From the AT to the TA: Swan Diving into It!

Hi, I’m Sunney (or Swan Dive).

Don’t let my blond hair fool you. I have gone two weeks without showering on the AT. When a little dread started to form at the base of my neck, I knew it was about time I find civilization.

Completing my SOBO hike of the AT was just the beginning of my obsession to see this world by foot!

A lot of people thought it was absurd that I quit my amazing job at Amazon and chose to put my life of 28 years on pause so I could hike 2,192 miles from Maine to Georgia. But I’m not a person who wants the cookie cutter life nor have I desired to conform to the world’s expectations. My parents knew as a child that I would walk to my own stride.

I grew up on the countryside in a small farm town in Michigan. Every house had a pickup truck in the drive, Garth Brooks on the radio, and Bud Light in the refrigerator. We used to ride our horses down the dirt road to see the neighbors’ kids. And the best was when summer started; it was nonstop floating around on the lake. This was home to me.

When I hiked the AT, I felt that same sense of home. The simplicity, the beauty, and the peace and joy that nature provided me. This January 2020, I will set off on another solo hike. This time I will be in a foreign country! I’m hiking the Te Araroa trail (TA) in New Zealand. This trail is 3,000km/1,864 miles and extends the entire length of the country. As I go from the AT to the TA, I know a lot of uncertainty persists but it’s in those unknown moments that growth and resilience can be built. I hope you can join me on this wild ride. Ready for an adventure? Stay tuned.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • Ben Cox aka Bear Bait (AT) aka Paladin (PCT) : Dec 12th

    This was great reading and learning your background. Can’t wait to follow your story/adventures on the TA and HOPEFULLY follow in your footsteps there someday!

    • Sunney Mahalak : Dec 21st

      Thank you! So happy you can follow along. You will have to check out my vlogs (video blogs) as well!


What Do You Think?