The Adventure Draws Nearer…

Realistically, I know that I will be hiking the AT in about 3 months, but it still feels like something that will happen in an abstract future.

I guess because I’m focusing on my classes and graduation I haven’t had a lot of time to think about the adventure that is waiting for me this summer. I’m still doing planning, but it doesn’t seem real in a way. Then again, it probably won’t seem real until I’m actually on the trail!

I wonder how other people felt in the time leading up to their first thru-hike. But it probably varies from person to person. I’ll have to reach out to some people and ask!

But when I do really think about it, I feel excitement with a few nerves. I can’t wait to get out there!

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Am I worried about my own mental health on the trail?

I actually didn’t think about that until I decided to write this blog post… 

I’m not too worried about it. The state of my mental health fluctuates fairly dramatically at times normally, and I expect that it will continue to do that while I am hiking the AT.

However, I think a big difference will be what I am doing. Even if I wake up with no motivation and all I want to do is stay in bed, I can’t. I have to wake up and walk. It’s not optional; I have to plan out my food, water, and my rest days in advance. By knowing that I need to get up and that it isn’t a “choice”, it will be easier because I won’t be able to lay in bed thinking ‘do I actually want to get up?’ I’ve always done better when I have a busy schedule.

I think it will also be nice to be removed from technology and the general stresses of everyday life. I’ll be able to refocus myself and figure out what my life goals are. I’m sure in all the time I’ll have in my own head, I’ll have at least a little bit of introspection.

All By Myse-eelf

Should I be worried about hiking on my own?

Maybe, but honestly, I’m not too worried about it. I’ve had a chance to think it through- a lot. Especially because my mom continuously brings it up; she is worried enough for the both of us, not that I can blame her. Like many things in life, going off on the AT could be dangerous.

I’ll probably be talking to myself a lot…

But I’m more worried about the potential of getting miserably lonely. Although I enjoy being on my own, having a few moments to yourself is nothing like being on your own for days on end. Maybe even weeks, for the most part, I have no idea how often I’ll be with other people.

Maybe I’ll find my zen

I hope I can use the opportunity to reflect on my life. To just be in my thoughts for days, weeks, months. Focusing on putting one foot in front of another. My life only consisting of what I can carry and what my body is capable of doing.

When else can you get that simplicity? When else can you remove yourself from all of the distractions around you?

What do I hope to accomplish with a cause?

I know that one person alone can’t remove the stigma from mental health, but I can help increase conversions. By sharing my own struggle, maybe I can help give someone else the courage to speak up about their own experiences.

I would like to give hope to others that struggle with mental illness.

Depression and anxiety have a large impact on my life and everyday decisions in ways that I can’t even explain and that you won’t understand unless you’ve experienced it. It can be hard to see past your mental illness and difficult to plan something huge for the future. But I’ve always wanted to do an adventure like hiking the AT and I won’t let my mental health stop me.

By sharing my story, maybe I’ll convince someone else that they too can go after their goals or adventure because you don’t have to do it alone.

Where am I?

I know where I am; I’m not stranded in the desert or anything. But I don’t know where I am in life. I’m sitting here at my desk in my dorm room wondering what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m in the second semester of my senior year. I just got back from studying abroad, and I planned on taking extra classes I’m interested in but sitting in those courses just doesn’t feel right. I feel like I’m no longer in that place of my life. I find myself questioning my place.

Should I be preparing for life after graduation? I’m hiking the AT after graduation.

Should I be spending most of my time preparing for the hike? I plan on doing practice hikes, testing my gear, and acquiring what I still need. But what then?

Should I be doing an internship just for the sake of doing an internship? I know that I need to be preparing for the world of job hunting post graduation and post AT hike, but what does that look like now? Should I be reaching out to companies already?

I am in a place of transition and I think that is scarier than preparing for a 4-7 month hike and scarier than the potential of a jobless future.

Back from my (unplanned) hiatus

As the wifi in my dorm got increasingly worse, the pressure of finals loomed nearer, and my motivation began to wain, my blog went on an unplanned hiatus. I sometimes have difficulty maintaining my motivation to write on my blog but now that I am stateside again, it is a little bit easier to start writing again!

Although my blogging was on hiatus, I made sure to walk several (10 on average) miles a day while I was in China and to take the steps instead of the escalator (mostly) when I had the chance.

Now I am back and ready to begin archiving my adventure and the process I go through!

No fake reviews here

“Fake news” may be a problem, but you don’t have to worry about fake reviews on this blog.

fake news
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Yes, I am seeking sponsorships, but I am not going to pretend I like a product just to be nice. Ask anyone who knows me; my eyebrow would give me away. I will make it clear when a product I am using was given to me and each review will be honest.

Not only would I be wasting my own time with fake reviews, but it would also be dangerous. People who hike the AT need to choose products carefully. I will not risk the safety of any fellow hikers by glossing over any negative details of a product whether it was given to me or I purchased it.