Article Initially published for our Blog on TheTrek.co
Hello Everyone ! Ladies and Gents, Young and Old, Adventurers for life or for a weekend, we hope you will enjoy our European Thru-hike adventure, articles and pictures and maybe get inspired to build yourself a fantastic unique Thru-hike in America, in Europe or anywhere else in the world. There is so many lonely trails looking forward to feel the lightness of your delicate steps.
Deux Pas Vers L’Autre (2PVA is easier for you I guess, even though we would love to hear you saying it with your adorable american accent) means Two Steps Towards Others, it is a unique thru-hike and a fantastic human adventure: 10,000 kilometers on foot, 500 days, 17 countries, more than 120 natural parks, four seasons and hundreds of encounters.
Check the itinerary on the map, it’s easy and accessible through Google Maps.
Our goal: To meet others, our European neighbors, to give a voice to people we met on the road and whom you would have probably never heard of otherwise!
Step after step, from one country to the next, come meet our fellow Europeans and discover with us the diversity and richness of the old continent.
Here, we share this adventure that we are about to live.
Despite not being on the road yet, it has already started for us.
In the section Preparing the ground, we publish articles about the whole preparation phase: training, tests, search for sponsors... Everything that keeps us busy for a few weeks already!
2PVA: The Adventure is the heart of Deux Pas Vers l’Autre. You will find in it the history and current events of the places we visited or the beautiful hikes we experienced so you can walk them yourself as well.
Our Logbook, journey log, travel diary, these are small posts that stick to the daily life of our journey: the stroke of luck of the day, the pain of the week...
The great encounters we made, you will find them in Faces of the trip.
Tips, administrative procedures, crafts... We share with you Our travelers tips and are curious to know yours!
Inside the bag, we will store our gear reviews, favorites and regrets about the equipment we carry.
We are often asked what led us to undertake such a journey. We'll try to explain it here.
Who are we?
My name is Marie and when I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. Or an adventurer. At 27 years old, I found myself being a human resources manager in charge of 350 employees in a dozen countries. What had happened then? I'm not sure I can explain it. I'll try anyway.
After high school, I did a degree in sociology - joy, ecstatic moment, freedom: I could study whatever I wanted, I could choose my subjects (not that easy as they were all of some interest to me).
I did odd jobs in parallel which allowed me to leave for my first trips, in Europe first and then further and further way and for longer period of times.
After being graduated, I was told that unless I want to do research in the humanities, I should think about learning a trade to integrate the job market. Basically, this is how it happened!
After a few years, I had a good career on track! In spite of a job that took me to the four corners of the world, which allowed me financially to spend my holidays far away from home and the extraordinary encounters I made there, I did not feel in a place I belonged to.
It took me a while before the idea of quitting my job occurred to me. The understanding and confidence of my friends, colleagues and family finally gave me the energy to make that change.
As a child, I was lucky enough to spend part of my vacation in Aveyron, France, between the fishing trips on the lake and the walks in the forest, I developed a taste for the countryside and the nature. This attachment obviously played a role in my decision to change career direction and lifestyle.
Today, right in the preparations for our adventure, here I am: both a blogger and a hiker on hundreds and soon thousands of kilometers. I've never been so close to my childhood dreams!
I am Nil, the male half of this adventure.
I grew up happy in the Parisian suburbs in a house which had a garden being the ground of our first adventures, to both my brother and I. During our childhood, we had the great opportunity to travel a lot, which quickly opened our eyes.
At school, although I was a little dreamy I always succeeded (not without ill will) in passing my exams and this rather well. I was not getting along that well with the French education system and I first turned to the arts before reorienting to music. In college, I studied the musical creation that I eventually set aside with the opportunity at 20 years old of becoming a model...
It was an experience full of good and bad things, notably resulting on many trips that strengthened my taste for exploring places and meeting others. Of course when talking about destinations, often the usual big cities, New York, London, Milan, etc., pop up but also less common stays on almost every continent: Thailand, China, India, Mexico, Turkey, etc. I lived a strange life, enjoying the good sides without being really comfortable with this cap.
The idea to go the other side, the photographer’s one, getting stronger and stronger, in 2011 I bought my first camera and that's when the serious things started.
Since then, I have worked as a fashion photographer @ nil-hope, I mainly photograph for magazines or image for major brands.
It's an interesting job, where I'm always confronted with different challenges, but fashion is a convoluted universe and it's always vital for me to be interested in other topics. Art photography, reportage or even outdoor and it is precisely three aspects of photography that we touch with Deux Pas Vers l’Autre.
In 2016, an accident that nearly cost me a life on a professional trip made me think a lot and made me understand the importance and beauty of each moment. What is more uncertain than tomorrow? Little by little, I gave up the the social pressure of the next day to live fully from now on.
Travel, hiking and outdoor in general lover, so far I have undertaken many adventures but the desire to meet new faces and the wish to accomplish something immense echoed more and more strongly in a corner of my mind.
Day after day the idea of a bigger project towards the other emerged. Thus was born Deux Pas Vers l’Autre.
Living a childhood dream, being an epic hero, taking the time to live, enjoy today before tomorrow, better understand our continent... By deciding to cross Southern Europe on foot we had all these things in mind and many others.
We are Europeans and yet we have the feeling that we do not know anything about certain countries on our continent and sometimes we even know much more about more distant regions of the world. We want to meet, discover, learn and share all that Europe has to offer.
The primary purpose of a travel blog is to share. With Deux Pas Vers l’Autre, our greatest desire is to give a voice to all those people we do not hear in the more conventional media and that we would probably never have met if our itinerary had not led us on the doorstep.
Through this blog, our photo galleries, videos and social networks on which we share our adventure, you can live this experience with us in its whole.
Of course, we all have the chance to read or hear information about the drought in Spain or the economic crisis in Greece, but the opportunity to look at all this in a non-politicized set is more seldom. In each country, we will walk a week with a resident, the idea being above all to take a closer look at the cultures and situations we encounter, to share this proximity conducive to the discussion and together to benefit from this adventure.
By writing about these countries and our daily life on the road, we also hope to share our experience of travelers and give you the means to organize your adventure, your trips or hikes without hesitating to think outside the box.
We will win our bet if, by reading us, you feel that an exceptional adventure is at hand and can start a few steps away from you.
Where are we?
As we write this article, we have already undertook two preparation trips, gradually answering the various problems related to such a project:
Testing and choosing equipment, finding our rhythm, managing shooting and photo-reportage, organizing work on the road, learning how to write to you, managing our sharing with stormy connections and of course shooting our teaser!
We are working on so many things and truly committed ourselves so we can present you the best end result.
We will do two more trips before the big departure, one in autumn conditions and the last one in winter, during which we will keep on testing ourselves and our equipment and tame the hardness of this new way of life.
These days, we establish contacts that are essential to our journey, find these companions in each country but also work with our future cultural partners and equipment makers.
Although sometimes stressful, all these preparations are exciting, so we are happy to share with you now everything that makes this wonderful adventure possible.
Hoping that this project captivates you and takes you with us towards what we are eager to discover: the others.
We declare this blog warmly open!
Marie & Nil