Why I Am Hiking the Appalachian Trail


It’s Camino season over at REI. For some reason this time of year we get many customers planning their trip to do the Camino de Santiago in Spain. If you’ve never heard of the Camino think of it as backpacking, but with way more access to wine and finer foods. Honestly, the Camino is what sparked my journey into backpacking. I was inspired at the thought of people so devout that they would go roughly 500 miles just to seek God or whatever else they worship. Now I’m finding that maybe I could use a pilgrimage too.

I honestly feel lost in a sense. Not that I don’t know who I am or what I aspire to be. Those are pretty clear cut thankfully, but in that I don’t know what to expect after March hits and I start hiking. Immediately after I finish thru hiking I’m headed off to law school (where I’m going is murky at best as I’m still waiting on some decisions). I am a planner at my core and this is the first time in my adult life where I don’t have a detailed plan. Currently all I’m thinking is:

1. Get into law school

2. Get to Katahdin

It is honestly a really nice feeling the more I face it. Having simple goals makes a simpler life. I have the opportunity to live out a dream, and a great one at that! Being uncomfortable is good because you grow the most in those situations. So in all this beautiful chaos surrounding signing my life away to predatory school loans, and saying goodbye to steady income I just have one goal for my thru-hike: Seek God.

That’s it really. Defining moments of my life most often happened on trail and something spiritual happens. I just want to see more of those moments and try to understand more about this creation we call home. At 23, I still have a lot to learn about myself and I don’t know how my next chapter of life will go. Applying to law school is scary. The amount of money involved is horrendous. Waiting for a decision that doesn’t go your way is tough. Life is for living though, and I will live it to the fullest.

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