Intro: Sara from Sweden

Taking Decisions on the Toilet

In almost three months, on the 9th of April, I’m hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. A decision that was both very impulsive and at the same time, not at all. I was sitting on a toilet in the south of Colombia. Feeling a bit lost and overall aimless, both in my travel and in my life. I had left Sweden six months earlier to backpack and volunteer throughout South America. Taking the decision to go and, at the same time, breaking my own heart by leaving someone I still loved, was tough. But the six months proved to be absolutely beautiful and extremely hard. Like life often is.

But now I found myself scrolling Skyscanner, Instagram, and Google Maps for answers. Wondering where to go and when. I came across a note I had written on my phone a few months back at the beginning of it all. “Do things that scare the actual shit out of you,” I had written. The PCT, a dream that had been dormant in the back of my head for years, instantly came to my mind. Of all the things in the world, that trail makes me the most scared. It truly, truly terrifies me. And in that instant I knew what I needed to do. There and then. On a shitty toilet in the jungle of Colombia. Two weeks later, I applied for the permit. I got it and cried out loud in front of strangers in a café. 

Life is Fucking Weird

My name is Sara Falck. I turned 23 years old a couple of weeks back, and I feel like I know both everything and literally nothing about life. I was born in the north of Sweden in a small mining town above the polar circle called Kiruna. It’s a land of extremes. The endless polar nights and the never-setting midnight sun run through my veins. I like to think that my way of living comes from that. Makes me love things short but hard. That goes for everything except the PCT. For some reason, that’s the one dream I haven’t stopped loving. It was always in the back of my head. I can’t even recall when it happened. I just know it’s been with me for years. And now it’s finally happening. Life is fucking weird. 

But why?

But why? A question both I and the people around me have asked. A million different reasons and none at all, I answer. The idea of carrying everything you need on your back. The feeling of ultimate freedom. Hardening on the outside and softening on the inside. And many other very logical reasons. But the illogical one is that I just know that I need to do it, not want, but need. Call it whatever you want. Intuition, fate, or a need for therapy. Either way, it is something I know I won’t be able to let go of if I don’t try. Like an itch I need to scratch. Maybe I will hate it and quit after one week, or maybe I will walk to Canada. Maybe it will be absolutely horrendous, or maybe it will be everything I ever wished for. There’s only one way to find out. 

Me being a good farmer in the mountains of Colombia. (Libano, Colombia)

Planning From a Farm in Colombia

I hope you want to follow me on my journey, whatever will happen along the way. Just getting to my start date is going to be a win itself for me. As well as handling everything that comes with planning a hike for five months, to make things even harder for myself, planning it half a world away from my home—it’s not going to be easy. The visa, different permits, and gear lists are a deep jungle, especially for foreigners. And especially if you choose to spend the time leading up to your hike on a farm in Colombia with poor internet connection. Call it stupid, or call it a challenge. Either way, it’s not ideal, but hopefully not as difficult as walking 4200 kilometers across a country. We’ll see.



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Comments 6

  • Alan Kelly : Jan 4th

    Hi Sara,

    You write really really well I am looking forward to following your PCT adventure.
    For me it will be 2025 before I start the PCT.
    I am sure I will learn from you.


    • Sara Falck : Jan 9th

      Thank you Alan for your kind words!
      Definitely a bit scary to not write in your mother tongue!
      Best of luck to you in 2025!

  • Russ1663 : Jan 7th

    Hello Sara

    I will be following you on your adventure. It sounds like you are already on one.

    I’m an east coast, Appalachian Trail section hiker.

    I feverently hope your trek is successful

    Take care, best of trail luck to you

    • Sara Falck : Jan 9th

      Hi Russ!
      Thank you so much, means a lot!
      Best of trail luck!

  • val vitols : Jan 11th

    Hi Sarah, nice article! I only did 5 days of training for my thru hike of the PCT with my son in 2014. I hadnt done any backpacking prior but I made it at 64 years old so it can be done. Wish you luck and if you would like to come on the Hikers Dream Show for an interview before your hike it would be a pleasure to chat. I interview Hikers and Outdoors people.

    • Sara Falck : Jan 23rd

      Thank you, that makes me glad to hear! Sure!


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