It's been more than 6 months since I began my walking journey from Canada to Mexico. Since I left in September, I've walked 1,100 miles along the Pacific Coast of the US, crossing through Washington, Oregon, and Northern California before arriving in San Francisco. My ambition is to complete my journey by walking the final 750 miles to Mexico.
I embarked on this journey with the intention of learning more about the lives of the people who lived along the west coast, and to learn something new about myself in the process. I've been documenting these people through photography and through audiotaped love stories, which I hope will form an inspiring exhibition when my trip is complete. I think it's love that makes the world go round, and I hope that by sharing this exhibition, I'll make a contribution to greater understanding and compassion.
The wonderful part about being a walking pilgrim is the daily rite of giving and receiving. Along the way, I've received so many gifts from total strangers: money, accommodation, food, new socks, lucky charms, and hundreds of stories. In return for the profound education, I've tried to offer my own gifts, like prints of my photography, talks at community centers and high schools, and one-to-one stories from my previous travels. I've taken full advantage of the opportunity to develop my skill as a photographer and travelling storyteller, and I continue to seek out opportunities to create moments of synergy with the people that I meet.
My favourite love story came from a grandmother in Tillamook, Oregon. She told me that when she was a senior in high school, she split a hole in the seat of her overalls. In mending the hole, she decided upon a patch designed to look like a target bullseye. Later that summer, she was headed to a dance at the local community center and decided to wear those pants; "I don't know what my mother was thinking letting me out in those!", she told me. At the dance, a man came in who had visited a few earlier parties and was more than a little tipsy. He took one look at the dance floor and made a bee line for the bullseye. They've been married for more than 40 years. After the story, the woman's daughter gave me $20 and found me a place to stay for the night.
My intention is to continue to invite strangers to connect with me and with one another as part of my journey. Even if you don't live along my path, I want to invite you to be part of it too. I think what the world needs most are people who are willing to be vulnerable and to share themselves honestly as a way of building community, and I'm on the road with the goal of walking my talk.
Upon completing this journey, my goal is to make an exhibition and maybe even a book. In order to realize my dreams, I really need your financial support. Thank you so much for whatever you can offer.
I hope you can join me on my journey and follow along at walkingtomexico.com.
- (30 days)