Below are just 5 of the many lessons you can be taught from walking the Kokoda Track apart from the military history
1. The Kokoda Track can teach you to be resilient
To walk the Kokoda Track can be very daunting, and an extremely emotional, physical and mental challenge, but it’ll help you to be resilient.
Despite the challenges, you’ll be taught to harden-up and keep going even though you’re tired, fatigued, bruised and feel like getting down on your haunches. This has a positive impact on your wellbeing because it helps you to use your strengths to overcome adversity.
It’s like when the already-eliminated Peru beat Australia 2-0 in the 2018 Fifa World Cup to force their rival out of contention. Despite consecutive losses against soccer heavyweights Denmark and France, they had the optimism and self-belief they could win, and they did.
2. The Kokoda Track can teach you that we are vulnerable
The adverse conditions you’ll be faced with when you walk the Kokoda Track will teach you many life’s lessons about adversity. You’ll learn that we (humans) are more vulnerable in life than we otherwise think we are.
The trek will challenge your beliefs about yourself and those around you. You’ll feel exposed, overpowered and outgunned. But you’ll learn to overcome those vulnerabilities and eliminate all the negativities by re-constructing your belief systems.
This is best illustrated by the metaphor of the vase. Say you have a much-treasured vase and you knock it off the table by accident one day. It breaks up into little pieces and you decide to do something about it. Obviously, you don’t put it together as it was or throw it into a bin. Instead, you use the beautiful pieces to build something new and better for yourself, like a colourful mosaic.
3. The Kokoda Track can teach you to be curious
The challenges you’ll be confronted with on your Kokoda trek will teach you to be curious. Amidst all the blood, sweat and tears, you learn that the associated pain is only temporary.
It’ll raise your curiosity. You’ll see it as a challenge and try to figure out what valuable lessons you can take out of it, rather than having self-pity and being angry with yourself. You’ll be asking yourself questions like what and how did you get to your present situation.
You’ll then be able to share your curiosity with others and use it as a worthwhile learning experience. And guess what? The next time you’re confronted with a similar situation, you’ll know exactly how to deal with it.
4. The Kokoda Track can teach you to have self-belief
The Kokoda Track is difficult and full of unexpected surprises at every turn. There are gigantic mountains, precipitous slopes, shaggy ridgelines, deep valleys, rumbling rapids, gluey swamps, hot humid days and bone-chilling nights. It’s like joining the army for the first time as a fresh recruit for newbie trekkers because it can be very energy sapping and mentally daunting.
We’ve all experienced adverse conditions like those on the trek at one stage or another in our lives, but we always find a way to conquer it by having the self-belief.
A great story of someone who’s had self-belief through adversity is American billionaire and television personality, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was born on 29th January 1954 into a poor family in Mississippi but this didn’t stop her from winning a scholarship to study at Tennessee State University. She went on to become the first African American TV correspondent in Nashville.
5. The Kokoda Track can teach you to be mindful
When you walk the Kokoda Track, it’ll help you to be mindful by being fully attentive to what’s happening around you.
Mindfulness is about living in the moment and being observant with your feelings, thoughts, and senses without dwelling too much on the events of the past or future.
Say, it’s late in the evening on the trek and you need to make the final arduous climb as quickly as possible to the top of Mt Bellamy so you can get down into camp before night falls. There’s a heavy tropical thunderstorm, its flooding like no one cares, the mud’s up to your knees, you’re absolutely lethargic from the last six hours of trekking and you feel like giving up. Imagine what’s going through your head in the present moment. Would it be nice if you just remain focused on what it is that you have to do (get into camp before nightfall), wouldn’t it?
Well, that’s a perfect example of being mindful.
The benefits you can take out when you walk the Kokoda Track are immense. Kokoda Trail Expeditions runs a broad range of Kokoda treks and tours on a regular basis from February through to November to suit your needs.