Written by Fidgit
The first time it was an old guy outside the Smithville, MO Pizza Hut in October 2010.
Having recently completed the PCT, I was volunteer speaking for certain local groups. One was for the seniors who met monthly at the lunch buffet.
Standing at the door afterwards, an old chap asked, “Now that you’ve walked across the United States, what’s next?”
I hadn’t spoken my dream aloud to anyone.
That I wanted to walk across continents.
I knew that it would mean prolonged hardship and insecurity.
That people I loved would be unhappy.
Based on a recent survey, 1 out of 3 grandpas still seriously disapprove of this hike, saying, “I wish you would give up this nonsense”.
I told him anyway.
“Well, this will help you get started,” he slipped a folded up $10 into my hand.
I stared at that bill when I got home.
I placed it in an envelope, and so began the savings for Her Odyssey.
I spent the next five years preparing. Planning routes, reaching out to anyone who would give me the time of day. I saved enough money that if I never had any obligations to anyone or thing besides walking, I could do it.
Garnering support for Her Odyssey has been a great lesson in humility. As the vision grows, so does consumption or resources; time, energy, tools, contacts. I only have the courage to ask because it enables us to make a difference in places and ways few others can. Your grace and enthusiasm has kept me going.
As we count on the farmers and other locals along the route to enrich our purpose, so we count on support from at home and abroad to keep moving forward and giving to others.
So today, a week before we walk into a trade show and try to hold our ground around 39,998 other people who are also on grand adventures, I want to circle back and thank YOU for your ongoing support of Her Odyssey.
Whether following, funding, contributing, or helping spread the word, you make all the difference.
I also want to share some of the notes we get out in the field which fill my heart with joy and our tummies with food.
A primary funding avenue, and the one which takes the least percentage among fundraising platforms (person to person transactions, as my clever aunt discovered, transfer 100% of the funds directly to us) is Paypal.
We have also rounded up funds for the first few years via GoFundMe. It is our goal this third season to derive funding from other sources so will soon be shutting down our page on this site as we push ourselves into new realms of creative fundraising. Still, these love notes, stay with us:
Speaking at the new REI in Dillon this week, a few folks came up after the talk and slipped bills into my hand. I still feel the mix of embarrassment and gratitude, though more and more the latter. Because now I know how much it enables us to do, the cold and the hunger it abates, and how long the road is ahead. From $5 to $500, each dollar, like each step, keeps us moving.
Here is a more comprehensive thank you list from the end of Season 2, from Cusco: