Introduction: Follow me on ECT!

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Thanks for stopping by and looking at my first post. Can you believe I sat here trying to figure out what to write before realizing I should probably start with my name? Yup… I’m no less clumsy on a blog than I am in person. The only difference is that if I hadn’t told you earlier, you wouldn’t have known about my hesitation in getting my name out… Anyway…

I am Jess! My friends on the Pacific Crest Trail called me Frosty so you can call me whatever you want.

Photo credit: Cody McMahon

In less than two weeks, I will be traveling to the East Coast of Canada for the very first time, with the intention of hiking the East Coast Trail. What I will write about here – while I’m on the trail! While hiking the ECT, I hope to learn more about the people and towns the trail connects to, do a bit of off-trail sightseeing, and hopefully kiss a cod (more on that later ).

I live in the beautiful province of British Columbia, Canada. I started backpacking and backpacking in 2008 with a former boyfriend. My first backpacking experience was anything but smooth (most people were surprised that I wanted to hike again afterwards), but for some reason…it was love at first sight. I was addicted to night hikes and my love for hiking deepened with each new trail.

A few years ago I attempted my first long distance hike through the PCT. I logged almost 1,500 miles (1,471 to be exact) before going off trail due to a medical emergency. Since my return from the track, I have dreamed of returning to it – to the point where it is now almost an obsession. I don’t know exactly when it will be but in the meantime, I fill my life with little adventures in my own country (mostly a few hours from my home).

West Coast, Better Coast

I’ve spent my entire life on the west coast and explored a lot of it. I’ve been as far north as the Top of the World Highway in Alaska and the Yukon and as far south as the Mexico-California border (and especially everywhere in between). The natural landscape is beautiful and diverse, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, and there is still so much to explore on my days off.

The west coast is home to rugged coastlines, countless bodies of water, sand dunes, high alpine mountains and much more. You can surf in the summer, ski in the winter, and hike all year round. I’m not saying other areas aren’t as beautiful, but it’s so hard to leave where there are endless amounts of wilderness and wildlife right outside my door.

AAlthough I believe we “have it all” when it comes to our diverse natural environment and our outdoor recreational activities, I have come to the conclusion that I need to start venturing further from home. I promised myself that I would start using the small number of vacation days I have each year to explore this beautiful world more – even if that means going alone.

Why hiking?

Name this boyband #hikertrash!

My passion for hiking stems from my desire to see the world in a way that makes me feel connected to the places I visit. With few friends to travel with, the idea of ​​traveling alone to a bustling city doesn’t seem appealing to me. In fact, it sounds terrifying. I think a lot of people struggle to find people who will commit to travel plans, which is why we’re seeing more and more solo travelers and lone backpackers.

Since venturing into a new city alone is not for me, hiking is the perfect opportunity for me. It allows me to travel solo and I can see beautiful natural areas away from the hustle and bustle. I still meet people but most are there for a similar reason, to enjoy mother nature, challenge themselves and get away from “real” life and chaotic cities.

For me, there is no better way to see a new place than to walk it with my two feet.

Hiking is more than putting one foot in front of the other on a dirt road through mountains and forests. It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded people, experience new natural areas and neighboring communities, and a chance to calm my mind.

Past treks have given me lifelong friendships, taught me about the friendliness of strangers, and realigned my ideas about what’s most important in life. I learned how little it takes to be truly happy, how far I can push myself, and what it means to be truly vulnerable, with myself and with others.

If you’re like the rest of the people in my life, you’ll probably ask me, “Why Newfoundland?” In my next article, I’ll take you through the journey and what led me to the quick decision to book a plane ticket across the country.

So hit that subscribe button and follow my East Coast Trail adventure (and more!).

Cheers!

Jess (aka Fr*sty)

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