Why I’m Thru-Hiking, Explained to My Mother

It’s 6:04 in the morning and I cannot sleep.  Hello and welcome to my life as a night-shift nurse.  I’m pretty sure I obtained this trait from my father, who worked night shift for 30 years before retiring.  I’ve driven home tonight to spend the holidays with my family and have had the “are you sure you want to do this” talk with my mother for about the 20th time.



My sweet momma! She’s absolutely wonderful and completely supportive but she worries, like all good parents do.  (In order of appearance, my mother, myself, and my wife.) Why am I not settled in a home with a steady job that I love?  Why do I want to hike this trail that goes on forever? I cannot understand at all because I do not have children (which is true), but mom, here are my reasons for attempting to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2019.


Give Me All the Reasons

  • I am exhausted in all aspects of being a nurse.  There, I said it out loud and yes, I do feel a little guilty, but the truth is out.  My soul is tired and somewhere along the way of devoting myself to others, I have lost myself.  I want to find the woman who thrives in the outdoors and rekindle her soul there.  Please come back to me!
  •  I have lost confidence in myself.  By doing this, I can prove to myself that I am capable of achieving my dreams.  It’s cheesy I know, but I want to be proud of my body and its abilities.
  • I have no desire to settle down in a job for 30 years and stay in one spot.  I have been a travel nurse for over a year now, which has afforded me this opportunity, for which I am grateful.  I believe this is the toughest aspect for my mom to understand.
  • I want my mind to wander aimlessly without fear of repercussion.
  • I want to find some grace for myself.
  • This is the most opportune time to have this adventure.
  • I have a supportive wife who is encouraging me to do this and has refused to let me back in our home after March 2 until she picks me up in Maine sometime next fall.
  • I really can’t wait to eat a Maine lobster and some of Rosanna’s Ice Cream!

I’m sure that as the time approaches, there will be more of these conversations, not only with my family but strangers as well.  I just want to live a life worth living and without regret. So here’s to the thru-hikers of 2019! Let’s do this no matter what your reason!

Here I am almost a decade ago on the trail in Georgia, pretending to know what I’m doing!

IG: @meday7413 





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Comments 3

  • Sandi Gallion Hodge : Dec 23rd

    I am so impressed and Proud Of you and we’ve never ever met!
    Congratulations on putting on your Big Girl Panties, as my wonderful daughters would say to me, and walking the AT, I’ve wanted to do it my whole life also, just to prove I Can! Oh how I wish I was walking with You.
    Think of all of us that wish we were walking side by side with you!
    Great Luck and Love to You, Stay Healthy and let your mind and Spirit Soar.
    I’ll be walking with you in spirit, with Love and Joy in My Heart for You.
    Eat well, sleep early, Up early Walk Carefully with your walkin Stick!
    In My Thoughts Daily.

  • Pony : Dec 28th

    I hope you enjoy your hike. For many, many of us, it’s a life-changing experience.


  • Gwen Johnson : Dec 30th

    You rock!!!


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