Backpacking was definitely not love-at-first-step for me. With a pack that was way too heavy for my short body, a fear of heights and stream crossings, and no innate sense of direction, I struggled a lot on my first few trips. But a decade into my backpacking adventures, I also know that backpacking is one of the few places I feel truly at ease with myself. I've spent years backpacking through the Sierra, a month on the Colorado Trail, and 3 months meandering around the South Island of New Zealand.This year, I'm quitting my job as a human rights advocate to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I'm hoping to approach each day with something like gratitude. Connect with me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/big_rain_little_thunder/