It has been almost 6 weeks since I summited Katahdin leaving behind my favourite white blazes. It came as no surprise to me that I felt a little lost and overwhelmed by the life I returned to. I am not the same person I was 6 months ago; the AT has changed me in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
So, How Did it Change Me?
It transformed me a more positive person. As every hiker experiences there are tough days that make you want to run from the hills (instead of towards them hah). Everyday you have to decide to keep pressing on no matter how you might be feeling. I firmly believe your attitude is everything and we are lucky enough to be able to choose what our attitude will be.
I learnt to appreciate the simplicity that life has to offer. Stripping away all of the distractions that usually present themselves allows you to see life in a new light. Schedules rarely matter, plans are meant to be broken and you have no commitments except to keep moving forward. I love that. It was incredibly freeing be able to simply exist in such a world.
It helped me to trust people more freely. Before the AT I never I would have hitched or gone onto a stranger’s camper van alone to enjoy ice cream and hiking stories. While you have to keep your wits about you, there’s this sense of care within the hiking community that cannot be beat. It’s a family and it’s how I think we are supposed to interact.
It taught me the importance of living in the moment rather than letting nostalgia overwhelm me. Life becomes that much more meaningful once you recognize the simple truth that you will never get the same moment twice.
That is what I adore about life. It is constantly throwing changes at you. There is always a new challenge to overcome and the best part is you get to choose how you will respond and that will ultimately change who you are.
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Good to know,good people are still around and thriving! ???