Here’s to Hoping You’ll Fall in Love with Me

Dear reader,

One’s first blog post on the Trek is an opportunity to make a quality first impression on backpacking enthusiasts from all over. I could charm you with a sweet story about how I came to love the outdoors or impress you with my sheer wit. Instead, in a total lack of confidence in my ability to do either, I have decided to sway your emotions towards me using the science of Dr. Arthur Aron.

I’m sure many of you saw the same New York Times article that circled different media spheres in 2015 that I did – The 36 Questions That Lead to Love. Now, when that article was published, I was 14 years old and had no interest in getting someone to fall in love with me. Now, nine years later, it feels right to pull out the big guns for our new and flourishing relationship as blogger & reader. My thought is that it will be a lot harder for you to stop reading if you’re already in love with me.

Before we begin, I suppose I should provide a simple introduction so you can have a baseline knowledge of who I am. My name is Florencia Loncán. I am 23 years old, I’m a Scorpio (some people find this really important), and I am thru hiking the Appalachian Trail starting in April.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about me (for now).

20 Questions to Fall in Love*

*Some questions were removed because they don’t work via blog format or because there are some things that simply don’t have to be shared with strangers on the internet 🙂

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

First answer that popped in my head? My best-friend, Anna-Lisa. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of celebrities that would be cool to meet or scientists who I would love to ask so many questions, but Anna-Lisa and I have been friends for ten years and we still find new things to talk about.

Anna-Lisa (left) and I on one of our many weekend day hikes.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

I want the work I do in the future to be of such a high quality that it is well known by others. For example, I hope to be working in communications within the conservation sector. I’d love for my writing to have an impact beyond the immediate circle that would be expected to read it. So, I guess the simple answer is yes, but I’d like my work to be famous, not necessarily myself.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

Yes. All the time. I have anxiety. I don’t always trust myself to get all the information I need on a phone call if I don’t make myself a mini script. This only applies to phone calls with people I don’t know. I love talking with loved ones on the phone.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

My perfect day has temperatures above 75, sun shining, and any swimmable body of water. I’d spend the day with friends outside enjoying each other’s company.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I sing to myself all the time. I love to sing. I don’t take myself seriously though. I like to sing in the way that everyone loves to sing at a concert of an artist they love. The last time I sang to someone was when my roommates and I danced around the kitchen while cooking dinner. Music and dancing is something I love. I would never ruin it by taking it seriously.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

I had to think about this one for a minute, but if the assumption is that your mind or body would continue to age as they normally would those last 60 years of life, I think I’d prefer to have the body of a 30-year-old. Most of my hobbies involve being outside and active in one way or another. Also I like having confidence in my body’s ability to do simple things – getting up, walking, writing, etc. If my mind would continue to age normally, I would still be mentally-fit for the majority of my life. Besides, part of the charm of getting older is blaming your behaviors on your aging mind.

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

I really think I’m going to die in my sleep when I’ve lived a fulfilling life. At least, that’s what I’m manifesting.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

I’m going to make some broad assumptions about the Trek readership here.

  1. We like the outdoors
  2. We find backpacking to be fascinating and love following other’s journeys
  3. We would die to be a guest on Backpacker Radio

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

I am incredibly grateful for the people in my life, particularly my family. My parents and my two brothers are the people I love most in this world. I am who I am because of them.

10. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

I would love to be able to know my body so well that when something is wrong, I can pinpoint exactly what it is and how to fix it.

11. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

I would want to know what place in the world would make me happiest to live in. I don’t know where I want to head to next after finishing the AT.

12. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

I’ve really wanted to move to a new state. I have lived in North Carolina for most of my life, and the farthest west I’ve been is eastern Kentucky. I haven’t left yet mainly because I have been in school this whole time. I went to UNC-Chapel Hill for both my undergrad and my master’s, and now I plan on thru hiking the Appalachian Trail. If anything, this hike is my trial run for living farther than an hour from my family.

13. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

My greatest accomplishment in life was passing my master’s thesis defense this past November. I have never worked as hard on something before. My thesis was titled “Understanding Visitors’ Motivations Behind Environmental Stewardship in Great Smoky Mountains National Park(GRSM)” I conducted my own ethnography in GRSM, which included observations and interviews of visitors in the park. When I passed my defense, I cried.

I graduated with a M.A. in Media and Communication with a concentration in strategic communication.

14. What do you value most in a friendship?

Feeling safe with another person. Both physically and mentally. Good friendships feel like home where I can comfortably be myself.

15. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

I would probably spend more money. I like the security that saving money brings me in case unexpected events happen in the future. If I knew that, in a year out, I was going to die, I’d start booking those vacations I was putting off.

16. What does friendship mean to you?

Everything. My friends make my life exciting. I’m sure everyone feels this about their own friends, but I think that I objectively have the best friends in the world. They are my main source of laughter.

17. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

I love music so much, but I have such a hard time learning lyrics. It’s frustrating, but it is something you will have to get used to. Singing the wrong lyrics to songs is my specialty.

18. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

I think humor is an amazing thing that we as humans often use to make light of the very serious world around us. I think using humor to purposefully hurt other people is cruel, but if there is open communication and clear boundaries, I think humor can be applied in all aspects of life.

I have yet to tell my family that I love them today. I haven’t done it yet because I hadn’t really thought about it. Let me get on that.

20. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

My journals. I have been journaling since I was in high school, and I love the idea of being able to look back on my life when I’m older and see how I perceived my world. Most everything else I own can be replaced, but my journals hold part of me that I have not placed anywhere else.


So… 20 questions later and how are we feeling? Lovey dovey? Like you want to subscribe to see all my blog posts? If you’re still not sure, that’s okay. One thing I can promise you is loads of content covering my experience on the Appalachian Trail, which I’ll be starting in April. If you’re interested in following along, I’d love to have you.

Here’s to hoping you fall in love with me.



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Comments 24

  • EmptySmile : Mar 18th

    Have a great hike! Doubt I’ll run into you out there since I’m only doing a short stint on the AT from Daleville/Troutville VA, to Harper’s Ferry WV, before I jump on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail in Maryland.

    Be safe, have fun, and happy trails!

    • Jim David : Mar 19th

      I’ve never done a thorough hike. However, I’ve done 500 miles of section hiking on CDT. Now, I’m retired.. & living in Southern Illinois. I’m a 76-year-old retiree who still hikes weekly in the Shawnee National Forest. I need a new hero to follow. Girl, I think you are it.. if you don’t mind?
      Jim David

      • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

        I’d be honored! Thank you!

    • John Oleksak : Mar 19th

      Have a safe hike.

      • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

        Thank you so much!

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      Thank you so much!

  • Ted Baker : Mar 18th

    Pleased to meet you! Finished following Peg Leg a few months ago after she’d become just the 2nd woman to do the AT, IAT, and then down to the Keys (forgot what that one’s called, ADT?), and need a new daily (or near daily trail fix). Best wishes, you CAN do it!

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      Thank you so much! Looking forward to writing more once I hit the trail.

  • John Rutkowski III : Mar 18th

    I think those are all good questions and answers. Just remember “Too soon old, too late smart.”

    I’m walking the Spanish coast potion of the Camino Portuguese.

    I’ll be back stateside mid to late May, so maybe I can arrange some trail magic in Pennsylvania.

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      The Camino is on my bucket list as well! Have a wonderful time!

  • Rob Anderson : Mar 18th

    Ha ha…
    Excellent!! Your approach did it for me… go girl!!!
    Looking forward to hearing more. Very well done indeed on passing your thesis defence…I know how hard that is! X

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      I appreciate that so much. Thanks for following along!

  • Kathy Underhill : Mar 18th


    My husband and I have been and still are hikers and I learned about you from your mom, when she was requesting a hiking cookbook book from me.:)

    We love to follow thru hikers and have done a fair amount of hiking ourselves. Now in our 70s , we don’ hike as much, but really enjoy doing it vicariously through our thru hiker friends!

    Thanks for letting us follow you and we look forward to the adventure.

    Best blessings!

    Kathy and Chris

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      Thank you so much for following along!

  • Jerry Frady : Mar 18th

    As an NC State grad and Wolfpack fan I was in love until you mentioned UNC-CH! Enjoy the hike and best of luck to you. Maybe we’ll run in to each other as I hit some more sections this year.

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      Thank you, and congrats on the ACC win! Looking forward to keeping up with both teams in this tournament!

  • Brian Peabody : Mar 18th

    Trek safe! I live near the southern terminus of the AT, and have hiked all of it in Georgia and confess to some envy as you begin your adventure! Wishing you health, fair weather, and trail magic!

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      Thank you so much, Brian!

  • Jared : Mar 19th

    I don’t know if I feel lovey dovey, but I like interesting bloggers, and you certainly qualify! I’m in Vermont, so we may cross paths later on, but til then safe travels and happy hiking! Looking forward to reading about your journey, ✌️

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      I’ll take what I can get haha! Thanks for following along

  • Jenn Me : Mar 19th

    Very cute intro post! I wish you the best experience ever on your AT hike and I will be looking forward to your writing about the adventures you’re having. I dream of hiking the AT and wish my husband and I could do so but until it could be a possibility I will drown myself in blogs and live vicariously. You have a wonderful way of writing that seems personal and I am sure your friends are very honored to know you as you know them. Ok have a wonderful trail and I will be an avid reader!

    • Florencia Loncan : Mar 25th

      Thank you so much! I’m grateful to have you following along!

  • Lori Mills : Mar 28th

    I want to send you letters and snacks! May I journey vicariously through you? 😊

  • Jan H. : Mar 30th

    Love your introduction. You are a brave and interesting young lady and I look forward to hearing about your coming adventures. Congrats on your Masters! I have a grandson who started the AT northbound on March 2 and a son who hiked it southbound in 1987. Very different hikes … things have changed so much over the years. Saw grandson at Fontana Village last week; think he is at Hot Springs, NC now. He is having a great time and has become very comfortable on the trail as I am sure you will also! Plan but don’t over plan. Things work out. Good luck and best wishes. Looking forward to your posts!


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