Five years ago I began dreaming the beginnings of Her Odyssey. When you bring a dream into the grander world it encounters both adversity and growth as it takes form. Her Odyssey is developing quickly at this stage. I have been sitting with the entwining of dreams and action. They seem distinct, yet intrinsic:
“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” – Anais Nin
Six weeks ago, I stepped out of a lovely and comfortable life tucked up into the Rockies of Colorado and began to live fully in faith of this dream. Emily and I are now half way in to a two month tour around the U.S., visiting key members of my tribe and sharing the vision of Her Odyssey with communities along the way. At each turn, I am staggered by the support and encouragement. Seeing loved ones at each stop, I lay my heart and vision bare, and whether met with battering incredulity or tender care, every departure shreds my heart anew, but I am learning to see this as a strength – practicing seeing the pain as an opportunity. As I work hard to let go of the impulse to try to control it, Her Odyssey develops in amazing and beautiful ways.
Neon has wrapped up at Elements Wilderness as plans for the hike to accelerate; we head to South America in November to begin walking and listening. I’m spending time working with my Delorme InReach and am looking forward to Neon getting our Hyperlite Mountain Gear Equipment to begin practicing setting up the tent and trying out the new packs. We continue with other gear research, seeking input from those who have hiked on sections of our route already. Now, we are in the midst of fundraising.
Saving up for this trek has, to this point, been a deeply personal commitment. I needed
to prove to myself the lengths to which I would go to realize this dream before asking others to contribute. I have spent the last four years working sometimes up to four jobs at a time, budgeting ruthlessly, while sustaining sanity by taking advantage of opportunities which furthered progress (such as trekking in Nepal). Nepal was a chance to test communication methods in areas where language is not shared and to connect across cultures, finding sisters. On a broader scale, it also affirmed my direction, as I learned how, as foreigners, we can responsibly support local endeavors.
In order to accomplish what we seek to do on Her Odyssey, which is to engage people along the spine of the Americas in conversation and hear their stories, it goes a long way to not carry concern about finances. Thus, I have swallowed my pride and admit that we cannot do this without your help. We are 37.15% of the way to our projection of the first year’s expedition costs. These funds will go toward communication devices, hiring guides, and ground transportation.
If you can, please click here to donate.
Massive thanks to those 51 of you who have already donated and the many who have shared via social media and otherwise helped to spread the word! You all blow our socks off.