Blowing Up My World

Well, I did it! I gave my notice at work… and it was glorious! No turning back now… in April I will embark on the biggest adventure of my life. I will be joining the thousands of hopefuls planning to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I turn 40 this year, so hey, why not hike 2600 miles?

So how does one go about blowing up one’s life? Follow me for 5 easy steps.

1) Develop a goal that you obsess over for 8 years and plan “in the future.” The most important part here is to tell everyone about this goal. Accountability is key

2) Step two is really important. You have to realize that now is the time. For so, so, many reasons, waiting always seems to lead to more waiting. So then you have to take all that careful obsessing and decide this year is the year! I recognize the complications this year will bring, but have adjusted my plan accordingly. I am also one of the privileged few who have received the Covid-19 vaccine already.

3) Become really generous. Start selling all of your stuff at everything-must-go prices and making large donations to local thrift shops. This part is fun. We spend all this time thinking we need STUFF, but I never feel as good as when I am getting rid of things I rarely or never use. Storage units are expensive!

4) Apply for permits and plan your first week on trail. Those who know me… know I am a bit of a planner. So one of my goals on trail is not to over plan. Some of you may be thinking… wait didn’t you say obsess for 8 years? Clearly obsessing and planning are two different things for those of us in the type A category. So for me, only planning the first week is a huge step.

5) Talk to your boss, give notice on your apartment, and generally start to both freak out and relax because it’s finally happening. I have been working since the age of 16… I have never been without a job for more than a month. Once my notice is up and I don’t have a “plan” other than to hike… not sure how that is going to feel. Pretty sure there will be some shock, some throwing up, but also less headaches?

On a more serious note, I’m not jumping into this blind (though I am in awe of those that do.) I spend every weekend, 12 months a year hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking, and generally anything that gets me outdoors. For the last two years I have been making it a point to do a backpacking trip of some kind every month of the year (i live in north Idaho) I like to lovingly call it “wild turds all year” in the style of the backcountry skiers that do “turns all year.” It leads to some fun situations like the snow trench I slept in for the January trip this year. But it’s also taught me a lot.

Sometimes life needs an explosion. We just have to appreciate the privilege of getting to plan our own explosion. The fact that I am even thinking of spending 5-6 months doing something I love is a gift. I just have to remember to keep going. I have this….


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Comments 11

  • pearwood : Jan 31st

    Such a fine young woman, says he who turns 71 this year. 🙂
    We are in line, but no vaccination yet.
    Go for it. You sound like you are ready.
    Next year on the AT!
    Steve / pearwood

  • pearwood : Jan 31st

    (I love your lead photograph.)

  • Gail stevens : Feb 1st

    A proud mom looking forward to some trail Angelina with her equally proud Dad!

    • Gail : Feb 1st

      Meant trail angeling, as in being a trail angel. Gotta love ? Autocorrect!

  • Hilma Volk : Feb 1st

    You go girl!

  • Claude Martin : Feb 1st

    I’m really happy for you Caitlin …make sure you amble enough

  • Christy Reyes : Feb 1st

    So proud of you and happy for you! Way to live life and enjoy it!!!

  • Rose : Feb 3rd

    Wow! Blog is off to a great start! Can’t wait to read more!

  • Sara Bennett : Feb 3rd

    Congratulations! This is such an exciting process and I look forward to watching how much more you’ll grow.

    So glad we cross-countries skied just a few years ago and have had a weave of connection over the years.

    Enjoy and reach out if you need a life line!

  • Stephanie : Mar 31st

    Really getting close to your start date and your bday! Happy hiking!

  • Jayne : Apr 11th

    Love this journal and photos. Total inspiration. Thanks Caity Cait!


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