From Kate Spade to Katabatic
Hello, The Trek!
My name is Melissa. If you had told me a five years ago that I’d be planning to go live in the woods, I would have looked at you sideways.
Years before my first encounter with thru-hiking culture, you’d find me saving for the newest Kate Spade bag and oogling over the newest celebrity styles.
Cut to: Wild
Cue the groans from the thru-hiking community en masse. Yes, I am one of those girls who read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and was deeply moved by her story. I read the book in 2013, the year before I graduated from high school. It led me to learn more about thru-hiking and, eventually, the purchase of our lovely Badger’s book, Appalachian Trials, in 2014. I fell in love with the prospect of thru-hiking. Not just that, but an incessant need to do it. But, alas, I had no money, no time, and no support.
Cut to: Graduation
I recently graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in media communications. My last semester at school was spent in misery agonizing over the job I would be walking into post-grad. Long story short, I moved to Austin, TX, for a bit and then interviewed for my dream job in NYC. When I moved home and the job eventually fell through, I was lost. Everyone around me seemed to have everything together. I went back to bartending along with a freelance job online. Every day was the same.
Enter: Choose Wonder Over Worry
I had days free to read endless books from my local library where I found the gem, Choose Wonder Over Worry by Amber Rae. This book changed the way I think. Amber talks about the negative thoughts that our brains are wired to produce to protect us.
Some of them are good: “Buckle your sea tbelt or you could die in a car accident!” “Eat healthy or you may develop health issues!”
Some of them are bad: “Follow the path that everyone around you has taken or you’re a failure!” “Be scared of following your dreams!”
Amber helped me realize that my brain was lying to me. I didn’t have to be scared if my life looked different from those around me. I could follow my dreams and make my life what I wanted. So, I started planning my thru-hike in September of this year.
The books that I’ve mentioned have been major players in what has inspired me to go on trail. However, there are many other factors…
- The current political climate is increasingly exhausting.
- I want to “find myself” in the woods. Not surrounded by constant stimuli.
- The trail is there. Why not hike it?
- I love a good challenge.
Thank you for being here to witness my transition into a new, wooded world of wonder. Say that five times fast… “wooded world of wonder.”
Wildly detailed gear lists and planning updates to come.
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