Prologue

I have thought a lot about this first entry. Like, a lot a lot. Honestly, probably a bit too much. I guess it’s much better than not thinking it through right? Kind of like the decision I made to actually walk 2,190 miles…It took a really long time.

For my first entry, I really didn’t want to talk about my gear or the money or the time I have or have not spent physically and mentally preparing. I kind of just wanted to explain what’s going on in my head right now.

When I was 5 years old, my Dad took a photo of me holding a toad. I guess it wasn’t just one photo. It was a straight up photoshoot of me and this toad I had just caught. A photo of it next to my face, a shot of the toad in my hands, and another of it hopping away. I’m pretty certain I was the one encouraging the photoshoot. But anyway, I was going through that photo album not too long ago and laughed. I still do that same exact thing. But now, I’m 29 years old and I’m the one taking 21 selfies on my phone of me and a toad and simultaneously posting to snapchat. Not a lot has changed unfortunately. Or maybe it’s not that unfortunate. 

I really love being outside. I love plants. I love animals. And I get so much joy out of documenting life’s little moments.

It took me a long time to actually decide like yep, yeah, I’m going to do this. It took me about 4 years. A lot of reading, a lot of talking to friends and family (ugh sorry guys), listening to podcasts, and a whole lot of watching documentaries and youtube videos. It also had to do with timing. When I first started considering the trail I was in a pretty serious 7 year relationship, had lost my job, and really felt confused about my next step. But, after 6 months of unemployment and frustration, I landed a job with an awesome company and I really felt things were on the up and up. The trail idea faded and I worked happily for 2 years. I ended up getting blind sided and losing that job and that relationship had crumbled months before as well. My mind naturally went to the trail again. I had never really stopped thinking about it but I also hadn’t really thought it could be a logical possibility. But now it was different, I could feel it. Like, reeeeeally dig it. It was consuming most of my thoughts. And it was a bit of an obsession. I honestly thought this could be the time.

I decided to move home. Home as in the home I grew up in, my parents house. I felt like a failure for a long time. I guess part of me still feels this way. I felt like I had to something to prove by living alone and single and unemployed. Moving home I felt was sort of a cop out. On the plus side though, moving home allowed me to manage my finances better and reconnect with old pals which was awesome and so very helpful. 

I go through a cycle of emotions daily. I’ve thought a lot about the time I’ll be gone, all the relationships I’m putting on hold. Also about how selfish I am for doing this. It scares me, makes me feel guilt, and makes me sad that I’ll be missing out in my some of favorite people’s lives. But, I honestly haven’t ever been so aggressive about a particular dream in my entire life. It empowers me to know that I’m actually making this dream a reality. It doesn’t feel like a reality and maybe it won’t until week 3. It also is empowering to have the support of my parents, grandparents, my awesome boyfriend, and wonderful friends. There’s no way I’d be as compelled to do this if it wasn’t for them pushing me and helping these past few months.

I really cannot wait to share this experience through imagery and words. This is one of the reasons I really want to do it. I want others to appreciate the beauty too.

So now I’m a week and a half away, counting the days down, and hoping there’s not a blizzard the second week of April.

I’m anxious. I’m a little scared. And I’m damn excited. 

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Comments 34

  • Paul Rhoades : Mar 29th

    Will be looking forward to your photos and reading your posts,Paul Rhoades New Boston Michigan.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks so much, Paul! I can’t wait to share.

      Reply
  • Ed England : Mar 29th

    Anna, I have thought about doing this for years. I’d love to follow your progress on here. Stay tuned! Ed

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks, Ed. I appreciate you reading!

      Reply
  • Mark Zimmerman : Mar 29th

    You got this, Awny. (Love, Pops)

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks, Dad. I think I’ve got it.

      Reply
  • Dena : Mar 29th

    Amazing! Cannot wait to see the adventure through your eyes and lens! Good Luck!

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks, Dena. I can’t wait to share.

      Reply
  • Jess : Mar 29th

    SO Excited that this is happening so soon! And I’m really looking forward to following along and seeing the beautiful sights and sounds you capture through your unique perspective. I hope the excitement, empowerment and accomplishment win out over some of the negative feelings—I know it’s going to be very difficult leaving people behind for a bit (I know I’ll be missing you loads), but you definitely don’t need to feel selfish/guilty about it. This will be an amazing experience, and I think you’ll be better for it <3 I mean, as a wise lady once told me, you do you ; )

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks my Jess. Your support means so much to me. So thankful for you.

      Reply
  • Sandy P : Mar 29th

    SO excited to “travel” with you. I’m proud of you OnZ. <3

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks dear Sandy. I’m so excited too.

      Reply
  • Lauren Skufca : Mar 29th

    Best of luck, Anna. I know you’ll do great as always, and this will be an accomplishment that will last a lifetime. Looking forward to following along on this platform.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks for the support, Skuffie. Means a lot to me.

      Reply
  • Kerry Mitchell : Mar 29th

    You got this! I honestly look up to you for continuing to follow your dream while putting other things on hold. I think that’s a hard thing for most people to do and I, quite frankly, find that to be inspiring. We will all miss you, but I am stoked about following the adventures on here and living vicariously, haha 🙂

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks Kberry. Your support means so much to me.

      Reply
  • Mr Maps : Mar 29th

    Good luck Anna! Your words resonate with me….i will be following your leap of faith!
    Have a blast

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thank you very much.

      Reply
  • D : Mar 29th

    Proud of you. See you on the trail.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thank you. Yeah, see you!

      Reply
  • Amber Linville : Mar 29th

    I’m beyond excited for you Anna! What an amazing adventure and experience! I will be thinking of you and keeping up with your progress. You take such wonderful photos so I know we will all get to see the beauty through your eyes! Enjoy and be safe!

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 29th

      Thanks so much, Amber!

      Reply
  • Thom : Mar 29th

    I want to see the toad picture….

    Reply
  • Kerry Remp : Mar 29th

    Goals & Dreams are what Life is made of. Do not feel one bit selfish – by going for your dreams you will be happy with yourself first – and that happiness will radiate and enhance all of your relationships for the rest of your life. As we say at NASA on the eve of a huge adventure: God’s Speed, Anna.

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 30th

      Thanks so much, Mr. Remp!

      Reply
  • Amy Fleenor : Mar 29th

    Best of luck, Anna!! I’m excited for your adventure <3

    Reply
    • Anna Zimmerman : Mar 30th

      Thanks Amy. I’m excited too!

      Reply
  • Rebecca tompkins : Apr 8th

    Anna,This is sooooo exciting. I will b praying for u and your the baby every step of the way. I love people who have an adventurous spirit and know how to spread their wings. You can do all things thru Christ who strengthens you. Blessings girl

    Reply
  • Monica : Apr 8th

    We are proud of you and don’t think you are selfish at all. Go for it. We will be praying for your safe return. This will be such a great experience you are so brave. Excited to see your pictures.

    Reply
  • Cairn Novak : Apr 8th

    I have thought a lot about this since I first heard you were thinking of taking this long hike…what? Is she crazy?, etc. I have come to the conclusion that I know no other person that has the determination, focus, stubbornness and passion that you have about this. You can do it and you will do it. Pretty sure you will come back an even better person than you already are, which will be kind of hard, since you are already pretty awesome. Love you and be careful! (sorry, I just had to say that last thing, I feel like Grandma Zimm made me say it, I can just hear her saying that to you….)

    Reply
  • Raquel Ojalvo : Apr 8th

    Hi Anna! Wow, I am incredibly happy for you, don’t feel any bit of guilt for following your dreams, you deserve to put you first and embark on the journey ahead! Can’t wait to follow your journey. Best of luck sweet friend, stay safe out there…and enjoy the beauty! <333

    Reply
  • Anita Lustrea : Apr 10th

    So glad I spotted the link on your dad’s Facebook page just in time for the start of your trek! I’ll be following and praying for safety and fun times and no blizzards! You’ll end in my home state of Maine at Mount Katahdin! You’ll love it!!

    God speed you on your journey!

    Reply
  • Amber Linville : Apr 10th

    Thinking of you as you begin your journey!

    Reply
  • Brian Mc : Apr 12th

    Live,
    Travel,
    Adventure,
    Bless,
    And don’t be sorry.
    -Kerouac

    Safe travels.

    Reply

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