Bill Arnott’s Showcase Interview: Patti Shales Lefkos

Hi friends, and welcome back!

At a time of staying safe and close to home, the notion of exploring the world may be a whimsical notion, but what we can enjoy are stories from destinations that inspire. And today on the Showcase, we have just the ticket. Join me in welcoming travelling author Patti Shales Lefkos. Hi Patti, welcome to the Showcase! Let’s start with you introducing yourself with a bio:

(Patti.) Hi. I’m Patti Shales Lefkos, a Canadian writer and journalist. My Himalayan adventure travel memoir Nepal One Day at a Time celebrates my creative non-fiction debut. My articles have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The San Francisco Chronicle, Macleans, Travelife, Canadian Living, Okanagan Life and Okanagan Woman magazines. When not travelling or writing, I love to ski at my home base at SilverStar Mountain Resort in British Columbia and paddle, row and swim in summer at my Ontario island cottage. Nepal One Day at a Time is the story of my first solo trekking trip. All book profits support education in Nepal.

(Bill.) I love the giving nature of the project. What do you feel you’re best known for?

(P.) Currently, I’m obsessed with volunteering and trekking in various parts of Asia, most recently in the Nepal Himalaya and fundraising for my non-profit Nepal One Day at a Time Society. We partner with Kalamalka Rotary in Vernon and Kathmandu-based NGO Sambhav Nepal to support education in the Gorkha area of Nepal.

(B.) That’s brilliant. And what would you say brought you here?

(P.) After a rewarding thirty-seven year career as an elementary school teacher, principal and consultant in Toronto and Vancouver I attended Journalism school at Langara College in Vancouver then set off into the wilderness to pursue a career as an adventure travel writer.

(B.) Who’s a key figure in your life, and how and where did you meet?

(P.) I met my husband, adventure photographer Barry Hodgins, former mountain guide and fellow teacher, in the Wilderness Leadership Program at Capilano College in North Vancouver. For forty years I’ve followed him on bikes and skis, over mountain passes, in kayaks, canoes and on stand-up paddleboards. But when Barry ruptured his Achilles tendon in 2014 I headed out to volunteer and trek in the Nepal Himalaya on my own.

(B.) What’s your advice to others?

(P.) My friend Ralph, at age 90 a regular skier on the cross country trails at Hollyburn on Vancouver’s North Shore used to say, “Stay positive, and keep moving, baby.” My advice? Step, no, leap out of your comfort zone at home and when travelling. The rewards are endless.

(B.) Excellent. And what are you currently working on?

(P.) I’m working on the second draft of a memoir about finding resilience and connection to family ancestral land during childhood summers on a remote off-the-grid island in a pristine lake in the Canadian Shield. Next up, a sequel to Nepal One Day at a Time tentatively titled Nepal: It’s Never Too Late, about trekking at altitude and continuing humanitarian projects past the age of 70.

(B.) Tell us please, what are your favourite: book, album, movie, and food dish?

In this installment of Bill Arnott's Shocase Interview, Bill speaks with Patti Shales Lefkos, author of Nepal: One Day at a Time.
The #1 Bestseller, Bill Arnott’s Beat: Road Stories & Writers’ Tips

(P.) Favourite book: Lost Horizon by James Hilton, favourite album: Tapestry by Carol King, favourite movie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and favourite food: Nepali or Tibetan veggie momos.

(B.) Yum! And for our Quirky Question, make a choice: Geoffrey Chaucer or Geoffrey Rush?

(P.) Geoffrey Rush. This pandemic winter season was a bit lonely at SilverStar Mountain Resort without all of our Australian ski buddies.

(B.) Ah, so true. Many of us in North America associate ski hills with Aussie accents! Thanks Patti, this has been fun. Wishing you continued success with your books and non-profit society.

Thanks everyone, stay healthy and see you next time, here on Bill’s Showcase!

 -- Website

Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of A Season on Vancouver Island, theGone Viking travelogues, andA Perfect Day for a Walk: The History, Cultures, and Communities of Vancouver, on Foot(Arsenal Pulp Press, Fall 2024). Recipient of a Fellowship at London’s Royal Geographical Society for his expeditions, Bill’s a frequent presenter and contributor to magazines, universities, podcasts, TV and radio. When not trekking with a small pack and journal, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, where he lives near the sea on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh land.