"Your favorite hiking book has just arrived. With 14 spectacular hikes plus a goldmine of tips and tools, While I Walk is your sherpa and your muse, essential reading before you buy your ticket and pack your backpack. Rachel Durchslag offers a generous balance of detailed information and inspiring insights, opening a window to the interior journey of solo hiking. This precious gem will change the way you think about our earth and the possibility of experiencing her beauty more deeply."
Mary Davis, author of Every Day Spirit: A Daybook of Wisdom, Joy and Peace
“Filled with empowering insightful nuggets from her hikes across the globe, While I Walk fuels the imagination for your first—or next—hiking adventure. Whether meditating while walking alone through ancient Japanese forests, or overcoming personal doubts and physical challenges slogging up trails in Nepal, Rachel reminds us of the connections between nature and self which bring us joy, freedom and the ability to shift perspective. By the time I’d finished the first few chapters, I had my boots laced up and was planning my next trip.”
Amy Field, author of Sola: One Woman's Journey Alone Across South America
"Refreshing, inspiring, and educational, While I Walk transported me from the Alps to the Smokies with a dozen international hiking destinations in between. Sharing the struggles and joys of solo travel at the intersection of insatiable wanderlust and a burgeoning relationship back home, Rachel Durchslag bares her heart with touching and honest vulnerability. This unique memoir also serves as an informative guidebook—each chapter ending with helpful how-to tips and resources to duplicate Rachel’s bucket list adventures. I will revisit this book often when I’m contemplating where I should walk next! "
Nancy East, author of Chasing the Smokies Moon.
"Rachel Durchslag’s book, While I Walk, captures the poetry of the planet with its beauty,
grandeur and its many offerings of the unexpected. From the amazing beauty of the “torres,” or
“towers,” in Chile that unexpectedly appear as the clouds part, to the Camino Primitivo’s
“distant vistas against a dawn sky of light blues, silky pinks, and soft oranges,” Rachel’s
narrative enacts this poetry as it carries us to unexpected moments of delight, awe, and yes,
courage when the going is unexpectedly challenging. In her “sacred pilgrimage” to “the Kumano
Kodo” in Japan, we hear that, “[t]oday the lesson is strong and clear: find gratitude in this
moment. Despite the rainstorm. Despite the cold. Despite the exhaustion and dreariness, the
soaked clothes and sloshing shoes—find gratitude.” Along with intimate details of physical
challenges and beautiful terrain all around her as she walks, Rachel speaks eloquently of the
inner terrain she traverses as well. As she makes her way up the last incline to Base Camp at
Everest, “… acutely aware of places in my body where I did not realize pain was possible…” and
there lays eyes on Everest at dawn, “[i]t feels like the magnitude of everything I am witnessing
has tunneled into an unexplored spiritual depth inside me. Something in my heart shifts. I lose
all sense of my individuality and meld into mountain, stone, air.” Here, as in many places
throughout her book, Rachel weaves the poetry of the planet together with the poetry of her
inner journey of transformation. It is a joy to read.
This magnificent book, with its compelling account of Rachel’s hikes, also generously offers
logistical details for each location, in case you are a prospective hiker yourself, and gifts us with
a delicious recipe indigenous to each of the places she journeyed. You, reader, are in for a treat!"
Gary Whited, author of Having Listened.
"Too often, in our overworked, overextended, 24/7 culture, we are 'getting away from’ instead of 'going to’ when we travel. In Where I Walk: Solo Adventuring in the Vast, Beautiful World, Rachel Durchslag reminds us of the power of place, and the extraordinary things we can learn from the world, and about ourselves, when we travel to both iconic and lesser-known regions. Durchslag is a seeker, in the broadest sense of that word. Whether trekking to Everest Base Camp, taking on the Tour du Mount Blanc, or hiking the Camino de Santiago - to namecheck just three of the extraordinary journeys she takes us on — there is one constant that makes this book far more than a travel guide. Each external journey the writer embarks on is accompanied by an internal, deeply spiritual quest. Durchslag confronts, with humor and humility, the physical and emotional limitations that all serious travelers must come to terms with, while doing something more: she reminds us that beautiful, remote spaces — and the daunting journeys that often must be undertaken to get to them - can reveal to us not only who we are in the wild, but what we can become in our day-to-day lives.”
- Anne K. Ream, author of Lived Through This
"While I Walk is a rare book, combining inspiring stories of adventure with practical advice for readers contemplating their own forays into the wild, this work inspires and informs in equal measure."
Heather Anderson, author of Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home and Mud, Rocks, Blazes: Letting Go on the Appalachian Trail. Co-author of Adventure Ready: A Hiker's Guide to Planning, Training and Resiliency
“From Nepal to Alaska, Tasmania to Ireland and beyond, Rachel shares a journey of self-discovery with personal insights, practical tips, and delicious recipes. A must-read for those who feel the call of the trail.”
J.F. Penn, author of Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking Three Ancient Ways
"Reading Rachels beautifully written book about her solo hikes around the world had a deep impact on me. In the first few pages I was moved to tears by this courageous woman's love of Nature and her desire to explore the lesser known trails of the world. By the end of the first chapter I was already planning my own adventure on one of these hikes.
The exquisite way in which she writes about her external adventures, giving practical tips and information, at the same time as sharing the challenges and gifts of her inner landscape as she walks her way through love and loss, joy and pain, providing both a very grounded and a deeply spiritual experience; hard to capture both in such a refreshingly rich, raw and real way. This gem of a book will inspire you to pack your bags and put your hiking boots on and get out on the trail to explore the wild places for yourself."
~ Rajyo Allen: author Fumbling towards Freedom
"Rachel Durchslag is a world hiking adventurer. She's been all over the world, from the popular Camino de Santiago and Tour de Mont Blanc to the intriguing North Macedonia Shar Mountains and Liechtenstein Way. Her description shows her passion for the various trails. Each hike ends with a vegan recipe from the region. Her homemade Vegemite recipe from Australia sounds so much better than the original in a jar.
We know that her writing comes from the heart since she does not praise every trail she walked. Not every trip went off smoothly. This book is for hikers, travelers, adventurers and dreamers."
Danny Bernstein, author of DuPont Forest: A History
“While I Walk is a wonderful and eclectic mix of many things that will help the reader enjoy walking in beautiful places around the globe from The Camino to Everest Base Camp. Part trip guide to some of the best hikes in the world, and part travel-log of Rachel’s personal journey to becoming a better walker – both technically, and spiritually (mentally?). It contains the best approaches to walking the routes, key information, logistics, a packing list, and personal reflections on why to hike each route. Each trip also contains a whimsical hand drawn map, and a local recipe. Read, learn, be entertained and inspired to walk.” - Adventure Alan, www.adventurealan.com
“This book is a soul awakening journey into the outdoor enthusiast’s heart! Not only did I feel like I was traveling the world going through these incredible, breathtaking hikes, but Rachel also shares her inner joy, her challenges, and the obstacles she had to overcome to follow her dreams. It is truly inspiring, as well as packed with practical and helpful advice, recipes, guidance for the avid hiker! Highly recommended!”
Dr. Shannon South, author of Grow Your Business By Growing You