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Feet First - new...Easy Hiking and Photography Meet Up Group.

From: Stephen F
Sent on: Monday, January 20, 2014 9:18 AM


Hello all.

As some of you may have heard I recently got a permit from the Auckland Council to officially be able to take groups into the Waitakere Ranges and other Parks we hike in.

Realising a dream of mine I have been working towards getting for over 5 years. It has taken me lots of hours of meeting the criteria to be an outdoor hiking guide, taking groups out like you safely into places where if not done right, some people do get hurt.

And as some of you know, I haven't had a career job for many years, as the whole process of setting up any business takes time, and turning a passion into a job or career is a mission...But  I have cleaned people's homes and business's  part-time to make some sort of living albeit keeping my life very simple . Thanks to those that know a little about me, and having a very supporting partner.. I've been able to get by, but this year I will be 52 !

Now it's sort of like graduating  from university, but having to go through a whole series of interviews to get that qualification recognised, trying new angles, new ways to rise above the debts incurred as a unpaid get a higher paying career job again as no doubt a lot of you on this site are trying to achieve also.

To others, that are already successful, I'm sure you remember the strategies to make a better living, a happier medium mixing work and pleasure activities on your days off.

However through all of this, I am grateful for the lessons in life I've had, and being the main organiser on this group , has helped me to become a more relaxed man. Albeit misunderstood by some of you, sometimes, wondering what is going on for me , when all you want is to go bush, go exploring and that's why you joined this group !

But in the last few months  I've been trying to introduce various new things to give you some reasons to come out and get value for a payment system I had in mind for the hiking trips I organised on here that you come out .However I see it now, meet up isn't the place to have you pay for anything other than contributing sometimes to the website and admin costs.

However as Meet Up is a social group, where the members change all the time, and paying anything is not what most are into I'm realising I must change, and instead make plans to create my own individual hiking tourism website, and not expect this group to be the portal to my part-time income.

So I'm dropping the whole idea of charging $30 or $20 or $5 or whatever amount you may have heard I'm making, and instead I've decided over the weekend  to start another Feet First secondary group meet up group that will be aimed at the things I enjoy doing and hopefully some of you will join me on there sometimes.

I'm calling it  Feet First - Easy Hiking and Photography , for members that want to go slower through the bush, stopping to take that special picture, or to talk more about the things I think may interest new people to Auckland's wilderness.

This secondary Feet First Easy hiking group will follow mostly the same format I enjoy , slower paced walks  when I lead you , talking about the trees we see, but also will cover hiking equipment needed and other things that may be of interest to you.. and will only cost that small fee of a $2 coin to go towards the annual sub as the Main Organiser I have to pay.

In the meantime, Mike who has done a lot of organising and is very experienced will probably be more available on this group to do the faster paced hikes he enjoys doing , and the special themed island visits he likes...And  will be assisted by Frank, and other new organisers like Gary and Rob who will be soon  leading events through this main Feet First meet up group, but I will probably only do an event through this group once every 6 weeks or so.

For other members if you have experience and would like to lead a hike , ( any ladies ? ) , Please contact me or Mike.

As with any change though, this will upset some, and please others, but if you're a new member to this group, or a seasoned hikers interested in the slower paced hikes, and stopping to take pictures, and do some mindful hiking , and other things...consider joining me one weekend on the new Feet First for Easy Hikes starting in Feb limited to smaller groups.

Happy Hiking out there.

Thanks for understanding my journey .

Wishing yours is just as wonderful too.


Cheers Stephen F.




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