From Teacher to Hiker in 8 Months…
“Love flowers best in openness and freedom.” -Edward Abbey
When I’m not trudging through quarter-life crisis’—which seem to be happening more often than naught—or molding the minds of our future generations (you’ve been properly warned parents) I enjoy dreaming about my next crazy venture beneath the skies. Currently, my mind and heart are stuck on the idea of hiking 2,100+ miles. Why would anyone voluntarily hike the distance of the US from South to North you’re currently asking yourself? Well, I’ll tell you: simply because I can, and where there is opportunity there is desire.
Currently, I reside in South Korea, educating the young and boisterous children inhabiting this tiny peninsula. While not a teacher by trade (I dreamt of being Indian Jones as a child, which led me to a ill-concieved and horribly neglected degree in Archaeology), I do enjoy the day-to-day encounters with the tiny humans. Kids say the darndest things; particularly ESL kids whose grasp of English barely surpasses that of an amoeba. And somehow, even in the most stressful moments, they drag smiles out of me with their grubby little hands.
But, while I enjoy the day-to-day happenings here in this foreign land, I have recently been catapulted into this terrifying feeling of wanderlust (it makes its rounds every few months). And not just wanderlust, but wanderlust combined with a primal need for grass, trees, dirt, grimy fingernails, smelly clothes, tangled hair, sun burnt lips and everything in between. I crave for soaring trees towering over lush green landscape, instead of concrete monstrosities turning the world around me into a gray fog. I desire the songs of birds and chirps of crickets over the honking of horns drowning out the calming sounds of nature. I seek spirit. I seek peace. In all seriousness, I simply seek an escape.
Since I have come to learn teaching is not my calling in life, through some unfortunate trial and error, I will be putting off the adult world for a little bit longer by trekking north on the Appalachian Trail, where I’m hoping I will find desired peace. I’m going to dust off my boots, strap on my 20 lb pack (I hope), and throw caution to the wind—as they say. Whether it’s the cosmos aligning, or some fated page turning in my book of life, the time is now. And so, armed with a smile and a penchant for moving, I set off.
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