Saying NO So You Can Say YES

Only Child Syndrome

Selfishness is not exactly foreign to me. I was raised an only child and let’s just say I have not yet completely grown out of the inability to share my toys. (nah, i’m a good sharer. i swear. except when it comes to food. oops.) However, I think this little character flaw is going to be quite useful during these next two years leading up to my AT thru-hike.

Because the reality is – and I know I am not the first person to come up with this thought – there is never going to be a “good time” to take six months off to go walk in the woods. For most people, there are always going to be responsibilities like careers, families, bills, etc.

The way to make it possible – at least for me – is to plan. And save. And sacrifice.

REI – Here I come!

One of the more exciting responsibilities I have taken on is a part-time job at REI! I am going to continue to practice law full-time, but on some of my nights and weekends, I am going to clock some shifts at my local REI. I see so many benefits to having this job: 1) meeting new people/co-workers with similar interests as mine, 2) some extra money to pay off some credit card debt (a big goal of mine prior to starting my thru), and 3) that siiiiick employee discount.

What I’m trying to say, friends, families, and strangers, is over these next two years, I might not be the Emily you have come to know and love. I might not say, “yes!” to any concert at the drop of a hat and I might be spending my weekends hiking in the White Mountains rather than making trips to all those cool cities you guys live in that I have been promising to visit.

Thank you.

For me to say YES to this incredible journey, I am going to have to say NO to a lot of things these next two years. And it may seem that, while I am saying No to you, I am still saying Yes to things like backpacking trips and new pieces of gear. And for that, I am sorry. But I know most of you will understand because most of you are freeeeeaking awesome and I thank you for that.

K. that’s enough for now. thanks for reading. <3

What are some things you have had to say “No” to while planning your thru-hike?


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Comments 2

  • Kelsey Jo : May 16th

    I get this! I’m currently planning and working toward a 2018 AT thru-hike. I had to decide between a second job to save up extra money or make a stricter budget. In the end, I decided to buckle down with one job by taking less (hardly any) vacation days so my weekends were still open for hiking and shakedowns.

    • emily sue : May 16th

      Hey Kelsey, thanks for the comment! My budget could definitely use some buckling down, so I might be taking a page out of your book soon. Luckily, I have a lot of areas to hike and backpack that are close by so even when I do work weekends, I can still find time to get outside. Best of luck on your thru – I’d love to follow along. Stay in touch 🙂


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