One More Week!!!!
Seven days. The excitement is at an all time high right now only to be surpassed by my train ride to Georgia and then my first day actually on the trail. It’s almost surreal in a way because I remember the moment downloading a countdown application on my phone when I first decided that I was officially going to hike, about seven months and a handful of days is what I started with and it seemed like forever, I would check the countdown every single day expecting a few months to have flown by.
Then it came down to three months and it started to set in that this is actually getting closer and this journey finally is coming into sight. Now with exactly one week left I have deleted the app now that I’m staring down my departure date right in it’s pretty little face.
I think two words can really describe this time, Holy Shit!!! After waiting so long it’s finally here and as you can imagine it fills you with every type of possible emotion at any given time such as nervousness, excitement, fear, adventurous, happy, worried, etc. Once I quit my job is when I really started to tie up all the loose ends here at home before I leave so I’ll walk you through the process and emotions I have gone through the last few days.
First of all is packing. After my thru I am moving from Baltimore to New Jersey so I had to pack up absolutely everything. As a collector of antiques and oddities I spent most of that day wrapping up such beauties as Civil War antiques, 18th century documents, a preserved marmoset monkey, antique embalming fluid, and things of the like in newspaper reminiscing of when I bought each piece and the history it has gone through. Don’t judge me on the “Dead Things” box, they’re called oddities because well…they’re odd, besides preserved specimens are somewhat scientific therefore I’m basically a genius and we’re going to go with that!
Anyway packing up your life is pretty humbling, everything you possess can be boxed up and categorized, with these thoughts it gets me more excited for leaving. It’s time to do something so great that can’t be put in a box or on display like most of the things I pride myself with collecting. It’s an adventure, it’s memories, it’s experiences, it’s time spent constantly moving forward to accomplish something remarkable. I’m packing up my life as I know it, to start a completely different life on the trail and this gives me excitement and as expected the nerves are starting to creep their way in.
Now that I have everything packed up it’s feeling more and more real. I no longer have a job or any obligations so as you can imagine everything I think/do is mostly revolving around the AT. I can real only go through all of my gear so many times right? I have been almost a constant lurker on Whiteblaze.net and YouTube getting any type of last minute tips/ ideas that I can. One cool video I did happen to come across was how to make your own ultra light wallet from Tyvek.
DIY Tyvek AT Wallet
You pretty much snag ( Though I do not condone stealing!) a priority envelope from your local post office which is constructed of tyvek. Then a few measurements later, some carpeting tape, a little art work with some markers, BAM you have yourself a stylish new wallet for the trail. I’m not a big DIYer so I was pretty happy with the way it came out and now I feel like I could build a house.
You may be asking yourself am I related to Da Vinci or Michelangelo because of the amazing art work on there that definitely wasn’t made from some markers I took from a child’s art set, well the answer is yes, I am indeed from a famous line of artists. If interested I might sell you one for a few billion dollars. All sarcasm aside, it is really simple to do and I encourage everyone to give it a try. Just do a quick search on Google or YouTube and you should be able to find ample instruction on how to do it.
But anyways this really got me in the mindset that I’m leaving, sitting in my empty room making a paper wallet makes it quite real. I’ve been also tying up the last few pieces of things I would need before I leave like food, batteries, Benadryl, soap, the little things that are very easy to forget (I can almost guarantee that I will still find something to forget).
Prepping for a big hike cannot completely consume your life though. I’m about to live in the woods for a few months so I have to take in all the comforts of civilization while I can. Things like watching television, eating a big home cooked meal, hot showers, and simply relaxing. I’m going to be putting my body through a lot the next couple months so I figured I’ll try to make a peace offering of a weeks worth of relaxation in exchange for getting me through the trip.
As the time to leave very quickly approaches my excitement escalates as well as my nervousness and fear of the unknown. I’ve never embarked on something of this magnitude so it’s pretty justified, I’m embracing these feelings that way I can better deal with them.
I know I’m going to be nervous, who wouldn’t be? But to let that stand in the way of such a great thing would be foolish.
A quote I really appreciate is “Everything you want is on the other side of fear” if you limit yourself because of fear, you’ll never be able to experience everything you want and live your life to full potential. Just like you can’t let an individual stand in the way of your dreams, you also can’t let an emotion stand in your way either. You are your own worst enemy.
Embrace the feelings, the nerves, the doubt, and know that it’s perfectly normal, but don’t let it paralyze you from living. With that I’ll leave you with something I have been doing a lot in order to relax and clear my mind before I leave. Playing ping pong in shorty shorts.
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