From Gamer to Thru-Hiker: My Story
How a twenty-first century gamer took his adventures into the outdoors. A brief hiker introduction.
I’ve been adventuring all of my life. I’ve crossed frozen wastelands in the north, barren deserts in the south, and fought for my survival against beasts beyond a 10 year old boys imagination. All behind the comfort of my 16:10 computer monitor. Age of Mythology, Runescape, Guild Wars, World of Warcraft; I played them all. Extensively.
Growing up I struggled with social anxiety. I was a spinning image of Hollywoods token nerd; thin, lanky, curly hair, braces, glasses. As a result of being uncomfortable in my own skin, I would take it to massive multiplayer online roleplaying games (mmorpg) to create a new identity for myself. Once I put in my password I was no longer Curtis Murley, I was a courages hero in a fictitious universe. I would spend more time in this universe than I would in our own. 8 to 16 hours a day for 5 years.
“I’ll stick to painting as long as I can” (Tom Thomson)
Fast forward a couple years, I found myself in my final year of college studying computer science. An alumni student came in to talk to our soon to be graduating class about their experiences after graduating. Since then, my future has never been so clear. I dropped out one semester short of completion… and haven’t looked back.
I have travelled all over the world alone, with friends and with family. I have become obsessed with activities that adolescent Curtis would have never even considered like hiking and rock climbing . Most importantly, I am happier and healthier.
My greatest ambition in life is to inspire others to achieve their dreams, take risks and give kindness. Follow along for my biggest adventure yet, a 2000+ mile thru-hike.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” (Neale Donald Walsch).
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