Defining my Hike

So it’s been awhile.

The reason for this is I made a promise to myself that the next blog that I posted would be a “why am i hiking” post. I’ve been grappling with this question for a good month now, trying to force myself to come up with a solid, easily explained reason. I’ve been trying to find a good response for when my friends ask me what in the world would prompt me to do this, because recently, the only answer I have had for them is the abstract: “I just feel drawn to do it.” To which I’m generally met with a confused glance, or a doubtful expression.

Well I’ve decided that maybe that the abstract is my reason for hiking. I want to experience the unknown. I don’t know exactly what challenges and successes I will be experiencing, or who I will meet along the way. I don’t know exactly where I will be every night, and I don’t know who I will become by hiking the trail. I don’t know who I will become while hiking the trail, or how each mountain top will make me feel. I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, and I like it that way.

I want to hike the trail to find out the answers to these unknowns.

This may not be something I can easily explain to others, or even to myself. But the unknown is the true reason why I am going to be uprooting myself from a “normal” life from May to October. I think what is drawing me to the trail so strongly is because it holds the answers for me. So I am officially giving up on trying to think of a concrete answer to the ever-asked question: “Why are you hiking?” I am giving up trying to define my hike before it even starts, when I really just want to let the hike define itself, and to find the answers along the way.

This is not to say I won’t have reasons to motivate me. My questions are my motivation. My gut told me that hiking the trail is the right thing to do, and my brain, being the curious science-type that I am, needs to put some reasons behind that feeling. The main reason to think of your reasons for thru-hiking is to motivate yourself, and this is the most motivating thing that there is for me. If I fail in my goal of thru-hiking, I will never get those complete answers, and those who know me know I am much too stubborn to let that happen.

So from now on I will be honest when someone asks me “What on Earth would make you want to do this?!” I will answer with:

I’ll find out when I get there.



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