I was thinking quite a lot about on how to best please the people with their different world views and life styles to their question “Why are you doing this?”.
Luckily, we learnt in our life, you can’t please everyone. Right? What a disaster. What a relief.
The truth is, I just want to go. NO PARTICULAR REASON. Well, maybe there is one or another. To speak in Kundera’s words, it could be an experiment about the ‘unbearable lightness of being’. Or, to get a glimpse of what it means to feel absolute freedom.
Life gives you the opportunity that you can be everything you want to be. I decided a long time ago, I wanted to be free. Free of any attachment, free of this overload of rules, social norms and procedures, free of judgement, free of expectations. Reality is, we will never be free of any of these things. But getting a taste of it is so tempting. This is why I feel the urge to go travelling. To at least TASTE the sweetness of that very freedom.
When I made the decision to hike across Canada, I wasn’t guided by the idea of doing a thru-hike. I am also not your ‘avid hiker’. I just wanted to go travelling again and see this country and I thought there is not better way of doing so than to walk it. So, I looked at the map and learnt about the Great Trail. The trail stuck to the back of my mind and while suffering from Fernweh after my return from my last big adventure I would look to the mountains through the windows of the Skytrain in Vancouver and would tell myself over and over again, one day I will be there. It was July 3rd, 2016 I by then lived in Toronto when I said to myself, “I am doing this. I am going. I will hike across Canada”. That was the day my journey started and I never had any doubt. It was from the start a 110% commitment.
Now the question I have always been asked is, are you doing this for charity. I am almost suspicious of this question now since it suggests an strange kind of expectation. I asked myself is this hike less worthy to others if there isn’t a cause attached? In whatever way this discussion may go, I can tell you, free of attachment also meant to me to not to attach myself to any charity. Rather than focusing on a charity that I may have just randomly chosen I want to focus on myself, on this trip and the people along the way.
Nevertheless, if I can inspire or move people and be that just by moving them out of their door more often I will be happy. If I can encourage people to unplug from the web to actually physically connect or re-connect with nature and to take the time to really take it all in that really would make me happy. Only by developing this connection with nature we will understand the need of preserving it.
Another message, I would like to tell you is that “YOU can do it”. Yes, you. You may say, no thank you, I am not that crazy to hike 15,000 km across a country. But that is not the point. I am referring to your own dreams, goals, plans and projects. Nothing of it means anything if its only a little thought in your mind. I am not a professional explorer rather than your girl-next-door. Total average no special talents.
My dream is to ‘feel’ free and the only way to full-fill that desire is to step onto the road.
This hike is enormous. It took me 10 months to get ready for it. In these 10 months I learnt a lot, about thru-hiking, about equipment, about survival skills, about nutrients, about approaching sponsors, about social media, about the kindness of people, about struggle and persistence and about so many more things. And over this period of time it manifested that “I can do it”. I will be stepping on the trail in the beginning of June 2017 and I will be ready. Ready and confident.
Will I struggle? Sure, I will. This is part of this adventure. And this exactly makes this adventure so great.