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Promoting joy, one step at a time

the soots - promoting joy

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with two individuals who are adventurers in the truest sense of the word. Alex Brownlee, and partner Christian Milani, are roughly two months into their journey from Toronto, Ontario, all the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia. You may have spotted the scraggly and rugged twenty-something musicians playing tunes, hiding from the rain, or taking in the sights last week during their stop in downtown Peterborough. After all, walking is their chosen mode of transportation for this excursion to Canada’s East coast.

I spoke with Brownlee and Milani to get an update on how they were making out with their trip, “Right now we’re in Kingston. We played in Busker Fest this past weekend, and it’s such a great community here that we decided to stay for the week,”said Brownlee. Curious about their itinerary, or lack thereof, I asked the guys when they planned to make it to Halifax, to which they simply and coolly replied,“We have no timeline.”

The question we are all asking ourselves when we hear about two young guys from London, Ontario walking from Toronto to Halifax is, “why, and how are you doing this?”

“We play our music, and bring our act around to farmers markets, the streets, anywhere we can really, and try to promote joy, happiness, and confidence.”

At some points in the journey, such as their stop in Peterborough, Brownlee and Milani have had some welcome guests intercept them. “There are two full time members of the group. That’s me, and Alex. But we do have a rotating saxophone player who meets up with us from time to time. We also have a percussionist named Kayla from our hometown of London.”

Before initially speaking with Brownlee and Milani, I did a little pre-interview Facebook creeping, and noticed that they had mentioned that they were looking into getting a mule in order to carry their belongings along the way. When I asked them about this, they laughed, and I could imagine them looking at each other as if to say, “oh right, that!”

“On the very first leg of our trip, we were actually looking to get a donkey to carry all of our stuff. But once we started doing some more research on it, we found that there were a lot of city laws to contend with, and it just got to be too much, so we just dropped it. So looks like we’re going to be holding off on that one until we do a walking trip in South America next year.”

After speaking to the guys further, it became evident that they could have really used the assistance of a donkey, admitting that they were carrying a combined baggage of 140lbs. However, they did get some assistance down the road from a good friend. “Once we got to Bellville, Kayla offered to drive along side us with the van as a sort of support vehicle. Before that, we were just walking and had about 70lbs of stuff each, which was a real challenge.”

Alex and Christian are currently in Kingston. They began their journey on May 17th, which means they are just about two months, and roughly 260KM into their journey. With a staggering 1,327KM to go, I told them that it seemed to me (judging by the calm in their voice; void of all worry and concern) like they were still going strong, to which they both unanimously agreed, “Very strong.”

We can all take a page out of Alex and Christian’s book. These guys dropped everything in order to follow their dream, and spread some positivity across our nation. Though the journey is still in it’s fledgling stage, I have no doubt that they will reach their destination, at which time I’m sure they will kiss the ground, look at each other, and say, “we did it.”

Closing the call with Brownlee and Milani, I said something along the lines of “hang in there” and, “good luck walking. They ended the call with another nonchalant, but powerful remark, “We won’t be walking, we will be adventuring.”

You can contact Alex and Milani to wish them luck, or check out some pictures of their journey on their Facebook page, which is under their musical name The Soots.

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