Going the Distance: A Walk across Australia by Deanna Sorensen, Australia, 2003

The title says it all: Going the Distance: A Walk across Australia is the non-fiction account of Deanna Sorensen's 1998 walk across Australia, from Perth to Sydney. The book is an interesting, extremely informative account of that walk – almost on a day-to-day basis – and is made the more interesting by flashbacks to Deanna's earlier life in Canada, Asia and England and her many other challenges, including a number of marathons.

The enormity of first visualizing and then actually realizing a 5,000 kilometre walk is admirable, even though I myself would have found the constant walking on main roads extremely stressful. On the other hand, Deanna admits at the end of the book that, initially, the important part of the vision was to achieve the goal, and, given that attitude, it probably made sense to use the quickest way of getting from A to B. However, after achieving a fantastic marathon result a year after the walk ended, Deanna came to the conclusion that it is not so much the goal but the journey itself that is the number one priority.

The book, therefore, is a journey in more ways than one, and should appeal to a variety of readers: those wanting to learn more about Australia; those contemplating a similar kind of challenge and even those interested in the personal story behind a challenge. Deanna's perseverance and determination are both remarkable and contagious. Even if it is not a book that can be read cover to cover in one sitting, it contains many gems, and is definitely a worthwhile read.
Photo of Deanna from thecalmspace.com