The 5 W’s of My (Hopeful) AT Thru-Hike

The Who

My name is Maya (trail name TBD)! I was born and raised on the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and graduated from American University in Washington DC in 2020. I am a backpacking rookie but love to travel and adventure.

Sunset on Cape Cod, MA, where was born and raised (and moved back to in order to save money for the trail).

The What

I am starting what I intend to be a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. For my family and friends that are being introduced to this idea through me, a thru-hike is a continuous end-to-end hike of a long distance backpacking trail. The Appalachian Trail is about 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.

The When and Where

I am starting from Springer Mountain, GA and going to be (probably slowly) working my way up to Maine. I start in a few short weeks in late March. Notice that I said starting at Springer (rather than the Approach Trail from Amicalola, more on that later).

The Why

The pandemic definitely forced my entire generation into a “WTF am I doing with my life” mindset. When I was about to graduate college in December of 2020 (with a degree in public health, no less) I had genuinely no clue what I wanted to do with my life…that, and no money. Having set my sites to saving for an untitled “big adventure,” I started researching cool outdoor things to do in the US and stumbled across the online thru-hiking community. At least to myself, my mind was made up almost immediately. I moved back home and started to work on amassing gear and saving money. That’s why I came to the conclusion to thru-hike. But why am I truly hiking? When I am trekking uphill, dragging my trail runners through the mud with my rain clothes soaked through, why will I keep hiking?


The thing is, I suck at change. I am a creature of habit and routine and would be far more comfortable going to and from the same job and house every day for the rest of my life. There’s a huge part of me that would prefer never having to move or make new friends ever again.




When you suck at something, the best thing to do is practice it over and over and over again until you are a pro. This is exactly why I decided that the AT was something I should at least try. I want to put myself in a constantly changing environment in an attempt to be a little better at adapting. And while I am terrified, I’ve also never been more excited for this new adventure.


The only good photo I got on my first solo backpacking trip in Maine last summer. Looking forward to hiking back there!

If you would like to follow along with my hike, be sure to subscribe to my page, follow me on Instagram at @maya_kd, and maaaaybe follow me on TikTok at @_mayabee_ , if I ever really figure that out.

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Comments 1

  • Jhony : Mar 9th

    Following. Subscribed


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