Boxes, Bridesmaids, and Backpacking

My last day of work was exactly two weeks ago today. Despite my new unemployment status, I have been extremely busy over the last 14 days making final gear and food preparations, packing and moving out of my apartment, celebrating with friends, visiting with family, and mentally preparing for the next 2,190 miles.

Last week I had the honor and privilege to stand next to my best friend on her wedding day. This mini vacation consisted of beautiful Florida sunshine, countless laughs and new memories made with my best friends, and quite possibly the last glamorous moment I will experience for the next five to six months.

As a social worker, I spent a great deal of time providing psychoeducation about mental health, self-care, and developing healthy coping skills. Throughout the next 2,190 miles ahead of me I have the perfect opportunity to practice what I preach.

To mentally prepare myself I have:

–My list of whys and whats to reference on the toughest of days, per Zach Davis’s instruction in “Appalachian Trials.”

–Adopted the sage hiker advice to never quit on a bad day.

–Created a digital “smile file” on my phone with photos of the people I love, screenshots of conversations to be remembered, encouraging quotes, and memes for a laugh.

–A sealed envelope with specific instructions to “Only Open When In Need of a Pick Me Up” (which I hope will remain sealed for several miles to come, but I am grateful to have it, just in case).

I am currently en route to Georgia. I am spending a few days with some close family friends to rest and recharge before I hit the trail.

Amicalola, I’ll be seeing you in two days!

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Comments 2

  • Avatar
    Sabrina Sullenberger : Mar 23rd

    I am so excited to follow your journey! What a life changing experience you will have!

  • Avatar
    Paul Rhoades : Mar 24th

    Good luck in your adventures on the AT,I’m hoping to hike in the AT in about four years when I retire from work, can you add me to your blogs or post,facebook would be great


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