My American Appalachian Adventure

G’day there!

I’m Jacob, and I’ve decided to take on the momentous task of traveling 2,200 miles on foot across the Appalachian Trail. It’s slightly more challenging having to travel another 9,087 miles to actually get on trail. I’m Australian and Australia is a frustratingly long way away from the US.

I’ve been hiking along long trails in Australia and spent some time trekking in Peru, but this is my first thru-hike of this nature. I’m 26, happy, healthy, and soon to be unemployed, so what better time to take the plunge. I’m a physiotherapist from the tourist town of Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast and have put in my resignation to be head down, bum up on the trail starting at Katahdin June 19.

I’ve always been drawn to the outdoors. Something about carrying everything you need to survive on your back feels like the ultimate accomplishment. I’m one for pushing my limits physically and mentally, and the AT will test both aspects. I’m excited to meet like-minded people who have escaped society’s norm and want to see the world differently.

Thanks to the Trek’s own Zach and his all-inspiring/motivational book, Appalachian Trials: The Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail, I have developed my “why?” for the trail. And heads ups, read this. It’s worth every penny. For me, as much as it is motivationally driving me to succeed Zach provides some really useful real world tips on how to tackle the mental side of the trek. So, thanks Zach.

Why Am I Hiking the Appalachian Trail?

  • For a sense of adventure unmatched by anything I’ve ever experienced.
  • For the mental and physical challenge. To see how far I can push myself.
  • To challenge the norm of conventional living.
  • To get over a lull in my life.
  • To take time out for me, allow me to be selfish for once.
  • To take time to find my sense of direction in life.
  • For a once in a lifetime experience.
  • To fulfill my travel desire.
  • Both the solitude and to meet new people.
  • Immersing myself in nature.

I’m so excited to get out there and update you along my journey. I’m slowly starting to get my gear together and training preparations are under way. Let’s go!

– Jacob


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Comments 4

  • Russ1663 : Feb 26th

    Jacob. Best of luck on your journey. It is amazing out there. When you pass through Virginia there are lots of interesting places; Humpback Rock, McAfee Knob and Dragon’s Tooth. Damascus is an absolutely wonderful trail town.

    Take care, have fun


    • Jacob Payne : Mar 2nd

      Thanks a lot Russ. I’ve already got a few of those landmarks written down to draw extra attention to! You’re not the first person I’ve seen say that. Sounds like a great place to spend some time! Cheers
      – Jacob

  • Morgan Novak : Mar 5th

    Best of luck to you on your journey! My boyfriend and I enjoy hiking the White’s in New Hampshire. You’ll have a blast!

    • Jacob Payne : Mar 5th

      Ahhhh soo jealous. I’m looking forward to the Whites the most! I might very well see you guys out there!


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