Text / Sacha Voeffray
Sarah succeeded in her challenge. For all the women in the world who still fight for their freedom, she reached her little tree, where the land ends and the sea begins, which represents the arrival of this incredible walk “ExplorAsia’. From Siberia to Australia, three years of extreme solo hiking.
As I write this article, it has almost been a month since our adventurer, explorer, writer and speaker has taken me in her backpack for one of the most intense, beautiful, difficult, inspiring, enrich- ing and unexpected journeys when my mum offered me the lat- est book written by the young woman, Wild by Nature. One of the most obvious and suitable titles for our Swiss extreme lady
as one gets to know her through the lines of her book but also by discovering anecdotes which reveal it was not her first try. Already at the age of 8, she leaves for a cave together with her dog to spend the night there while nobody knows it… Wild by nature. So you cannot judge a book by its cover! Sarah is a true warrior who is able to escape attacks by Mongolian horsemen and drug dealers in the jungle of Laos. As she feels danger getting closer, she hides, glides through the night and dresses up as a man to survive. From the very first pages retracing her preparation back in Switzerland before her journey, you feel a close relationship with the adventurer. She literally makes some space for
you in her luggage, between her tent and her thermic clothes, so that you become part of the trip with her. The smells of the atmospheres she takes time to describe with her love for nature pervade your sinuses, the cultural shock with some civilizations make you smile, the adrenaline and the survival instinct in dangerous and life-threatening situations can be felt all over you as if you were living them with her, such as moments of pure happiness she enjoys between two bivouacs, the greatest simplicity but also the best one: her indispensable hot tea. A true source of regeneration with oneself. But what impresses you the most is the respect com- ing from the strength of her footsteps. Her philosophy of life gives you a taste for adventure and takes you beyond those unknown territories. For a moment, being inside the skin of Sarah Marquis, wild animals and nature are your family. She who falls asleep as a baby next to snakes and wolves. Sarah has bigger balls than most of us guys… Taking the bare minimum but the vitally essential along with her, the “long-nose”, as the indigenous Mongolians name her, adapted herself to the most extreme conditions, in order to better understand what links us with the Earth and the “whole”. I leave the last word to her, written in the Gobi desert of Mongolia, and underlined in my book: “I always had the impression that there is no pain no gain in life and that everything has a cost. I relish the magic of those moments even more. If you were now reaching my camp, you would nd me with a smile of satisfaction on my face. You would probably ask me for the reason for my happiness… I would then answer: “I am at the right place at the right time, that’s all. I feel it, I know it… My heart is breathing in tune with the Earth.”