We want to ap­ply pro­duc­ing as lit­tle waste as pos­si­ble in our lives from now.

Carl: While we were walk­ing we thought about how we’ve never done any­thing in the UK like we’ve done here in New Zealand. So we’d love to walk the UK next time, while en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get out­doors. We spend so much time in front of a com­puter screen and we want to pro­mote how amaz­ing it is out­side. We’re also look­ing at mak­ing the walk waste-free. What about your day-to-day lives? Adele: We’re be­com­ing more and more in­ter­ested in the en­vi­ron­ment and try­ing to de­velop our place in the world, and for us it’s all about con­serv­ing the planet for the fu­ture and con­serv­ing it for the next gen­er­a­tions.

Carl: I’m an elec­tri­cian but when we re­turn to the UK I want to go into re­new­able en­ergy, and Adele’s think­ing about go­ing into en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies or sus­tain­able tourism. How much did you raise dur­ing your trek for the Hi­malayan Trust, which is go­ing to­wards the re­build­ing of schools in Nepal? Carl: About $15,300. All the money goes on to Give A Lit­tle (givealit­tle.co.nz) so all of that money has gone straight to the Trust.

Adele: And the re­build over there is com­ing along re­ally well, they’re build­ing the first five schools at the mo­ment. g

love shack Some of the re­mote huts that Carl and Adele stayed in were es­pe­cially en­dear­ing sign­posted Adele and Carl kept a blog and posted many pho­tos along the way. our­ram­bles.com

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