March and Trail Challenges Are Sneaking Up Quickly
Whenever you’re driving and you pass a long stretch of empty field with a forest on the other side, does that forest call to you to park your car and cross that field to get there? Or when you’re parked at an intersection and you see a secret trail, beckoning you to follow its path winding just out of view?
I’ve always felt that way when I was a kid and had to go on long car rides to visit family during the holidays. Noticing those secret paths leading into the unknown or gazing longingly at that forest and wondering what was beyond always sparked my imagination and my curiosity.
When I got older, I just loved spending time outdoors. It’s a little different now because I lived in Connecticut as a kid and now I reside in Florida. On weekends, weather permitting (looking at you, hurricanes), I like to hike with my boyfriend, J.J. We’ve hiked through pine flatwoods, scrubs, mangroves, hammocks, freshwater marshes and dunes. Hot and super muggy but finishing each hike feels glorious and addicting! I’m also a shutterbug so I always find a moment to capture.
Hello, Angel? Life’s Calling. Do You Want to Take It?
One of my life’s goals is to hike around the Alps and visit all the countries along the way. It stinks that it is so pricey to cross the pond, so I researched if there were any long trails in the United States. Boy, was I in for a surprise! There’s even one for Florida!
The Appalachian Trail line called to me from the map. Dreaming about hiking it is one thing, actually planning on traversing it is another.
Since 2009, I’ve been paying off my school loan from earning my bachelor’s degree and I’m excited to say that in November 2017, I finally paid it off! I looked at my options again. This is the time to hike this trail. I’ve been jumping through society’s hoops on what I should be doing, but right now, I want to do something for me.
I want to see new things and face new physical and mental challenges. I want to get in better shape without the constant distractions. The only things I can do are do more exercises, camp more, and walk more. The store that I currently work at transferred me closer to home since they’re redoing the whole store. This is awesome because I walk to work now. It’s not far, 1.5 miles each way. Three miles, without thinking about it.
Counting Down the Months
So, for the past year, J.J. and I have been saving funds, buying and testing gear, and going on weekend practice hikes. Sure, there are no mountains in Florida but 100 degree summers with our big storms in the afternoons are definitely good practice of embracing the suck. It’s finally cooling down again so it’s the best time to squeeze some more weekend hikes before March.
I hope you follow along as I highlight the good, the bad, and the memorable from our journey to Maine. I hope I can inspire you to go out and follow your dreams. There will always be another job. There will always be another place to live. You have only one life and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Get out there and do something for you.
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