They said it would take up to two years, two months and one week to walk across the country, but for Sarah Jackson, it took one day less than two years.
On a journey that took her from Victoria, B.C., in 2015, to St. John’s, N.L., in 2017, the courageous 24-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta, arrived at Point Zero East of the Trans Canada Trail last night.
For Sarah, who grew up in Edmonton, outdoor adventure wasn’t a central theme in her childhood but, after hearing about the Camino de Santiago from an uncle who had taken the trip himself, the idea of a long-distance hike stuck with her. After university, looking at a stretch of commitment-free time ahead of her, Jackson jumped at the chance to make it happen and took up the challenge of conquering the Trail.
The time it would afford for creative thought also appealed to the recent grad. “I love realizing how happy I am to be walking 20 kilometres into a day. I love carrying my home with me. I love not having to decide what to wear in the morning. I love everything about it.”
And when the going gets tough – say, trudging through Manitoba in the dead of winter – it’s a simple principle that helps her persevere. “Knowing you only have to put one foot in front of the other really puts things into perspective,” a mantra that applies just as much to everyday life as it does on The Great Trail.