It’s the Journey. Van Life.

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Billion $ hotel. Mount Taranki. Photo by Paul Petch.

Billion $ hotel. Mount Taranki. Photo by Paul Petch.

For what seems a lifetime i’ve worked towards a simple goal. To be able to do what I love in life and earn a living doing just that. For someone that would declare that i’m not afraid of challenges and life changes, the past months have been very tough for me.

Like running, in life you have to start somewhere. Like running it’s the journey and places life will take you that counts and the experiences along the way. Like running life has goals and tangible achievements. But what do you do once you get there?

Now that Good People Run is on its feet and moving very positively forward, my commercial photography is at a place where I’m happy with it as a business and as a professional i’ve been a wee bit lost. In reality this project and a lifestyle choice to live in central Auckland has been my stable focus of myself and Family for nearly five years. Every day i’ve been aware that the move from the South to North into the city was a sacrifice for the growth of not only my business and GPR, but as a family post Christchurch Earthquakes. It’s been great, and Auckland has for most of the time been really really good to us, but it’s time to move on. Time to move towards our bliss and enjoy the personal rewards of the long investment.

So times are changing once again, and I’ve always wanted the GPR project to share the good, bad and ugly. It means the world to me. I want this project to rejoice at the simple things in life amongst the chaotic bullshit. I want it to be a flagship of honesty in a world where mental health, community and well being is second best. I want the project to encourage other runners, their friends and love ones to be ‘brutally f%cking honest’ too because it’s OK. Most of all I want to be in a physical and mental space to focus whole hart-idly on the mission of GPR. This is not going to happen living in Auckland where the pace of life and bullshit politics reign supreme. It has always been my plan to setup GPR and my freelance work- move on- live the dream… but being my most ‘alternative’ idea to date, could explain my crippling fear to take the next steps to get it up and running.

So over the past year i’ve been putting together a plan to travel as much as possible into 2017 and beyond with GPR and focus on people, places and the running culture of New Zealand. There is also plans to move back South. It feels like years since I set plans to get to this point and what a journey! I’ve now got a van (reliable touch wood!) and kitted it out so I can travel and really get amongst it. It’s been an interesting project in it’s own right to accomodate my commercial gear as a photographer, space for Family travel, and as a home from home when on adventures. It’s close to completion.

I’ve never done anything like this before mind you and as a self declared failure of DIY who owns a small $35 tool kit from Bunnings that lives under the sink…. I’m stoked! After months of planning the van is ready for the ‘shake down’ with a custom made bed and storage area fabricated by a company in Auckland. I’m currently sat at the base of Mount Taranaki with 240V power, laptop, and wifi after exploring the region for 3 days. IT IS NUTS. (If you are a runner and in New Plymouth by the way, I’d love to meet you and shoot your portrait – email me).

Anyway, before the final powder coat gets applied to the van fixtures i’m spending a week on the road and using it to see if any mods are needed to the design. I’ve met some amazing people already, walked and ran most days on the coast or mountains, felt the sun on my face, and living the simple life I imagined so many years ago. GPR was and still is the catalyst for this next life stage for myself and Family, as well as the collective and I’m extremely STOKED to have taken the next step!

I’ve got some images and stories to share over the coming week ‘wifi allowing’ and want to thank you for following this project, helping to make it more than ‘just another’ running blog, and connecting with us and same vision that people are good- and moving our bodies is key.

Here’s to the next stage of GPR. Cheers.

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Paul Petch
Director of Good People Run, pro photographer, tutor and a recovering 'runaholic'. Based in Auckland City, my work is at www.paulpetchphoto.com
Paul Petch

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