Not Just for Myself: Why I Am Hiking the PCT
Roughly two years ago, the PCT came into my orbit. The seed was planted and sprouted very quickly into fascination and obsession. I knew: this is what I need to do.
What calls me is probably very similar to what motivated other hikers to put themselves out there. Which only adds to the hiker culture for me: all like-minded people. For me, it is the simplicity and the adventure that the hiking life brings. Stripping away the unnecessary things of life and breaking it down to the state of just being out in nature, connecting to other human beings, and connecting to yourself.
Hit Two in One
Sounds like enough of a reason to get on trail, right? But, I started thinking, if I am already going to hike this hike for my own adventure and amusement, why not hit two in one and attach it to something greater? Let this journey of mine serve as a vessel for spreading a message and bringing something positive to this beautiful earth. I have always been a water baby, growing up surfing and sailing, so it was clear to me from the start that I wanted to contribute to our oceans.
The Costa Rican Oceans
In September 2021, I moved to the Southwest Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Moving to this beautiful land was a dream come true. Deep blue oceans, a lot of underwater wildlife, and coral reefs. My hometown, Uvita, is one of the most important spots for the whale migration route. Humpback whales and grey whales come together twice a year to breed, give birth and raise their young. Unfortunately, plastic pollution and left behind commercial fishing nets are a huge problem. Marine creatures get entangled and since there is no patrolling, no one is out there to see it and help them. Needless to say, their fate ends very tragically.
When I learned about this problem and encountered whales myself a few times, I was determined to help. Through connections, I found an incredible marine conservation non-profit called Innoceana. Their amazingly passionate team of marine biologists and engineers dedicate all their time to saving the ocean through education, research, and active change by involving the community. They saved a family of whales stuck in fishing nets a few years back, which they documented in a movie (“Entangled”).
Hiking with the migrating whales
From my passion, the idea for a campaign was born which eventually grew into “Join the Migration.” The start of my PCT journey (April) synchronizes with the migrating humpback whales towards Alaska, how epic!! With the campaign, I want to raise money for Innoceana (full proceeds go to them) to be able to train rescue squads to help these animals which would otherwise not make it. Alongside that, I want to spread the clear and simple message of reconnecting. Reconnecting ourselves to the oceans, to nature in general, to other human beings, to ourselves.
We Are Caretakers of Our Planet
We have to empower ourselves as caretakers of our planet through unification. I believe in the power of connectedness and the power of our willingness to change once a spark is ignited in us. You can make conscious choices every day, that have a positive impact on the planet and the people around us and you can start today. These conscious choices can be life-altering or they can be small, but they are equally important. You are one of the drops that cause a ripple, and together we will form a wave large enough to make this movement truly mean something.
If you want to check out more about the campaign and support Innoceana in their quest to help marine life: check out www.jointhemigration.org and my Instagram!
What is pushing you on trail?
The ocean and all the life it holds is my passion and certainly one of my biggest motivators to keep going when I am having tough times on the trail. What are your motivators when it gets rough and you don’t want to take another step anymore? Leave it in the comments 🙂
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