top of page

Rachel Durchslag: Finding Freedom on the Trails - From the Camino de Santiago to Hiking in Nepal. A Story of Healing, Hiking, and Personal Growth. Discover the Transformative Power of Solo Travel.

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

In this episode, we delve into the inspiring journey of Rachel Durchslag, an avid hiker and healing professional who has spent the last five years trekking some of the world’s most magnificent mountain ranges. Rachel shares her transformative experiences and the profound lessons she's learned along the way.

Rachel’s story begins in downtown Chicago, where she grew up and later founded the nonprofit Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation. As the executive director, she dedicated herself to ending the abuse of sex trafficking and sexual assault. However, after years of self-sacrifice and battling burnout and empathy fatigue, Rachel realised she needed a significant change.

In her 30s, Rachel decided to leave her career and the bustling life of Chicago behind, moving to the serene landscapes of Asheville, North Carolina. Here, she embraced a new life focused on healing, both for herself and others. Her healing work involves providing alternative therapies to help people recover from trauma and create more room for joy in their lives.

Rachel’s adventures in solo travel began with a life-changing trip to Iceland, where she learned to embrace loneliness, freedom, and self-fulfilment. From walking the Camino de Santiago to hiking in Nepal and reaching the base of Everest, Rachel's treks have taught her invaluable lessons about resilience, self-discovery, and the importance of a fulfilling relationship with oneself.

Throughout the episode, Rachel offers advice for solo female hikers and travellers, discusses the challenges and rewards of being vegan while hiking, and shares her daily hiking routines. She also reflects on the concept of RFS - Return Flight Syndrome - and how it affects her post-travel mindset.

Join us as we explore Rachel’s incredible adventures, her healing practices, and the wisdom she's gained from her journeys. Discover why Rachel believes we are all pilgrims on our own unique paths and the importance of creating time for yourself.


Don't miss the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 AM UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

This episode of the Tough Girl Podcast is proudly sponsored by INOV8, pioneers in cutting-edge sportswear.

Use code TOUGHGIRL15 to get your 15% discount. Click here


Listen to Rachel Now!

Click here if you can't see the link below.


Show notes

  • Who is Rachel

  • Working in the healing profession

  • Supporting people in the non-profit world

  • Moving away from self sacrifice and harm

  • Growing up in downtown Chicago

  • Travelling and being inspired by her dad

  • What changed in her 30s

  • Dealing with burnout and empathy fatigue

  • Realising that she needed to leave her career and Chicago

  • Moving to North Carolina 

  • Wanting to explore travelling by herself

  • Her first solo trip to Iceland

  • Having a date with loneliness 

  • Feeling freedom and opportunity 

  • Having a fulfilling relationship with yourself 

  • Walking the Camino de Santiago - the way of St James

  • The lessons learned from her first experience 

  • Arriving into Santiago de Compostela

  • Suffering from RFS - Return Flight Syndrome 

  • Reflection on the return 

  • Why we are always pilgrims on journeys 

  • Getting a tattoo on her wrist

  • 21 dots…

  • Choosing the next adventure 

  • Hiking in Nepal and to the base of Everest 

  • Advice for solo female hikers and travellers

  • Anticipate that there will be lonely times

  • How other people can put there fear narrative on you

  • Being vegan while hiking 

  • Walking to Petra in Jordan 

  • Daily hiking routines

  • Tour de Mount Blanc (TMB)

  • How fitness helps with mental health

  • Healing practices 

  • Hiking in Romania 

  • Hiking in Wales 

  • How to connect with Rachel

  • Words of advice 

  • The important of creating time for yourself


Social Media

Instagram: @whileiwalkbook 

Facebook: @whileiwalkbook  


Feeling inspired week after week?

You can do 3 easy things to help me continue to grow the podcast!

  1. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, so you won’t miss a single episode

  2. If you’re loving the podcast, please leave a 5-star review on iTunes! I read every single comment!

  3. Share the podcast with your friends, especially if you think it could help them, and spread the #ToughGirlPodcast love.

Your support helps me continue to grow the podcast and do inspiring things in this space! Already done all 3? You’re a rockstar! Thank you!

Want to do more?

Please become a Patron and donate US$5 a month to help fund the runnings costs. Thank you.

Become my Patron


bottom of page