Have you ever thought of walking to the next city or across a continent? How about around the world!?!
Ffyona Campbell is the first woman to walk around the world solo supported and unsupported.
In 1983 Ffyona walked the length of the UK and over the next 10 years walked more than 32,000kms across 4 continents and returned to walk across the US again, this time unsupported with her dog.
I bought all her books while between adventures and totally related to Ffyona and the journey each section of her walk represented.
Walking thousands of kilometres across continents, with or without support, is one of the biggest physical and psychological undertakings. It is bloody hard work and requires every ounce of strength, will power and determination.
Ffyona has more strength and commitment than any other pioneer or explorer i have ever read.
When i started reading her memoirs from the world walk i was preparing for my own first continental crossing. I had already walked more than 8,000kms of smaller solo treks and expeditions but without the huge following and critics Ffyona had.
Her story helped me prepare and plan for the inevitable sexists, fear-mongers and doubters quick to attack and try bringing down a strong woman achieving a great feat. I am very grateful to have had her experience as a lesson for my own encounters.
Ffyona was one of my walking role models. Her books, The Whole Story, Feet of Clay and On Foot Through Africa should be compulsory reading for anyone planning long distance treks, walking for charity, doing your own PR and every other decision you make along the way.
When i began chatting with Ffyona she encouraged me to reconnect with another important aspect of our journeys, Earth, her bounty of wild food and living in tune with the seasons.
There is far more to foraging than correctly identifying, preparing and eating. Until i read Ffyona’s instructional guide The Hunter Gatherer Way i had no idea.
Ffyona helped me see myself as Nature and recognise my intuitive relationship with Earth and wilderness more deeply than ever before.
Now she is teaching others how to live in harmony with Earth through Wild Food Walks UK, botanical art, workshops, seasonal and year long programs.
“These days I have taken to gathering the Spring wild food without a basket. Instead I make a bunch of it in my hand. It means I can run as I gather, which I do now a lot, because it makes me feel so good.
And looking at this bunch of edible blue/green leaves and pink, yellow and white flowers in my hand, I realise it looks just like a posy.
And I think of how we once were: living simply in a landscape of oak and beech and water-meadows with barefooted children running home on tiny animal trails holding pretty posies of wild flowers proudly in their hands, for their lunch.
This is the hunter-gatherer way.”
“And when I dived into a joyful exploration of evolution I found three key questions which, I believe, can lead anyone to finding happiness on Earth.”
I am very lucky to know so many strong, brave, intuitive, resourceful and inspiring women who have shared their stories and wisdom. Ffyona has just published a companion book to The Hunter Gatherer Way and my copy has arrived.
Thank you Ffyona!
“I don’t know if i can do this. Then again, i don’t know that i can’t”