Three Months Out From Our Long-Awaited Departure

So, for starters, I think it’s important for you to know that I have had the login info to begin writing this post since September. I’ve had material to post. I’ve thought about posting—a lot. Yet, I haven’t posted anything. I keep trying to come up with a reason for why I haven’t posted anything, and the only thing that I keep coming back to over and over again is fear. I suppose I am fearful of putting myself out there. Sharing my writing with friends and family is one thing, but sharing it with strangers feels so vulnerable. In all honesty, though, vulnerability is the reason I decided to apply to write for The Trek in the first place. Just the idea of it forced me to push my comfort zone, to challenge my own sense of security, which, by the way, is not comfortable. But I suppose growth never is. Which leads me to my next point: just like writing this post is uncomfortable, hiking this trail isn’t going to be comfortable. Hiking this trail is going to push my comfort zone and challenge my sense of security, but by golly just like I’m *finally* writing this post, I’m still going to do it.

To Growth, My Friends

Onward to a more formal introduction. As this is my very first post on The Trek, I should tell you all a little bit about myself and my hiking partner (and life partner) Tom (he will be vlogging our hike, too). Tom and I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015 (go dawgs!). From there, I went into teaching middle school, and Tom went into business. Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail has been a dream of ours since before we met in 2012, and has since then transformed into our collective dream. We contemplated hiking the trail in 2018, which means we were thinking about hiking the trail in 2017 (and many years before that), but Tom wanted a little bit more work experience, and I was one step closer to my five years as a Title I teacher. So, we postponed.

We jumped around from Athens, to Metro Atlanta, to Atlanta and back, and for a hot minute there it seemed almost as if we had forgotten all about the trail. We were getting cozy in our security. We both had good jobs, we bought a new car, we were living in a much too expensive apartment, everything seemed to be going along just fine on the “normal path.” We started talking about getting our master-s degrees—we were full speed ahead—but all of a sudden this dream of ours broke through the surface again.

In all the years that we had known each other, Tom had wanted to start his own business, not climb up the corporate ladder. So, why isn’t that what he was doing?

In all the years that we had known each other, we had wanted to thru-hike the AT. So why weren’t we hiking?

You might not believe me, but the moment this realization sprang to life within the two of us, we knew that it was finally going to be our time. The following week I let my principal know that I wouldn’t be returning next year because my husband and I were going to be thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, which meant I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my yearlong contract if I stayed. That was in February 2018, by the way, which seems like a long, long time ago at this point. Since then, there have been lots of changes and a few feelings of limbo and a lot of dreaming and planning going on, and now, all of a sudden here we are: three months out. Three months out?

Three months out!

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Comments 5

  • Lisa : Jan 8th

    Wow! An excellent start to a courageous endeavor. Best of luck to you both. Looking forward to reading more.

    Reply
  • Rita : Jan 9th

    Can’t wait for you to start your adventure! I look forward to reading all your blogs – the good, the bad and all the beauty of this great experience!

    Reply
  • Dave Mizelle : Jan 11th

    Hi fellow thrus, hope I get to meet you out on the trail!

    Reply
  • Paul J. Moore : Jan 13th

    Best of luck. I’ve never hiked the AT only small hikes…. however my wife and I did ride our bicycle across America (at the retired speed). It took us 4 months. We learned that we had to be very open with each other. On good days and bad days. If something negative is festering.. get it out right away. We never left Maine thinking… OMG Seattle Washington’s so far… nope.. we stayed focus on one day’s mileage, what was going on, what to see, “Stopping to smell the roses along the way”. It wasn’t a race… it was an adventure. That’s my advice to you. One day at a time from point A to point B. Can’t wait to follow your journey !!! Best of luck to both of you… “YOU CAN DO THIS !!!”

    Reply
    • Erin and Tom G. : Jan 23rd

      Paul, thank you so much for your kind and inspiring words! What an awesome adventure the two of you must’ve had! I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your advice. We will take it to heart, and are excited to continue to share our journey with you!!

      Reply

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