Before Departure: 3 Things I Am Anxious About, 3 Things I Am Excited For

My Departure:

On an undisclosed date which we will simply refer to as “the ever-looming soon”, I will be taking my leave from the safe and relatively predictable world of modern day life. I will then haul my somewhat half-cocked self to the woods in order to walk around for months on end.

To make an attempt to self-justify my reasoning for this, I have noticed, as might be expected, I am both nervous and excited about a few main points. Below are my lists detailing both.

Three Things I am Most Nervous About:

  1. Gear:
    No matter how long you are hiking, you always have to worry about bringing the proper gear. It is only natural to worry that you have your gear absolutely tuned in for a hike of this magnitude. Though I believe I do and have been working on it for some time, there is always that part of you that worries.
  2. Diet:
    In “real” life, I eat pretty healthily. I worry that, when deciding what to buy for sustenance along the way, I will be hard-pressed to find healthy food options with an adequate shelf life, unrefrigerated. As a large fan of protein, I will miss eating fresh meat. Normally, I have a chicken breast every morning and wash it down with a protein shake. This won’t be possible on trail when I need the protein most.
  3. Money:
    I am pretty dang good with money. I can budget extremely well and never really have to worry about running out of what I need. However, for the next six or so months, there will be no income to support my outgoing cash flow. Since I always keep good tabs on my finances, this causes me to experience a fair amount of anxiety, though I’ve thoroughly planned for this.


Rationalization —

I know that I have planned for all of these things and that I will be fine. I’ve properly budgeted, tuned in and tested my gear, and learned enough about food choices along the way to keep me relatively happy and healthy. The mind sometimes creates worry to deal with being at the foot of a mountainous goal. I intend to make the summit.


Three Things I Am Most Excited For:

  1. Time to Think:
    Since I have been small, walking has been one of my favorite pastimes. There was a time when I would walk everywhere, back when I had no place to be and no specific time to be there. I find a quiet walk to be the best time to think, and a time when you do your best thinking. I have had far too few moments to think in the past several years and am eager to resume the peacefulness of that practice for a time.
  2. The Scenery:
    I grew up loving the woods. My father used to take me out all the time when I was young. We would watch birds, catch insects, he would teach me about trees and animals. They were good times and I have grown to appreciate the subject of his teachings while alone as well. I am excited to see new places, learn new things, gain new perspective.
  3. Living in the Woods for an Extended Period of Time:
    I’ve always been an eccentric soul. I don’t understand or care much for the comings and goings of the modern world. It all seems rather “meta-surface” to me, as if we’re all just scrambling to find adequate purpose in a plasticized reality we’ve inadvertently created for ourselves. I’ve fantasized about living in the woods my entire life and am ecstatic to be able to break out of the rat race and do that for a bit.


In Essence —

To lay it all bare, I will have a goal (which I always appreciate), I will be in a preferred environment, and I will have time to develop thoughts not muddled by the extraneous hubbub of everyday life. I could not be happier at the prospect of doing anything else.


Too Long, Didn’t Read:

Wrapping it all up into an easily-digestible package, this is going to be six or so months of everything I’ve wanted for some time and I’m anxious as all hell about it.


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Comments 2

  • pearwood : Mar 1st

    D. All of the above.
    Next year.
    I’m looking forward to reading about your walking and thinking.
    Steve / pearwood

  • Robert M Steen : Mar 1st

    Paul, Can totally relate to where you’re coming from on most every level. I’m probably as big a fan of nature and the outdoors as yourself. That’s one reason that extended time on the Trail solo is actually appealing, hardly unnerving. I’m a sole- proprietor and thus am most accustomed to having time to myself. At this time (6 weeks out from Springer), unfortunately that’s providing a bit more time to mull over the very same subjects you discuss. Driving myself a little crazy, but I can’t wait! Perhaps we’ll meet on the T rail and talk each other down. ( ; Let’s do it!!


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