• What we're doing

    We're Ged McFaul, from Scotland, and Erin Williams, from the States. We call ourselves the Slow Travel Girls.

    Beginning on April 24th 2018, we'll walk 300 miles across Scotland to the country's seven cities. We'll wild-camp, speak at schools, make friends, avoid bulls, swear at hills (and enjoy their views!), and document our journey. We'll talk about the value of using our bodies and experiencing the world slowly. We'll also reflect on the realities that make our journey possible.
    In September & October of 2015, we walked approximately 300 miles from Cardiff in Wales, up to Gloucester in England, down to the source of the River Thames, and then along the Thames Path into London. It was an incredible adventure, and we can't wait to go on another one!

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    Why slow travel? Because our bodies are built for walking. Check out this TEDx talk by Jonathon Stalls, the founder of Denver-based Walk 2 Connect, in which he discusses the power of walking. Walking is also really important for connecting communities and understanding our world. Check out this article on City Lab about kids who get driven everywhere. And for more on the meaning of "slow" in our fast-paced lives, check out this issue of Nautilus Magazine. Start with this piece, on why your brain hates slow pokes.


    An important note: We realize that walking for pleasure, while important for health and communities, is not the purpose of walking in many people's lives. For many, walking is a means to get to work, or a means to travel toward water, or a means to escape from conflict. Being able to take the time to travel slowly - and intentionally so - reflects our privilege, as does the expectation that we can walk across a country relatively safely. We intend to write about these disparities on our walk, to bring attention to the many ways in which we walk in the world, and why. This doesn't mean we shouldn't make this journey. But it does mean that we should acknowledge why we can and continue to take steps to make the world an equitable place; one in which more people can go for a wee ramble for reasons other than pure necessity.

  • GED

    Slow Travel Girl from Scotland

    Ged was nearly second last in a school race, and she's sought that delight in her adventures ever since! Ged is now a 45 year old Risk Manager who believes that life would be boring if all risk was eliminated. She has tested this theory on skis, a sail boat, a bicycle with no brakes, and her own two feet.


    A founding member of Team Tortoise while cycling London to Paris in 2012, Ged enjoys adventures for the challenge and the journey without the need for speed or competition. Slow Travel Girls presents Ged with the perfect chance to push her wee legs and determination further than ever before! Ged hopes that the many unique, ridiculous, and funny stories that will undoubtedly ensue will inspire others to go out and seek their own adventures.


    Having gone through major heart surgery as a child, Ged thinks that she is simply making up for lost time – though her Mum would probably say she is trying to undo all the efforts her family endured to keep her alive!! If this journey does nothing else, Ged hopes it will help parents of a sick child to believe that their child could grow up to break through perceived barriers.

    In February 2008, Ged visited the Ukraine with two colleagues to learn about the work of Hope and Homes for Children, an international charity working to ensure that all children have the chance to grow up in the love of a family. The trip left Ged with no doubts about the importance of Hope and Homes for Children's work. She came back to Scotland with unforgettable memories and vowed to tell anyone who would listen about the need for every child around the world to grow up within the love of a family, rather than in an institution. Since her trip to the Ukraine, Ged has cycled, created buggy blankets, and decorated cakes to help raise funds for Hope and Homes for Children. She's excited to continue her fundraising efforts as part of Slow Travel Girls.


    Connect with Ged on Twitter.

  • Erin

    Slow Travel Girl from the States

    Erin is a 37 year old freelancer who works in media, programs, community engagement, and facilitation. She believes that narratives matter, and that what we do to the web, we do to ourselves. These ideas inspire her interests in everything from biomimicry to history, documentary to climate change, cross cultural exchange, and more.


    In late 2012, Erin was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition. The first year after diagnosis involved coming to terms with the reality of living with pain for the rest of her life. But the disappointment and frustration of that year led to the realization that fibromyalgia had the potential to over-run the way Erin approached everything, from seemingly simple tasks, like climbing a flight of stairs, to how she handled her days, and months, and years. She knew she had a choice: nostalgia or transformation.


    While still making reasonable accommodations for pain and and treating her body well, Erin began to change her mindset and push back against the lifestyle impacts of living with pain. She wanted to feel strong and vibrant again. So, she took a step and joined a sailing expedition; she knew that it would throw her into the elements and push her physically. And it did. It also put the wind back in her hair. A few months later, she took a step and walked a 5k, followed by a half marathon. The motion and distance reminded of her of what it felt like to run. It wasn't the same, but it was something, and that was much, much better than nothing.


    Going on her first long-distance walk with Ged in 2015 allowed Erin to connect with her body in a new way and revive her sense of strength. In many ways, she now feels stronger than she ever did before. She can't wait to walk across Scotland.


    Despite the initial swelling in her body, Erin knows chronic pain is largely invisible, so she hopes to increase understanding surrounding what it's like to live with a chronic invisible illness. She also hopes that if you can relate to living with chronic pain or a similar condition, then perhaps by reading about her story, you'll feel a little less isolated. Or perhaps you'll feel inspired to push forward, even if the first step in your long journey is having someone help you up, out of a chair, to stand on the floor. It's important to keep going. She means it with all her heart when she says she'll be cheering you on.


    Connect with Erin on Twitter or Instagram.



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