No Thanks, I Want to Walk by Emily Taylor Smith

I enjoyed Emily Taylor Smith’s travel memoir, Around The Province In 88 Days, enough to attend the launch event of her sequel, No Thanks, I Want to Walk: Two Months on Foot Around New Brunswick and the Gaspé. Somewhat ironically, no one had to travel to take part. It was a virtual event, like most readings over the past couple of years. Yet even through computer screens, a checkerboard of smiling faces couldn’t contain collective excitement. Along with shared pride and admiration. Pride and admiration in author Emily Taylor Smith and her accomplishments, having now walked thousands of kilometres for the sheer joy of it. Not to mention the friendships she makes. And her latest adventure, walking the perimeter of New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula, is another epic journey for the record books.

The publisher’s blurb encapsulates the author’s undertaking:

“After completing a 3,000-kilometre hike of coastal Nova Scotia and making a number of dramatic changes in her life, Emily Taylor Smith is compelled to undertake another Maritime journey on foot, this time following the coastline of New Brunswick and the Gaspé all the way to Quebec City.

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“She plans a solitary trip, searching for life lessons along the way and carrying everything she needs with her on her back. Emily severely underestimates the Fundy Footpath, struggles to communicate in French, nearly throws in the towel at the tip of Kouchibouguac Park, and survives a sleepless night in a collapsed tent on the windy Gaspé shore.

“What she doesn’t count on is the support which appears daily in the form of roadside messages, random gifts of ice cream, generous postmistresses and flag collectors, and help that comes from within. The challenging regimen of 45 kilometres a day for two months is transcended by a growing spiritual bond with the landscape that keeps her moving forward.”

What I enjoyed most about Smith’s latest adventure is that a depth of personal growth emanates from the page. Not only is it effectively articulated and shared, but is evident in the writing itself. I applaud the author for committing to the craft as much as her ambitious travel endeavour and succeeding at both.

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Emily Taylor Smith grew up in Salisbury, New Brunswick. Her love of coastal hiking led her to walk the coastline of New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula, as well as the perimeters of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

  • Title: No Thanks, I Want to Walk
  • Author: Emily Taylor Smith
  • Publisher: Pottersfield Press, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781989725337
  • Pages: 286 pp

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