3 Weeks Out – Getting Inspired at Babson Boulders

(pictures and video at bottom!)

I fly from Boston to Atlanta on Monday, April 27th, and start hiking the next day. I’ll be hitting the approach trail a solid month or so after the bulk of NOBO thru-hikers. Following along as they’ve written and posted to Instagram has kept me on the edge of my seat. I am so excited to get started!

To all that’ve been posting, thank you!

Like many others hitting the AT this year, I’m at a turning point in my life. Last week, I turned in my notice at work, which brings to close a six year stint in financial services in Boston. I’m looking to redirect the course of things, and have chosen to do so abruptly and without having things lined up on the other end. It’s scary and exciting. I joke that it’s my questionable life decision, but, no, it’s not. Here’s a roundabout way of telling you why:

Thoreau wrote:

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity and trust.”

Over time, most of us have developed our own personal philosophies. This happens either passively, by absorbing content and instruction driven toward us, or actively, by seeking out and weighing alternative schools of thought. My day-to-day life and the path I’d set myself on hasn’t been in line with the ideals that I’ve come to value. These include minimalism, adventure, intellectual growth, being of service, and living genuinely. It’s my opinion (and just that) that aligning our actions with our personal philosophy is one of the most important things we can do to find peace in an otherwise noisy world, and achieving that is of greater importance to me than continued linear career growth.
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To that end, this past weekend I sought out inspiration at Babson Boulders in Gloucester, MA. The AT marks a pivot point from which life can go in a myriad of directions. Important, then, to go into it with the right mindset!

During the Great Depression, millionaire philanthropist Roger Babson hired immigrant stone cutters to inscribe words of inspiration into boulders at Dogtown Common. This is a wooded area in Gloucester, MA, which is a coastal town north of Boston. For centuries, it had been a refuge for the homeless.

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I’ve included some of my favorite pictures from the walk below. I also took the opportunity to try out the video camera that I’ll be bringing on the AT. So, below you can also find my first attempt at YouTube. You have to start somewhere, and hopefully the videos will only improve from here! If only I could’ve pronounced philanthropist right the first time…  🙂  Enjoy!


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