In exactly four weeks from tomorrow, I’ll be taking my first steps on the Great Wall of China.
(And only 26 days left until I depart for the great city of Beijing :D.)
To say I’m excited is an understatement of epic proportions. To say I’m grateful to have this opportunity feels somewhat understated. To say I’m honoured to be able to support an organisation like SANE Australia also feels diminutive.
In the lead up thus far, and with my fundraising efforts, and my really annoying and incessant rambling about this adventure, I have been asked quite a few questions. Below are the questions I am asked most often.
I won’t just be enlightening you with the list of questions I am oft asked; I will also go to the lengths to answer these questions (why is it not Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers – FAQATA? That sounds way more interesting as an acronym).
Are you going by yourself?
I will be from the perspective of none of my family are coming with me. I am, however, going as part of a professionally organised trek, coordinated through a group called Inspired Adventures. You can read more about them here https://inspiredadventures.com.au/
How far are you walking?
The trek itself is 40 kilometres, along various parts of the Great Wall. So I’ll/we’ll be walking 40k.
How far do you walk each day? / Do you have to walk a certain distance/to a certain point each day?
We’re walking this distance over 5 days; so 7km, 8km, 8km, 11km,and a mere 6km on our last day of trekking, and trekking from around 3 hours to 8 hours.
Each day we go to a different section of the wall, and transported to our 2 star accommodation each night.
Do you have to carry your bags with you?
Not our entire luggage, just our day packs, with things like water, snacks, toilet paper, an extra layer of clothing, just in case, sunscreen … that sort of stuff.
Are you going for work or a holiday?
A holiday-ish, from the perspective of my desire to visit the Great Wall since I was 10. I am also desperate for a break from my life, and as I’m nearing my official mid-40s, I wanted a goal that wasn’t “I want to run 5 / 10km before that date”, because … running and I don’t mix. There’s an awful lot of jiggling going on.
It was like all my passions; Great Wall, walking, and mental health advocacy all came neatly together. The added bonus is my birthday occurring the day after our last trek day; so I will have achieved a goal before that particular birthday! Wooo!
The “mental health advocacy” part comes from Inspired Adventures partnering with SANE Australia (and myriad other charities and organisations) to support the raising of funds and awareness of SANE. A large part of my involvement has centred on raising funds (we were set a minimum target of $3,500), all of which go directly to SANE.
What/Who is SANE Australia?
SANE Australia (http://www.sane.org ) is a charity that supports Australians affected by mental health issues, and aim to reduce the risk of suicide amongst Australians. What I love about them, is the “Australians affected by mental illness” extends beyond the person with the illness, and support and information for family, friends, and carers is also provided.
What do they do?
SANE provide a range of support services, from phone lines to forums, fact sheets to information articles, and … well quite a lot actually. You can see more about what they do at https://www.sane.org/about-sane/projects
How long is the Great Wall anyway?
21,196km … long. Really, really long …
How long are you going for?
The entire trip is 10 days, door to door. Which includes the flights. We’ll have a total of 8.5 days in and around Beijing, and have a little bit of free time to explore, and a little bit of organised exploration (other than when we’re on the Wall).
Where are you flying into?
What’s happening with your kids while you’re away? Who is looking after them while you’re away? Is your husband babysitting them? (and other questions along those same lines.)
I imagine what is “happening” with them is the same as what “happens” to them when I’m away. Albeit possibly only half the trauma, given only half of their parents will be around.
The Biggest One is going to Japan, for a school thing.
No one will be babysitting/looking after the kids.
My husband, Grumpy Pants, the father of my children, the father of his own children, the father of our children, the other half of this parenting thing, with equal rights, responsibility for our joint offspring (or the two who are remaining during this time) will no doubt be parenting them, as he does on a daily basis.
I can only assume that, of course. But he seems as capable as I of the activity.
Don’t you feel guilty? Abandoning your kids like that?
Gill? Tee? I’m sorry. I don’t understand the question? What’s to feel guilty about? I also don’t understand the connection with abandonment, sorry.
Are you excited?
26 days to go …
If you have any other questions for me, I’m happy to answer them. Maybe. I don’t know. Depends on what your question is.
Again, a massive thanks to all who have supported me, in whatever way you have supported me, and SANE Australia with your donations. You can still donate if you haven’t yet done so and would like to https://sanegreatwall2016.everydayhero.com/au/amanda