Leaving and Starting: Actually getting on Trail
After spreading out my gathering of gear and food, I begin my journey.
I had a busy weekend, my college graduation party and friends visiting. I reconnected with friends from my childhood and wrapped up interactions that needed closure, and most importantly, I gave my cousin his birthday present.
Here I am, my bag packed, everything set, and the only thing left to do is to wake up tomorrow morning and go.
After all of this anticipation, me saying “I won’t be here for that”, it’s here.
Although I am so filled with joy to leave, I mourn the things that I’m missing. I’ll miss watering my sunflower every day, and sleeping in. Most of all, I think I’ll miss the noises of the city in which I live. Hearing women on the bus talk about their hopes for their lives, and Christmas lights on trees. All of these things make my hometown beautiful, and unique.
I’m excited to get back to Vermont. Instead of going to my college, I’m specifically avoiding the reunion that’s happening while I’m on trail. After being surrounded by people and so much love for the past month, I feel that this time to escape, to truly push myself is something I’ll treasure.
The Reality of Thru Hiking
With all of the excitement, I feel a sense of dread and obligation. Each week will be punctuated by phone calls to my loving family and the knowledge that I’m worrying the people who I care about the most.
I’m missing NYC Pride, my cousins’ birthday, a concert, camp, and so many other things. Like another blogger on The Trek, I feel that this is the most selfish thing that I’ve done since I missed last Thanksgiving to go to Europe.
Acknowledging both of those things at once is important.
I’m excited, and I’m missing things
I balance my love for the outdoors and solitude with my love for my gigantic family. My grandparents, who love me even though they don’t understand me all the time. My aunts and uncles, who check in on me and how I’m feeling, driving me home and making my last home cooked meal. The best of best friends, who spent my last day in town running around and making fun of my outgoing message.
Pushing through anxiety
One day I was so anxious and my grandma pointed out “You don’t have to do this.” After I pulled myself out of the spiral I was in, I realized that it would be okay. I want to hike. I’m ready to leave, because this trip is the right choice for me right now.
I do so much better when I’m in motion. Getting outside is the magic cure for anxiety, but it’s better than keeping myself in the four walls of my bedroom.
I’m going to Journey’s End, with my anxiety packed along with my other gear.
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