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Learning about self

I recently had the fortune to secure a spot on Trojan’s Trek Queensland trip. I had researched Trojan’s Trek extensively and spoke to a number of people that had previously participated in one of their treks. The overwhelming consensus was that it was worthwhile with some even describing it as life changing. Life changing is a fairly big stick to wield and with a thirst for knowledge, I packed up my kit and jumped on a plane to Brisbane. 

I had suffered fairly severe anxiety the day before as I headed to the airport, after forgetting my photo ID because it was in my other wallet, I somehow managed to convince the lovely girl from Qantas that I was not on the NO FLY List and that I was who I said I was. She kindly allowed me to board my flight and finally I relaxed a little as the plane took off. I’m not sure why I get so worked up but I always get anxiety on the night before I travel. I get that heavy dry retch feeling and never sleep well. It’s a ptsd thing that I’m sure is not unique but I hate it none the less. 

I arrived in Brisbane and eventually found my way to my hotel where I would stay before boarding the bus to the camp site at Millmerran the following day.

The next morning, I trundled down to the local club to jump on the bus with the other punters ready to head out into the Queensland bush for some serious learning. 

After some brief introductions, we boarded the bus driven by an Indian bloke that was obviously in a hurry. At one point on the trip I closed my eyes as he manoeuvred our Toyota Coaster bus and trailer past a four wheel drive towing a large caravan whilst we were on the wrong side of the solid white line. Lunatic is one of the many words that I’d use to describe this driver and I can honestly say that I was really happy to get off his white chariot when we arrived at our destination some three and a half hours after getting on. Anyway, enough about him, he was a minor distraction for what was looking to be a great trip. The trek’s participants had all bonded on that hell ride and this had set the foundations of a pretty tight group.

After our introduction to the coaches and induction, we jumped into a fleet of four wheel drives and headed out into the bush where we were to camp. Was this going to be an impromptu session of SAS Australia? Where was Ant Middleton?

As we arrived at the site, we were given our swags and a general area to set up, I chose a spot next to some shrubs that was out of the way, but still close enough to yell “A dingo stole my baby” if things went pear shaped.

The group all huddled in and had a fire wood collecting effort so that we had something to keep us warm and something to cook our food on. It was great to see a group of complete strangers already working so well as a team on day one. The other players on the trek came from a mixture of backgrounds, both defence and frontline which in my opinion was a great balance.

Over the next week, we completed many workshops as a group and the conversations had were both enlightening and thought provoking. We covered a large range of topics from values, behaviour, the role of senses, healing, anger and leaving a legacy to name a few. 

The staff running the show have a great understanding of where we’re at as they are all veterans themselves and they have experienced some dark times. I felt a genuine connection to the group and I think that the things that I learnt were some of the most valuable tools that I now have in my fairly comprehensive kit. 

Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to express ourselves and to listen and learn from the wealth of experience that was present. We also visited some fairly amazing places including "The Leap" which is a beautiful lookout overlooking the plains along with "Boondandilla Homestead" which is a large station that has been abandoned with the buildings still standing as a reminder of days gone by. 

Now, you’re probably thinking, what makes Trojan’s Trek so great? I can only tell you about my experience. I learnt some really valuable lessons about myself and these things are potentially life changing. I learnt to reassess my values, I learnt the importance of positive thinking and I have changed the way in which I deal with things in my life. This has impacted the way in which I communicate with others and I’m working really hard on not sweating the small stuff. I also learnt that the subconscious doesn’t have a sense of humour meaning that every time I make a joke about myself, I unknowingly damage my self esteem. 

Another thing that this trip did was remind me of how lucky I am and to always find something to be grateful for. My life may not always go the way that I planned but I’m still grateful for what I have as there is always someone that is in a worse situation than me. I now set myself smart goals so that I have something to work towards and I can honestly say that my life has been changed for the better by doing this trek. There is still so much more that I want to learn and I am going to continue to chase these things satisfying my curiosity in the process whilst hopefully becoming a better person.

If you’re a defence force or frontline veteran and you are wanting to learn some new tools to improve your life whilst mixing with great people then I strongly recommend checking out Trojan’s Trek and getting on board. Check the link to learn more.

Thank you to Trojan’s Trek, Queensland RSL and everyone else that contributes to making this program so great.  


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