Hey! I’m Helen, 32, but on trail people call me Cat (the shorter version of my trailname “Catwoman”). I grew up in quite an outdoorsy family in Belgium. Most of our holidays were spent hiking and climbing in the Alps. When being indoors I would spend hours staring over maps, dreaming of the countries and places I would visit when I’d grow up. I saved everything I had and at the age of 15 I started travelling around the world. Man I was lucky my parents let me go!
In my twenties life kinda took over. I studied assyriology in Berlin, worked as an opera producer, worked in customer support, studied social work, worked in children’s health care,… All while moving from one place to another. I married young and I divorced young. I was very busy trying to live a normal life when in fact all I wanted was to feel free. It was when I rediscovered my passion for the great outdoors that I got the courage to live the life that I want.
I now live in a tiny cabin with no running water or electricity and am a self-employed outdoor educator. It’s a very simple life that allows me to follow my dreams and do what I love: Being outdoors, hiking, travelling and making music. Most people would call me poor (and crazy :c), but I absolutely love this life and the way I see it, I’m the richest girl on the planet.
Why I’m participating with mYAMAdventure
mYAMAdventure is an amazing opportunity for me. I’d be crazy not to participate! To get in touch with my long distance “hiking-heroes” (o I know we’re all the same walking this earth, but still, you know what I mean ;c) and learn from them is a huge gift! To be supported by a cool cottage company like YAMA Mountain Gear is absolutely awesome! To get great sponsors… Man what more could I ask for? And at the same time to be able to give something back by collecting money for the PCTA! I’m thrilled!!!
What hiking the PCT means to me:
I’ve been dreaming of hiking the PCT for ages. I can’t even remember when I first heard of it. I always thought of it as a very distant thing though. Too far overseas, too much for my body to take, too crazy a dream to fulfill. It was when I thru-hiked the JMT in the summer of 2013 that I knew I could do it, even more: I knew I had to do it. In that summer I completely fell in love with the Sierra and I fell in love with backpacking, with the trail, with the fact that I need so so little to feel so happy. What attracts me to the PCT are the landscapes it will take me through, the wildlife it’ll make me meet, the people it’ll bring on my path, the sunsets and the sunrises it’ll give me. All for free. I “just” have to walk. I can’t wait to be out there for five months, to adapt my pace to the pace of the wilderness, to drink the wild air, to feel my body grow stronger, to get to the core of my being and to feel home.
Why support the PCTA?
Without the PCTA the PCT wouldn’t be what it is today. And really the PCT isn’t “just a trail”. It is a path embedded in the most beautiful landscapes our earth has to offer, surrounded with mountains and lakes that take our breath away, home to amazing wildlife that teaches us where we really belong. It’s a path to and through our own home: nature. So apart from maintaining the trail (which is a huuuge thing!!!), the PCTA is standing up for the land, for this earth we live on, protecting the wild things. Supporting the PCTA means taking care of this planet, enabling people to reconnect with nature, making sure that our children and the next generations will be able to do the same. So really if you love the PCT, if you love the land we all are living on, donate to the PCTA. It doesn’t have to be much (but hey if you have much, why not give much?!)… From little things big things grow!!!
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. … Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do…” (Jack Kerouac) Thank you to everyone supporting me, my crazy thoughts and crazy life. Thank you to everyone inspiring me, you are a gift. Thank you to this earth, you give me everything I need!