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3 Reasons Why I’m Thru-Hiking the AT

“Do not wait: The time will never be just right”

-Napoleon Hill

I think Napoleon and I are on the same page.

There is no “right time” to go hike for 6 months.  We all have those gross things called responsibilities and obligations that most often turn into excuses that hold us back.  There are only opportunities.  When you recognize an opportunity, you better grab it and run. like. hell.

1. I found my opportunity.

I’m working on my undergrad for Speech Language Pathology & Audiology and am set to graduate Spring 2015.  This career field requires a Masters degree in order to become certified.  The thought of being in school another 2 years is so unattractive at this point.   I started observing my peers and it terrified me.  Everyone is in sheer panic about taking their GRE’s, submitting grad school applications, getting letters of recommendation, compiling all of their transcripts..blah blah blah.  In one swift decision… I said No, I’m not going to prematurely sprout grey hairs over this.  I’m going to finish my bachelors degree and peace out for a while.  Guess what?  You can go back to school whenever or wherever!

2. I now know what happiness looks like & I want more.

After spending a little over a month on the AT this past summer (that is a story on its own) I discovered what true happiness felt like.  I’m not talking about the kind of happiness you temporarily feel at Christmas time either.  I’m talking about the “rainbows are shooting out of my body” happiness.  For the most part, everyone out on the trail is extremely positive, nonjudgmental and accepting.  The connections you make are completely genuine and the kindness you experience is ridiculously inspiring.

For the first time in my life I was living in the moment.  My mind wasn’t scrolling through a billion “to do’s” and I wasn’t stuck in the past.  Because of this, I noticed all of my senses became so much more in tune.  This might be referred to as “Hiker Super Powers”.  It’s unbelievably freeing and makes every moment so much more intense/meaningful.

3. Trust.

Not only is it a legit Megadeath song, it’s a trait all adventurers must possess.  You have to let go and trust that everything will be okay.  Now, in no way is this related to carelessness.  It’s okay to have “your feet in the air and your head on the ground” (Where is my mind-Pixies).  I have trust that no matter where I go, what I do – I’ll be successful by my own standards.  It’s more than OK to not live your life by the invisible guidelines that everyone else follows.  Life is what you make it, don’t let it pass you by!

Bear Hug

See? Everything will be fine.

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