Footprint of a Heart


A travel journal of one woman’s five long walks across the country.


Imagine having your needs reduced to the things you can’t live without; food, water, and shelter.
In Footprint of a Heart, Shayla Paradeis, whose trail name is Kiddo, ventures off the path of musical theater at age 21 and moves from Manhattan
to Montana. Trading tap shoes for hiking boots, she sculpts a life outdoors as a long-distance hiker. By age 34, she walked over 18,000 miles between
4-month treks known as thru-hikes and thousands of joyful miles running across the land of her dreams, Glacier National Park. All without a
smart phone.
Kiddo shares the trailside moments of five long journeys, including barren deserts, windy ridges, river crossings, and countless peaks, passes, and valleys. Her ventures take her through swarms of bugs, knee-deep mud, every kind of precipitation imaginable. All the while, navigating threats of rattlesnakes, bears, charging bulls, and one angry mama turkey.
Journeys are often more internal than external. As she walks, she learns that counting miles can be a self-measurement as dangerous as body-image or money. The need to connect is the true north. With an openness taught through the trees, she experiences a fulfillment she never dreamed possible. Trails are no longer a thing to do, they become a place to be.

1 review for Footprint of a Heart

  1. shaylaparadeis

    Shayla’s stories are an invitation to experience a variety of trails in a way that reminds us how we thrive in the wilderness. Part poetic ode to the outdoors, part personal reflection, the words on the pages transport you away from the shackles of concrete and congestion; it’s the next best thing to stepping out there yourself. Furthermore, Shayla has a tenderness about her, making you want to schedule an afternoon tea with her to talk about anything and everything.

    -Patrice LaVigne, Author of Between Each Step

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