The End of a Tramily
Feeling rushed and having regrets.
I broke up with my trail family (tramily) today.
I’ve been feeling rushed lately.
And I’m starting to have regrets.
Regrets about not taking more time at lunch to enjoy the view and the sun and the stillness.
Regrets about not taking the time to swim at Nuclear Lake or to sketch at Sages Ravine.
Regrets about not spending another half hour in Salisbury. Or Kent. Or hanging out with Blue Deer while he was chilling’ on a bench in front of the ice cream store.
Getting swept up in someone else’s agenda.
Because I let myself get swept in someone else’s agenda where miles, and getting to the destination, mattered more than enjoying the journey.
And I know this about myself–I’m a full on believer in enjoying the journey.
Especially this journey, which seems to be lasting forever but will be over in an instant. And all we’ll have, when it’s done, are memories. Hopefully not just memories of showers and resupply and deli sandwiches and mediocre beers.
I broke up with my tramily today and chose, again, to hike my own hike.
And it feels good, a relief, actually, in spite of the sadness that accompanies any breakup.
Who will I laugh with?
Who will sing like angels when trail magic appears at a road crossing?
With whom will I share the milestones, like reaching the halfway point or clicking off another 100 miles?
Who will be there when I summit Katahdin?
Who will split the giant box of Carnation Instant Breakfast with me?
It is a loss.
Gaining so much more.
But then I look at what I gain by going solo–the chance to follow my heart and design every day according to my own whims and desires. Yay!
I’d rather not compromise what matters most to me or end such a grand endeavor with regrets.
I think of this break up as one more trail experience that mirrors real life.
Thankfully I realized soon enough that some things are worse than being alone.
I’m sad for the loss. But confident that closing this door will allow others to open.
Here, then, are some moments to remember with my first tramily, along with a vow that my hike is and will continue to be a no regret zone.
Except for that time I carried 3 packs of tuna for 200 miles before realizing tuna was offically dead to me.
That I regret!
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Personally, I never hiked with a group. I would continually make new acquaintances along the way relishing the many brief interactions with a variety of characters. Eventually, as the miles clicked away, entering into a trail town for a meal was always an exciting time. Inevitably, whenever walking in for a meal, the PO, laundry mat or whatever, I would spot a familiar face and catch up on trail news.
You may also find yourself actually moving faster by yourself. It works something like this….if hiking with a partner; someone is always waiting around for the other to do something before heading out together. If hiking in a group, then a pack leader evolves and everyone who wishes to remain with the crowd must follow along. This was most likely the cause of the recent parting of the ways. To coin a phrase, ‘lead, follow or get out of the way’, it appears as if you choose the latter in the process of leading your own adventure.
Congratulations for not only recognizing the situation, but taking the appropriate action in order to take back control of your hiking experience.
I have to agree with Stealthblew. Much as I like people, the freedom of not waiting, or having others mad because they had to wait. Nothing in the world beats setting up a hammock and taking a two hour siesta in the middle of the day just because you feel like it. You’ll make new friends and tramily.
I hike locally and I’ve never thru hiked but to me hiking your own hike mirrors life. Good for you. Enjoy your hike.