3 Trains, Some Lists, and Mangoes
It’s time!! I’m headed south via train(s) to start my hike. It still doesn’t feel quite real yet. My buddy, Krums, will be starting with me from Amicalola Falls State Park tomorrow morning. We will begin our trek with some trail magic, complements of an angel that saw me looking for a shuttle on Facebook. She happened to have the day off and now we have a ride plus company on the way to the trail. So that’s awesome! We were having a tough time arranging transportation to the approach trail from Gainesville. We figured it should be easier since Gainesville is closer to the trail than Atlanta, but that has not been our experience. So now we get to kick off our trip by meeting a fellow AT lover!
I guess it’s about time to share my lists. It’s now or never, right?
I am thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail because…
-Nature is my first love. The idea of spending six months outside, in the woods, sounds like a dream come true!
-I have the world’s most amazing and supportive boyfriend. He is on board 100% and has made the process of getting ready and actually going through with this so much easier than it could have been. It’s much easier to leave home when I know everything is taken care of.
-Long-term travel has always been a dream of mine. Thru-hiking the trail allows me to combine my love of hiking with my love of travel.
-I love meeting new and different people. Most everyone I meet in the coming months will share a dream…and that’s pretty awesome!
-I feel a need to test myself. This adventure will test both my body and mind.
-Doing the things that you really want to do is important…even if it’s scary.
When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail I will…
-Know, without a doubt, that I really can do it.
-Be able to tell my future daughter (or any young female I am lucky enough to have an impression on) that being a girl doesn’t mean that you can’t get dirty or have big adventures…even alone.
-Start planning my next adventure, if it’s not already planned by then. (Grand Enchantment Trail anyone?)
-Have unbridled self-confidence…I hope.
-Get ready to move West. Colorado maybe?
-Have eternal bragging rights.
If I give up on the Appalachian Trail I will…
-Second guess myself and and my sense of adventure.
-Have to face everyone who said I wouldn’t make it.
-Have to find a job. Yuck!!
-Feel like I’ve lost the ability to inspire others to take risks.
-Have gone through all of the tough stuff without the payoff.
-Miss out on all of the amazing experiences and trials I would have had along the way.
So that’s all I’ve got. Here we sit, at Penn station, eating mangoes…because Krums brought mangoes. Plural. I met a lovely indoor pigeon and now I’m off to find a Starbucks. Typical NY day, and the last for a while. Taking those first steps tomorrow!
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I challenge you to reframe your “If I give up on the Appalachian Trail I will…” list to be more positive. Too often our society (go figure) demonizes the act of quitting to represent failure, weakness, etc. when in all actuality it can be a sign of strength, wisdom, self-awareness, etc. How many people do you know that are miserable in their lifestyles, yet too paralyzed to quit because they’re scared of the unknown, the “what the h**l will I do next”, or truly discovering themselves?
Was happy to give you guys a lift to the trail. Hopefully the rain didn’t damper your spirits and you are having a blast out there.