"I am going to circumnavigate the world on foot." I thought my voice sounded surefooted but I could feel my shoulders clench upwards, giving away my lack of confidence in the silent moments before they responded to my whispered confession. I wanted to be bold, brave and even fierce in my declaration of this walkabout but I knew I was just as scared as the friend who was already beginning to worry about me while I staked my claim of earthly wondering.
The most common responses from my girlfriends were a range of "Wow. Holy shit! That sounds exciting. I'm so jealous. I want to walk with you in Nepal!" And the most common response from my male friends were "Have you walked long distance before? Have you camped alone? Do you have the equipment for this? Please tell me you'll consider carrying a gun."
But there is one mutual question that comes up, whether its a friend or stranger, and thats "how did you have this idea?"
I can trace the lineage of its sprouting, even an adventurous yearning, but it wasn't something I marinated over or even had an aha moment to toast to. It was a magical, adventurous and scary idea. And it was the first calling I had that wasn't formed by sticky-notes and business meetings with logic or an outline of my five-year plan (which is ironic since that's the estimated time it will take to walk). All of my professions were a result of me postulating, daydreaming, outlining, strategizing, practicalizing, and basically creating something out of necessity.
After I overcame the initial excitement and shock that I was becoming more fully committed to this walk, I began studying and planning. I read all the books I could on women who walked before me and inspired me. The three adventurers that held me together when I thought all was lost in this venture were Ffyona Campbell, Rosie Swale-Pope and Robyn Davidson.
They were the brave ones before me that took feet to earth and left their brick and mortar homes for one in the wild and within themselves.
I can easily admit that if it weren't for immersing myself into their journeys I could have talked myself out of this idea. I could have raised the white-flag before even leaving home.
But once it was there, it curled up in my lap like a purring kitten seeking a home, and I knew I couldn't walk away from it (pun intended!)
I now walk to the coffee shop, through the grocery store, or the trails in my backyard with a new conviction.
This is what I was made for.
This is what I have always wanted.
And even though I will go this alone, it will be my greatest attempt to connect and support what I love most: sisterhood.