It's the last week of October and participants in Travel Professionals International's (TPI) Walktober Challenge are on the final stretch of their fundraising journey.
It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to do their part in raising funds and awareness, TPI is supporting the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.
All month long, the TPI family has been walking virtually along Canada’s Trans Canada Trail.
Each day, participants complete a set number of steps, which moves them along a pre-set map that starts in Victoria, BC, and ends in St. John’s, NL.
The group has been participating in fun activities along the way, which you can see on social media by clicking the hashtag #TPIWalktoberChallenge.
Here, PAX checks in with TPI advisor Tracy Hamilton of Lethbridge, AB, to learn more about her participation, and progress, in the challenge!
PAX: Why was it important for you to get involved in TPI’s Walktober Challenge in support of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada?
Tracy Hamilton (TH): This year, I've virtually hiked the Inca Trail and to Base Camp of Everest with G Adventures and am now walking across Canada with my fellow TPI friends and advisors. My Dad says the best way to feel better is to get outside and get fresh air so that's been important to me to keep my spirits up. It really works. And, it feels good to be part of a larger group in support of greater causes. I hope others feeling challenged look at what we're doing and feel inspired.
PAX: Where are you getting your steps in?
TH: I'm an early riser so I usually get outside and get in between 3,000-5,000 steps first thing in the morning with either a walk or a quick run so that sets my day up well. We also live near a beautiful park so I walk around it nearly every afternoon. It's been fun to watch the seasons change. I've seen it go from summer to fall to winter all in about three weeks! I usually walk on my own, but sometimes am joined by my son and his new dog or sometimes my husband comes too. When walking with my son or husband, we have good conversations without distractions that can sometimes creep in and if I'm on my own. It's been a good chance to think. Some of my best ideas spring up when I'm out walking.
PAX: What are some goals you hope to achieve throughout this campaign?
TH: One of my biggest goals in walking this month was to raise awareness of breast cancer and to show friends, family and clients that we stand together in the travel industry as we continue to think of others and to lift each other up through these challenging times. Sharing our burdens helps lessen them.
PAX: How have you gotten your clients involved?
TH: I've shared the Walktober Challenge with various networking groups I'm part of and shared the fundraising details on my Facebook page. I know everyone has their own challenges, especially this year, so if my friends, family and clients can support financially that's appreciated but it's also simply a way to raise awareness. Thinking of others helps us all appreciate our various struggles.
PAX: Travel and fundraising are two things that go really well together. Why do you think this is?
TH: I think travel and fundraising go so well together as it gives perspective. I know that as I've walked this month through different types of weather, when tired or just didn't feel like it that it helped me appreciate the difficult situation that those with cancer go through. We can relate better when thinking about others.
PAX: What have you learned about yourself, and the travel industry, during this campaign?
TH: I was reflecting during a recent walk that as much as the daily steps are sometimes a challenge, they are nothing compared to what people going through treatment must endure. It makes me feel incredibly humble to know that there are so many strong and brave people out there. Even though we continue to go through challenges in our industry, we are a resilient group of people who are passionate about what we do. It's important to keep our heads up and continue to move forward so we're here to once again help our clients when they're comfortable to venture out.
Stay tuned as PAX brings you more from the #TPIWalktoberChallenge! Industry colleagues can access the official step tracking form for the challenge here and the campaign's official guidebook can be found here.
To make a donation to the #TPIWalktoberChallenge, click here.
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