Why I am Hiking the Appalachian Trail


In elementary college, almost certainly 1999 or 2000, my class had a guest speaker come in. She spoke to us about her time on the Appalachian Trail as a thru-hiker. I was fully hanging on every single word she spoke. Tiny did I know, that thru-hiker planted a smaller dream in me that would remain hidden for a lengthy time.

I grew up in a smaller rural town in Tennessee nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, so the trail was no stranger to me expanding up. I try to remember begging my loved ones to stroll up the trail at Newfound Gap every single year when we would take our loved ones trip to Gatlinburg. No luck, but that dream of thru-hiking was nonetheless sitting in the back of my thoughts.

This is exactly where the AT crosses at Newfound Gap. This is also exactly where I would dream of becoming a thru-hiker when I was younger.

I’ve loved becoming outdoors my entire life, but in no way got super interested in hiking till college. I had hit a fairly low point in my mental overall health struggle and discovered that hiking was my escape from that. The tiny dream in the back of my head began to come to the forefront now. I began preparing a thru hike when in college and had plans to go in 2016 or 2017. Unforeseen situations place that dream on pause a tiny when longer.

I graduated college in 2017 and acquiring a “grown up” job became some thing that I believed necessary my focus at that point. I’m at present on my 3rd job given that graduating and I honestly hate it, just like I’ve hated the two prior to. So, this year is when I decided that I’m going to leave that behind, place my profession on pause, and stick to that dream. Why endure via a job I hate when the trail has been calling me for so lengthy?

The Why

The why is the most significant query to ask oneself when committing to some thing as significant as a thru hike. The why is what will hold you going on these days exactly where you just want to quit.

I have a handful of causes as to why I want to do this.

  1. It is been some thing I’ve been interested in carrying out for so lengthy

two.  I want to prove to myself that I can do this.

I was supposed to go on a lengthy term mission trip a handful of years ago and I backed out. At the time I came up with an excuse, but just after dwelling on it for so lengthy, I have come to terms with the truth that I was scared. I really feel like a failure for backing out of that trip and I nonetheless regret it to this day. Standing on major of that sign at Katahdin will assist me comprehend that I’m stronger than I assume I am.

three. The cliche “I have no thought what I want to do with my life”

But it is so accurate. I believed I had a grasp on what I wanted out of my life, but I truly do not. I’m hoping to truly get a grasp on who I am as a particular person and to let go of who I applied to be.

four. I want to be uncomfortable

I totally really like becoming in nature. The woods is someplace exactly where I truly really feel alive. I’ve spent my entire life inside my comfort zone and I want to push previous these boundaries. I’m tired of carrying out what’s anticipated and to just overlook about your dreams to attain that “American Dream.” I’ve realized that I do not give a shit about the “American Dream.” I want to challenge myself and I want to develop.

The Ultimate Purpose

I haven’t decided on a begin date however, but sometime among March and April 2020, I will place anything I’ll will need on my back and stroll. I will stroll via 14 states and more than two,100 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. I’m excited and terrified at the exact same time.

I’m going to be leaving the most essential people today in my life. My fiancé, my loved ones, and my two dogs Chloe and Gwen. I have so a lot assistance from my fiancé and I am so thankful for that. He will even be joining me for some sections.

My fiancé and I on Max patch ideal just after he proposed. I got engaged on the Appalachian Trail!

So here’s my announcement. I am hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2020 (Can you hold a secret? I haven’t told my mom however. ) If you want to stick to my journey, please subscribe to my web page right here or stick to me on Instagram. Pleased Trails!

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