Why are you doing this?


This is generally the first thing people want to know when I tell them I am backpacking the Appalachian trail. There are so many reasons, that I could write a novel on just this alone but I will spare you my ramblings and keep this post relatively short!

1. Peace of mind

I am one of those individuals that often feels overwhelmed by an everyday routine that includes keeping up with the media, driving in traffic, going to work, sitting extensively, ect. I have often felt that if I spent more time with myself in nature that I could learn to quiet my mind and achieve a sense of calming bliss.

2. Living for the moment

For a lot of my life I have put my dreams on the back burner. I would think of them in a hopeful longing way but never actually put any work towards achieving anything. A lot of this was due to fear of not being perfect. It wasn’t until after having two people that I was close with pass away within mere months of each other, that I realized one day I too would die and that the only way I was going to really live was to go after my dreams now. I made a list of all of my dreams and made myself take at least one step towards one of my dreams every day. I know that if I don’t take this trip now, that it will always remain a distant dream and eventually a regret.

3. A sense of achievement

What stories will your children pass down to your grandchildren about you? Will they have much to say or will you be a mystery to them? If I am to leave any sort of legacy behind I had better start making my life a story worth mentioning. I personally think walking 2,200 miles through the woods is pretty impressive which leads me to my next reason.

4. Self love

Many people like myself have struggled with a deficit of self love. Our internal talk is negative even hateful at times. I feel that a great way to strengthen the bond I have with myself is to spend time alone with the thoughts in my head. Without the influence of other people, I will truly find out who I am and what I’m made of. I plan to make time for yoga and meditation daily and become closer to my true self than ever.

5. Curiosity

Alice wasn’t wrong when she said “Curiosity often leads to trouble,” however if she hadn’t just gone after the white rabbit spontaneously, she wouldn’t have experienced her great adventure through Wonderland.  A lot of people are concerned that something as ambitious as this trip is too much for me. I understand where they are coming from, but any time that I have ever learned anything profound, it has been by jumping blindly. I believe it was Thic Nhat Hanh that said something along the lines of , ‘The only way to reach enlightenment is for one to jump blindly into the unknown, and for one to jump blindly into the unknown they would have to be either insane or have a lot of faith.’ That is what I am living my life by.


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Comments 5

  • Carrie Riesland : Jan 3rd

    This is awesome! Hope all goes well hun. Much love & God Bless you on your travels.

    • Rebecca Hatch : Jan 24th

      Thank you dear! I can’t wait to get out there and get my hands dirty!

  • George Brenckle : Jan 4th

    Great reasons for doing this! Having just completed a thru-hike, I can tell you that the Trail definitely teaches you to live for the moment! Best of luck as you start this journey. My son gave me a picture for Christmas from our trip (he did it with me) and he put this on the card: “It’s not who you finish. It’s not where you finish. It’s what you see along the way.” I thought that was pretty profound for a 23 year old.

    • George Brenckle : Jan 4th

      Damn you spell check! Here is the correct quote…

      “It’s not when you finish. It’s not where you finish. It’s what you see along the way.”

    • Rebecca Hatch : Jan 24th

      Thank you! I’m excited to see the person I become throughout this experience! I love that quote! How is life after the trail? =]


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