Wild Beginnings & Future Happenings
I have a policy that gratitude is where all good things begin and end. So let’s begin this beauty with some good ol’ gratitude. I’ve conquered a fair share of demons in my 23 years; the trail is not going to be one of them. The trail is a pure gift, an opportunity, the blessings of all blessings. I mean who gets to take off 5-6 months from reality to go live in the woods and walk over 2000 miles? Not very many people I know. And demons is far too harsh of a word than I would like, as any “unfortunate” experiences I’ve encountered in my lifetime have been fortunate for me because I grew from them. Sure. I’m going to have some bad days. Some very bad days. But I’m also going to have good days, and some really really good days. And the fact that I am able to show up to this experience in itself is a blessing. So I’m choosing gratitude, and I hope to reflect back on this when I hit the bumps in the road.
The Expansive & Supportive Space
This trail blog is my safe space to cultivate a new experience. If I can write about my experiences with the trail and dedicate to sharing in experiences here on my blog, then that’s another step in the right direction to sharing my thoughts with the world, and I know it will support my navigation to book writing one day. I also am a newly educated hiker, hopefully soon, to be thru hiker. I’ve loved the outdoors for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until the last few years that I fully EMbraced my wild taking over and dedicated a majority of my time to being outdoors. I am no writing or hiking expert by any means, I am learning each and every day as you are. This blog functions as both my space to learn, to share, and to grow as a writer, human, and hiker.
This is as much as my trial run with writing as it is my trial run with something I have never done before. I’m allowing comfort and support with myself for the first few weeks of my journey as I begin to shed my trail-ing wheels, develop my hiking legs, and delve into my new wild woman- hiker- forest dweller persona. I plan to carry this gentleness and support with me for myself and others along the whole trail. I know with each step I will be transforming into a new me, even though I will no longer be such a trail newbie. I thank each and every one of your for your support along this journey. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your support, near, far, for those who have been with me since I decided to pursue this dream to fruition.
I’ve researched as much as a human possibly can on how to have a successful thru hike. What to pack. What not to pack. How to poop in the woods. How to not get yourself killed or injured. How to save money. How to eat. How to stay healthy. I’ve immersed myself in hearing the stories of those hiking this year in 2016 to the point it almost felt like I was there with them. I allowed their experiences to be my inspiration, and connected with their posts as it felt like I too, could transform into a successful forest- dweller.
The Big WHY Question
My friends, classmates, family members, and random strangers I happen to share conversations with about the trail with have one big question. Of course. They want to know why in the world I’m choosing to live in the woods for 6 months and hike over 2000 miles. What first comes to mind is why the hell not?! But then I remind myself that’s probably not the best of answers, or, at least not the one they’d like to hear to fulfill their curiosity.
In short, the thru hiking experience and lifestyle resonates well with me. This simple way of life in the woods feels more natural than being indoors all day. I don’t understand why anyone who has the resources and passion for outdoors wouldn’t want to go. But I also get it. The trail is not for everyone, and that’s okay! I’m grateful to the friends who opened the door for me here and gave me a taste of what thru hiking life could be like.
Shout out to Malibu for my initial trail source of inspiration and The Runaway for being a friend and my go to for all questions trail related. I’m so grateful to have crossed paths with you guys.
Thru hiking is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, though. Buttttt, here’s some more reasons why it’s mine:
The mountains have been calling me for as long as I can remember. The trees. The woods. I’ve put a genuine focus on rewilding myself for the past few years as I return to the most natural and wild state of being that I can while balancing being a functioning woman in society who has a job, is in school, and as a future nurse who can’t smell like an untamed forest dweller while caring for her patients. Seriously. It’s one of the rules. And probably a very good one. Maybe one day I’ll be a wild medicine healing woman in the woods…. But. Until then…
I’ve done my time with the books, now it’s time to come back home to myself. To simplify. To show up to myself, for myself. To the trail. To the multitudes of others choosing to follow their hearts and hike the trail and for the ones who are coming along with us from a distance. I’ve worked incredibly hard towards my degree so that I could have the opportunity to share more love and kindness with people with nursing as my conduit. And now. My hike is for me. To grow. To challenge myself. To transform. To live simply. To do more with less. To connect with the Earth, with the wild. This is my next.
I’m Emily! (Introductions aren’t really my strong suit) I’m planning on beginning my SOBO hike post graduation (and post NCLEX) in early June ’17. I’m planning to post some more info on gear, preparing food drops with so many food allergies, and other relevant things as my start date gets closer. Thanks so much for reading along with me!
^^Me and my fav place (the woods) being weird as per usual.
Love and snap peas,
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Great Blog Piece. It spoke to me been there too defining in my mind why I want to hike the AT and trying to explain it to others. Done the responsible things and the adventurous ones fought my battles too, and now am ready for a great grand adventure which like all great adventures will be half terror and half wonder. Am excited to follow your adventure, I will be doing my own thru hike North in April 2017. Happy trails and may your journey take you to where the sun sails and the moon walks.
Thank you! Good luck to you as well
Wow! Can’t wait to meet you on the trail! I am also hiking SOBO probably sometime around early June, as well. I have Celiac’s Disease, so it will be fun to lament with someone about miserable diets while thru-hiking!!!