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About TAOV

I’ve come up with a neat little mantra – well I think it is, as does my mum. Vegans can walk just as far, climb just as high and push themselves just as hard as anybody else. That’s what I set out to do by embarking on the Te Araroa Track in November.

I’ve loved tramping (hiking in Australia) ever since I was a kid. There is a sense of fulfilment in propelling yourself on your own steam. When I was growing up I use to spend most weekends exploring the fantastic Onkaparinga Gorge which was not far from my childhood home in South Australia.

In my adult years I upped the ante. I yearned for bigger challenges. So I made my maiden voyage across the Tasman – in a big jet plane – in 2006 to experience mountains, stoney rivers, snake-free tramping, and milky tea. I was back in 2009 for longer, harder tracks, and more tea.

Here I am in 2010 ready to embark on my biggest challenge yet. The Te Araroa Track that runs from the top to the bottom of New Zealand. Go me.

My reasons for the trip are:

– To get away from a job I don’t enjoy.

I’ve worked full-time since I was 19. Nowadays this isn’t unconventional. And it has been good to me. But there is only so much of the 9-5 some people can take, and right now I’ve had enough of it.

It’s allowed me to live a comfortable life. I’ve lived in nice homes. I’ve bought nice things. I’ve travelled reasonably regularly. But the beauty of these things wears off.

I guess my view on the world – as cheesy as that sounds – changed when I started a degree in philosophy. Initially I was studying a Bachelor of Business, but got bored of it so decided to change to a stream that was more about personal interest than career prospects.

Studying philosophy has made me appreciate life so much more. I’ve become more compassionate of humans and animals as a result of it. And to sound even cheesier; I’ve grown to enjoy the little things a lot more.

The time is right. I have resigned from my job and my studies are on hold.

– To see more of New Zealand.

New Zealand is spectacular. I love it so much. I could happily live there, and I may.

Enough said.

– To prove a point about veganism.

I’ve heard the same argument time and time again. Vegans don’t get enough protein. Vegans suffer from B12 deficiencies and anaemia. Vegans don’t get enough iron. No doubt there is some truth in those claims but they also hold for omnivores.

One must eat a balanced diet: simple. Vegans in particular must ensure they get enough of the right stuff. However, from my experience, vegans and vegetarians are probably the most mindful of what they put in their mouth. They don’t just assume like most omnivores I know.

Therefore, if vegans eat a proper balanced diet – and they get plenty of exercise of course – they are getting everything they need to sustain a fit, healthy body and life.

I’m out to prove that I can walk 3000-kilometres without needing to kill animals to fuel my body. I’ve been vegan for only 6 months (I was vegetarian for 3 years prior) and couldn’t be happier with my choice. I’m fit. I’m healthy. I can do it!

In closing this “about” section I’d just like to dot-point the purpose of this blog.

– To keep tabs on my preparation
– To inform people what sort of gear I will be using and why
– To talk about delicious vegan cuisine
– To keep tabs on the trip
– To share with my readers any interesting news I come across
– To promote my wonderful sponsors

If you have any questions, suggestions, praise, criticism, free stuff; ANYTHING… Email me at

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 10:02 pm

    Hi Paul,

    It seems we will be setting off on the trail weeks apart!

    Have you committed to starting on the 1st of November? i think we will probably be heading off mid-late November as things keep getting pushed back!

    Just wanted to commend you on your website and drive. Hopefully we may cross paths in New Zealand!


  2. September 16, 2010 7:40 am

    Hi Paul

    My partner and i hiked Te Araroa last summer, we can provide advice on route planning and logistics if you are interested.

    Kind regards,

    • Paul permalink*
      September 16, 2010 9:13 am

      Hi Johno –

      How was the track? Bet you had a great time. I’d really appreciate your advice on planning and logistics. The more help I can muster, the merrier. 🙂




  1. Updates “About TAOV” Page « Te Araroa – On Veg
  2. What is The Te Araroa? « Te Araroa – On Veg
  3. Much more than an atheist & vegan… « Brenton Eccles

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