Why am I hiking the Appalachian Trail
Insanity you say
Hello my name is Noel, (no trail name yet) and at 47 years old I have chosen to leave behind two businesses, my home and my wife. in order to go out and be selectively homeless on the Appalachian trail for the next 6 months or so. Honestly It has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I think most people would agree that leaving the comfort of your home, money from your job, and the general ease in which we as people exist from day to day could possibly be insane. Maybe I am insane to do this, but I will welcome the insanity with open arms, a goofy grin and bring some others like me along for the ride.
List of reasons why I am doing this
- I would like to know the feeling of being able to accomplish something that takes true patience.
- Time alone with my thoughts, seeking peace
- I enjoy the outdoors and the lessons it provides
- I would like to meet new interesting people that I otherwise would not have.
- The need to get back to basics and what really matters
- I’m not getting any younger so why not?
- Because its perfectly normal to put your business on hold for 6 months just to walk in the woods.
- Because “The mountains are calling, and I must go”
Where it all started
About two years ago I was in my second year of owning my own home inspection business. I was doing very well with it so well that there were times that I couldn’t fit one more appointment into my schedule. I was working 6-7 days a week with real estate agents and clients emailing, calling or texting me sometimes as late as 11 pm. Although I was making a lot of money and doing very well, but everyone and everything else took a back seat to the business even me.
It was around this time that I started thinking about how life was when I didn’t have to answer the phone or respond to a text, and had less people demanding my time. I had just seen the movie and read the book, Into the Wild the story of Christopher McCandless, and although the story had a bad ending I was intrigued enough to start looking into this whole live life simply idea.
So it begins
Starting on February 28th I will bid goodbye to my kids, and my wife and I will drive to Amicalola Falls in Georgia, Attend the Appalachian Trail Kick Off celebration and on March 3rd I will say goodbye to my wife as I start my long Journey home.
Since the idea first came to mind around two years ago, I have done more personal thinking and have tried to find what this hike will mean to me. I thought about events that had great impacts in my life. The most notable events other than the birth of my kids, was the Suicides of My Grandfather, My Dad, and a Marine Corps. brother.
Although its been a few years since these things all happened they are scars that have never healed. and because of that have brought me much pain over the years. Because of this pain I decided that I wanted to not just hike for my own mental clarity and peace of mind. I also found that I would like to see about helping others along the way that are also in need. So I have been in contact with my local VA Hospital, to let them know about this hike why I’m doing it and to see if they could reach out to others that may be interested in talking with someone who understands their pain and anguish. Maybe even see if they would like to hike with me for a day, so they may be able to clarify their thoughts as well.
So that folks is why this old guy is hiking the Appalachian Trail,
or at least a brief synopsis anyway.
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