This post has no chronologic order amongst other posts. Just reflections over time.
Hiking is a constant change. You go through forests, mountains, farmlands, suburbs, bogs, cities, plains and more. You walk on dirt, gravel, tarmac, skree, tussocks and sand. In rivers, rain, mist, gales, swamps, mud and dog poo.
You meet loads upon loads of amazing people, some will follow you for a while and some will just be greeted with a smile of common understanding or mutual interest. The people you meet will want to share a coffee to further share stories. They will think you're crazy for walking the whole country, say that they are amazed by the effort, complain about the mud on the trail or share poo stories.
Like the one where I one morning went into the forest to do my business and got accompanied by a morepork owl. He stared at me and I replied by doing the same, for another five minutes or so. Just curiosly inspecting each other, he looked kind of surprised when I covered up the hole. Way too much effort according to him.
Some of the people will rejoin your tracks, after a short time or a long. Happy reunions or indifferent.
People or places that pass your path will sometimes leave memories you carry for the rest of your life and some will just fade away instantly.
Your body will adapt to the efforts you put it through. If you hike up hill your calfs will burn, but they will also grow and carry you higher the next time. If you walk in thin soles shoes, your feet will get tough and you will no longer have a problem to walk barefooted.
Your brain will go through happy times and sad. It will be calm as it never been before but sometimes focused to 100% to avoid the wrong step taking you 100 vertical meters down in seconds. You will be rested and full up, you will be exhausted and as ravenously hungry as you've never been in town, because you can just grab a burger at the corner. You'll wake up to a rainy morning only to find the clouds fading away into blue skies. You will walk in the moment and be one with nature, just to kick a rock and get thrown out in real life. You'll think of the annoying gear you want to change when a fantail catches a sandfly a meter in front of you and get mesmerized.
You just have to accept the fact that things will always change. When the fact is accepted, at least I experience that change is more often better than bad. That feels good.