Alberta mom walks 2,000 kilometres to 'visit' her kids — virtually

·2 min read
Debbie Medinski on a walk, trying to cover the distance to reach her children's homes across Alberta and BC.  (Submitted by Danika Medinski - image credit)
Debbie Medinski on a walk, trying to cover the distance to reach her children's homes across Alberta and BC. (Submitted by Danika Medinski - image credit)

Sometime last August, Debbie Medinski realized it might be a long time before she could drive to see her children, who are spread across Alberta and British Columbia.

So she decided to walk to them instead. Virtually.

"I thought, 'Well, I've got to visit my VIPs,'" Medinski told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"I can't do without them so I started the trek."

The 65-year-old retired teacher didn't actually walk all the way to her kids from her home near Edson, Alta.

Instead, she started going on daily walks and hikes, keeping track of the kilometres she covered.

Since August she has walked 1,901 kilometres — enough distance to visit all four children living in Edmonton, Athabasca, Alta., and the B.C. communities of Castlegar and Revelstoke.

"We thought it was awesome," said daughter Danika, who lives in Revelstoke.

"We're always really impressed at her dedication. And it makes it actually really entertaining for us to chat with her and ask her where she's at on her way."

Medinski didn't just walk the walk. She also let her kids enjoy the experience by sending regular updates with descriptions of sights from the journey.

"I'm in Rogers Pass and I can almost see your house!" she texted to Danika.

Debbie Medinski on a call with her daughter Danika.
Debbie Medinski on a call with her daughter Danika.(Submitted by Danika Medinski)

She also kept in touch with her kids via Zoom sessions. Medinski said the whole experience taught her a little more about the communities her children call home.

"I have some fun conversations on the way with them about, you know, how the shoes are wearing down and the legs are continuing on and, you know, just a chance to keep in contact and keep in touch with everybody," she said.

Danika said the new initiative is the best way to show her mother's creative problem-solving skills.

"Usually what she ends up doing is kind of re-evaluating her priorities and setting a goal and then taking kind of patient steps towards achieving that goal," she said.

"I think that's a really cool way to solve problems. And it's definitely made me try to do the same in my life."

Medinski continues on her walks as she now aims to reach her sister, who lives in Gibsons, B.C.