Summer In Review
This week marked the end of one of the most eventful summers of my life. Going public about my plans to thru-hike has spiraled into this amazing storm of support – I am so thankful to have such a large network of people in my life who are as interested and excited about my hike as I am.
Looking back, the summer is a blur of work and hiking. At some point in this blur however I ended up learning so many valuable things about not only hiking, but life in general:
I learned SO MUCH about backpacking
Thanks to all my fellow Appalachian Trials bloggers, countless hours spent talking to REI employees, and everyone who posts about backpacking on the internet, I now know so much about backpacking and gear that I could all but write a 20 page paper on it (can you tell I am back in the school mindset). I am slowly collecting all the essential items and each time I buy something new it never fails to feel like Christmas morning,
I learned about the mental and physical strength needed to thru-hike
My many hiking and camping expeditions this summer have taught me how much discipline you need to keep hiking through heat, knee pain, hunger, etc. I also learned that strength is about knowing when to call it quits for the day before pushing yourself too far.
I learned how to be really good at sticking to a budget
Admittedly, I am known for being bad with money so saving for this adventure is a challenge in itself. However, after working all summer and being very frugal about on what/where I spend my money I have managed to save up way past my original goals, and purchase a ton of gear in the process. I found that working 40 hours a week is exhausting, but the money you get from it is awesome!
I learned how to hike in bad weather
Although I will probably never choose to hike in the rain, I have found to enjoy the peacefulness of the woods during a drenching downpour, and absolutely love the sound of rain falling through the trees. Thunderstorms in the woods are scary and dangerous, but awe inspiring at the same time.
Side note- hiking and camping in sand at the beach is not as bad as you think.
I learned that hiking is about appreciating subtle beauty where you are
It’s not about climbing the tallest peak or finding the biggest waterfall, it’s really about pushing yourself and finding peace in the world around you. There truly are no ugly places in this world, and weather you are at the Grand Canyon or your local park, there is beauty to be seen.
I just finished my first week of classes, and am hoping to be able to save and learn as much as I did this summer. Wish me luck.
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Good luck to you in all your endeavors. I am thinking that next year may be the year of my thru-hike!