Marissa - One Year Post PACT

Marissa Sieck. Edwards Gardens, Toronto.
Photo by  Marlee Maclean

Trudeau expresses it best when he said, “What sets a canoeing expedition apart is that it purifies you more rapidly and inescapably than any other travel.”

Travelling an average speed of 3mph had changed me, and I loved it. The slow pace gave me the space to be present with myself and my surroundings. The silence surfaced the quiet voiced within me and made me listen to them, which sometimes had been silenced for a reason. Paddling from sunrise to sunset, listening to the coyotes sing, the call of the loons, the moon dancing on calm water, feeling the sun on your face – these are all a part of the process of purification that Trudeau was talking about.

The past year has been restful and a time of regeneration. I have been trying to process this trip, and I find it hard to express myself in words. Everytime I think about PACT I am filled with gratitude to have had the privilege to have paddled across Canada, live outside and canoe for 120 days.

I thought that maybe I would be over canoeing or sleeping outside, but really I just fell deeper in love with Canada.

I hope to never stop paddling, exploring, and living life close to nature. I look forward to returning home to the cedar trees and rocky shores of the Canadian Shield, but until then, I will carry these memories with me no matter where in the world I may be.