An Introduction and Why I’m Hiking the Appalachian Trail
I am Paul Madigosky and I will be blogging for the duration of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Because of this, it is only prudent to tell you all a bit about myself first:
I’ve been an outdoor enthusiast for my entire life and can generally be found in the woods when I am not at work or sleeping. Much of that has to do with my father who has taken me on trips throughout the western united states, Peru, and several other places. I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon, throughout Coronado National Forest, through the Amazon Rainforest, and many other places.
So, why a thru-hike?
What am I getting from hiking, every day, for months at a time that I can’t get from a shorter hike?
I am hiking the AT because…
- I need to reevaluate the direction I’m headed and find out how to get what I want out of life. Finding myself at a bit of a crossroads, I am between what I want to do and what I am doing with my life. I crave fulfillment rather than just chugging along the path I am going down.
- I don’t want to die without ever having done something sufficiently outside of the box. Who doesn’t want an awesome story to tell? Everyone has that one awesome family member with loads of adventure-filled tales. Most people’s lives are boring and, honestly, I am pretty bored. Life was meant to be lived, my friends!
- I want to find a deeper sense of meaning and humanity. At base, I am a philosopher and, more importantly, a primitivist. As such, this thru-hike is one of my many attempts to punch the human condition straight in the mouth. Take that, ennui!
- I’ve dreamt of doing a thru-hike for a long time and the time has arrived to overcome that dream. My estimation of meaning could very well be different from anyone else’s, but this is what means something to me. As humans we are burdened with the task of seizing each moment and opportunity strikes but once for many people.
- About a year ago, I felt the call. I was pulled in the direction of this thru-hike to such an intensity that I had no choice but to answer. Is it too melodramatic if I say this is destiny? Haha.
- I want to use this trip, as well as others, to potentially win over sponsors to support me on a raft trip down the entire Amazon River. This has never been done before. It is incredibly dangerous and will take a lot of money and a knowledgeable guide. Because of that, I will need sponsors and the way to get those is to prove yourself in other ways. This is one of those ways.
- I don’t want to be comfortable in the banality of modern life. You never know what is coming for you and I want to live richly. To quote Thoreau, “I to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life….” I’m looking to find people with similar interests, appreciate nature more thoroughly, and laugh more often.
In Summation —
I have several more reasons I could write down, but these are the most pressing ones. I won’t bore you with excessiveness.
In general, I’m just very excited to be embarking on this journey and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.
*Note: I have recently been notified that the raft trip along the Amazon has indeed been done fairly recently. While disappointing, I will certainly find some other adventure to embark upon.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.