This is Where I Belong

Ever since I got back on the trail two weeks ago, it feels like everything in the universe is aligning and nature is cooperating in order to show me that this is where I belong. I didn’t listen to the doctor’s orders to stay off of my foot for 8 weeks and I didn’t wait for my x-ray results because I knew I had to go back. I was being pulled back by something strong and unexplainable. My friend who drove me to my parents’ home to heal asked my mom how it felt to have me back. My mom said she never got me back. I was mentally back on the PCT all four days that I was home. I was daydreaming of being back nonstop, and now that I am, I couldn’t be happier.

The day I set foot on the PCT again on my own, after my friend who joined me in Big Bear left, and while my hiking partner was somewhere in town resupplying, my heart fluttered and my spirit soared. As I sat in the parking lot of a post office, cramming all of my newly awarded gear into my brand new backpack, a gentle breeze blew and white flower petals spiraled around me. I weighed my backpack at the post office, and it was the lightest its ever been. Everyone smiled at me as if they felt my joy themselves. I found a ride that brought me a little closer to the trail, began hiking, and was awestruck by beauty all around me. There was a cool breeze preventing me from overheating, trees everywhere, a view of water and boats to my left, and before the day was over, my hiking partner hitched a ride further up than where I began and caught up with me. There were shouts of joy and hugs that nearly toppled us over. We set up camp beside a stream that had aromatic sage growing all around it and slept beneath a canopy of trees.

Rain was predicted, but it never came. Likewise, snow was predicted when I began hiking that morning, but I beat it by a few hours. The hikers behind me had to walk through 6 inches of snow! The next day came, and it was also pleasant. I had hiked 11 miles the day before, and 11 the next. The following day, I attempted 14 miles, and did so with minimal pain. I hiked down the sweet-smelling trail with honeysuckle bushes surrounding me on both sides and felt like my injury was healing itself. But, of course I’d heal out here. The trail wanted me back. The universe was aligning in my favor and all of nature was cooperating with me. This is where I belong.


About elinatravels

I’m Elina Oliferovskiy, a Russian-born 26-year-old restless soul who’s never really found a place to dig her roots in deep ever since I moved to the United States in 1998. I’ve lived in a 39-foot RV with 8 people and a Chihuahua and road-tripped around approximately 38 states for 1.5 months. I’ve packed my car and headed north without a destination and ended up in Big Sur, CA and lived there for a bit. I recently moved to Bend, OR without ever having been here prior (simply went off of the recommendations of others). And I just came back from a trip to France, Luxembourg, England, and Ireland and have many fun stories to share. My alter-ego is Free Spirit (my trail name on the PCT) and I am an aspiring solo female Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, who’d hiked half of the trail in 3.5 months in 2016 and a did a one-month section hike in 2014. I started this blog to chronicle my attempt to get from Mexico to Canada on foot via the PCT. I have also hiked in England, Luxembourg, and hope to hike the Camino De Santiago (St. James’ Way) in Spain and the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand, as well as many others. I love challenging myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, exploring and meeting new people who introduce me to their perspectives on life and allow me to be part of what they hold dearest to their hearts, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone in order to try exciting new things, and seeing, tasting, smelling, experiencing all of what this wonderful world I live in has to offer. This is why I travel. This is also why I move frequently. I’ve been moving somewhere new nearly every year, and I absolutely love my lifestyle. Now, I am deciding between teaching English in Vietnam, working remotely from New Zealand, or moving back to CA and woodcarving for a season. We will see what happens in the fall/winter of 2017. For now, I plan to stay in Bend, OR another few months and absorb all I can from this wonderful little (though rapidly growing) town. Feel free to follow along my journey by reading and commenting on my blog, adding me on Facebook (search for Elina Oliferovskiy and write me a message telling me you are a follower of my blog), or emailing me at
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4 Responses to This is Where I Belong

  1. Patricia Shoupe says:

    I am so glad you are feeling better and back to what you love. I love hearing about the terrain you go through and how you are doing. Where are you from?

    Liked by 1 person

    • elinatravels says:

      I was born in Russia but spent most of my life in Southern CA. Right before my hike, I tried living in Big Sur for a little bit. Will probably come back there from my hike. 🙂


  2. Just Me says:


    This is Marv and Sue who stopped by the road and picked up Dr Dolittle and Sherpa for a futile trip to Newcomb Ranch which was closed. After they gave you their water, as they thought they would get more at the ranch, we brought them back up the mountain to demand their water back! Just kidding. 🙂

    I felt for you and your Achilles heel issue, as last year my Achilles caused me fits for the entire state of Washington. I left you my stash of Alieve, and don’t know if it helped you or not, but they did seem to work for me.

    Will be watching for Achilles updates. They can sure be a persistent problem and not comfortable at all.

    All the Best…
    Marv and Sue Van Horn
    If you get to Washington State, and need assistance, we live in Bellingham and can be reached at 360 595 7972 or It is possible we could help.


  3. Hillary says:

    Good job following your path-enjoy😉Your journey sounds amazing -though,not an easy one fur sure😉😊🎈

    Liked by 1 person

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