January 26, 2023
Last summer, Fisher Monahan, an 18 year old illustrator based in Canada and Early Majority’s very first sponsored athlete, set off on a 2,000km trek across America. Download his illustrated adventure below and keep scrolling to read more about Fisher and the inspiration for his walk.
Who or what inspired you to take this walk?
The walk was mostly an experiment in simple living. It was about pushing the boundaries of a conventional lifestyle to find out exactly how little I need to live happily and healthily.
I don’t exactly remember who inspired me to try this out on a walk, but it probably had something to do with people I saw online sharing alternative lifestyles like nomadic and tiny house living. I think the “simple living” aspect of that culture stuck out to me and instead of moving off grid I thought I’d just wander through the country and toy with the concept of being “nomadic.”
It was also sort of a rite of passage into adulthood - leaving home and adventuring out into the world on my own, but that’s more of a spiritual perspective.
Tell us about the walk: When did you start? What were the hardest moments? The happiest moments?
I started walking on July 12th 2022 in Abbotsford, British Columbia. It was pretty surreal to be on this adventure I’d been planning for years.
I walked about 15 kilometres a day, drawing and writing in my trusty sketchbook to chronicle my experience. It was pretty easy living for the summer - camping on the coast, wandering south, doing whatever I wanted.
The only problem was water. When you’re travelling in a car you can travel across a state in a day, so you take a lot of stuff for granted. Walking, I could only carry so much with me, and was totally at the mercy of nature having to find water that I can filter in streams or even puddles. You get used to having to live on the move, and deal with the scarcity of water in summer (an occupational hazard if you could call it that).
It really taught me to look at life with a whole new lens and appreciate the small peaceful moments even more, because you never know what’s gonna happen tomorrow.
Tell us about your hiking kit. What were the most precious items?
For 4 months I lived out of a 45 litre backpack with about 100 items. Living with such a small inventory requires having more than one use for everything.
I’m lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) to have a cellphone that has so many different uses. I didn’t really carry maps or a compass because I could just pull up Google Earth and assess potential camp spots before I even got there - crazy!
When did you start drawing? What’s the process behind it?
I think I started taking drawing seriously 3 years ago. I started doodling, taking style aspects from artists I was inspired by. I don’t really draw to perfection. I spend maybe 5 minutes on each one I do for a journal page and fill in the rest of the space with words.
Some of them I will spend more time on, but I don’t attach myself to any of them. If I don’t feel like finishing it, I’ll just leave it in an unfinished state. I think I like those ones the most.
You can follow Fisher on Instagram @fishermonahan.