Committed to Life ON and OFF the Trail

ON the Trail

A wise man once said if you are not careful, you will “end up eating a steady diet of government cheese and living in a van down by the river”. What was once seen as a worst case scenario for lost souls is now glorified by social media influencers. It seemed that only the young living the #vanlife, or the old living the #retiredlife had time to put their life on pause to embark on a thru hike. Chasing a dream does not have to mean halting your other life goals, it may just mean reprioritizing. It started to seem like the Appalachian Trail is not just for a particular subset of the population, but for everyone. I decided that could be me! After committing to the trail, it was time to commit to doing it right.

OFF the Trail

Living in a loft apartment in the city with a girlfriend, dog, and full-time job sure seemed far removed from a van down by the river; although there is a creek nearby. Support off the trail was arguably more important than on; any pair of good trail runners will get you there, but not any partner would encourage such a crazy life endeavor. My partner did, so it was time to lock it down. Getting engaged and then leaving your fiancé behind? Quitting your job when you have a wedding to pay for? Planning a wedding during a thru hike? That sounds crazier than…well take your pick of living in the woods or picking out hydrangeas, but it did not matter because I knew what I wanted and was bold enough to go for it.

Spoiler Alert

She said yes, from the first white blaze to the last white dress. More blogs to come about the mental and physical preparation for a 2,190 mile hike from Georgia to Maine.

Go take a hike,

Mark “trail name TBD” Costello


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