Saudi Haya Al-Samari and Kuwaiti Fai Al-Omran, close friends known for their love of adventure in the Gulf region, are embarking on a transformative journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Their aim is to inspire others and establish Arab women as trailblazers in the world of adventure.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a challenging 4,265 km hike from Mexico to Canada, taking around five to six months. It passes through twenty-six national forests, seven national parks, five state parks, and thirty-three federally protected wilderness areas. They covered 32 km daily and finished in September.
Read through our chat with lovely Fai:
What inspired you to go on this journey?
I’ve always had a love for nature and the outdoors. For years I’ve known about the PCT and always thought it would be something I would do later in life when I’m much older. The idea of a thru hike has fascinated me for sometime. Being in the wilderness for months, disconnecting from life, walking through beautiful scenery. The feeling of being grounded and connected to nature is a big reason to go on a trip like this. And as a creative person, the sheer amount of time to think and daydream and be inspired is priceless.
What is the scariest or most challenging part of a long-thru hike?
From a big picture point on view the most challenging is how long it takes. A lot can happen in half a year. Pushing yourself mentally and physically to continue takes a lot of effort and energy.
Other than being far away from civilization and in the hands of Mother Nature, personally, I have a fear of heights. And this can be very difficult to manage while walking on edges of mountains, climbing over fallen trees or even passing through steep snow traverses.
Describe to us the feeling of reaching your destinations (metaphors are welcome)
It’s a sense of accomplishment I have never felt before. Knowing that you personally took all your energy and put it towards taking every single step is one of the most satisfying feelings. At the same time, it’s extremely overwhelming with lots of joy and a sense of relief.
What are the essentials you pack? Do you carry a lucky charm or something special that holds memories?
During a hike like this, every single item in your pack is essential with little room for what is known as a “luxury item”. From your sleeping pad and bag, to tent, to food and water. But with that said, I do carry a sketchbook and paint for when I’m inspired. And I hang a special orange bracelet on my bag that reminds me of my loved ones.
What are your favorite hidden gems in the world?
There is an island off the coast of Croatia called Vis. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have visited. From its crystal clear blue waters, to its food and its beautiful historical architecture.
Where would recommend to hike or chill in nature in the UAE?
Kayaking and camping in Hatta for sure.
What is the next item on your bucket list?
Hopefully a trip to Japan and surf in Osaka.
What is on your workout playlist?
Lots of Beyoncé and other female rap/pop songs.