Wander on Purpose–A Collaborative Film Project

By Amanda Cleary Eastep

UPDATE: Episodes 1-4!

Episode 1: Healthy Habits

Episode 2: Joy, Anxiety, Trust, Hurt

Episode 3: Surprises, Purpose, Worthlessness

Episode 4: Meaning and the Mundane

Day 1: Finding Healthy Habits

Day 2: Finding Courage, Giving Up Fear

Day 3: Wandering into Surprise

Day 4: Leaving Anger Along the Path

Day 5: Dropping Blessings like Breadcrumbs

Day 6: “Wander” What Your Purpose Is?

Day 7: Walking the Path Alone

My younger daughter has spent the last several years taking pictures of her feet. Not the bare feet kind with an ocean view in the background, but pictures of her boots ready to hit the next path, whether it took her down the hiking trail or to northern Africa.

My paths have been shorter, and my elder daughter and I spend a couple of days a week hiking through the “wilderness” of Chicago’s Cook County forest preserves.


At the end of this month, as I trudge familiar paths, still sometimes dreaming of trekking in Nepal or once again walking along the shoreline of a Scottish loch, my friend Erin Dooley will be walking the Wicklow Way in Ireland.

Erin, a former co-worker and fellow writer, has inspired me over the years with her sheer determination to write and create films, even in the middle of the worst time in her life.

She recently released her documentary A Way to Forgiveness about her journey–a spiritual, emotional, mental and very literal journey–to forgiveness as she hiked 550 miles across Spain along the Camino de Santiago.

On April 28, Erin will begin her walk and is inviting others to join her in a collaborative film making project, Wander On Purpose.

I’m in, if only from my familiar Chicagoland forest preserves.

As per her project plans, I’ll be shooting supplemental footage (b-roll, if you like sounding official) on at least one of my hikes and videotaping a few thoughts about one or more of Erin’s topics, below. Then she’ll incorporate my clips into this shared story of fellow, life travelers.

Craggy Gardens hike, 2015

I’ll also be writing a short post for each of the seven, themed days Erin is walking. [links below]

Finding…Healthy Habits, Courage, Surprises, Trust, Joy, Purpose, and Meaning

Like Erin, I believe walking (especially hiking) is necessary for my spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Maybe for you it’s a different practice, such as painting, singing, running, or gardening.

I hope that those of you who read will share your thoughts and experiences about your own journeys in the comments that week.

Wander on purpose, Erin, and go with God!

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face.

And rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

–Irish blessing

If you’re interested in participating, visit Erin’s website.


14 thoughts on “Wander on Purpose–A Collaborative Film Project

  1. Joining in! Emailed Erin yesterday, and heard back from her this morning. I think one of my walks on the beach is a requirement for this. 🙂 Russ and I are amazed every single time we are on the beach, taking in the sheer awesomeness of it and God’s creation; it’s a constant reminder how fortunate we are. Thanks for sharing the info…sounds like an awesome project, and a labor of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, this just gets better and better. Put that love of film and filmmaking to work! Amazing how things like this, the ones that come so much from the heart and from passion rather than planning and scripting, come together.


  2. Amanda, this sounds like a great opportunity for you. Spending time in the woods, hiking and taking photos, then sharing your thoughts. Very exciting!

    As always, I enjoyed reading your post. May God bless and keep you and yours.

    Love and hugs! xoxo


    1. Hi, Gayl! Mine would be a very small part, but it’s a cool project, and I can’t wait to see what Erin does with it. This inspired me to take a deeper look at wandering/walking/journeying and what we hope to — and do — find almost no the way. I know your love of nature so I would love to hear your thoughts. In fact, if you feel inspired by any of the themes, feel free to share a piece of your artwork or a poem, and I’ll post it with that day’s blog.

      Liked by 1 person

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